It has been way too long since I was able to blog and I haven't been able to share with you all so many things that have been on my heart, but..... Another day, Another time.
Okay, our topic today:
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Wow! Why do I do this to myself? :)
First of all, my theme verse for this post is Psalm 118:24- "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
October 31st is God's day. He created it. He asked us to rejoice and be glad in it. So, therefore, I don't think we should hide out in our homes and "ignore" the day the Lord made.
Secondly, Halloween, or Hallow's Eve is NOT a Christian holiday. It does have it's roots in pagan worship. So many of the "cute" and "fun" customs that our kids celebrate, have very sinister and evil beginnings. I feel that anyone who even asks the question, "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween" would do well to spend some time in research of the basics of where these "traditions" came from. I would also suggest to not do your research entirely on the internet. I have found the best Christian researchers publish their findings in books. Hopefully tomorrow I can give you some references and resources of where to find these books.
Thirdly, ask yourself a few questions:
If I celebrate in so many of the Halloween traditions, who am I glorifying?
Is it glorifying Christ?
Do the decorations in my yard and home lift up the concept of abundant life and hope through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Or~ am I glorifying fear and a death without hope?
Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly." John 10:10
The Word also says, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7
Oh, my, there is so much I would like to say on this subject, but I do believe that people's most solid decisions are made under the direction of the Holy Spirit and when one's eyes are opened to the TRUTH of God's Word.
I can't make a judgement call on anyone but myself.
Let me close by sharing with you our story. It shows why I feel the way I do about celebrating Halloween. And, of course, the easiest way for me to share that is in story form. Please forgive me if my post is long today! :)
The summer heat was slowly giving way to the crisp winds of Autumn. In Southern Arkansas, football game nights were a mystery~ light jacket? heavy jacket? blanket? or rain coat? Seasoned fans knew to keep an assortment of "game gear" in the trunk.
She sat in the stands with her blanket around her feeling peace in her heart. She was watching her new daughter cheer for the Hornets and listening to her husband do the play by play in the press box. Life didn't get much better than this! Happiness and family~ and all serving Jesus!
As the lights were turned out and the crowds scattered, the new little family made their way back to their vehicle. The conversation turned from the highlights of the game to those cheering moments, to what were the plans for the Friday night. After a few minutes of discussion it was decided that Glenda would go in to town with a few church friends and Rusty and Dorinda would head home.
It was early October and there was still some planning to do for the youth group for the coming month. Youth Convention was only a month away and not much had been raised for Speed the Light.
Sandwiches made and sodas in hand, Rusty and Dorinda sat on the couch to do some planning.
The biggest fundraiser they had ever had was in their first youth pastorate. In 3 nights they raised almost $3,000 for Speed the Light. The Haunted House was a sure money maker! Dorinda had greeted guests at the door in her regal witch costume, and Rusty had a blast scaring people as Frankenstein.
They could do another Pie in the Face Auction. They did well in another town, but hadn't seemed to do well here.
They planned some activities and a Hayride for October 31st, but just couldn't decide on the fund raiser. The Haunted House seemed the best option, but they just weren't sure where or how to get it up and running in the small church.
By 11:00pm Glenda was home. The little family of three sat for a while and talked in the living room. As Dorinda went to bed she stopped by Glenda's room and peeked in.
It had been over a year since Glenda moved in with them. It had been nine months since she started calling them mom and dad. But Dorinda still got that warm fuzzy feeling in her heart when she looked in the bedroom and saw her teen daughter sleeping~ all safe and sound.
At 2 am the shrillness of the phone woke the parents up. Dorinda answered with an adrenaline rush, knowing that only emergencies would warrant a phone call at this time. In the space of two seconds it was amazing how many thoughts could rush through one's mind. "Did someone die? or have an accident? Are our family members ok?"
She was surprised to hear a young voice on the other end asking if we had a daughter now?
"What! Who is this?"
"It's Bacon! Don't you have a daughter now?"
At that point Rusty was now fully awake and grabbed the phone. He held it out so that Dorinda could hear the conversation.
It seemed "Bacon" one of their former youth in another city was at a party~ one that he definitely shouldn't have attended.
When Rusty got on the phone, Bacon, as he was affectionately called, started crying. It took a while for Rusty to coax the reason for his call out of him. The long and short of it was this:
He had gone to the party for free drugs. He had heard that it was going to be a big party with all kinds of stuff going on. He knew he shouldn't and he was so sorry but he did and now he was scared.
He was scared because they did things at that party that was beyond just a normal drug party. They drank. They did drugs. They shared drugs. They listened to weird music. They had orgies. They chanted. They burned strange candles. They talked about Satan. They got angry.
They talked about a sacrifice.
Rusty and Dorinda listened carefully, asking a few questions for clarity, as Bacon stammered and spilled the information he had just gathered.
"What do you mean a sacrifice?"
"I'm scared! I don't know what to do! I don't want them to know I called you!"
"Tell us more about the sacrifice. What are they planning to do?"
"They are mad Bro. Rusty. They said that an Assembly of God pastor took in a new daughter and they were going to find her and sacrifice her on their holy day."
"When is their holy day, Bacon?"
"October 31st! It's when they are going to sacrifice an A/G preacher's daughter to Satan!"
"How do you know it is us, Bacon?"
"I don't. I just know you live in the town they mentioned and that you have a new daughter. I'm scared, Bro. Rusty. Now I don't think God will forgive me because I went to this party, but I don't want anything to happen to you or your new daughter!"
It took about an hour to calm him down and pray with him and assure him that God's grace was bigger than his sin.
It took a lot longer to for the couple to go to sleep with out fear gripping their hearts for the child they loved so dearly.
Tomorrow they would call the sheriff and get to the bottom of the story.
Tomorrow, or rather, sunrise today took a long time in coming. Crazy dreams of someone chasing their Glenda, then remembrances that she was covered by the precious blood of Jesus.
Fear chased by Peace. Death defeated by Life. It was a vicious circle of warfare of the mind and soul all night long.
The sun finally rose and Dorinda tried to wait patiently for a decent hour to call the Spirit filled Sheriff they had come to love and appreciate. She felt like they were a scene out of one of Frank Peretti's novels.
At last, 9 am arrived. She dialed the number and asked to speak to the sheriff.
As calmly and as sanely as she, could without sounding like a lunatic, Dorinda described the phone call. "Ok. Now, what do you think about this? Was this kid hallucinating or is there possibly something to this?"
The sheriff was calm and factual, but to Dorinda's surprise testified to the accuracy of Bacon's story. His office had received numerous tips and calls regarding a big meeting of those who worshiped Satan coming to the area. Every hotel was booked for that weekend and even government agencies had been in contact with local law enforcement to let them know there was definitely some "occult activities" expected.
That was all the young pastor and his wife needed to hear. They would not be afraid and they would not allow anything to happen to their precious daughter. They would go to the only one Who could protect her, their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
They didn't want to sensationalize the information they had, but they weren't going to sit back and let the enemy win either.
Their number one objective? Prayer and Praise to God in Heaven.
It was in those days of prayer, that their eyes were opened. October 31st was the Lord's day, not the enemy's. Witch's, ghosts, and goblins, were things the enemy used as weapons to destroy God's peace and life in the hearts and minds of God's created beings. Fear and deception were the goal of the enemy. He, the enemy, was the one who came to steal, to kill and to destroy. Christ came to give life and that more abundantly.
The power of the cross, the power of the blood of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit became real to Rusty and Dorinda and their daughter as they banded together to pray against harm and fear for their little family.
The three of them and a close family friend went out to the area where all the "satanic activity" was supposed to take place. They got out of the little car and stood there, quoting God's Word and proclaiming His victory in this and all situations. They pleaded the blood of Jesus over the entire area claiming that "ever place the sole of their foot shall tread, that is the land God has given you."
With that, their hearts were at peace. They knew God was the One in control, not some created evil being that had no control over the servants of the Most High God.
And they slept~ each and every night~ a sleep of peace and safety.
They promised each other never again to celebrate October 31st in a way that would bring glory to the "thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy", but to celebrate that day as any other day - A day to bring glory to God who created that day and every other day!
October 31st came and went. A call from the sheriff's office on November 1st brought news of many empty hotel rooms. For some reason or another the plans of the area's "coven" were foiled and their "worship" had to be moved to another location. He also found out that the daughter in question was from a family of a friend of thiers. They had witnessed to a young lady high up in the local coven and had given her shelter in their home as she re-established her life in Christ. This had angered the "high priest" and he had issued a proclamation to sacrifice her on October 31st. (This does not hold to normal satanic rituals where a virgin is considered a greater sacrifice.)
The power of the Cross and the power of the Most High God are much more powerful than any fear or deception that the enemy could drum up!
And that my friend is my story and why I feel the way I do about celebrating the pagan holiday.
How do I celebrate October 31st?
By sharing the love of Jesus through Kid's Fest at our church.
By sharing the gospel message through a week long crusade ending with Trunk or Treat on Saturday and family services on Sunday.
We do our best to glorify the life, message and hope of Jesus Christ, and to present the freedom and love He has to offer.
Do I condemn those who have fun with Halloween?
Do I think it is a "sin" to dress up like witches and ghosts and glorify death in yard decorations?
No- but I do think that once someone knows the truth and understands the deception of the enemy, that it would be hard to look those things in the same way.
Okay, this post is way too long, but I hope I have shared my heart!
This is the Day the Lord has made; let US rejoice and be glad in it!