Part 2: (Didn’t read the first installment? >>>click here<<<)
Are costumes, candy, and pumpkins an evil? Certainly not, but when you mix them up with day of halloween and see the historical significance of each in terms of what each represents, then you are as much as taking part in its practices, even if it is out of ignorance. For instance, the significance of ‘Trick or Treat’ and its origins: the Druids would go to homes in their community and ask the residents if they wanted a trick or treat. The treat was ‘paying’ homage to the Druids to keep from getting the trick which was sure and certain death.
Is a Christian’s participation in that day any different from attempting to serve two masters? According to Scripture we cannot. I do believe a lot of Christians participate in the day for lack of knowledge or simply not wanting to be under the Lordship of Christ. Even dabbling in the day with ‘supposed’ innocence sets one up to the influence of the occult.
Are we to trivialize Christianity and God in order to make ourselves feel better by participating in something that is at its core UN-Godly? Personally, I wouldn’t try to Christianize a pumpkin by carving a cross into it. It doesn’t make the pumpkin Christian, neither does the pumpkin ‘become’ evil by carving a scary face into it. A pumpkin is a pumpkin. However, it is the symbolism associated with it that is the root of what it represents. Across the generations we have taken ‘things’ and misrepresented them from the original intent (i.e. candy being the treat, as opposed to the Druid idea of treat). The repackaged form of today has been adopted as something harmless; it is ‘merely’ fun for the children. We were warned in Scripture from taking what was of ungodly origin and turning it around and making it Christian. It causes confusion, and God is not the author of confusion.
Some choose to use the evangelism argument as the mode for taking part in celebrating halloween. We can’t invite the Holy Spirit, who is the One who initiates the drawing of a lost soul to the Son, to participate in something that is not holy. But isn’t that what we are attempting to do when we try to ‘evangelize’ the traditions and customs that are at the core of halloween? The two cannot exist together; they are contrary.
I was working earlier this week with my daughter trying to explain pre-algebra and the steps to dealing with equations with variables. The equation is a true statement, but it is missing the values that confirm it as a true statement. Any old number cannot be placed into the equation to make it true; there is only one number to make it true, anything else leads to a false statement. If you take a false belief system, such as halloween, and then attempt to make it truth by mixing in a little Christianity it still leads to the wrong solution. Halloween is, I repeat, evil. Mixing in a little Christianity will not make it right, nor will it make it harmless. Holiness cannot be mixed with ungodliness. Just like oil and water, the two cannot be coalesced. Why try to make something false to be truth? It cannot be done.
The spiritual world is even truer than the physical world. There are so many things that happen in the spiritual that we in the physical world cannot see. What happens in the spiritual effects what happens in the physical. By the physical delving into the wrong side of the spiritual (even through ignorance and innocence), it opens the participant up to that which we, as Christians, should not take part in. Why go back to the ‘old’ ways when we have been redeemed? I’m not saying not to evangelize the lost during this time of year, by no means, but why intentionally immerse oneself into something that is far better to stay away from? Christians should not attempt to mix the two.
The world knows what halloween represents. What do we see in the stores at this time of year in terms of halloween? Cobwebs, spiders, witches, ghosts, goblins, gore and more gore. Isn’t it represented by gore and all things creepy…that is its heart, is it not? The world knows what is being glorified, but yet we want to twist it around, shake a little of goodness on it hoping that it is repackaged in some way, but when you take the ‘repackaged’ frills off, you still have the same thing—halloween.
When someone goes by a church participating in alternative activities, they basically see no difference between it and a secular fall festival, except hopefully minus the gore. From the outside, has the church represented itself as anything different from the world? Most just think it’s just one more place to get free candy! God forbid!
In Romans 12:2, Paul wrote to the church at Rome (Amplified): “Do not be conformed to the spirit of this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapting to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewing of your mind (by its new ideas and its new attitude), so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Packs a punch, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I want to stand before a Holy God one day and know that I can stand there knowing full well that I resisted conformity with the world. I’m a work in progress, just as you are, but it is important that I (and you) heed God’s Word. He isn’t trying to keep us from things, but He is trying to protect us. Paul even writes in 1 Cor. 10:23 that “All things are legitimate (permissible), [and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” In 1 Cor. 6:12 ends similar to 1 Cor. 10:23 with: “Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.” Isn’t it reasonable to assume that we should just stay away from certain practices and customs of the pagan world we live in? By accepting a few things and coming under its power, we are more susceptible to the lure of its pull, which will lead to conformity with things that do nothing to uplift or edify us, nor God. For people without Christ the things of this world seem natural, but the things of this world should not seem natural to a Christ follower.
Look at John 17, Christ prayed to the Father before His crucifixion for our protection from the things of this world. We are to be in the world, but not of it. Taking the worldly and attempting to make it Godly doesn’t work. Christ didn’t like the ‘church’ appearing like the world and neither should we. As Christians we should stand for Truth and not conform to the world.
(Standby for tomorrow’s final part in this 3 part series. Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s entry: When the priests went to cleanse themselves, in order to be considered sanctified and deemed acceptable before a Holy God, they had to look at themselves in the reflected surface of the bronze basin. Their reflection in the basin’s shallows was a reminder to them to cleanse their hearts before approaching God in service. He required an inner cleansing which is the most important part of the cleansing experience. Hope your curiosity is tweaked. I look forward to having you join me. )