In honor of the coming new year, I am posting six of my most popular posts from this last year. I hope you enjoy the throwback:
#5: “Should a Christian Have a Happy Halloween?”
As a Christian I am sometimes torn if I should wish you a Happy Halloween. You might be a person who loves the Night of Fright filled with happy childhood memories. You might be a fundamentalist who thinks the holiday is nothing but Satan worship. Or you might be the unique religious who celebrates Halloween by passing out tracts with candy, though you will not dress up. So, when I come to your door in my costume this year, I am not really sure if I should ask you for a treat.
For me, I have great memories of Halloween, and when I delved deeper into my faith, I began having some tensions. My journey to the light seemed threatened by the night of dark revelry. So, my first step was to replace Halloween with Harvest. I love the spirit of the season and tried to link it in some way the Christian holiday of all Saints on the 1st of Nov. That is a good route, though I think there is a better way.
Though I have gotten over the need to dress up in gore– to me there is something wrong with the over attachment to our own need to express the grotesque pieces of this life– I do think that the numinous spirit world is important for every person and Christian to face. Psychologically, Halloween allows us (especially those of us who generally think the spirit world is a myth) to face the dark unknown that we all somehow feel is out there. More than that, we must face the fact that the Bible thinks there are a bunch of disembodied spirits out there and not all of them are in heaven.
So, in the tension between fusion with the grotesque and an overtaxed need to defend ourselves from the dangers of the great unknown, we should find a way to happily face our greatest fear: that I am not in control of this universe, which stretches far beyond my five senses. It is a great chance to practice abandonment to the Light while sharing it with those who feel that all lights for them have gone out.