Is it Settling for Less?

23 Oct

I must confess I am a bit confused lately. No, I’m not getting senile or suffering from the effects of lack of sleep, although with a four year old I could afford some more sleep. I am confused by what I am hearing and seeing in my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Specifically how they are dealing with Halloween. Let me begin by saying I am thoroughly familiar with the varied Christian stances on the holidays including Easter, Christmas, Valentines day, etc. I am not going to debate whether Christians should celebrate these varied holidays. My family celebrates the Resurrection, the birth of Jesus and a day to express our love one for another, oh and some great food. We used to celebrate Fall and the Celebration of Harvest at the end of October.  I phrase it that way purposely because Halloween has changed so much from when I was a child that I don’t want to even refer to it as the same name. When I was a child I have very clear memories of hay bales, stalks of corn, fall leaves, dressing up as various characters like a hobo (Vaseline on the face and coffee grounds stuck to it for the beard), superman, a Knight in shining armor, a fireman, one year dressing up like an old grey haired lady, having smiling pumpkins decorating every yard, yummy candy (that lasted about a week at most) etc.,, etc. Gradually it began to get a bit darker with a few Frankensteins, maybe a headless horseman or two. Then it began to include Freddy Kruger, demons, lots of knives and blood, and more and more violent, evil and darkness. It really doesn’t reflect much at all of what I remember as a child.

When I walk into a store now and walk past teh Halloween section, I have to look hard to see much that would be referred to as innocent and cute. Maybe a few princess costumes for girls. A spiderman costume for boys. Even teh adult costumes look more like a clothing shop for a porn movie or a clothes store fro street walkers.

I will admit I am a bit more sensitive to it with raising a 4 year old and trying to at least limit the exposure to this stuff. But I am just confused by the things I hear from my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

How do you respond to verses like Psalm 101:3-4 “3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. 4 Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. ??

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”17Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg with these verses. It is difficult for me to rationalize going to Houses of Horror and Fright Festivals and being entertained by them and “having fun.” I remember when my son was two and the woman who attended our church who was watching our son was allowing her 4 year old to chase my son around the house wearing a very scary Devil mask. I was appalled and as calmly as I could, asked her why she was allowing him to do that and her reply was, “It’s just pretend and innocent play.” To which I replied, “No. Satan is very real and is my enemy. It would be like me chasing your children around the house dressed like the person in your life that has most hurt you and your family.” The things that are all encompassing about Halloween are way too real and realistic to be entertaining to someone that knows the Love of God and lives for Him. I am not judging any of you that read this and perceive that I am referring to you. I am not going to say that you are such a great sinner and how can you call yourself a Christian. I am saying that I believe we all must ask questions about what we are perhaps a bit to “used to” or that we rationalize away as just innocent and pretend. If you can celebrate and make it more like the Harvest and celebrations we used to have, more power to you and enjoy. I just find it too difficult to avoid the total degradation of the holiday into a celebration of evil darkness and things contrary to that which is pure and Holy.

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One Response to “Is it Settling for Less?”

  1. Timothy October 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM #

    Well, your blog is about as frequent as mine, so there!

    Regarding the above well-considered and well-referenced entry, I do tend to agree that things “Halloween” have sunk to a level where I just can’t pass it off (in serious conversation) as “just fun”. Sure, to the kids (okay, many kids) it is just that. And I certainly think it was mostly “just that” when we both donned our capes and other assorted gear d’season. But ignorance is not innocence, and superstition is a paltry religion.

    It is sad that the evangelical church, or at least those that do try to hold the true line against the darkness, still must drum up something “better” to replace this ancient pagan practice (much commercialized, to be sure). And while my own twin 7-yr-olds will be attending quite the Harvest Part (Cartoonapalooza they are calling it), I’d rather this event be “just because it’s harvest time” and not “because it’s Halloween”. But I will say that I’d much prefer it to the “hiding in the shadows” approach we often took when the kids were too young to quite understand—where we more or less just ignored the relative few that came to our door. To do so now would be much harder, and, to be sure, my kids really want to “join in the fun”—a problem made somewhat more acute by their recent exposure to schoolmates, in their first-ever year of public school. This Friday is “dress up day”, and of course they will—though nothing ghoulish is allowed, and the school, though public, is highly Christian in its intent. I’m sure they feel as much trapped in the melodrama as we parents.
    So, we carry on because we must, and because we await a “better home”, a “city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10).

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