CULTURE: What does it say about our culture when we celebrate Halloween in place of All Saints' Day and Mardi Gras instead of Ash Wednesday? Sarah and I have chosen not to partake of the activities of Halloween, for what we believe are obvious reasons. Yet we are continually amazed at our Christian neighbors who not only participate in the day's activities but actually decorate for Halloween.

One of the local Baptist churches had a good idea - they have what they call Living Bible Land. We took the girls to it and it was very nice. The people of the church had every classroom decorated as a story from the Bible. One room was actually the belly of the whale. So when we stepped into the room we actually stepped into the story with the actors performing around us. It was a neat experience and one I would love to see reduplicated in some of our churches.

I would challenge any parent reading this post to not assume anything about Halloween but to study its origin and history as well as biblical principles that might guide us. Sarah and I have found it awkward at times to say much when people ask us if we are taking the girls trick-or- treating. We usually just simply say no. There is something about saying, "We don't observe Halloween" that immediately places us against the one who is about to take their child out for a trick or treat. The point seems clear: Is there nothing obviously wrong with Halloween? Not that getting candy is bad...but what is the day all about? It makes us look forward to Christmas!

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