Today is Halloween, and so I thought it would be appropriate to take a trip into the vault and review a Halloween rant that I wrote a couple of years back.
Believe it or not, there once was a time when Halloween was widely celebrated among evangelicals. And then, sometime around the late 80s / early 90s, this guy named Mike Warnke showed up claiming to have been a high-ranking Satanist prior to being saved. He got us all to think that Halloween, which we had previously thought was just a fun and innocent celebration, was instead a monstrously evil thing.
Later on Mike Warnke was exposed as a fraud and vast tracts of his ministry were discredited. But dead issues, like dead people, never just disappear into nothing. They always leave behind a rotting corpse or some other sort of decomposing residue. And in the case of the Mike Warnke thing, the rotting corpse was Halloween. Never again would our attitude toward it be the same. We became grossly obsessed with anything having to do with Satanism, witchcraft, and the occult, and the evangelical media fed this obsession like you wouldn’t believe. Prominent evangelical media figures such as Bob Larson and, to a certain extent, Frank Peretti, made their living filling us up with all sorts of information and exhortation about the evils of Halloween and anything else that could be shown to be even remotely connected with the occult. And we bought it. We believed that dressing up our kids as goblins or vampires would turn them into goblins and vampires. We believed that placing pumpkins on the porch would surely invite all the demonic forces of hell into our homes. We had done the same things in the past without any sort of issue, but now the wool has been pulled off of our eyes. Now we see everything clearly like we never did before, and we’ll be damned if we make the mistakes we made in our previous ignorance.
At any rate, here is my Halloween rant: Happy “Fall Family Festival”?
And if you’re interested in further reading, here is Michael Spencer’s annual Halloween rant over at the Steve Brown Etc. blog.