Monsters

This page offers a brief history, from a Christian perspective, of monsters as a Halloween symbol and image.
Halloween MonstersNOTE TO PARENTS: Since the Halloween season is full of images of monsters, it affords the perfect opportunity to discuss how outward appearances can be deceiving — they don’t necessarily represent what is on the inside. The Bible tells us that Jesus himself, in human form, “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2b). Satan, on the other hand was, “‘the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” (Ezekiel 28:12), but God says to him, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17).

I have long been intrigued by the monstrous looking gargoyles that decorate medieval churches. Though some historians believe that these creatures were made by superstitious Christians in an effort to drive away evil spirits, there are a variety of other possible meanings. Perhaps medieval Christians recognized that God could redeem all things – even the most grotesque. And, since the beauty and artistry of so many medieval churches was found on the inside walls, perhaps there was a deeper message that ugliness on the outside was not necessarily an indication of what could be found inside.

We naturally associate beauty with goodness and ugliness with evil, but is that how God sees the world? The Bible tells us that “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Images of monsters may be a perfect opportunity to teach our kids not to judge others by their appearance. A deformed person, a “monster,” by the world’s standards, may have a beautiful heart, while a beautiful person may have a wicked and “monstrous” heart. We will all see things as they really are when Jesus returns to judge the world.

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