What kind of evangelical are you? Or, what do you do for Halloween?

Russel D. Moore provides these funny (and accurate) definitions of the many types of evangelical:

“If John Mark is right that an evangelical is “a fundamentalist who watches The Office,” then I’m written out of the definition since I’ve never seen the show. But, still, I think he’s on to something. Here’s an alternative try.

An evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for Halloween.

A conservative evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for the church’s “Fall Festival.”

A confessional evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for “Reformation Day.”

An emerging evangelical is a fundamentalist who has no kids, but who dresses up for Halloween anyway.

A revivalist evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up as demons for the church’s “Judgment House” community evangelism outreach.

A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist whose kids hand out gospel tracts to all those mentioned above.”

A couple years of my growing up, we fell into the “conservative evangelical” to “revivalist evangelical” range.  We dressed up for our  church’s “unhaunted house.”  Many kids dressed up as Bible characters.  It was an outreach to the community as well as a way for Christians to still have fun and do a few scary things on Halloween without feeling (too) guilty.

Most years, however, we just stayed home, had friends over, ate popcorn and watched a movie.

With young kids of our own, we haven’t celebrated Halloween.  Not a judgment on people who do, it’s just where we’ve come down.  We did talk about Reformation Day last year though, although no one dressed up.  I like having the kids dress up.  They do it so often, it hardly seems like depriving them not to do it on Halloween.

See, here’s one-year-old Elianna dressed up in full costume.

IMG_2152

I realize most people think I’m being a big stick in the mud and I’m ok with that.  My kids (and I) get plenty of fun and neighbor interaction in their lives.  They can do without it on one night of the year.  We have our reasons, and that’s enough for me.

But, back to the point, what kind of evangelical are you?  Elianna obviously ascribes to the ever popular cowboy evangelism.

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8 Comments

Filed under body of Christ, culture, family, questions

8 responses to “What kind of evangelical are you? Or, what do you do for Halloween?

  1. We’re, dare I write it, evangelicals (at least by the above scale.) I certainly grew up in many of the other categories though.

  2. You brave brave soul. I promise not to scourge you for the confession.. :)

    So, of course, the next question is, what will you be this year? My guess would be that you and the boys go as the starting lining up for the Vikings. Or perhaps you’ll take a literary turn and you’ll be Jacob from Sarah, Plain and Tall? If so, pictures will be in order!

  3. Literary: well kind of. Pictures of course will follow.

  4. Victoria

    I guess we’d fall into the “A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist whose kids hand out gospel tracts to all those mentioned above.”

    We do not celebrate this holiday in any way, we dress up on any day “just because we feel like it”, and don’t have a need to find some alternative to run around the town getting free candy! ;)

    I’d encourage you to stick with it…Even when your kids get older! They’ll see your commitments to your convictions and want to continue in the passion you have for your Lord!

  5. “My kids (and I) get plenty of fun and neighbor interaction in their lives. They can do without it on one night of the year. We have our reasons, and that’s enough for me.”

    We are with you in this.

    When our kids were very young and in the elementary grades, we did our church’s harvest party, which was held on Halloween, the day that everyone went Trick or Treating.

    When we moved to a new city, all of the little boroughs and towns had a different night (or afternoon) for Trick or Treat, and almost none of them were on Halloween. Neither was the church harvest party. So we went to the harvest party and then on our neighborhood’s Trick or Treat night we went out and did something fun together, or turned off all the lights and watched a fun movie at home.

    When our son moved up to the youth group, the kids were encouraged to Trick or Treat for Speed the Light, a ministry of our denomination that raises money for missionaries’ vehicles. So we let him do that and our youngest came along. They dressed up like fun things.

    The last two years of high school they wanted to just go door to door with their friends and collect candy (since I guess they do not do the Speed the Light drive at this time anymore). They dressed up as something fun.

  6. Oh, I should add how we dealt with the school events. When the kids were in Christian school–oh, I can’t even remember…Did they dress up in their harvest party costumes during the day, too? No, I think the school (interdenominational) did not recognize Halloween in any way.

    In public school (we were only there one year), this is what they did. The fourth graders dressed up as historical people (Ben Franklin, etc.). The first graders dressed up as storybook characters (Little Red Riding Hood, for example). Most kids complied, but there were kids who came as Scream or scary things anyway. The teachers did not make them change or anything; they just let it go, which seemed unwise to me.

    When we homeschooled, there were no homeschool groups who did anything for Halloween, although we did put nice parties together for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays.

    I like the idea another commenter had–having costume parties or dress-up days at a different time of year not connected to Halloween at all.

  7. I should have added that if the schools had done regular all out Halloween parties–the scary kind–then we would have kept our kids home from school that day.

    So many different things a parent has to wrestle with–neighborhood, church, school, relatives…!

  8. I appreciate your blog very much. Will read all. Keep up to great posting on it. ty

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