Own Your “Why?”
Some time ago I came up with a phrase that I try to live by and give away as much as possible — “Own your ‘Why?'” What it means is that when you do something (anything), make sure that you own up to your motives and reasons for doing it. Don’t try to fool yourself or anyone around you, but move forward with a defense for why it’s okay with God. Think through the consequences. “Own your ‘why?”
There are a lot of questions that we don’t ask ourselves. Too often we do things without thinking through why we are even doing them. And when challenged on these actions most can come up with any reason deeper than “It’s fun”, “I’ve always done this”, or “Everybody does it”. It’s not here yet, but it’s time to start thinking about a Christian response to Halloween. So, to process Halloween, let me give you some questions to ask so you can “Own your ‘Why?”‘:
Why do I do what I do for Halloween?
— In what ways can we redeem something a day used to celebrate gluttony and our society’s disturbing fascination with gore, death and evil?
— Are you going to “trick or treat”? Is it a fun way to get to know your neighbors, or just going door-to-door begging strangers for candy?
— Will you dress up? What is an appropriate, God-honouring costume? What are the limits you must set?
— Can you carve a pumpkin to show that “just like Jesus put a smile on our face and His light inside us, so we have done this to the pumpkin…”, or do we use it as a time to talk about the pagan foolhardiness of trying to ward off evil spirits with a carved up gourd?
— Is celebrating Halloween okay if everyone does the same thing but in a church? What if we dress up, eats lots of candy, carve pumpkins, and watch a G-rated Halloween movie… but we call it a “Harvest Party”?
— What place does the gospel have in Halloween? How can you use this day to teach people more about salvation through Jesus Christ?
— Is it right to pass out food that’s both unhealthy and addictive in a country that is facing a childhood obesity problem?
— Is it right to avoid participating altogether, turn off your lights and hide in the basement until it’s over? Is that a good “witness to your community”?
— If you give out healthy food or gospel tracts and your house gets egged, is that considered “suffering for the Lord”?
If one takes the side of being able to “Redeem Halloween”, then one might appreciate these links and ideas:
- Have a “Fear Not Party” for the kids.
- If you really want to talk about people that were dead but are now alive (no, not zombies) then instead of Halloween, read about Reformation Day (also on Oct 31).
- Instead of ghost stories, how about real stories from Fox’s Book of Martyrs, Hearts on Fire, or Jesus Freaks. They are not only scary, but also amazing and true!
Here’s a couple resources to help you make your decisions:
- The History of Halloween (blog)