(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Halloween Amusement Parks: Should We or Shouldn’t We?
By Kyle Jane Heskett
“For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”
– Romans 16:19 (NAS)
There are many aspects of the Christian faith that seem black and white. It is easy to make a biblical case against such practices like adultery, murder, or lying. However, there are also areas that do not seem black and white, but different shades of grey. I believe one of these areas among believers is Halloween, in particular Halloween celebrations at theme parks. Places like Knott’s Scary Farm and Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios are gaining popularity. I personally know strong believers who love attending these events. I also know strong believers who are adamantly against it. How do we reconcile these differences? How do we react to others who differ in opinion concerning one of the most popular celebrations in American Culture?
I think the answer is easier than people think. In the midst of any dilemma, we always need to go back to the Scriptures, the truth of God’s Word. While it is obvious the Bible does not specifically speak of Halloween horror nights, it is very clear on good and evil. I personally used to be fascinated with stories about serial killers. It was just so interesting to read about someone so extreme. Since I wasn’t approving of this behavior, reading about it seemed innocent enough, until I came across Romans 16:19 where Paul asks his readers to be “wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.” I suddenly realized that I didn’t need to know the details of a famous murder or the dynamics of a killer’s mentally insane brain. I realized I was engaging in evil things for entertainment.
When it comes to Halloween, I personally do not think all traditions are evil, such as trick or treating and dressing up in certain costumes. You may believe differently and that is fine. But I will say that many theme park horror nights, such as the two mentioned above, are in celebration of what is evil. I choose not to take part in it. With attractions involving journeys through hell and tag-lines like “Where nightmares never end,” there is no doubt that evil is praised. Do we as believers need to expose ourselves to these thoughts? Even if it is just for fun, we must always go back to the Word and ask ourselves if what we are doing is reflecting Christ and everything He stands for. Before you start to think that being a Christian sucks the fun out of everything (I’ve been there too), we have to remind ourselves that our God is one that desires us to experience joy. He doesn’t want us to not have any fun. He encourages laughter, dancing, and celebration. We just have to be in tune with the Holy Spirit on what areas we can experience this.
The question still remains: how do we react to fellow believers who do not find any fault in partaking in the extreme Halloween celebrations? I think we need to watch ourselves with our human tendency to become too judgmental or criticizing. Just like with any disagreement, we need to make sure our words and actions are filtered through Christ’s love. As I said before, I personally know several strong believers who are thriving in their faith who love to attend theme park horror nights. When it comes to instances like these, our main concern should never be if someone else is doing something we don’t agree with. If someone is seeking Christ, we need to trust that the Holy Spirit will guide them the way He sees fit.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28.
With Halloween around the corner, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to be the guide in how we may or may not celebrate. Let us also let Him be our guide in how we respond to fellow believers who celebrate differently. Our mission is to be the example of what we believe in everything we do.