Halloween: Worldly or Godly Pleasures (10.26.12)
Luke 8,14: "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
Psalm 37,4: "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 111,2: "The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them."
We're deep into the yearly silly season of "Halloween", an ever expanding commercial juggernaut, only now rivalled by Christmas.
And good parents all over the good old U.S.A. are being tested as to how to deal with this cultural behemoth.
Halloween was originally a Christian religious holy-day (All Hallows Eve, the eve of all Saints in the Roman church).
It had the huge historical task of "Christianizing" the pre-existing worldy feast of the Celtic god of the Dead, "Samhain" (November).
It also marked the day begining the darker half of the year, when the souls of the dead were thought to be allowed to come back into this world and communicate with the living. (Wikipedia "Samhain" quoting "Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology", Info Base Publishing, 2004, p. 41. Please Note Judeo-Christian scripture forbids communicating with the dead).
I think it is fair to say that these worldly aspects of "Halloween" have proved to be more popular that the Christian religious aspects.
Have a little fun.
Have a little masquerade ball.
Have a little horror film, a trip to the local "fun" house.
And as the story goes, the dressing up ("guising" Ibid) in death themed costumes was part of the Samhain festival's trick or treating, though apparently nobody is too sure if this costumed trick or treating was for protection of the costumed folks, or for better sporting the flavor of the festival.
And so today "Spirit" shops pop up everywhere selling all manner of deathly costumes: zombies, witches, devils, skeletons, ghosts, Freddy Krueger masks, and all the rest.
You don't have to be a tithing, three day a week member of the First Holiness Tabernacle to realize that such "fun" also signals "danger, danger."
All you have to be is a parent.
And by the way who is against a little fun?
Not us Christians. Not the word of God. Not God Himself.
If it's Godly fun. If it's truly re-creation even God's Spirit can be involved. If it's life giving, and respects the Spiritual image and likeness of Him in which each of us was made.
But as to Halloween- they are your kids- and what do I know?
However, consider this hypothetical example.
Say your freshman son is on the high school team.
And the NFL decides that the game needs more young viewers. So to get the kids away from the gameboys and x-boxes, it decides that every team will be required to play a freshman high school player for the whole second half of all the games on the fourth Sunday in October.
And the Commissioner calls you and says "we've got a uniform already made for your son, and he's our choice."
Not my kid!
Yet you are OK with some darkside costume and darkside activity on Halloween?
We can do what we want this Halloween. But whether we know him or not, Jesus came to bring life and light into a dark world, and he wants to help you protect your children from all darkness.
If you are struggling as a parent as to how to "celebrate" Halloween, praise God! This means you are awake. It means your spirit is still alive.
I'd suggest rather than being tempted to go along with the spirit of the season, that you play it safe, and seek out some wholesome activity in your town, or even a church activity, or with your family at home, that doesn't include the darkside at all.
Your kids might not think this is the most fun or cool thing now.
But in time your choice will bear fruit and life, and yes even pleasure for you and them, in that you have pleased God with your choices.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...