Halloween has become a consumer-driven (and maybe a school curriculum driven) fixture in our calendar. American marketing influences have taken a once almost unimportant date and driven it to prominence. What concerns me about it is, not that someone might make an opportunistic buck, but that many unsuspecting people are become anaesthetised to the potency of witchcraft which has attached itself to 31st October (symbolically, if not actually).
Of course witchcraft was not at the heart of Halloween’s origins, which derived from the pagan spiritual beliefs of the ancient Celts, but it has become irretrievably connected with Halloween, probably because of an affinity for some of the associated practices and beliefs.
Yet apparently some Christian parents who espouse the teachings of the Bible, which is staunchly opposed to divination and sorcery of any kind, will condone the so-called innocuous trick-or-treating of their kids wearing witch’s hats and devil costumes. It is already a horrendous thought that children would be encouraged to, say, egg the house of a person who fails to cough up a few lollies (can we really consent to such banal and lawless behaviour?). Yet for Christian mums and dads to trifle with the symbolism of witchcraft or Satanism is an irresponsible failure to appreciate the offence that this presents to the God they supposedly serve.
I’m not in favour of wowserism, but this is clearly different issue, one of logical inconsistency and of ignorance (albeit a little unconscious). No matter how far society goes in accommodating this once foreign celebration, it is surely just as wrong for sincere Christians to now promote anti-Christian practices in the name of fun as it ever was in the past. For Christians to be expected to shift their attitudes with the times is to suggest that those attitudes were once wrong. Social progress does not happen automatically with the passage of time!