By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
As it has been for centuries, Halloween will be observed on Oct. 31.
According to a study by LifeWay Research, nearly a third of Americans avoid the celebration of Halloween or at least its pagan elements. I agree wholeheartedly with avoiding the pagan elements, but I’m not completely sold on the fact that it is necessary to avoid Halloween completely, especially for younger children.
When I was a kid (I actually was one, believe it or not), we celebrated Halloween. I didn’t know or care about the history of Halloween. All I cared about was that it provided an opportunity to dress up in a costume and get free candy. In those days, candy was a special treat, not the norm that it is today.
The older I grew the less I cared about Halloween. And, as a Christian, I certainly do not like the pagan elements associated with Halloween and the evil that some have associated it with.
But as a grandparent, I can smile when I see my two grandsons in costume and know they’re not “evil” because they enjoy getting candy (at least Eli does) and playing the games that often are held in fall festivals sponsored by churches.
Christians need to keep Halloween in perspective. I think most churches do — that’s why you see so many “fall festivals” held on Halloween. These events provide children (and parents) a safe haven to have fun and enjoy candy and treats without worrying or wondering if the treats have been “tampered” with.
As children grow older, explain to them the history and origin of Halloween and use it as a teaching opportunity. Until they are old enough to know what that means, allow them to enjoy the fun — and the candy.