My family has been transitioning away from Halloween for a few years now. Halloween has become so dark and demonic I simply couldn’t rationalize it anymore but my biggest problem was what could we transition onto? I still wanted to enjoy autumn, pumpkins, and dressing up. I wanted to avoid witches, Devils, ghosts, and any other ghoulish happening.
A few years back we gave up movies such as Hocus Pocus and Halloween Town for their promotion of witches, death and sorcery. We stopped going to the seasonal Halloween store. I stopped allowing my children to dress up as anything demonic, spooky, ghostly or scary. These were some of my favorite all time movies and activities since childhood so letting them go was really hard but everytime I went to scripture I was convicted over and over that these things were not Godly.
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” 1Cor 10:21
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty” 2Cor 6:14-18
There are dozens more scriptures, you can find them here. Unfortunately for me and my favorite holiday, scripture is crystal clear on this point. You cannot celebrate a modern American Halloween and be in line with God’s teachings.
This year I have discovered a way to celebrate my favorite holiday in a new way, Reformation Day! October 31st is the day that in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the church door and sparked not only the Protestant revolution but a reforming attitude that bled into social and political spheres creating the path for us to shake off the unholy restraints of rituals and find the truth of God in a direct way.
Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”)
Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
What an amazing, positive, God-filled alternative to Halloween! I’m in love! So yesterday I got cracking on creating a Reformation Day binder that we read as a family each night of October as we count down to October 31st. The emphasis is on scripture as well as the beautiful autumn season God, in His wisdom, created.
Each evening we read a scripture verse about autumn, seasons, harvesting, or another related topic. We read a poem or short story about autumn and then a quote by Martin Luther.
I cannot express how amazingly satisfying this experience has been! Here is what our binder looks like.
In my romanticized mind this is how it looked when Martin nailed his theses to the door- surrounded by fall foliage.
This is the back of the binder. The door image is not mine, I found it on google images but I added the bats and pumpkins. Now before you think bats are demonic that is not my meaning with this image. I’m not referencing vampires, I’m reflecting the very REAL autumn time bat issue we have where we live. In our natural surroundings the bats come out in the late summer and early autumn evenings looking especially for water and will swirl around your head, unafraid, as they dip into your backyard pool or pond for a drink.
Here is an example of one day’s entry. Hopefully in the future I will add songs for each day and as the month progresses I will be using Little House on the Prairie stories about autumn in place of the poems to change it up from time to time.
Animals building nests for the winter
Evergreen trees keeping their needles
Pumpkin pie and other fall dishes
Bats and other nocturnal animals who start coming out earlier as the days grow shorter
Golden autumn light
Days growing shorter
Lanterns and candles
Preparing gardens for winter
Canning and processing food for winter
Apples and apple products such as cider and mulling
The harvest that will happen when Christ comes again
Wheat from tares
Our blessings in the gospel
God creating the seasons
Harvest stories in the Bible such as Ruth working in the fields
If you have your own traditions, please share!