Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Celebrate Or Not

Here we are again, the end of October and the question to celebrate Halloween for Christians is always a big one.

When we first became Christians, I was not sure of what "the rule" was on celebrating Halloween (yeah people, I was a newbie).  I tried cutting us off from this celebration cold turkey, but when I did not have the answers when my children asked why, I felt a little silly and frankly I did not understand it well enough myself. So I modified my decorations and my selection of costumes. I threw out all the evil looking decorations and I replaced them with fall decorations that remain on my mantel until the Christmas decorations come out.  Then, I decided that if we dressed up as Dorothy and Scarecrow (from the Wizard of Oz), that would deter from the evil of Halloween.  It was not until recent years that I have really sat down and thought things through.  The following is what I came up with.

1. The origins of Halloween; do you know it?  (Please read up on this issue, I am going to be very brief).  In short, and I am paraphrasing from several sources, the Celtics, for as long as 2000 years ago, at the end of summer and at the end of the harvest season, the pagans would disguise themselves as evil spirits so that the head-honcho evil spirit would not take them.  Then in about 731 AD, the Catholic church came up with a day to honor saints, to sort of make up, or contradict the pagan holiday.  This was the first time the celebration was not to honor evil spirits, but to honor the dead, saints and martyrs through a church sanctioned "Halloween."  Through the centuries, this holiday has lost much of its power and grip from honoring evil spirits, which the Celtic pagans did, to the commercialized celebration it is today in the American culture.  Many people today, do not realize what a strong, powerful, and sacrificial this pagan holiday use to be centuries ago.  They do it all in fun and games.  Now, let's ponder the following.

2. Why would Christians not celebrate after knowing that it is not the intent today?  The simplest reason I will give to this question is this, but please read to the end.  We live in America, where we are free to choose to live our lives as we please.  Why must Christians who do not believe in celebrating Halloween be questioned, but yet people who choose not to celebrate Christmas are not?  After all, Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior is more than enough reason for anyone to celebrate, it is written, and yet there are people who choose not to.  There is nothing in Scripture that states Halloween  is a holiday.  Why is it that people can display evil and scary cemeteries on their front lawn and public places, but we are questioned when we want to display a Nativity scene?  As much right as anyone has to celebrate anything, it is part of the Christians right to celebrate, or not, when it comes to Halloween, or anything else for that matter.

3.  We Are Free.  Now that you have an idea of the origin of Halloween, and even the celebrations afterwards of the Roman Catholic Church, its pagan and sacrificial roots, we have the knowledge and should have the power to reject it, if we choose to.  On the other hand, we have to remember that the Lord Jesus Christ came to free us from everything, including a past with a history.  If a Christian decides to participate (not even celebrate, because, come on... Halloween a holiday, really?  Why don't we have it as a paid holiday?) in these events, we do so because the blood of Jesus Christ covers us, and it promises that we are free from fear, sadness, disease, attachment to the past...we are free to proclaim His greatness, His word, His gospel!  He knows our hearts.  He sees who is first and foremost in our lives.  And if you place Him first and foremost in your life, the Holy Spirit will convict you of making the wrong decision.  This time of year is no different from any other day for Christians.  It is no different if a Christian went to a gathering (not Halloween) got drunk, and acted ungodly on any other day.  Whether you have a costume on or not, your conduct should always reflect what your life is all about.  The Lord does not care what you wear on the outside, but it is your heart He is after.  Guide your thoughts and actions, for it is a reflection of your relationship with the Lord.

So, whether you are a Christian who participates in the fun just for the fun of it, or if you are a Christian who does not participate in any of it, do it in a manner that honors the Lord. We neither criticize nor we indulge in ungodly behavior.  We thank the Lord for making all things new, through Jesus Christ.

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