Are "Harvest Parties" for Christians?
originally published in the Colorado Christian News, October 1995(author's name not published)
"What are you doing for Halloween?" Ask a Christian parent this question, and be prepared to hear an answer like, "Nothing! We don't celebrate Halloween." Thunder crashes, and you creep away, embarassed for even asking.
"What are you doing ON Halloween?" Ask the same parent this slightly altered question, and their whole manner and response brightens. "Why," they begin, as birds begin to sing and sunshine breaks through the cumulus clouds. "We're all going to the Harvest Party at church!" A choir sings. A trumpet sounds. You feel privileged just knowing these saints.
Let's take a look at the typical Harvest Party.
- It is a celebration.
- It is chaperoned (usually).
- It may have costumes.
- Games are played.
- Contests are held.
- Food abounds.
- Music blares.
- Everyone enjoys themselves.
Certainly, nothing to get concerned about, right? The problem, however, lies in the billing. The Harvest Party is usually referred to as the Christian alternative to traditional Halloween hijinx. Alternative, however, implies substitute. It assumes our children need something to take the place of Halloween, since they won't be participating in the secular and pagan celebrations. It suggests our kids are missing out on something. And indeed they are, if we allow them to spend Halloween in celebration.
If we are to train our children to be soldiers in the army of Christ, why would we sign a pass for them to go on leave when the battle is escalating on the front lines?
As a child of four, I contacted the first of many spirit guides (read: demons) while playing with a Kindergarten classmates' ouija board at a chaperoned Halloween party. This spiritual assault ignited an intrigue with the supernatural that culminated in my lifestyle as a practicing witch: divination, necromancy, channeling, astrology, psychic ability, and spell working. It wasn't until I was twenty that I met the real Jesus Christ, and was released from the trap that Satan had set for this young prisoner of war sixteen years earlier.
There are too many casualities on Halloween and far too few troops fighing the enemy. Instead of partying on Halloween, teach your children how to fight. Keep them aware that the fight isn't against occultists, non-Christians, Christians who feel differently than we about Halloween, or institutions that promote Halloween, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers or darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
How do we teach our children to wrestle spiritually?
Discourage them from participating in traditional Halloween activities (2 Timothy 2:4). Then tell them why.
Encourage them to pray on a regular, daily basis (Ephesians 6:18).
Let them know first hand the power that we have in prayer. All Christians should know how to fight on their knees.
Remind them to be alert and self-controlled (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6).
Give them the discipline of knowing it is their responsibility to keep watch. They, themselves, might also become casualties in the war.
Make certain they are prepared for battle (Ephesians 6:11). Do they know the truth? Stand on the Word of God? Have faith? Know the gospel? Are they righteous? Are they saved?…
Instead of celebrating, what's a Christian to do on Satan's feast day? PRAY! Intercession and spiritual warfare should be the first item on our agenda. It is NOT a last resort! Join with other families in the church. Have the church announce a night of spiritual battle. Organize a group of Christians parents and students from your children's school or homeschool group. As a family, designate the seven nights before October 31 as Family Prayer Outreach nights.
Pray for protection. Pray over both those who engage in prayer warfare and over those who will be out trick-or-treating or at Halloween parties. October 31 is a prime recruiting time for witches and Satanists…and a time for interested kids to experiment. Pray that the Lord keeps our kids from falling prey to those who worship the enemy.
Pray for discernment. Let the Holy Spirit direct you to specific prayer requests. Pray that the children who are "out there" will somehow "know" to keep away from certain activities. I have relatives who, even though they were not Christians, "knew" that ouija boards and levitation games were dangerous.
Pray that the Lord hinder the occult rituals. For four years, I lived in a building which over looked a cemetery where occult ceremonial markings were often found. ON certain occult feast days, usually between midnight and 3am, I would look down into the darkness and kneel at my window binding the demons that controlled the ceremonies. I'll never know this side of heaven what effect my prayers had. Maybe a potential sacrifice escaped. Maybe the occultists weren't successful in summoning their demon. Maybe a new, young recruit decided that this was not the lifestyle he thought he wanted.
Pray for the salvation of the occultists. Jesus Christ died for those whom Satan holds captive and deceived, for those who mock Him, who deny His deity or His existence. He doesn't want them to perish, but to come to Him calling Him Father, Lord. Pray the veil is lifted from their eyes, the Lord allows them to see clearly their spiritual condition and their only hope lies in Jesus Christ. Pray also, about whether the Lord would have you take a more active role in bringing the gospel to Satan's servants.
Let your children know that this is effective warfare. They must know their prayers are heard and acted on by our Father. Let them know they can make a difference. Come October 31, they'll know they have a job to do.