I know I am about a month or so early for a topic such as this, but I thought that I would post something quick about Hallowe’en as it has been on my mind for the last few days. A good friend and I recently disagreed on this subject, and as I re-read an article by James Jordan that shaped my thinking on this, I thought I would share it.
I have to admit, I don’t know as much about Hallowe’en as an aspiring historian probably should. I think that it would be a very interesting historical study and maybe at some point (hopefully before having kids) I’ll dig into it a little. But from what I have read on the subject, and through conversation with Christians of both opinions, I am quite firm in the belief that Christians should not keep their kids from Hallowe’en activities.
Of course, I would be the last person to infringe upon a Christian’s liberty to not celebrate Hallowe’en, so this isn’t something that I would turn into an issue within my church. But I do feel quite strongly that Christian children have been wronged by well-meaning parents when they aren’t allowed any festivities on the Thirty-first of October. Thankfully many in the Reformed tradition who don’t agree that Hallowe’en should be celebrated by Christians at least celebrate Reformation Day.
James Jordan’s essay “Concerning Halloween” first appeared in Open Book: Views and Reviews 28 (Aug 1996) published by Biblical Horizons. Although it appears on their site, I’ve notice a couple of typos and have opted to link to the same article through the Ransom Fellowship site.
In the article Jordan removes any of the stereotypes that surround All Hallow’s Eve, including its Druid origins. Instead, Jordan reveals that Halloween is a distinctly Christian celebration of the kingdom of Heaven’s victory over evil in the cross of Jesus Christ. So, instead of it being a celebration of evil, as most suppose, it is actually a celebration of the Supreme Good.
It is a short article, so it doesn’t go into as much detail as I may like, but I do find it helpful and would recommend it to anyone who wonders if they should take their kids out at the end of next month. If I had kids, I know I would!
Tim Challies’ post from last year is very helpful as well, highlighting some of the community oriented aspects of Hallowe’en that provide an excellent opportunity for Christians to get to know their neighbours.