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Friday, October 1, 2010

October

I love October. My brother and I were both born in October (thanks for the consistency Mom and Dad). Leaves change color in October (except in Florida...they go from green straight to brown sometime in December-ish). My brother in law is getting married in October (Yay Kirk and Maura). The weather stops being so hot in October (sometimes). Fishing on the Big O and other lakes usually picks up a little in October. You can start thinking about jackets in October (unless you live in Florida...especially South Florida). Football is in full swing in October...high school, college, and the NFL. Baseball playoffs are rocking and rolling in October. Hockey and Basketball start in October. Pumpkin patches, weird looking gourdes, and harvesty type stuff break out in October. Cinnamon is more often smelled in October. Tons of fresh veggies are harvested in October. There are a lot of fun festivals that traditionally happen in October. I love October.

Halloween happens in October. It is a lot of fun. I love dressing up and pretending to be something. My mom used to make costumes for my brother and I. Some were cool (Batman and Robin). Some were not (Butterfly and Octopus...c'mon mom). I love getting free candy...bobbing for apples...and laughing with friends.

I've been really wrestling with Halloween for a good number of years now. I grew up having a blast doing it, and I'm not blaming for parents for secretly instilling evil into my little finite mind. I think we went about it innocently and had a great time.

Here's where I struggle...I can't get past this question: "What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" I've really thought through, researched, paid careful attention, asked that same question to several people over the past few years, and here's what I've come up with: Nothing. I haven't found anything about how Halloween is celebrated that honors Christ and I've looked/searched pretty hard.

Here's what I have found relating to Halloween without much effort:
  • Ads for scary movies shown all throughout the day during "family friendly programming" that make my kids not be able to go to sleep, have terrible nightmares, and come crying and terrified to my wife and I...and this is with them purposefully turning the channel and/or turning away almost immediately so they don't have to watch
  • An excuse to get drunk
  • A multi-week celebration at Universal Studios where devout Christ followers go and purposefully spend their money to support an organization that pushes the two above mentioned things. The only defense I've heard when I've asked Christians about why they go to something so gorey and alcohol-filled is "to have a good time."
  • An excuse to represent sexual immorality with inappropriate costumes and often partake in sexual immorality
  • Celebration of death, killing, fear, hell, demons, etc.
  • Razor blades hidden in chocolate candy...okay, this is a little extreme and extremely dated... back to the 80s I think...however it did happen. What was up with those few losers anyway?
I'm not trying to be a killjoy. If you know me you know laughing and fun are some of the things I treasure most. However, more important than those things in my life is reflecting the attitude of Christ.

Christ came to bring life. He conquered Satan and death. He is light...not darkness. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. In the middle of challenging us to live as children of light, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:27 not to give the devil a foothold...zero space...no focus or acknowledgement.

It just seems pretty obvious what Halloween stands for today, and what Christ stands for always. The two don't seem to mix at all.

Consider Paul's challenge to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, "...set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." and then again in 2Timothy 2:22, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

I understand if you disagree with me and want to go to bat in defense of Halloween. A part of me is saddened as I think back about wearing my cool robot costume and getting free candy. It's hard to avoid Halloween...it surrounds us and can still be a lot of fun. I'm just asking you to consider the question I can't get past, ""What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" If you can find something please let me know. As you seek to answer that question, pursue Christ in all you do. Don't stop letting His light shine just to have a little fun.

I still love October :) Stay strong!

2 comments:

  1. I feel that Halloween is fantasy... no different than Harry Potter, or for that matter, The Chronicles of Narnia which was written by one of the most influential Christians of all time. I believe everything under the sun was made for our enjoyment (Ecclesiastes 8:15), as were the minds of the people who came up with the idea of scaring people because of the adrenaline that it draws. When I think of Halloween and go to Halloween Horror Nights, I feel God no less in those times than I do any other times, because I rejoice and worship in the act of getting scared and enjoying life while doing it. With that being said, I think it can go too far sometimes and I understand many of your qualms with Halloween. I just stay out of anything that hurts my spirit (the excessive drinking, sex, inappropriate costumes, actual witchcraft and things that involve demons, etc.). Everything else I consider fantasy, fiction, and all in good fun. And as far as supporting an organization that promotes some immorality, what about NFL and Nascar? I would say that there is no more excessive drinking at a sporting event than there is at Halloween Horror Nights. I think because we pay for the enjoyment of the event, doesn't mean we support the sin that goes on there. Anyways, that is my two cents... and I believe it's subjective. If it makes someone's spirit uneasy, well goodness, they should stay away from it! Also, it is nice to get an otherworldly perspective from it and I always enjoy reading your writings, Tim! :)

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  2. I agree with you, Tim! It does not honor God in any way whatsoever, and if you research Halloween back to it's roots, it's completely a pagan holiday. My perspective has changed tremendously about Halloween. When I was a child, my parents made it as innocent as possible for us and I have great memories from it. But I do believe that Halloween does, in fact, open many demonic doors. I, personally, take no part in Halloween at all. I love October too, it's such a beautiful month. I like the idea of "Fall Festivals" in place of Halloween. You know, hay rides, candy apples, candy in general, fun games....just good clean fun without being scared or including any of the evil and scary things. I think as Christians, it's important to set ourselves apart from the traditional ways of Halloween and not give Satan, demons, or any other wicked force any recognition, even with the right intentions. Thanks for sharing this! Great topic!

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