Will is dressing up as a ghost for Halloween. I was shocked. He has his Indiana Jones costume that he wears everywhere. I thought at least he would choose the Storm Trooper costume. I have given up on him being a superhero (Batman, Vigilante, Green Lantern, or any other DC character). Sigh… but a Ghost? Where did that come from?
My Fundamentalist right pinky toe started to speak.
Toe: “You know what is going to happen if he dresses up as a Ghost.”
Me: “No, what?”
Me: “Say what?”
Toe: “Satan will have a foothold. You and your family will have compromised to evil.”
Me: “How so. I don’t get it?”
Toe: “Ghosts are demons. Or at least they are demonic. Therefore, your son is taking his first step toward practicing demonology. It is a form of Satan worship.”
Me: “Say what?”
Toe: “Exactly, you have already compromised and you don’t recognize it. Next thing you know, Katelynn and Kylee will be dressing up as witches.”
Me: “To what end?”
Me: “To what end? So what? Who cares?”
Toe: “I want a new master. You can just go watch Harry Potter for all I care.”
Yes, then there is that. Christians on Halloween. Scared to celebrate. Some with more than their pinky toe doing the talking. You know the ones. They are the only ones in the neighborhood who have their lights turned off. “Oh, here come the kids. They are going to come to our door. If we open it, we will have compromised and, in effect, told them that Satan is my friend, that Satan is my pal. Turn off the lights and HIDE! It is the only Christian thing to do.“
Ahem…please. Help us.
I can’t believe I am going to say this but, WWJD? Really, what would Jesus do? Can you see it? Jesus with his lights turned off on Halloween? That would be the Jesus history never knew. That would be the Jesus of western fundamentalism. The one who is not a friend of sinners and tax gatherers. The Jesus that was never accused of being a drunkard. The Jesus who looked from a distance at the wedding of Cana waiting for the sinners to wipe the dust off their feet before he talked to them. The Jesus who saw a child dressed up as a Ghost and said, “I can’t take this anymore. It is not worth it. Give me that stone so that I can turn it into bread.”
Mark Young, my friend and former missions prof at DTS (now the president of Denver Seminary), used to talk about this in his missions 101 class. Oh the shame of all of us students who turned off the light. We left the class crying looking for little witches and ghosts to hug. His thesis: Christians are not Christians on Halloween. Not because they have compromised and participated, but precisely because they don’t participate. The one day of the year where children (“Permit them to come to me…” Mark 10:14) were attempting to come to us and we shut the door and turn off the lights. We left the class in tears and began to plan what we were going to be for Halloween.
Toe (yes, I’m back): “But…but…but…It is not about the lights being on. Its not about giving out candy. Its about participating in the evil deeds of darkness. Don’t you know the roots of Halloween?”
Give me a break. Who have you been reading? Whoever it is, stop. First of all, how many kids do you know that are into witchcraft, Satan worship, or necromancy? What happened? Your eight-year-old was walking down the street in her witch costume and thought to herself: “I suddenly feel myself tempted to say a chant and worship Satan”?
Toe: No, it happens subtly. You know, like with Harry Potter.”
Yeah, that is right. In twenty-first century America, I can see how much satanism has grown because of Harry Potter and Halloween. Witchcraft is the primary thing that young kids are having to recover from. Its not sexual promiscuity, its not our greed or materialism, its not moms and dads who can’t demonstrate commitment and love, its not a compromise of the Gospel. Its witchcraft. Its our kids becoming ghosts on Halloween.
Sorry. Will is going to be a ghost. You can turn off your lights.
(Oh, and one more thing. Don’t just give out tracts…Shame, shame. Give out the best candy in the neighborhood. Let people know that you are the house that is not cheap.)