In case you hadn't noticed the inflatable purple spiders dotting the lawns of suburban neighborhoods or been tempted by those Venti-sized bags of mini Snickers, this Sunday is Halloween. What kind of story will your church tell itself about the holiday?
Shortly after I came to faith in Christ, during my teens, I attended a haunted house sponsored by a parachurch organization. Busloads of youth group kids and their non-Christian friends came to the well-publicized event. The affair offered an in-your-face spiritual confrontation, presenting teens with sensationalized images of gore and death so they would choose life with Jesus. I didn't disagree with the message being proclaimed, but even my teen self rebelled against the exploitative nature of the event. I felt it turned the horrific realities of death and evil into de-fanged caricatures of themselves.
Fast forward a few years. As a parent, I wanted to help my children navigate a season broadcasting spiritual messages I couldn't embrace. ...1