Thursday, October 20, 2005

Next: MacArthur's Take on Halloween

From the Bible Bulletin Board.

I have a little boy who is going to Christian School--he's in Kindergarten. It has come to my attention that they are going to be making "Jack 'O Lanterns," for Halloween and "Black Cats." I talked to his teacher and she said that "at Christmas they make Santa Clauses, and Easter Bunnies on Easter." I told her, I said that, "This is why my son is in Christian School--I want him to be separated from this. I teach him at home that we are not supposed to be a part of Halloween or this and that, but yet you are compromising, or contrary to me, to what I am saying and it is confusing him." "Mommy, why can't I do this; they are doing it?" And he understands he is in a Christian School. I have an appointment to talk with the principle of the school tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock--can you give me some advice?

Answer from MacArthur:

I think that's good. Well, I think you're right. Why create the unnecessary confusion? "Jack 'O Lanterns," and "Cats," and "Witches," and "Devils," and "Demons," and people dressed up in funny costumes and all of that. That is all out of paganism. In fact, I wrote a whole thing on that one time--I don't know if we have any of those around any more. The terrible mixture of Old Church festivals with pagan festivals, you know, like the Saturnalia feast of the pagans that got all mixed up with Christmas and that kind of thing. I think that it is good to keep those things distinct, and I think you're right to go talk to the Principle. I think it is a simple an issue as basically saying, "Look, this is a Christian School so let's celebrate the things that speak of Christ and the Word of God, and set a different pattern."

What we have always done with our kids in reference to Halloween, is to give them some kind of alternative when they were little (now they don't care). But when they were little we wanted to do something as a family that would be even more special than what everybody else did; and if you can create that for your own child he's not going to have any problem with what the others are doing if you do something with him that is even better. But I would definitely speak to the people and let them know how you feel about that; I think that is very important.


Is there anything wrong with children going out ?Trick or Treating?, like Halloween, and if so, what specifically is bad in it, and what do the MacArthur kids do? And, should Grace get involved in any alternatives?

Answer from MacArthur:

I think, it?s not a wise thing to have children go out trick or treating. I mean, I think it?s kind of dumb for Christian kids to dress up like ghosts and witches and weird things, and devil suits, and trouble-makers, and all that. I think, for example, you know, the whole thing of All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve has connotations, first of all of Roman Catholic tradition.

It has connotations of demons and spirits. Plus the fact that little kids are exposed to screwballs as well as to cars, and all kinds of other things. What we do in our family is we have an alternative. Like you said, we do an alternative thing. We do something fun for the whole family. It varies from year to year, and our church has always done that, too, for the kids. Have parties and socials and things. Because other little kids, you know, may get involved in things that are that way and they get something to talk about, anyway. And, they can say that they had a good time, too, and what they did. But, I think we have to be aware of the fact that we have to deal with alternatives in those things.

We do the same thing with Christmas. Our Christmas is a Christmas without Santa Claus. You know, I saw an ad in a Christian magazine the other day advertising some deal coming up for Christmas with Santa Claus kneeling at the manger. You know, that is so repulsive to me, you know. Santa Claus, what is he? Santa Claus wasn't kneeling at the manger. I mean, that's absurd! That is the typical marriage of the pagan with the Christian. There's no Santa Claus in our Christmas, either. But, we have Christmas because that's a good time to remember Christ's birth and focus on him. So, I would be for an alternative. We would not have our children involved in that.


Randy said...

Hey russ! If we would look at the festivals and feasts ordained by God Himself, we would be freed from the worldly celebrations throughout the year. For example, instead of Christmas, with its roots in the pagan celebration of the sun god, and celebrated at a time of year which is most assuredly not the time of Christ's birth, why not look at the feasts and festivals of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles? The time of year(early fall)would fit with the time of year most likely to be the time of His birth, and if you look at the fulfillment of the Jewish history as Christ, trumpets,atonement,and tabernacles(dwelling among us) would certainly make sense. His ordained "holidays" have all been fulfilled in Jesus, and they predate the pagan celebrations and the "Christianized" holidays we currently affirm. What do you think?

Russ said...


I pretty much agree with what you are saying. I think we as Christians are far to enamored with Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Halloween, and all of these holidays that have spiritual roots or origens in things that are antithetical to the Christian faith. My question is, why are these things so important to us?

At the same time, I want to be consistent across the board. What about Birthday celebrations? I have heard these are pagan celebrations also, so what do we do with that? Is it enough to still celebrate these holidays but with an understanding of the seperateness we must have as Christians to not embrace these days like unbelievers do? In other words is our attitude toward these days what is most important?

I dunno, wise men disagree on these things, but it seems to err on the side of caution could be prudent.

BTW, I think a better understanding and emphasis on the feasts and festivals of our forefathers in the faith is a great idea!

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