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Monday, October 29, 2007

Christian Halloween?

Well, it is nearly Halloween. I can tell by the Christmas music blaring in the major retailers where I shop. It's that tradition where we gorge our children on candy, engage in silly fantasies and dress up. Once, my wife and I went to a Halloween party --- given by my boss. My wife made our costumes, because they had to be killer costumes. We went as crayons. Can you just imagine, me dressed up like a red crayon! It was a sight to behold. No more. I think before I die now, I shall never, ever dress up for Halloween again --- much less as a red crayon. But I digress.

I'm mindful of Halloween and Christians. You can type in Christian Halloween or the History of Halloween on the Internet and get all sorts of interesting reading about how Halloween is or isn't really focused on the evil underworld. Once our Children's Pastor was going to let the kids wear their Halloween costumes to Sunday School. I thought our Senior Pastor was going to have a nervous breakdown. His message was clear: Halloween is not for Christians! I think he was right. I have often wondered why he didn't just tell us that Halloween is not for Christians.

The other holidays that we celebrate, all seem to be about something specific and tangible. New Year's Day celebrates the new beginning. Valentine's Day celebrates our significant other. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ --- proving that He indeed is the Messiah. (Could there be a bigger holiday?) Memorial Day honors the fallen heroes who defend our freedom. July 4th celebrates our freedom. Labor Day honors the work ethic. Thanksgiving allows us to pause and celebrate how richly God has blessed us. And Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the biggest gift God has ever given anyone ever.

Those holidays all make sense to me. But Halloween? What does it celebrate? I honestly don't know whether it's of evil or not. I'm not sure I need to know that. I do know that it doesn't make sense to me. I do see that it doesn't seem to line up with Philippians 4:8 (which tells us what to focus our energies on). It says, "... whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]." - Philippians 4:8 So I look at this and I understand this is what God wants us to spend our time and attention on. I think the other American holidays fit that bill. I have trouble seeing Halloween in the same light.

I was walking through Wal-Mart today, thinking about how I'd been reading (in my Bible) about the antichrist build-up and how it dilutes and conceals the truth of Christ. The Bible tells us that even the things of God will become watered down so that we hardly pay them any attention. I wondered if that's what has happened to the birth of the Messiah --- in Wal-Mart. Certainly we have lost the sensation of the supernatural. The wonderful, miraculous gift seems all but obscured in the plethora of Christmas crap choking the aisles at Wal-Mart. One hardly has to wonder if the Wal-Mart executives (or the Home Depot or other big retail executives) might have called a special meeting to ponder the question, "An important anniversary is coming, of the birth of the Messiah, God's greatest gift to mankind ever. What shall we as an organization to do honor this wonderful occasion?" I know, it's laughable. But it is clear that the antichrist has succeeded in watering down Christmas so that even the non-Christians can celebrate it --- and the Christians can overlook it. Wasn't that the purpose of evil in the first place?

So it occurs to me that perhaps the same thing has happened to Halloween. Perhaps it was evil, and has no redeeming roots whatsoever. Perhaps it was totally offensive to God in centuries past. But if that is the case, then it has been watered down so that even the Christians can celebrate it --- and the non-Christians can overlook it. Isn't that the purpose of evil anyway --- to blur the lines between right and wrong, good and evil --- so that those who don't care can accept it and those who do care can overlook it? Christian or not, if you ask me, Halloween is looking a whole like Christmas. Perhaps they can start selling Halloween candy at 4th of July events!

P.S. My son is dressing up as a rapper this year. My wife asked if I would dress up too. I told her I'm going as Rip Van Winkle --- so just leave the candy by my bedside!

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