Every year as we approach the end of October, the aisles of our local supermarkets fill up with witches hats, plastic devil’s horns, Frankenstein heads and the like. Halloween puts in its unwelcome appearance.
In the USA, as you might expect, they do all of this on a much bigger scale. Whole superstores are devoted to the event. Parties are planned; huge bags of candy purchased; mobile horror houses and ghost trains appear in larger towns; multiple horror films are released in cinemas and trailed on television and radio; and there is much more besides.
On both sides of ‘the pond’, on or near the evening of 31 October (Halloween), we see children trailing our streets dressed as devils, witches, ghosts and a variety of other gruesome characters, seeming to have a great time.
The clear implication of such behaviour is that the devil and witchcraft are nothing at all; just innocent fun and child’s play – nothing to worry about. And this is exactly what the devil wants humankind to believe. Halloween is only one example of a raft of truth-eroding stratagems that he employs.
C. H. Spurgeon once said, ‘Think lightly of hell, and you will think lightly of the cross’. It might be said with equal justification, ‘Think lightly of the devil, and you will think lightly of sin, of Christ and the whole reality of salvation’.
If the devil and all his works warrant but a PG-13 movies rating, then the human heart can easily work it out that, when it comes to eternal punishment for the impenitent, there must be a way out; the salvation of the soul is no longer urgent, judgement no longer scary.
Christian parents should weigh all this before allowing their children to participate in such events, however ‘innocent’ they seem and whatever peer pressure is faced.
Apart from the obvious risks accompanying even a frivolous exposure to what is dark and supernatural, there are also powerful subliminal messages being conveyed to the world (and our children) when they dress up and play-act the activities of malevolent powers.
All that we need to know about the unseen world is found in the Bible. We need not go to any other place to find out about the supernatural. And God is clear that the only way of salvation is through faith in his Son Jesus Christ and his atoning death on the cross.
In this matter, as in all others, let’s apply the principle, ‘Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things’ (Philippians 4:8).