Suffer Not the Trick-or-Treaters
By Lori D'Augostine
-- How can you resist? How could anyone refuse adorable little children all dressed up, longing for sweets? I could, and I did for years.
Truth be told, I was one of those irresistible children dressed up in a bunny costume, ringing your doorbell, and singing my "Trick or Treat" song. Yet I was hiding behind a mask, and you couldn't see the "real me." If you had, you may have noticed that what I really needed was more than just your candy.
Though I didn't grow up in a Christian household, my parents were very concerned with protecting me from harmful influences -- whether it be the cartoons I watched or the video games I played. They had no idea that their daughter was falling prey to a much more dangerous world that went beyond the physical, parental-controlled television set.
My interest in the spiritual realm began very innocently in elementary school. My girlfriends and I would play games such as "light as a feather, stiff as a board" at our birthday parties. It seemed like harmless fun, until my best friend was lifted into thin air by what seemed like more than just the two fingers that I placed beneath her.
By fifth grade, I was fascinated with Friday the 13th and was convinced that "Jason" was peering through my windows at night. Now I realize that most children believe that there are monsters underneath their beds, but my fixation didn't go away.
In middle school, I met some friends who introduced me to another world. They told me that they could contact the dead and learn hidden secrets about their lives. I'll never forget the time I asked the ouija board who I would marry. It replied, "the Devil." That's when I knew that I was in a very dangerous place.
Sadly, the demonic hauntings I experienced growing up are common among many young children today. I would venture to say that 20 years later, it has gotten much worse. The lures of the Enemy are running more rampant. Children do not have to sneak over to their friends' houses to access demonic influences. There are online ouija boards that require only a mouse, as well as thousands of Web sites that specifically recruit young people to join the occult.
Occultic-oriented rock performers have flourished in this generation. Some rockers even try to persuade teenage listeners to kill themselves and their parents. The influence of the occult has been behind some of the most horrific school shootings of this past decade.
Seventeen-year-old Luke Woodham killed two students and wounded seven others in his Mississippi school after he became involved in Satanism, which he said bestowed "power over many things."
This is the state of some of the American children who are showing up at your doorstep on October 31st. I'm not saying that each of them are secret agents of the occult, yet it is important to consider the souls of the children behind the masks.
In Matthew 19:14 (NIV) Jesus instructed:
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Did you ever wonder why Halloween seems to primarily feed off of a market of 3-13 year olds? This is a Satanic ploy for our children. I don't think that Christian children should completely abstain from the festivities of costumes and candy, because they can be a light through their alternative behavior. [I personally plan on dressing my children up in Biblical and God-honoring characters that will draw people to ask questions.]
I'm talking to those of you who will be opening up your door to children of whom you do not know the state of their soul. Consider the gift that you offer them at your doorstep.
Matthew 7:11 (NIV) says:
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!"
Consider your options. There are many message-driven alternatives to offer, other than a bowl full of candy. For instance, there are Gospel tracts designed for trick-or-treaters that can be purchased online or at your Christian bookstore. You might also want to consider designing your own tracts or attaching scripture messages to the treats.
Scripture Candy, the makers of Fish Mints™ contain wrappers that have scriptural text. Also, EvangeCandy, "the only candy with color-coded Gospels on every wrapper" are fun for children.
This Halloween, spiritually invest in your neighborhood children and don't make the mistake that I have made of ignoring the doorbell. Please do not shut yourself off to this generation. You have a unique opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God without even leaving your home. Suffer not these little children and consider how you can protect them from the hauntings of the Enemy.
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