Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

An Open Comment About Halloween etc...

Some years back, John and I were discussing Halloween with our friend, Terry (he is of Mexican descent). I told them how, when I was a kid, my mother would never “buy” me a costume. I had to make up my own costume by finding things around the house. That meant I could be one of two things: a “Hobo” … or a “Mexican.” John and Terry laughed so hard when I told them this. Terry asked, “What’s a ‘Mexican’?” Well, I explained to them: we had a big sombrero in the basement, and my older sisters had owned these large ponchos … so I was a “Mexican” on many Halloweens and I always had a lot of fun. I loved Halloween as a kid!

Fast forward to the future … I find it ironic that I am now, in effect, defending a Christian’s liberty to participate in trick or treating with their children … because now … I really hate Halloween! I am always so glad when it is over. I can’t stand the fact that it is advertised in September! I can’t stand the way adults have started celebrating it, and the lewd, ridiculous ways in which they behave. I think unbelievers who are of the party variety take advantage of this time to get real naughty. The lascivious, drunken way they get is wicked and “worldly”.

What I am addressing in the previous posts are the ambiguous items ... that are not inherently sinful: the simple trick-or-treating of young children and their Halloween parties at school, carving a pumpkin, decorating a Christmas tree, etc... The other stuff that I mentioned above is worldly and sinful no matter what day it is done on!

Next Post: What is "Worldliness" part 3 (no more Holiday talk!)

If you want to read a good article about Christians and Halloween click here. (Thanks to JRush for referencing that article on his blog.)

12 Comments:

  • Hey! Rock and Roll was of the Devil at one time in the Christian Community so these things run their course and adapt to popular opinion with whatever the sway is. We must Remember Romans 14 in light of all this. As the text says: Not all have this knowledge though.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/26/2005 10:29 PM  

  • Utilitarian ethics scare me . . . ;). Nice post, I would like to say more, but I am short on time.

    Thanks for visiting my site, Theologia Crucis, sorry I didn't get back to you; I had moderation mode turned on and didn't realize I had any comments. I've taken care of that problem, and my comments work fine now. Talk to you later.

    By Anonymous Bobby Grow, at 10/27/2005 1:10 AM  

  • Rose, excellent post.

    You know, there was a professor in a seminary who was really concerned about preserving Christian liberty and especially the gospel -- that we are justified by what Christ has done and not by what we do. There we several occasions when someone would comment to the professor that Christians wouldn't do certain things. One of those things was Christians don't smoke. At that moment, the professor would pull out a pack of cigarettes, light up, and puff smoke into the other person's face.

    Why did this professor do this? He was jealous to preserve the gospel -- that we are justified though faith alone and not from our works.

    I think with Halloween, it is becoming incumbent upon Christians to participate in it because the gospel principle needs to be made clear. We are justified by Christ's perfect life and death on the cross, not by how we practice and behave in our lives.

    Will you sin if you participate in Halloween? Perhaps so, because we sin in all that we do. Luther wrote this: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world."

    Luther is not saying we are to go sin so that God's grace may abound, but that no matter what we do we will sin, but Christ is the victor over that sin.

    Halloween is a time where we as Christians can demonstrate to the community we are not saved by our deeds -- but by faith in Christ alone for what He has done for us.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/27/2005 9:59 AM  

  • That sounds a little like borderline antinomianism. Are not Christians called to be holy in their conduct?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/27/2005 11:30 AM  

  • Bhedr, some people still think drums and electric guitars are of the devil - evil in and of themselves.

    Bobby, thanks for the visit.

    Earl, I hadn't really been thinking in that vein through this discussion, but you have some good points.

    Dyspraxic, you are good at challenging people and I respect that.


    I am looking forward to getting away from the discussion about holidays!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/27/2005 11:38 AM  

  • Dyspraxic, in a way I am pushing the envelope. I want to become all things to all people in the sense Paul said that in his epistles in order that some will come to know Christ.

    It means that I will do things that the Bible is not explicitly against in order to engage with other people and not put unneeded stumbling stones before them. I want them to know how demanding the law is and that in no way can anyone do what they should be doing. Then I want them to learn about the work Christ did in paying for their sin and giving them His righteousness. That is what will be hard for people to understand.

    Then as we delight in oour great salvation, we will want to serve God in any way we can. We will want to keep the ten commandments, not because we must, but out of gratitude.

    I fear Halloween clouds the issue of the gospel for our non-believing friends.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/27/2005 12:23 PM  

  • Possibly, but we do need to:

    1. Make plain the dangers of the Occult.
    2. Avoid compromising our witness with an inconsistent lifestyle.
    3. Ensure that our lifestyle is pleasing to God.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/27/2005 2:28 PM  

  • (poor Rose, here we're talking about Halloween and she wants to move on)...

    Agreed. Also, if my liberty in Christ (assuming I have a clear conscience) is a stumbling block to a Christian or non-Christian, then I will refrain from an activity (or at least not practice it in their view).

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/27/2005 4:21 PM  

  • I may have said it before, but it may bear repeating: I hate Halloween, but I love trick-or-treaters and try to be a good witness to them.

    My children participated in trick-or-treating, but understood the sinister side of Halloween and were able to separate it from the "just for fun" side.

    By Blogger Joe, at 10/27/2005 6:49 PM  

  • Let it be known that I do not agree with in your face ism in dealing with our liberties. It is not of love. Clearly Paul calls us to be sensitive to one another.

    I understand that you want to preserve the gospel, but you are inable to do it. All we can do is preach it. We must bear in love and not stir in spite. Also read Colossians. Consider love brother.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/27/2005 8:43 PM  

  • Joe~

    I like your perspective. If you're in the neghborhood on Reformation Day bring some iced tea. After the kid time, Rose and I are going to have cheese dip and watch the film Martin Luther.

    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/27/2005 11:25 PM  

  • Joe,
    Well put! You seem so balanced. I respect that about you. Thanks as always for the comment.

    Brian,
    Are you talking to Earl?

    John,
    Are you dressed up as a hillbilly? It is not halloween yet! ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/28/2005 7:57 AM  

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