Taking Back Halloween

I need some Axe Body Spray to grind. I know that the phrase is an ax to grind but I don’t own an ax. I also kind of think that people that own axes are one step away from becoming the main character to a horror movie.

Even though I don’t own an ax I do know some guys who believe that women will throw themselves at them, even if they stank, if they spray on some stanky stuff called Axe.I need some of this stuff to grind because I’ve got an issue.

My issue is that for years Christians have been allowing Satan and the world to steal things that belong to God. Music was God’s idea. Sure some have used to spread filthy messages but music itself is not wrong. I’ve been to churches though that boycotted drums in the church because drums = the Devil’s music.

Dancing was God’s idea. In fact the Bible even talks about dancing before the Lord. Today people put on their Axe body spray and grind on one another. Because of some dirty dancing there are churches that have banned it completely. In fact I couldn’t have my wedding reception at the church I got married at because they wouldn’t allow my wife to do the father/daughter dance.

Movies are made by people but the Bible says that all good gifts come from God. I’m giving God the credit for movies because they are awesome. Along come Rated R movies and what do some Christians do? Boycott em. The college I went to gave out reps if you saw an R Rated movie. They held onto this rule up until Mel Gibson screwed up their legalism by making The Passion of the Christ Rated R.

The point is that Christians allow the Devil and the world to steal things and their response is to boycott. I’m not down with that. I say that if it’s good then let’s steal it back. I know that some people feel that Halloween is the Devil’s holiday, but who created days? God! God created the days of the week and I’m stealing October 31 back from Devil.

Even though my twins are only seven months old we are celebrating Halloween with them. We are dressing them up. We are using this day as a reason to hang out with my family. We are using it as an excuse to eat some yummy candy. We are using this day to create memories. We are Christians and we celebrate this day in a way that honors God.

So that’s my grinded Axe Body Spray and I’m sticking to it. Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so what are you dressing up as? If not what is your favorite candy?


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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

  • Lindsey

    The girls will be dressing up and trick or treating! Emma will be Rapunzel (Tangled if you ask her) and Cara will be a butterfly! I’m excited for Emma as this is the first year she understands the concept. She is excited about Xmas too. It is amazing to relive holidays with your own children. Enjoy!

    • Rob

      Lindsey, will do. My kids are only 7 months so they don’t have a fat clue what is going on. None the less they have superhero costumes and they are going to rock em.

  • Rob, don’t you know that drums call demons? It’s all in the beat. I know this because I heard it on the John Ankerberg show once. We can’t let that rock ‘nCity roll music in the church.
    Seriously, my kids are 17 and 13, so I won’t be dressing them up. I may have been too legalistic as a younger parent. I might do things different if I had it to again.

    • Rob

      Larry, it’s definitely a fine line. I don’t want to be so free that I bring harm to my kids. I understand where legalism comes from. It’s something that I have fight against on a regular basis.

    • John Ankerberg? He’s a Harry Potter-hatin’ old-earther! 😉

  • Ryan

    We are not dressing up… It’s sad. But my favorite candy is probably reese’s. Or twix. Next year I plan to sit at my house and dress up like the jolly green giant.

    • Rob

      Ryan, I’m going to hold you to that.

  • My kids are 36 & 32 so I hope you will forgive me for not dressing them up. i went to a gas station the other day and they had a sign “Please remove Halloween masks before entering store.” I told the clerk I resented the fact that they wanted me to remove my face before I came in.” she chuckled. So I figure why dress up when I am already there? I think it is good to let your kids enjoy Halloween.

    • Rob

      Bill, funny stuff. And I agree with you.

  • Forgot candy: York Peppermint Patties. Mint 3 Musketeers. Dark chocolate Reece cups. And just about anything with chocolate except those nasty things witch coconut in them.

    • Rob

      I don’t like coconut either, but for some reason I do like Samoa cookies from girl scouts. Weird.

  • Great rant today brother. Oh, and I am dressing up for today. I am going to work looking like a scientist. Oh, and your message and presentation yesterday were just wonderful.

    • Rob

      Thanks Daniel! I appreciate the feedback.

  • Me dress up. Nah.

    But my boy is batman this year.

    Favorite candy…circus peanuts.

    • Rob

      Michael, my kids are going as Superman and Batgirl. And are you for real about those circus peanuts?

  • I haven’t come across one American Christian in the blogosphere who is in any way not having anything to do with Halloween! You guys can keep it! It’s just starting to get really commercialised over here!

    • T.C., thanks for sharing. The commercialism side is a HUGE deal over here as well. For me though I want to use everything I can to interact with my community and show them what it looks like to live for Jesus. Your post brings up a great point about church Halloween celebrations. The church has created a safe bubble, but it can’t shine in the bubble. I want to use thing like Halloween to shine.

  • Kim L

    Our girls are dressing up, but we do have the “no scary costumes” rule. Maddie is going as a snow princess and Bella as a cheerleader. As far as favorite candy….. I’m 8 months pregnant, any candy is good candy!

    • Rob

      Kim, very cool. When my daughter is of age I will have a no slutty costume rule. For some reason that is the trend with teenage girls today.

  • Moe

    +1 for this post Rob.

    This year, I’m going to be a crazy New Yorker. Wait, I’m already a crazy New Yorker. :/

    • Rob

      Moe, thanks. Does that + 1 improve my Klout score? I kid, I kid.

  • Ken

    To be precise, Rob, you could “take back the day” of October 31st WITHOUT “joining the tradition” of Halloween if you wanted to. In fact, some Christians have done it for years now. Did you know that today is Reformation Day, and it is celebrated by many Lutherans and Presbyterians all around the world?

    It was on this day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the Wittenberg Door. Luther’s actions sparked the Protestant Reformation and ushered in amazing changes like printing Bibles in the language of the people, teaching them to read it for themselves and allowing clergy to get married. A pretty good movie was made of the occassion a few years back. See the trailer here: http://www.examiner.com/bible-in-richmond/luther-the-movie-video

    Maybe not as COOL a “take-back” as you were looking for, but it’s a start. Meanwhile, enjoy your candy. Snickers, Twix & Peanut M&Ms for me.

    • Kris

      Candy Corn is my favorite. Remember in OBX at the staff planning thing, I bought 10 bags of candy corn? Good times.
      22 years ago I had a halloween party for friends and family. My kids were 2 & 5. I asked the little 5 year old boy from down the street if he and his sister were coming to the party. He replied “No, we do not believe in devil worship.” I was hurt that his parents thought this of me.

    • Ken, Luther is a great movie! It’s not that I’m trying to be cool with this post. I just grew up with a legalistic mindset. A mindset that said anything that might potentially lead people to do something bad needs to be banned. And so I grew up in the Christian bubble. I separated myself from the world. The problem is that it’s hard to shine when you are never around darkness. For me Halloween is a chance to shine. It’s a chance to connect with neighbors. It’s a chance to model how Christians should act in the world we live in. Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate your thoughts! Oh…and peaunut M&M’s are amazing! I can eat a whole bag if I’m not careful.

  • Dia

    Not dressing up, tho we always had fun costumes for our kids. Our daughter was a box of popcorn when she was 4, and our son was a WWII fighter pilot complete with his own plane! I always made their costumes and loved every minute of it- each year was something different. What fun memories. Cherish them! Rob- EXCELLENT message yesterday- really spoke to my heart and made me do some serious introspection. Thanks, Rob!

    • Dia

      PS, I appreciate your blogs- I know it takes a lot of time away from your family- thank you for making us part of your family and caring for us like your own. It’s a big sacrifice for your family… been there, done that- I understand. Thank you for all you do.

  • Leah

    Avery is a ladybug (actually the same costume Reese has)!

  • Billy

    Great post…Wild will be spiderman (as he is everyday) and Tiz will be a senorita (thats the best description i have for the dress she wants to wear) best candy: anythin reeses, almond joy, nerds rope, twizzlers…
    Check this blog post out:


    • Billy, I love Spiderman! And I love me some Reeses!

  • Joseph M.

    My wife and I have been sitting on the fence about Halloween for a while now. We have come to an accord in that pretty much the way you viewed spending the holiday, is how we see it also.

    Is is discouraging how Christian society misses a lot of opprotunity to use ALL available means to reach those for Christ. I seriously doubt the Apostle’s allowed stipulations, and opinions affect chances to reach the lost. Thank God they did not.

    On a side note, I forgot to tell you how much your messge on Sunday meant. Very insightful, moving, and powerful. Well, except for the story that moved me, and turned out to be a sham..lol, but I understand the reasoning, so it’s all good.

  • Joseph M.

    Ummm, let me correct those typo’s. Para (2) It is, let’s switch misses to messes.

  • Ashley

    We aren’t going trick or treating but me and my three siblings are passing out candy as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    • Ashley, I love the teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

  • I’m going as the cranky mom who has to take her 7yo twins out in the snow! I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m pretty convincing.

  • Rebecca Motes

    I love the idea of pumpkin carving, costumes, and getting candy. My wonderful Hubby Joe has been a little uneasy about it all but we came to a great compromise and your blog on this really helped easy his mind as well. So thank you for that.

    Awesome message Sunday and thanks for making an emotional pregnant lady even more emotional with your fake story…lol.

    • Rebecca, I’m sorry to make you cry. I debated for the longest time about telling that story. I almost took it out. I just felt like it made a great point so I kept it in there. Thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad that my little blog has been of some help to you. I blog about things that I am learning and wrestling with. It’s amazing how many others seem to be wrestling with the same things. Thanks again.

  • Barbara Rollins

    We celebrate as a family too! We fix up our driveway … little orange lights that lead you to our door. My husband makes the kids earn their candy..he asks them to act out what they are and actually talks to them; and their parents. We usually get about 100 or so kids. Our children are grown, but a couple of them come over and “help”. We have chili, and hot cider. And I just made a yummy carrot cake. I usually dress up as an old hag or hillbilly or witch. or all of the above. And we hand out good candy. My favorite is anything chocolate. Happy Halloween! Have a great time!

    • Barbara, what did you think of Steph’s video yesterday? Does she get her scream from you? That was pretty funny.

  • Rebecca Motes

    Rob, no worries. The story was perfect for making the point of how the Devil lies.

    Thank you for signing the resolution for my Hubby Joe!

    Happy Halloween!

    • Rebecca, it was my pleasure! I’m honored to be able to do it.

  • TMZ

    Last year I dressed up as a Survivor contestant by wearing a colored bandana over my head. This year I’m going to be a tutor by wearing what a tutor would normally wear on any other normal day of the year. Have fun with the fam!

    • TMZ, I like your style. Those are great costumes. Reminds me of something that Jim from the Office would do.

      • TMZ

        Always love Jim’s costumes! Was a bit disappointed with his selection this year.

        • Rob

          Me too! I thought for sure at the end of the episode he would come out with a better costume.

  • I’m not dressing up – unless I go as I middle aged business person coming home from work. My favorite candy? I’ll go with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

    • Jon, I like your taste in candy. That’s my favorite!

  • kids dressing up…hello kitty and wolverine…

    and me…just me..i like me…so i’m me…

    great one rob…

    This is the day that the Lord has made! let us be glad in in it!!!!!

    Plus….what other day would your niegbors come to your house ramdomly….SHARE CHRIST!!!!

    • Arny, EXACTLY! Oh and I love the Wolverine costumes that I’ve seen. Does he have the retractable claws?

  • Doug Copeland

    I’m going to be captain America and I will be accompanied by two lil ninjas.

    • Doug, I don’t know you really well yet, but you are quickly becoming one of my favorite people. I love that you are going as Captain America. I want to see pictures.

  • Excellent article – totally agree – I wrote about a similar theme today 🙂 Great minds, you know 🙂

  • Randal

    Even in it’s pre-Christian beginnings the celebration that has become Halloween was centered around warding AWAY evil spirits, and eventually THE evil spirit, Satan. Only in the last 100 years has it become associated with devil worship. It only truly does become so if we Christians stop using this day as a day of community and fun and give it over to the Devil by shunning it.

    Neither my wife nor I ever wanted to be a devil or a ghoul, my kids would rather be superheroes, and I would rather be blessed with a night where I can sit in my driveway, commune with my neighbors, and watch the joy of little children as they fill their buckets or bags with the generosity of others.

    • Sirvhim

      Cool perspective Randal, we went to a local church’s “trunk or treat” — it was pretty cool, the church was certainly generous, and they had a huge bonfire at the end, fire is awesome!

    • Hi Randall, it does seem like in the states the costumes aren’t necessarily evil related. Over here you would never find anyone dressed as a super-hero or a princess, it is the scarier (or more devilish) the better!

      I guess that’s why either most Christians don’t take part, or try to organise an alternative!


    • Thanks Randal! I saw your pics from last night on Facebook. Looking good.

  • Kim Dean

    Rob I love this post. I have struggled with this for years and must say since coming to WEC 2 1/2 years ago I finally feel free to enjoy Halloween again : ) There have been so many legalistic influences in my life and so for years we made the choice NOT to have anything to do with Halloween. Some of my fondest childhood memories come from Trick or Treating and having the scariest house on the block all decked out. We used to take turns handing out cady and running door to door. NOW my dad has done a 180 and writes letters to everyone he can think of begging them to ban Trick or Treating where he lives and begging the 4 of us kids to NOT allow his grand children to be exposed to such evil. He says he went wrong when we were kids. My neice got married in Oct. a few years back and had pumpkins decorating the tables at the reception and my dad left as soon as he saw them his own grand daughter and the list goes on and on. I am happy to say now that we enjoy Trick or Treating and allowing the kids to be kids. My son was a Werewolf tonight and my favorite candy is Reeces. Thanks for your posts they help more than you know 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Kim! That means a lot to me. I also love Reece’s. Love em!

  • We went to the Harvest Festival/Trunk or Treat at my in-law’s church. My wife went as “mom,” my son was Batman Beyond, my daughter was a princess, and I dressed as an Amish man.

  • gabriella

    SO cute!!!