Monday, October 29, 2007

Christianity and Halloween: Oil and Water

Unless you have lived in a cave all of your life, the fact that there is opposition to the observance of modern Halloween should be no surprise to you. If you are reading this blog, I am equally sure that you are savvy enough to research the origins of this event as there is no shortage of information available on the internet about this particular day. Well then, you may ask, just why are you adding to the already abounding information about Halloween? My intent with this post is not to add more information to your files but instead to get you to process and think about that which you have learned.

Halloween's modern observance, apart from giving candy to kids, is about scaring, being scared, death and dying. For some, this day is a time for an office party or the likes in which it is okay to imbibe in drinks and other faculty diminishing provisions without restraint. It can be difficult, then, to try to lump all participants into one nice neat box when describing this day and the way it is observed. Yet, we are called to be salt and light in this world and find it necessary then to address this day and its common observance.

Haunted houses, witches, spiders, spooks, goblins, ax murderers, graveyards and ghosts inhabit this event. Shouldn't these things wave a red flag in the Christian's mind? Christianity does not deny the existence of demons and devils and Satan and the likes. However, we find through the reading of God's Word that these entities are our enemies and not our friends or even associates. Death and dying, as the end result of sin, are what Jesus came to defeat as our enemy and as such we are not to celebrate death and dying in the physical sense but we are to celebrate new life and everlasting life that is found only in Christ Jesus. Satan and his evil hordes are defeated through the power given to us by Jesus Christ. Why then would or should a Christian dress up like any of the such as if to honor those that are our enemies? Why then would or should a Christian participate in any events in which theses enemies evil character is celebrated or used in the intention to drive fear into the hearts of others? Can you really conceive of Jesus or the Apostles participating in these events?

By the way, I can offer you a way better option for your pumpkins than to carve a scary face in them in order to ward off wayward spirits. Carve them up into pieces, boil em down until they are soft. Blend them. Add egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and few other ingredients to taste and after a little more cookin', voila, pumpkin pie. Ummmmm Umm!

11 comments:

Blessed mommy and wife said...

Good post. What is your take on church Fall Festivals?

selahV said...

one of my greatest regrets in life is the participation I've had in haunted houses. black days.

our church has a fall festival each year to keep kids off the streets. this year's theme is dress western. after the indoor game-time and outdoor inflatables of two hours, members of the church sit outside and tailgate with candy to give the kiddos. It is open to everyone. And when folks attend we register them and use it as a prospect list for visitation. Works great.

As a sidenote: I once held a fall festival with the theme as Bible characters and you wouldn't believe how many showed up as demons and satan. defeated my purpose but spoke volumes to me as to what folks will focus on even when it is Biblical. selahV

Luke said...

Kim,
While we at our church do not have them, I do not categorically denounce them. I would have serious reservations about those in which you could not tell the difference between the world and the church. I also do not believe that if the children cannot participate in Halloween's traditional observance that we must offer them something else. No where that I have been able to find do we have to offer to our children alternative actions to what we believe are sinful. In other words, we don't participate in things that are sinful precisely because of the fact that they are sinful. And yet, as I earlier stated, do not denounce churches that are providing alternatives. For me, the issue isn't about safety but about spirituality. Feel free to pick my mind more if I have not sufficiently answered your question.

Luke said...

V,
I too once took part in those "black" days. I say that not to my credit but to my shame. But I thank God I am not what I once was.

I do have reservations about fall festivals on the same night as Halloween but I do hope and pray that through this event for your church, that your prospect list will grow and that the unchurched can be reached.

Your sidenote is precisely why I do not like fall festivals on the same night. We too have had too many demons show up as opposed to saints. Your last statement seems to echo my heart and that is the reason rather than trying to alter the present observance, for me and my church, abstinence is the best approach.

This time of year does tell alot about "christians" though does it not? I was just listening to Rush for a moment and he quoted the Times as saying that this is the one night of the year that pre-teen girls can dress like sluts and not be put down for it. I think this day is degenerating into something that we have not seen the full effects of yet.

As for our church, we will be continuing with our normal Wednesday night format of prayer and then Bible study.

Blessed mommy and wife said...

Ok, I see what you are saying, I think. If we are taking them to "fall festivals" simply to be able to participate in halloween a "church's" farm of Halloween then it is still participating. What I have taught the kids is that they can dress up but it is not to be as the world. In other words, they can be animals, princesses, etc. and that fall festivals are about games and being with friends. Anything, of the devil does not love God. So would you say I am still allowing participation or not??? We were always allowed to participate and dress how we wanted and some of the times it was of things looking back I would not of allowed our children to do. So, it is just within the few years has it become an issue to us.

Luke said...

Kim,
I'm gonna play the sticker in the foot for the moment and respond by asking, "So what do you tell your children that the world dresses up for?" In other words, if we have to be different, why?

By the way, I am not surprised at all that this is now becoming something for ya'll to deal with. It has to do with the fact that ya'll are wanting to raise your children to honor Jesus. That seems to bring out the better of most people when they want to lead the little child right. After all, the idea of a mill stone tied around my neck and trying to stay afloat does not sound much like fun to me.

Blessed mommy and wife said...

Actually I've/We've never really mentioned why we dress up. I guess they either never thought to ask or we never really thought about it but a very good question. You're right a millstone doesn't sound like a very fun thing. More than that though is the wanting to please my Savior the best way I can and giving them a firm foundation.

Luke said...

Kim,
I'll try to answer your initial question a little more directly now. I believe that if a "church's" fall festival cannot be distinguished from a secular celebration, then something is wrong. And, while I can neither condemn or call it out right sin to participate, I would say that it is probably not the most expedient thing we could do.I Cor 6:12

I echo completely you words that our desire should be to please our Savior. Being a Christian is not a weak minded existence, rather, it calls for the utmost in wisdom and knowledge and we can thank Jesus that His Spirit abides with us to guide us into all truth. May God grant us that wisdom for this day and hour.

Grosey's Messages said...

I commend you Luke for trying to counter evil that has become culturally acceptable.
Here in Australia we are faced with Halloween as something currently being introduced and as foreign to our culture. Only one group of kids come knocking.. and our response is always: "Sorry but we are Australians here, we are not into that.. (go away and grow up.)" We counter it at the cultural level, which is more effective for us. You have an uphill battle countering it when it is so ingrained into your culture, (almost like voodoo is in some cultures).
It may sound hard but it has limited the effect in schools etc, except our own church preschool where our director (current wife of one of our organists)still insists on introoducing it to preschoolers. The deacons wives sneak in and take down the decorations!
I suspect confrontations will happen soon.
Steve

Luke said...

Steve,
It is a shame that of all the good things of our culture, that Halloween would be the one someone would try to introduce to your area. I pray that it will not get a foothold at all for ya'll. And as far as the school is concerned, may your deacon wives become even more bolder in their stand for that which is right and may it lead to the time when Halloween will not be introduced. A confrontation may not be all that bad. After all, Satan doesn't really care for light to be exposed upon his deeds while there are those that still oppose him. May the hand of God move mightily in your midst this great day.

Grosey's Messages said...

Thanks Luke,
you are a great encouragement in your faithfulness from across the seas.
Steve