Halloween and the Horrors of the Cross

In many ways, Halloween is a recognition of horror, which we as Christians know pretty well. After all, our gospel is one that finds redemption, forgiveness, and the overthrowing of evil in the horrors of a man stripped naked, whipped to pieces, and then nailed through his wrists to a piece of wood and hung up to die. That being said, when we say that Christianity and horror have nothing to do with one another, we prove that we have become all to familiar with and desensitized to the torture of the cross.

Western Christianity shows us what happens when we forget the horrors of our own story. In other parts of the world, accepting Jesus means accepting the possibility of horror. But in the west, we spread prosperity gospels that teach people that if they face horrors of any kind, they might be doing something wrong or lack the favor of God or have a secret sin. In other parts of the world, accepting Jesus means expecting the world to hate you. But in the west we tell people to fight their haters for their rights and freedoms any time they feel the slightest bit of persecution.

In other parts of the world Christians are powerless. But in the west, we are powerful. And unfortunately, powerful Christians who have forgotten their own horrors become a horror to others. Rather than become a people hung on crosses for the redemption of friends and enemies alike, we become a people hanging others on crosses. History shows us this time and time again.

So as we think of horrors this Halloween, may we remember how to keep horrors in their right place within our own faith. We are the subjects of the King of kings who faced the horror of horrors. May we learn to face our own horrors the same way he did so that we may be more like him not only in our most pleasant moments, but in our worst as well.

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