Pumpkins. Vampires costumes. Chocolates and candies. Halloween Horror Nights. What comes to your mind when you think about Halloween?
Many younger believers today see Halloween as a harmless “treat” to simply have fun. To many, it is an occasion for shopping sales, a reason to throw parties or a reason to visit Universal Studios Singapore (USS).
That was me, too. While I’ve never exactly celebrated Halloween or been to a Halloween Horror Night, it wasn’t really because I saw any reason not to. I simply didn’t have friends around me who held Halloween parties, and I found the USS tickets too expensive.
If it is worthy of comparison at all, I do enjoy a good horror escape room whenever I go to JB. To me, it is a good opportunity to create shared memories and bond with my friends — to this day, we still talk about how I once threw a friend to the corner of the room because I was scared by a random ringing telephone!
But it wasn’t until recently when I really reflected more about Halloween and horror, that I realised such events and activities could actually “trick” undiscerning believers.
They might not just be purely innocent “treats” as we would like to believe, and can potentially lead us into certain lies and wrong beliefs.
I’ll explain why as we look into 3 “tricks” that we might get ourselves into unknowingly if we’re not careful about the things and events we participate in!
1. Participating may affect our understanding of the supernatural
Yes… we are old enough to know that those ghosts and vampires are just humans in costumes. We know they’re not real, just like we know that Santa Claus is not real.
If I’m honest with myself, I know that those seemingly harmless and fun horror escape rooms do affect me to a certain extent.
I don’t get scared to the point of not being able to sleep, and I don’t keep recalling the scares from the escape room. But for at least a few days after the game, I would become a little more wary of the dark and what I see around me.
Sometimes, I’d look out of my window at night and wonder if someone is staring at me from one of the windows from the opposite block. Sometimes, I wonder if I would find “something” if I looked under my bed…
I’m not trying to scare you, these are just my true reflections on how “innocent” activities I took part in tricked me into certain suspicions and fears.
When it comes to Halloween more specifically, many iconic activities are also related to the pagan practices of the Celts, including dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treat (we have already published an article explaining Halloween’s history and origins!).
So before you book your USS tickets (and before I plan my next JB trip), perhaps it would be wise to think twice about what it actually is that we’re getting ourselves into.
2. Participating may affect how others view Christians
We may think that Halloween is not that big of a deal in Singapore. Who would even research on the history of Halloween?
Yet, I would argue that there is already a common perception that Halloween has much to do with ghosts, devils, evil spirits, fear… all of which do not align with what God says is good.
How can we be a good testimony if we are participating in such activities? How will our testimony look like in the way we say yes or no to things?
These are the better questions that we should be asking ourselves.
3. Participation may normalise compromising
Even as I reflected on the first two points, I began to think to myself…
- What if I just go to the less scary events?
- What if I go with a few friends who know my beliefs — and I don’t post on Instagram?
- It’s okay, as long as my conscience is clear right?
But the Holy Spirit began to prompt me that this is a slippery slope I am on. If I follow this train of thought, I can all too easily use the same excuses and compromise when it comes to other areas in my life.
- Halloween only happens once a year
- I just want to have fun with my friends
- I’m only going to cheat for this one national exam since I really need to do well
- I will only steal my parents’ money this time, I just really want to have that pair of shoes…
Whenever we compromise, we are essentially giving the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). We are leaving loopholes for future compromises.
What starts off as a harmless compromise can easily lead to undesired outcomes and sin when we are dragged away by our own desires (James 1:14-15).
Blameless in all things
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
At the end of the day, our decision to participate in Halloween or not shouldn’t just stem from legalistic reasons. Unhappiness and resentment will breed within us when we feel forced into a decision without personally taking the time to weigh it before God.
Let’s make decisions from faith, from a heart that longs to be blameless and obedient to the Word of God.
Indeed, we have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23).
We are called to fill our minds with whatever is noble, whatever is pure and whatever is admirable (Philippians 4:8). And we are called to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27).
May the Holy Spirit give us the wisdom and discipline to discern what is best and what is pure, and empower us to live a life that is pleasing to Him as we await Christ’s return.
- Do you participate in Halloween? Why or why not?
- Which part of the article spoke to you?
- Do you think you are a good testimony of the Gospel? What is one step you can take to grow in this?