A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

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A TALE OF TWO HALLOWEENS

On Halloween night, I’ll be knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell. I’ll be looking for treats. You’ll know it’s me, because I’ll be hollering “TRICK OR TREAT!” while holding out my treat bag for you to drop the treats in. That’s all I’m interested in – treats. Lots and lots and lots of treats. I’m not in it for anything else. If you like my costume, that’s great, but it’s not the main thing. The main thing is that you give me treats. That’s what Halloween is all about for me.”

On Halloween night, I won’t come knocking on your door or ringing your bell, but I might lurk around back, in the shadows. You might see me or you might not. I won’t say a word, or if I do, I won’t speak above a hoarse whisper. I might wrap the tree in your front yard in toilet paper; I might smash your lovingly carved pumpkin on your front walk; I might even egg your windows. I’m here to do mischief, or worse. That’s because I’m a trickster from a long line of tricksters, reaching all the way back to the chief Trickster himself. It’s not your attention I’m trying to get; it’s your soul. That’s what Halloween is all about for me.”

I read online that the most popular costume in the United States this Halloween is a witch’s costume. It seems that females of all ages are being drawn to masquerade as Satan’s concubines. This, of course, is nothing new; I dressed up as a witch when I was a kid, way back in the early 1970s. But I was a kid, seven years old. When adults don the gear of a Satan devotee, that’s different. That’s a different kind of Halloween. Kids’ choices shouldn’t be confused with adults’ choices, just as kids’ Halloween shouldn’t be confused with adults’ Halloween.

When I was seven years old, I did not dress up as a witch to be sexy or evil; I just thought it would be fun and easy to do, since I already had the “witchy” long hair. All I needed was a homemade cone hat, a crepe-paper cape, a yard broom, and I was good to go. It wasn’t about the costume, anyway; for me, it was all about the treats.

Which is why we have to acknowledge that there are two Halloweens going on simultaneously – one is for and by kids and has God’s seal of approval; the other is for and by adults, and has Satan’s seal of approval.

We must never confuse the two Halloweens or attribute evil where none exists, any more than we should attribute innocence where none exists.

Kids see Halloween as a free treat bonanza. Full stop. So give them treats when they come knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell. They’re kids, for Heaven’s sake, and they don’t want to hear your long boring convoluted (and, let’s face it, half-hearted) excuse why you don’t want to give them any treats. They’re not worshiping Satan. It’s not a slippery slope into demon worship for them to ask for treats. They just want some treats. That’s it. So give them treats. If nothing else, you owe them big time, considering all the treats that you were ungrudgingly given at Halloween when you were a kid.

But adults – adults are another story. I don’t support adults ‘celebrating’ Halloween as an adult event that’s mainly about vandalism, drinking and drugging to excess, dressing provocatively, and looking for love in all the wrong places. This is not an event I can get behind. And don’t get me started on the wannabe witches and other assorted Satan worshipers who do their rituals and spells and sacrifices behind closed doors. Adults’ Halloween has nothing to do with kids’ Halloween. The two events should never be confused; they happen on the same night, but they’re completely different celebrations with completely different motivations and goals.

Maybe, since they’re such completely different celebrations, they should be renamed to something like “HOLLER-WEEN” (for the kids) and “HELL-O-WEEN” (for the adults).

I would never shoo treat-seeking kids away from my door. I would only turn off my porch light if I were out of treats (may that horror never come to pass!). I would never leave the lights off as a signal that kids weren’t welcome.

Many Christian communities this year are out in full self-righteous regalia, wagging their fingers at those of us who welcome the little ones. I wonder what Jesus would have done in the same circumstance?

Oh, that’s right, we don’t have to wonder. Scripture shows us that he always welcomed the little ones wherever he was and whatever he was doing, even when they didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. And even (and especially) when some adults were miffed at their presence.

Maybe Christians should stop seeing a devil in every doorknob. Kids’ Halloween is all about the treats, so welcome the kids with open arms and give ‘em treats!