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Ohio in October can't be beat. Crisp weather, harvest moons, vivid colors. God's creation is at its finest and when you know the Creator, it's awesome. Enter Halloween - darkness, evil, perversion, death. The Bible tells us that even though light has come into the world, men love darkness rather than the light. (John 3:19).

In our day, children are exposed to a bombardment of darkness and evil everywhere they turn. I don't believe the answer is to escape the culture and hide, but I do believe that Christians should heed the Lord's instruction in Deut. 18:9 "When you enter the land which the Lord gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations." The biblical instruction to be in, but not of the world should press every Christian parent to examine their perspective and participation in Halloween.

Halloween is a big money-maker and it is perpetuated by people wanting to "let loose" for a night. It has truly become an adult holiday, complete with horror films, and immorality. One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them that our identity with Christ and His kingdom, means non-participation in some of the things in this world. Sadly, some parents don't want their kids to miss out of the fun so they substitute Christian alternatives. But the teachable moment is lost. Christians should miss out on evil and "suffer"  rejection from their contemporaries. Isn't this part of their training as young disciples? Isn't this what Jesus fortold -that they would suffer because of their association with Him? Why would parents rescue their kids from this valuable lesson just to keep them happy and included.

Many Christian young adults grow up culturized and have a hard time discerning right from wrong and good from evil. Their participation in activities that are grievious to God have desensitized them from distinguishing between light and darkness. They have never sufferd as a Christian or been ridiculed for their faith. Their parents always found a way to make them feel included with diversions and substitute activities. They grew up being in and of the world.

Halloween has its origins in fear and evil. It provides Christian families a great opportunity to "just say no" to darkness and strengthen their identity as followers of a God who is the Light of the World. Our society is fascinated with death. Our message is life. Let's not confuse our kids.

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