Matney: Are depictions of murder, bloodshed, violence and death the best way to have fun? (column) |

Matney: Are depictions of murder, bloodshed, violence and death the best way to have fun? (column)

Dan Matney
Valley Voices
Dan Matney
Special to the Daily

As I prayerfully considered what to write about in my very first article for the Vail Daily, I decided to contrast the abundant life available to us through Jesus, with some of the common sights of Halloween that do not reflect the kind of life God wants to give us.

As a kid, parent, grandfather, pastor and friend, I have participated in the fun and festivities of the day, so, far be it from me to denounce Halloween in its entirety.

However, there is one aspect of Halloween that is not in the best interest of our children or our society — the depictions of violence and death. These sights include knives and axes buried into people’s bodies and the traditionally macabre costumes and yard decorations of skeletons and headstones.

Again, I realize that for many people, it is simply a way of expressing fun and fantasy, but let me ask you, are depictions of murder, bloodshed, violence and death the best way to have fun? There is a better way, the way Jesus and the scriptures encourage.

Jesus said, as recorded in John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give you life and life more abundant.” Abundant, eternal, ever-flowing, ever-present life to the full is what Jesus wants to share with us.

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In Scripture, we’re given many descriptions of the abundant life God wants to give us, life that is true, right, noble and pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Also, he gives us what is called the Fruit of the Spirit: love (a big heart costume), joy (happy faces), peace, patience, kindness (a nurse or doctor costume), goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (a mother carrying a baby doll) and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If we hope to help our children have a more secure childhood and if we hope to help stop the very real evil and violence in our society, isn’t there a better way to enjoy Halloween than costumes and decorations that glorify death and violence? Let’s use our creative energies to make costumes and decorations that promote the things we truly value.

God said, I have set before you life or death … Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live. (Deuteronomy 30:19; The Living Bible).

Abundant life starts as a choice, a choice to place your faith in Jesus and to follow him.

Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at

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