It seems that not all people, even Orthodox Christians, agree on what to do about halloween, but I am convinced that it is something I don’t want to celebrate or have my son celebrate. I’ve read people debate on blogs about the origins of halloween and whether they should celebrate it, but I just use my eyes. I see what I see….halloween is ghosts, witches, spookiness, zombies, haunted houses, jack o’lanterns, horror films etc. (Yes, some people do celebrate wearing princess costumes and things too, but I’m going for the overarching societal theme here.) If Eastern Orthodox icons are windows to heaven, and technically everything is an icon or image of some sort…where are these images windows to? Where do they lead? I know evil doesn’t have that kind of power over us (as long as God prevents it)…but its worth thinking about. Many catechumens struggling with the idea of icons will asks “well, is a tree an icon?…is a person an icon?” We are taught, generally, that everything is an icon…since humans are made in the image of God, and trees reflect God’s beauty and His creation. Everything points to something whether God, man, or the devil (forgive me, if my theology is off here)…and for that reason, I can’t celebrate a secular holiday that has an overarching theme of glorifying evil…however trivial, innocent, or harmless it is portrayed. God came to earth incarnate as Jesus Christ and suffered on the cross and rose again so that we would not be subject to death and evil any longer if we follow Him. How can I say, “for one day, Lord, let me just lighten up a little…after all they don’t really mean to dress up as ghosts and zombies and what not, they are my nice neighbors, and we have so much fun. I’m sure You will understand right.?”
But what also convinces me are these verses….
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12: 9)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phillipians 4:18)
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) – This verse says once of the masters is money, but I’m extrapolating here…
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. – (Matthew 10:34)
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” – (Romans 6:15-19)
Lord, have mercy!