If you are anything like me, one of the first images that pops into your head when you hear the word Halloween is a group of young children dressed in various costumes standing at your doorstep holding out their bags of candy shouting, “Trick-or-treat!” Seems pretty harmless, right? Downright adorable, really.
But, unfortunately, that is not all that is associated with this holiday these days. Many occults and satanic religions have claimed this holiday as their “high & holy” day. Not to mention the numerous other ungodly things that are now associated with this day: inappropriate costumes (everything from satan, himself, to the immodest lady’s wear); the drunken parties; the celebration of death; the exaltation of demon-like figures; the glorification of evil (i.e. witches, black magic, etc.); and innumerable adolescents who simply use this day as an excuse for mischief.
Rather than give your consent to these things through your participation in such a holiday, instead consider using this day to celebrate something positive: Reformation Day. In honor of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the church in Whittenburg, Reformation Day has also historically been celebrated on October 31st. This day marked the beginning of the Reformation that swept through Europe and purified the church during that dark era.
It may require a bit of creativity, but you could still have the “costumes & candy” element, which children tend to appreciate most about Halloween, but without all of the ungodly influences that tend to go along with it (as described above). Before October 31st, spend some time researching biographies of different Reformers and their doctrine. Select a few and review these with your children and educate them about their rich heritage of Reformed Theology. Then, help them narrow down the selection to one of the Reformers, who they admire most and compose a costume to represent their Reformer. (Note: If your children are unfamiliar with the Reformation, take a few hours to review the historical context of the Reformation and the reason that it is so significant to the Christian faith today.)
When October 31st finally roles around, you could try some of the following ideas:
“Why not have a celebration at church where all get dressed up as characters from the Reformation (I’ve dressed up as John Calvin, Martin Luther, a peasant, and even John Tetzel (the salesman of those infamous indulgences)? When I couldn’t get a 16th century idea then I dressed as a Bible character. You can transform the fellowship hall into Wittenburg, Germany or Geneva. Here is an opportunity to go over the great “solas” of the Reformation: by Scripture alone, by grace alone, by Christ alone, by faith alone, and to God be the glory alone. Have people explain them. Show a video of one of the reformers.” – Brad Winstead
There are also a slew of Reformation Day ideas for games, plays, music, presentations, booths, “carnivals,” etc. available online. However, should you decide to continue to celebrate Halloween, please at least take a few moments throughout the day to explain to your children your own personal convictions about the holiday (whether good or bad), and help them to discern how they can most honor the Lord in their participation as well.