Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween & Christianity, Part Three: The Writing on the Wall

Mixed messages can be confusing, exasperating, and very dangerous. My husband has been bit more than once by dogs who greeted him with enthusiasm, tails wagging, just before they lunged to take a bite out of his behind. I've been invited to people’s homes who were more interested in interacting with their television than their company. And I've had people smile pleasantly, look me in the eye, and lie to my face. Sending a mixed message is not something I want to do.

We have a plaque above our door that says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Many of you have one too. Years ago, our neighbor paraphrased it in his own words. “I get it," he said. "That means God's boss here, doesn’t it?”

Exactly. That's what it's supposed to mean anyway.

This famous phrase is from Joshua’s speech to the Israelites when they reached the Promised Land. For forty years they'd been wavering between the true God and the gods they had worshiped in Egypt. But Joshua said it was time to make a choice:

Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14-15). You can’t have it both ways. You either worship the true God or the gods of this world.

It seems like Halloween poses the question to us once again. Jesus said, “I have come that [my sheep] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). Why then, would I celebrate a holiday that glorifies death?

Halloween tells us it's fun to be scared. As a Christian, I don’t have to fear anything or anyone except God himself. He tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:10 &13). So why would I celebrate a holiday that makes fear attractive?

Thirdly, Halloween revels in darkness. As a tweenager, I was fascinated by dark, scary stories. But when I became a Christian, I realized they were not compatible with my walk of faith. God’s Word makes it pretty plain. “What fellowship can light have with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14). “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

When Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of night, because he was afraid what his peers might think, Jesus told him, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:19-21).

Last of all, Halloween glorifies witchcraft and demonic power. Its imagery comes from the occult:
  • witches practice magic and call on demonic spirits to gain personal power
  • broomsticks are a phallic symbol (representing the male organ) believed to transfer orgasmic energy into spiritual power
  • black cats are familiar spirits or magic helpers; evil souls with supposed powers
  • carved pumpkins represent damned souls; the candle inside, the fire of Hell
I know demons have no power over God or His children, but as a Christian, I want nothing to do with them. Paul told the believers at the Corinthian church, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons...‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:21-23).
So, even though I have the freedom to participate in this holiday, I choose not to because:
  • It opposes the message of the gospel
  • I do not want to glorify the enemy or provide a cover for his activities
  • It is not beneficial or constructive

I encourage you to do some research for yourself. Read the Bible and pray about what God would have you do. Then do it with all your heart!

In part four, I will share some stories and ideas on how you and your family can celebrate the season with good, clean fun.

Casting Crowns has written a fabulous song for the movie Courageous, entitled, “We Were Made to be Courageous.” I have included the link to the video below, because I think this song so powerfully describes what God has called us each to as Christians.

#mixedmessages #christianityandhalloween #leavinghalloweenbehind #iloveGodmorethancandy 

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