Recently I spoke with Robert about Halloween. Here is what he had to say ...
- "I've got jokes about Halloween because I'm a stand-up comic but the basic thing is that I think Christians keep abdicating all of our responsibility in all of the arts and different areas. We keep letting Satan come in and take over. I think that's our biggest problem. We're afraid of everything so we say, "Oh, we can't do that", and we go away. Nature hates a vacuum, so the other side is going to come in and take over. It's Hallows Eve - All Hallows Eve - it is a holiday. It means Hallows Eve is the night before All Saints Day. All Saints Day is a Christian holiday. Christmas eve - we didn't give that over to the devil and Christmas is our holiday, so why is the day before All Saints Day evil? It doesn't make any sense. So I think we should take it back! Let your kids dress up in fun little costumes and remind them that tomorrow is All Saints Day. I don't have a problem in the world with it. The innocence of Halloween is a great thing. We just have to step back up and take away and push away the evil. I think if Christians run and hide from every evil thing, then we're going to eventually run away from everything. So that's my soap-box.
Growing Up With HalloweenAs far as how I grew up, my parents let me celebrate. It was the best holiday! I loved it! We went to Woolworth and got our costume in a box. It was $1.50 and one size fit nobody. It tied up behind your neck and had that big hole in the back and it had a picture on your chest of who you were supposed to be. That never made any sense to me. We had cheap masks made of opaque plastic that made you sweat so much that you didn't need the elastic because it just stuck to your face. The air-holes were about a quarter of an inch big so you were suffocating and you couldn't see out of them. We had neighborhood parades and picnics and it was a fun thing. It was protected because it was just our neighborhood. I remember one time I was so excited I came as Superman and I was so depressed because there were six other Supermans and I thought I would be the only one. Of course, when it rained you had to put your yellow slicker on over your Halloween costume, which was so stupid. There were kids out there with their slickers on over their pajamas, but that was Halloween! The best part was trading. You'd come home and dump your candy and then dump your brother's candy and then you would negotiate. You'd always tell him, "That isn't good for you" or "Oh, you won't like that at all. Here, you can have all of my black stuff. That's good eatin' for you!" Every kid does it. You've got to trade. Halloween really shows survival of the fittest.
When I was growing up we heard the stories about razor blades in apples so we never took any apples. We never took any kind of fruit, which is the good stuff. I think the candy companies must have been the ones to start those rumors because they didn't want kids to have natural things. They wanted them to have the M&M's. They made a lot of money on Halloween!
When my kids were growing up, I admit I was paranoid. I was the one going around with them with a flashlight, a police scanner and a bullhorn! "Attention neighbors - two trick or treaters are at your front door. Throw out the candy and step away from the porch." But they're grown now and those Halloween days are over. It's just the fun of dressing up. It's a big costume party. I see that it's totally innocent. Yes, there are evil looking masks. You just don't get those. I know churches have Harvest festivals and things like that and that's fine. If that's the compromise you have to make at least the kids get to dress up and you'll have a good time. But what I don't like are those scary haunted houses done by Christians that people walk through and then it scares them because they're told "If you die tonight, you'll go to hell." It's like, "Oh ... why are we doing this? We're scaring people into the Kingdom again." Those things drive me crazy.
I don't see any problem with celebrating and having fun anytime, as long as it's wholesome and good. Celebrating Halloween isn't training for Satan worship. I think the same people that hate Halloween hate drums in the church. You're not going to lead everyone to Satan because you have a beat in the background. The Bible is bigger than that and God is bigger than that. Too many people take traditions and call them Biblical and that's just not right. I think people try to do the right thing, but they have a knee-jerk reaction about what other people will think."