Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween as a missional exercise

My views on Halloween have changed quite a bit over the years. I'm still not a big fan of it from a spiritual standpoint. I used to be pretty rigid and legalistic in my Christian faith, and having worked ever-so-little with people caught up in demonic oppression and possession, I saw things in a very different "light" than most people. What started out as outright opposition to the day from a moral and spiritual standpoint, probably eventually turned into fear and intimidation at some point though. I was afraid of what might happen to my kids, and even me. So now, years later, I don't know if I've just mellowed, or if I have overcome that fear... Because now - while I still don't really "celebrate" the day - I have come to a place where it doesn't at all bother me and I can see the benefits of participating as a Christ-follower from a social perspective.

I read this article - Three Simple Ways to be Missional On Halloween - and while I'm not so sure about the ideas they suggest, I liked this intro...
The final week of October is here, which means Halloween is upon us. This particular day brings out some different perspectives for many Christ-followers. From the “it really isn’t a big deal and I enjoy the chance to trick-or-treat with my kids”, to “I refuse to participate in such a celebrated, pagan day”. Though there are some compelling arguments from and for both perspectives, its vital for the Christ-follower to view this particular day through a lens of Gospel-mission.

Regardless of one’s view of involvement on this day, there is a sociological fact that cannot be denied: Halloween is the one day which neighbors are outside of their homes and engaging in something together. There is not another day during the year that we see so many faces and family in our immediate sphere of influence, together.

I couldn't agree more. So this year we called off our Wednesday night activity at church and I encouraged people to stay home and pass out candy, and to view it as an exercise in being missional: just be neighborly and try to build some relationships with the people you live among.

So unless something else comes up, you will find our front light on, and we will be passing out candy and trying to get to know the neighbors.

ADDED LATER: A couple of pics from our front door. I had dug this old ape out of storage the other day because I thought Anna might like to play with it. Then I had the bright idea to use it to scare the trick-or-treaters. It didn't work so well with the little kids, but it got a start out of some of the older ones. I told the kids this was my wife, Jane. :)