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I’m not afraid of the dark.

I love halloween.  And I’m a Christian.

Just 20 years ago, I remember attending our small conservative church’s annual halloween haunted house.  It was awesome!  And, yes, there were chainsaw chases, opening coffins, and wiggling hands coming out of the floor vents.  My, my how culture changes. 

Now I’m not proposing churches start trying to out-do all the haunted houses in town.  I’m not even proposing they celebrate halloween.  Honestly, what bugs me is “trunk-or-treat.”

Trunk-or-Treat.

Does anyone else picture an ominous man slamming a kid in a trunk?  If “trunk-or-treat” is supposed to parallel “trick-or-treat,” then the trunk sounds like a scary thing–a trick.  I don’t think the phrase was well thought-out…but maybe that is the english degree talking. 

Really, though, churches are saying, “We’re not celebrating halloween.  Nope.  Kids are simply dressed up in costumes and walking around getting candy”  Ah, alrighty.  And the kids are probably thinking, “even though we’re doing the same thing our halloween-celebrating friends are doing, we’re ok because we’re doing it at church and calling it something (slightly) different.   

I do understand the point of these spin-off celebrations.  I really do.  Halloween makes churches uneasy.  Kids want to do something on halloween.  Parents want to offer an alternative.  But, wow…make it a true alternative.  Distinguish it.  Be creative.  “Harvest festival” or “Reformation Party” would even sound slightly better and be less confusing. 

Some things are simply not clear cut.  Some subjects deeply divide Christians.  Delightfully, I have freedom in Christ.  I can carve pumpkins, trick-or-treat, dress up, and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown without being afraid of the dark.  It is a genetic fallacy to assume I’m celebrating pre-Christian rites by participating in these activities.  These things have lost their pagan meanings much like mistle-toe, Easter eggs, and church steeples.  If your family does not celebrate halloween, I figure you have good reasons for it and respect that wholeheartedly!  Still, if I see you at a “trunk-or-treat,” I might tickle you until you’re forced to admit you’re really trick-or-treating…      

Salt dough ornaments Norah and I made this weekend. 

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