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A Seeker
Sep 14th 2007, 07:34 AM
Its that time of year again. The gift shops are losing all the teddy bears and bunnies and the shelves are filling with horror masks grotesque outfits and pitchforks.

I HATE this time of year with immoderate venom unusual in a liberal lefty like myself. It seems a celebration of everything negative, base and evil. Worse it is so obviously "for the kids".

When two surly 15 year olds turn up on the doorstep a week before the day wearing a plastic mask each it is easy to turn them away. However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

How do people handle this one and the season in general.

Steven3
Sep 14th 2007, 08:22 AM
Hi A Seeker
My two pence :2cents:, from the other side of the Atlantic.

When I was a boy we'd never heard of Halloween (in the UK), we used to look forward to Bonfire Night on November 5th and make a "Guy" (not "guy", Guido Fawkes, executed 1606) stuffed with straw and wheel him around collecting old wood, and occasionally pennies. The village would start piling up a bonfire on the rugby field about a month before to let the wood dry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night

As a boy I never heard that this was an anti-Catholic act, we had no idea he was a Catholic, and besides, in popular eyes Guy Fawkes was always viewed as a kind of antihero for having tried to blow up Parliament, not as a terrorist. Oddly, Guy Fawkes was not actually burnt, as most people think, since burning was a kinder punishment reserved for religious criminals (such as Baptists, Arians and witches), wheras the punishment for treason was to be hung (to within an inch of death) then "drawn" alive and quartered. Fawkes committed suicide by jumping from the scaffold before they could get to work on him.

Unfortunately today due to fire-safety concerns (and injuries from kids throwing 'sparklers', or going back to lit fountain candles), and the omnipresence now of American TV shows (not that I'm at all patriotic, the Christian's citizenship is from heaven), plus the not very PC aspect of burning an effigy of a Catholic... er hmm, the UK seems to have been converted to Halloween. :(

Anyway. I don't see what's to like in Halloween, sugar instead of bangers-and-mash and roast chestnuts, "trick or treat" instead of "penny for the Guy", phhh. And all the commercialism...

Plus as a Christian what's this teaching?
God bless
Steven

Ninna
Sep 14th 2007, 11:39 AM
If you do a search on this topic, you will find it has been discussed and debated numerous times on this board - not always with good results.

Keep the topic within the purpose of Apologetics and Evangelism and we can have a good discussion.:)

A Seeker
Sep 14th 2007, 11:53 AM
:rofl:

Thanks for the run down steven but i live in maidstone! I was born in pembury and have lived in either kent or sussex my whole life.

You were obviously a boy a longer time ago than me. I can remember looking forward to both as a kid. I went to lewes fireworks when i was a student when they were still carting burning oil drums through the high street and chucking fireworks around. Great fun. Happier days before you had to stand behind a rope 2.49 km away from a man in an asbestos overall lighting a firework the size of your thumb. Which goes fzzzt. And we all say oooooooo, aaaaaaaaa etc. It greives me that a whole generation of kids will never experiance the simple joy of sticking a banger in a hollowed apple, lighting it and running like heck!

Still the phone box thing is out of hand!

Interestingly the idea of celebrating the torture and gruesome death of a 17th century terrorist seems morally fine to me. I'll definatly be going to the local Bonfire party and will have words to say if there is no guy to symbolise the robust ethics of our forefathers and their rough and tumble approach to crime and punishment.Its the 5 year old wearing a sheet with a couple of holes cut in it asking for a lollipop which i object to.:hmm: Sounds odd put like that.

Anyway, thanks again for the insight.

PS
Would'nt want to be hung or quartered but i've never understood what was so bad about being drawn. I mean the queen has a portrait done every year and you don't hear her complaining!;):rolleyes:

judi<>><
Sep 14th 2007, 12:04 PM
Within the purposes of Apologetics and Evangelism? Okay, then....

My husband is a youth pastor. Can you imagine the discussions that went on in our home?

Hallowe'en is actually short for "All Hallows Eve" and is the day before All Saints Day. When my children were small, we served a church that had an "All Saints" party. Children did dress in costume, but their costumes had to be one of three things -- "saints" of the church (famous christians), biblical characters, or something they wanted to be when they grew up. My daughter went her first year as Queen Esther (what little girl wouldn't want to be queen) and her last year as an interior decorator. My son went one year as Daniel, and another as Josiah, the boy king.

The kicker was -- you needed to memorize a Bible verse or famous quote for whatever character you chose. So, many of the children learned Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."

At home, our pumpkins were carved with hearts and crosses. The children painted smiling faces on smaller ones. One year, Pastor John (that's my DH) did a pumpkin carving in church for children's time (heart) telling about how christians are like "Jesus o'lanterns (http://www.childrensministry.com/article.asp?ID=492)." And our candy packets usually included candy corn or a small candy bar bagged up with a Christian tract (Christian bookstores are a good place to find this).

At church, youth group time usually included a lesson around Hallowe'en about the roots of it, the reality of the spiritual realm, and the "spiritual forces, principalities and powers" against which Christian struggle in their daily lives....

A Seeker
Sep 14th 2007, 12:08 PM
Ok. I've just read some of the other halloween threads. I did'nt realise i was opening such a can of worms!

So we will tread carefully.

I will say that i suspect that its rather different over US side than it is over here. We don't tend to dress up as fish, spacemen, GI's or anything like that. De rigeur is witches, ghosts, horror masks (some of which are really gross) zombies, vampires etc. The common factor is that they have to be scary. From what i read it sounds more like a giant outdoor street fancy dress party over there! Sounds fun!

There was one i saw last year which was a scream mask plus robe with a little pump so when the objectionable little whatname pumped his little squeeze bulb fake blood ran down the mask. It was genuinely nasty.

So if you enjoy a harmless bit of fun with your kids dressed up as wombles please don't be offended by my first post. I just hate having to watch TV in the conservatory at the back of the house with the lights turned off pretending to be out.

Steven3
Sep 14th 2007, 12:17 PM
Hello fellow Brit
Thanks for the run down steven but i live in maidstone! I was born in pembury and have lived in either kent or sussex my whole life.Who'd have thought :lol:, I saw Location: Near to God, but altogether too far from Godliness!, and naturally thought... well.. :D
You were obviously a boy a longer time ago than me.No comment!!
Would'nt want to be hung or quartered but i've never understood what was so bad about being drawn. I mean the queen has a portrait done every year and you don't hear her complaining!;):rolleyes:Have you seen some of the recent ones, oouiihh.. ;)
s

A Seeker
Sep 14th 2007, 12:21 PM
Have you seen some of the recent ones, oouiihh.. ;)



Yer' not wrong.

They say the camera adds 20 pounds. Some of those painbrushes add 30 years. And i think its faintly unpatrotic for her Mag to be painted as a less green version of Yoda.

A Seeker
Sep 14th 2007, 12:23 PM
Children did dress in costume, but their costumes had to be one of three things -- "saints" of the church (famous christians), biblical characters, or something they wanted to be when they grew up. My daughter went her first year as Queen Esther (what little girl wouldn't want to be queen) and her last year as an interior decorator. My son went one year as Daniel, and another as Josiah, the boy king.


I love it! Satan hijacks our festivals so....

To be honest i can't see a problem with costumes, its the horror element i don't like.

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 12:41 PM
Its that time of year again. The gift shops are losing all the teddy bears and bunnies and the shelves are filling with horror masks grotesque outfits and pitchforks.

I HATE this time of year with immoderate venom unusual in a liberal lefty like myself. It seems a celebration of everything negative, base and evil. Worse it is so obviously "for the kids".

When two surly 15 year olds turn up on the doorstep a week before the day wearing a plastic mask each it is easy to turn them away. However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

How do people handle this one and the season in general.


Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.

Paul_born_again
Sep 14th 2007, 01:30 PM
Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.

Awesome!

A simplified idea along the same lines is this: give out the best treats in your entire neighborhood (you know, not those peanuts-in-a-bag that some people give ;) ). Taped to each treat's wrapper, tape a great Bible tract that is aimed towards kids (something like this (http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=230&Category_Code=WOTM-TRACT))
(Make sure to tape it with strong tape and don't staple it - anything with a sharp metel spike in it will be thrown out - rightfully so).

Turn this opportunity into a way to spread the message through generosity, instead of making the kids think "that's that crazy christian who lives in that house that never gives out candy. I don't want to grow up to be like him!".

JoyInHim
Sep 14th 2007, 02:43 PM
Jesus went to the 'festival of light' which was a 'holiday' not ordained by God, but customary. He also attended a wedding celebration (Pagan origens aplenty), and even provided the wine.

Now, these festivals I cannot compare to Halloween, but some groups of people used to honor Saints who have gone before us, without all the demonic garbage.

So, what would Jesus do if laughing, excited children showed up on His doorstep expecting a customary treat?

Leave the oil lamp off and go see a movie? Go to the temple for a 'harvest' event instead? Ignore them? Hand out tracts instead of candy?

No, I truly believe that He'd be out on a well lit door step radiating joy and laughter handing out the biggest, juiciest figs and dates in town. Just enjoying the joy of little ones and the visitors (regardless of the garb they wear), and being a Light where ever He happens to be placed.

So, that is what we'll be doing, imitating our best understanding of Christ. :rolleyes:




(but we -totally- understand believers who simply IGNORE it altogether, and go catch a movie! We simply feel that we are called to be a light to our neighbors - in our neighborhood, with so many children, it is an obvious rejection to be 'gone' on this night.)


However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

How do people handle this one and the season in general.

Vickilynn
Sep 14th 2007, 04:47 PM
Jesus went to the 'festival of light' which was a 'holiday' not ordained by God, but customary.

Shalom Joy,

Just to clarify, the "Festival of Light" that Jesus attended was a Biblical celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple. It is known now as Chanukah, but back then it was known and celebrated as the Feast of Dedication. It was based on the true Biblical victory of the Macabees in returning the Tempe to Jewish hands and cleansing it of pagan things and re-dedicating it to the L-rd.


http://christianactionforisrael.org/judeochr/hannxmas/lights.html
(1) Reason for Christian Interest
Q: Is there a Christian interest in the Festival of Hanukkah?


EDB: I have asked myself, Why are some Christians vitally interested in the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah? Perhaps the most obvious answer is that Jesus attended the Festival, as we may read in the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verses 22 and 23: "Then came the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade" (NIV)


The Feast of the Dedication' - Dedication' is the English translation of the Hebrew word Hanukkah'.

JoyInHim
Sep 14th 2007, 04:59 PM
Yes, but my understanding is that this was a man-made celebration feast day - not a God ordained one. Certainly not comparable to halloween, as I said earlier. My point was, Jesus partook in secular events (such as the wedding feast, which has pagan origins, and can be seen as 'secular' in some regards.)

Thank you for the additional historical information.
Shalom Joy,

Just to clarify, the "Festival of Light" that Jesus attended was a Biblical celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple. It is known now as Chanukah, but back then it was known and celebrated as the Feast of Dedication. It was based on the true Biblical victory of the Macabees in returning the Tempe to Jewish hands and cleansing it of pagan things and re-dedicating it to the L-rd.

Vickilynn
Sep 14th 2007, 05:33 PM
Yes, but my understanding is that this was a man-made celebration feast day - not a God ordained one. Certainly not comparable to halloween, as I said earlier. My point was, Jesus partook in secular events (such as the wedding feast, which has pagan origins, and can be seen as 'secular' in some regards.)

Thank you for the additional historical information.


Shalom Joy,

Just to be clear, The Feast of Dedication is not a secular event and has no pagan origins, that is my point.

I understand your point about Jesus attending secular events however, you included the "feast of lights" (aka The Feast of Dedication) to support your point and that is not an accurate inclusion and may confuse or mislead the readers.

The Feast of Dedication is a Biblical celebration of the victory of G-d and is far from being a secular event. Also, again, the Feast of Dedication has no pagan origins. So, while your point is made, to include the Feast of Dedication is not accurate to my understanding and it needed to be clarified and separated from those secular events you referred to.

JoyInHim
Sep 14th 2007, 05:52 PM
True, it is a 'religious' event. As opposed to non-religious. Christmas is a man-created 'religious' holiday, as well.

To many believers, at other times in history, All Saints Eve -was- also a 'religious' and (in their view) God honoring celebration. However, my point was not that we should 'christian-ize' a pagan or demonic celebration - merely, respond to children asking for candy (because they really do not care about more than fun and candy on Oct. 31) in kindness, joy, and love, and giving. The children, by and large, have nothing whatsoever to do with the 'demonic' aspect of Halloween. Even those in silly witch and devil costumes...they are just going with the flow to get candy!

However, is there any place in scripture you can point out, that I am unaware of, that indicates God Himself mandated this celebration, and that it is not a man-created event of celebration? My point should have stated, 'Jesus Himself attended man-created celebrations and holidays.'

Thanks Vickilynn - :hug:


I guess we better return to the topic - I led you on a bit of a bunny trail here!


Shalom Joy,

Just to be clear, The Feast of Dedication is not a secular event and has no pagan origins, that is my point.

I understand your point about Jesus attending secular events however, you included the "feast of lights" (aka The Feast of Dedication) to support your point and that is not an accurate inclusion and may confuse or mislead the readers.

The Feast of Dedication is a Biblical celebration of the victory of G-d and is far from being a secular event. Also, again, the Feast of Dedication has no pagan origins. So, while your point is made, to include the Feast of Dedication is not accurate to my understanding and it needed to be clarified and separated from those secular events you referred to.

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 12:22 AM
Shalom Joy,

There is a BIG difference in putting on costumes that glorify evil and the devil and celebrating G-d's victory and re-dedicating the Temple to Him.

I'm sorry, but the Biblical Feast of Dedication is not even comparable with Halloween. It is not a religious event, it is not a secular event and it has no pagan origins.

It purely and simply glorifies the G-d of the Bible and it is believed that Jesus Himself celebrated it. You cannot say that of Halloween or even Christmas. The Biblical Feast of Dedication does not belong in your list of examples IMHO.

JoyInHim
Sep 15th 2007, 12:35 AM
I agree. I said the feast of Lights and Halloween are not comparable holidays - in fact, this is the 3rd time in this thread, I have said they are both man-made holidays, and that is the only similarity they share.

I would totally agree - one holiday is good and right, the other had origins that are evil, though I'd suggest, the vast majority of people are celebrating 'costumes and candy.' Most of the families we know, saved or not, do not allow their children gory or evil costumes, and they are certainly not allowed in school.

I believe we are created with a desire to celebrate. Our family has many silly celebratory traditions simply for the fun of it, and they bind us together with special memories that only our 'team' share. It is the same with the 'team' in our neighborhood. to 'not' participate would appear as rejection to our neighbor children friends (we know from doing that a couple years.) we choose to participate, because it seems to be the very best way we can be a -good neighbor- on that night.

that we sometimes celebrate mundane or secular things (such as fun costumes and collecting candy in the night when usually kids must be in bed), seems okay to me, 'rejoice with those who rejoice.'

still....what would Jesus do, if He lived in this age, with this custom? Hide out? I'm not saying anything other than, I personally, think He wouldn't miss a chance to enjoy the children and their delight, and add to it Himself. I think He'd even go out of His way (skip church) to be there, for the kids' sake. :kiss: Just my view, from my knowledge of Him.

Now, if there are wiccans brewing up a cauldron over a fire and casting spells on Halloween night, no, I don't think that is the place to be. Huge difference from children in princess costumes asking for candy on my well lit, happily decorated doorstep.


.
Shalom Joy,

There is a BIG difference in putting on costumes that glorify evil and the devil and celebrating G-d's victory and re-dedicating the Temple to Him.

I'm sorry, but the Biblical Feast of Dedication is not even comparable with Halloween. It is not a religious event, it is not a secular event and it has no pagan origins.

It purely and simply glorifies the G-d of the Bible and it is believed that Jesus Himself celebrated it. You cannot say that of Halloween or even Christmas. The Biblical Feast of Dedication does not belong in your list of examples IMHO.

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 03:17 AM
still....what would Jesus do, if He lived in this age, with this custom?

Shalom Joy,

Since none of us know exactly what he would do, we can only theorize and offer opinion. You've offered yours, and I offer mine, as I know of Jesus and read His Word.

I believe He would NOT celebrate this evil holiday. I believe He would NOT skip church for goodness sake, and I believe He would not condone others doing it.

I believe He would react as He did in the Temple when He saw the moneychangers reducing His Father's house into a marketplace and taking away the sacred in place of the trappings of the world.

I believe He would turn over the tables filled with candies, plastic Jack O' Lanterns and packages of gummi bears.

I believe He would not hide out, but boldly be proclaiming the His truth to all those coming around celebrating this evil event.

I believe He would say :

John 15:18
18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Flutecrafter
Sep 15th 2007, 05:58 AM
Thank you Joy. :)

Both for reaching out to the little ones, and for making me smile at your
wiccan comment. :)
Cause you're right, there is a world of difference between using the
occasion for magik and a child skipping over to the neighbors for some goodies. :)

mark

JoyInHim
Sep 15th 2007, 12:04 PM
Vickilynn, I totally understand - and think most here will agree with you. I used to feel the same way. (We used to call Santa Claus 'Satan Claus,' too, lol.) :kiss:

Thank you mark - I know not all believers will agree with us, or have the faith to 'eat the meat of idols' in this regard. Let everyone be convinced in his own mind (Romans.) If you are convinced to avoid this night, by all means, you must follow your best understanding of what God intends for you to do. There are not specifics on how to handle Halloween in scripture.

We believe that Halloween is 95% about candy and fun....and of course there is the element of celebrating evil (which in some neighborhoods can take over. Our neighborhood is little children - about 200 of them!) Around here, you might see a purple bat, but pretty much the pumpkins are all smiling big silly grins, and the costumes are clowns and bunnies. Even our schools prohibit scary, evil or violent anything....Halloween around our local is not what it is in other areas. (Parents have knocked on doors when there is an evil looking decoration, and have asked for it to be removed.)

The day has evolved into a candy and costume day, for our the vast majority of local. Parents around here are far too concerned about political correctness, safety and their children - most of the children aren't allowed to have toy guns, even squirt guns for some of them.

We must obey God as He directs us, individually. For us, here, where He has placed us, it is a direct insult to our precious neighbors, to not participate. So, we have decided to participate in the most Light filled way we can (without placing Bibles in their bags :rolleyes:).

I should mention, our neighborhood also has an all afternoon Halloween party, where kids go through a 'haunted woods' (Dads making scary noises and floating fake ghosts and so on) and parade their costumes, play games, and get even more candy. While the children seem to really enjoy it....we have never quite found it 'convenient' (it is always on a Saturday) to attend. It is 'more' than we care to do, if you know what I mean?

Vickilynn, I certainly emphasize with your understanding of it all, I share your disdain for all things of the enemy, and I have felt that way in the past as well. I think the older I get, the more God allows me to be 'in' the world, and the less I feel 'of' it. Halloween is one of those examples.

I understand why you feel Jesus might react in the manner you guess - and agree, we can only guess (until the day!) I agree, He would express anger at adults who were trying to rip off the righteous (moneychangers). I disagree He would get angry at little 6 year olds who planned for weeks about which house they just had to get to...because that neighbor always has a kind word, a smile, and time for them. I want to be that neighbor.

So, what would Jesus have us do? We have five children, a fantastic international neighborhood (many children have never participated in Halloween and do it for the first time here). Our home is one of the best known (lots of action and kids and Bible studies) on the block. People know our name, from neighbors, that we've not yet met....they come to our door, knowing us before we've met. What would Jesus have us do?

Would it be a good witness to 'get angry' at this custom? My only experience is the 2 baptist families on my childhood block, who had dark porches on the most fun night of the year. It didn't leave a good witness to us, personally. We wondered about it, asked their kids, why they weren't allowed in on the fun...and we pitied them.

I see Jesus speaking with the woman at the well, a Samaritan whore. It wasn't acceptable for men to speak with women they didn't know, let alone a despised Samaritan. Jesus not only spoke to her, He engaged her in deep conversation, asked her questions...causing her to run off and evangelize the men in her town. He mingled with tax collectors, prostitutes, drunkards and filthy rough-talking fishermen. He placed Himself in places that others were in, doing their thing (the religious traditions, homes, wedding feasts, feast of lights, and so on.) He was -not- afraid to mingle and mix with people acting, speaking and living in vastly different ways than He did.

I want to be like that.

I don't believe Jesus would get angry at children or adoring parents who are simply trying to provide their children with the fun memories they have from halloween. I may be wrong. I hope to err on the side of Grace, in all ways - and I believe God blesses the intent of our heart....we have seen a difference in the way our neighbors relate to us, compared to the days we were 'too holy' to participate in things such as handing out candy bars on Oct. 31.

By the way Flutecrafter....because of my teen dd's williness to talk to anyone, anytime about the Lord.....I am more than proud to tell you, there is one less teen aged wiccan in our town now. :pp One mom at church heard me talking about my dd eating lunch with the wiccans in school, and she said, 'Aren't you concerned?' I smiled and said, 'Yeah! I'm concerned for the wiccans.' Go get 'em!


Thank you Joy. :)

Both for reaching out to the little ones, and for making me smile at your
wiccan comment. :)
Cause you're right, there is a world of difference between using the
occasion for magik and a child skipping over to the neighbors for some goodies. :)

mark

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 02:42 PM
Vickilynn, I totally understand - and think most here will agree with you. I used to feel the same way.

Shalom Joy,

That's pretty funny, 'cuz I used to believe like you do, that there was nothing wrong with celebrating Halloween as Christian, until the L-rd showed me that I was wrong and to change. Once He showed me the truth about what Halloween was REALLY about, (it's about evil, not candy) He insisted we have nothing to do with it.

We cannot witness TO the world, if we are participating in its evil.



Thank you mark - I know not all believers will agree with us, or have the faith to 'eat the meat of idols' in this regard. Let everyone be convinced in his own mind (Romans.) If you are convinced to avoid this night, by all means, you must follow your best understanding of what God intends for you to do. There are not specifics on how to handle Halloween in scripture. Just so you know, it has nothing to do with "faith", it has to do with obedience to the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. To intimate that those who choose to abstain from celebrating evil do not have as much "faith" as you, is not what Romans 14 says at all.

In fact, as I GREW in my faith and desired to walk closer to Yeshua, and more like Him, we stopped glorifying evil and we countered it with the Scriptures.

And if you scroll down in Romans 14, it says quite clearly that if what you do offends your brother or makes him stumble, it is wrong to continue to do what makes him stumble. It's not about ourselves or our "rights", but the needs of others.

I think that some people think Halloween is about candy and fun, but it is not. It IS about evil and glorifying it.

There is more behind this evil day than costumes. I encourage every Christian to actually read up on it and decide if they wish to celebrate this anti-Christian holy day.


Vickilynn, I certainly emphasize with your understanding of it all, I share your disdain for all things of the enemy,Joy, actually, you don't really understand, based on your reply, but that is fine. You do as you are led. However, I do not believe you are helping anyone by promoting that Halloween is benign for a Christian. It's not.

Also, I never once said that we should hide or get angry at those people celebrating Halloween, so again, you truly do NOT understand where I am coming from on this issue.

I AM saying that we cannot witness to a dying world steeped in bondage and sin when we walk in that same evil and look no different. Jesus did not say to go into the bars and get drunk to witness to the drunks.



and I have felt that way in the past as well. I think the older I get, the more God allows me to be 'in' the world, and the less I feel 'of' it. Halloween is one of those examples.And as I said, it's funny, because I felt like you when I was young in the faith, but the older I get in the L-rd and the more He teaches me from His Word and grows me in Him, the more He calls me to HOLINESS and the more He calls me to obedience and the more He says "To whom much is given, much is required."

I would encourage everyone to read what this day is REALLY about, and it's not about 6 year olds wanting candy.

I would encourage everyone to seek the L-rd and the Scriptures and see how Jesus said to confront evil with love and with the truth, but never walk IN it or make excuses for it.

For those of us who desire to NOT be of the world, but to bring the light of Jesus and the Word TO the World, there is an exciting outreach called "Light the Night" ministry.
LIGHT THE NIGHT (http://www.lightthenightpa.com/kit.htm)

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 04:27 PM
So, what would Jesus have us do?

Shalom Joy,

That is something I cannot answer for you.
It is something you and your husband should sincerely seek of the L-rd and get ALL the information on the background of Halloween and what it really means. Then, make your decision.

However, to promote there is nothing wrong with Christians celebrating Halloween, is, I believe, doing a disservice.

I encourage people to not take things for granted or ignore the spiritual warfare that is out there. But to take a stand for the L-rd.

What would Jesus have you do?
In our family, He had US take a stand against the evil and promote the truth by giving our Gospel tracts with every candy and being available to tell people why we don't dress up and go trick or treating, or why we don't make Jack 'O Lanterns, but why we "Light the Night" with G-d's truth and His holiness. Not being "holier than thou", but being that light to escape the darkness.


We have five children....

So do we. That really has no bearing on this discussion though.


a fantastic international neighborhood (many children have never participated in Halloween and do it for the first time here). Our home is one of the best known (lots of action and kids and Bible studies) on the block. People know our name, from neighbors, that we've not yet met....they come to our door, knowing us before we've met. What would Jesus have us do?

Ask yourself this, honestly and sincerely, are you defending what YOU want to do rather than really seeking what Jesus would have you to do? If you are asking what JESUS would have you to do, then I believe He will show you. But you must truly seek HIM and not reasons to keep doing what you're doing.

threebigrocks
Sep 15th 2007, 04:57 PM
Vicki, just as you had to grow into greater understanding through faith, we all do and there is no one right way to do it. It's a personal relationship with Christ. Not one of us can expect to have the same understanding for the same reasons at the same time as another.

To quote a notion: As a Christian, I see nothing wrong with the little ones having fun with Halloween.

Is a person grounded in the measure of faith within their understanding? If they are, even as a newer Christian, to condemn is what is hurting that person not letting their kid dress up like Shrek or Fiona and collect a few treats. Unless witchcraft if taught, which won't be present if they are Christian, it's harmless. If anything, it's a gluttonous time. Ever seen those kids being driven from neighborhood to neighboorhood to get their treats? I've seen kids go to mom or dad in the car, empty their treats and run up to the next house!! That is just as sinful as the origin of the holiday. But they aren't casting spells are they? It's not a Wiccian sin - its a sin of gluttony which we can guard against. My youngest whines because she didn't collect enough, but a week later i tell her I'm putting away what she hasn't eaten. If nothing else, it's a good lesson. She only has a few years left of collecting treats, then we pull the plug.

Am I less mature than others for letting my youngest do these things? Am I less Christian because I let them participate?

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 05:05 PM
Vicki, just as you had to grow into greater understanding through faith, we all do and there is no one right way to do it. It's a personal relationship with Christ. Not one of us can expect to have the same understanding for the same reasons at the same time as another.

Shalom TBR,

By the way, my name is Vickilynn, but my family in Messiah calls me VL. Thanks!

If you will look at the post above mine, I was responding to the intimation that those who abstain are younger in the faith and have less faith. Please, let's look at this conversation in context.



Am I less mature than others for letting my youngest do these things? Am I less Christian because I let them participate?Who said anything like that? Certainly not me.

Again, please take the conversation in context. I was responding to posts that intimated we were LESS Christian, less mature and had less faith if we did not celebrate Halloween.

Please, let's be objective here. When we are not, that's how these thread disintegrate into nastiness.

Tanya~
Sep 15th 2007, 05:10 PM
I see Halloween as an aspect of Mystery Babylon (Rev 17 & 18). Christianized pagan holidays gather Christians and non-believers together in celebration of fleshly indulgence and service to the Great Almighty Dollar as everyone serves/pays homage to the economy with utterly frivolous purchasing in order to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In some places Halloween generates more cash than Christmas. This is politically expedient no matter which party is in power. Because American culture is spreading influence throughout the world, and because other governments see the value in encouraging people to spend their money on worthless things, these celebrations are fast becoming global.

The little kids of course are in it for the candy. This is one of the most sinister things about it. Yet strategically, it is brilliant. All that is necessary to hook an entire generation on something -- all you need to do in order to perpetuate any kind of tradition, is make it appealing to the lust of the flesh, and get them early. Of course you wouldn't be able to attract most little children to Halloween with themes of darkness, death, and scary images of murderous demonic beings. They are born with a natural revulsion to such things. So you have to get them into it with things that appeal to their desires: cartoonish costumes for dress-up and candy. When they get older, they are still in it for the candy and dressing up but also are more interested in participating more in the dark themes of Halloween because the dark things appeal to the lusts of adolescents. Children who have always celebrated Halloween continue to do so when they are older, and they will pass it on to their children as well. This is how it is perpetuated and how it has gained in strength from one generation to the next. When I was a child, Halloween was a minor holiday. It was mostly just for the kids and the few underground pagans and occultists. There were no Halloween stores. By the time I got to High School most people my age weren't doing much of anything about the holiday, though some did take the opportunity to dabble in the occult. Today High School students are very much into Halloween, as are adults of all ages, and it is a major holiday necessitating many more square feet of retail space than was ever the case just a few years ago.

These holidays were originally absorbed into the church as a means of 'converting' pagans to Christianity. The pagans in England were not really interested in converting wholeheartedly to Christ, in "turning from idols to serve the living and true God." They were open to the idea of Christianity as it was presented to them by the Catholic church, but they didn't want to leave their ancient religion. Pope Gregory and Augustine of Canterbury worked it out so they could have both because it was politically expedient.
Political expediency is not Biblical.

Vickilynn
Sep 15th 2007, 05:23 PM
I see Halloween as an aspect of Mystery Babylon (Rev 17 & 18). Christianized pagan holidays gather Christians and non-believers together in celebration of fleshly indulgence and service to the Great Almighty Dollar as everyone serves/pays homage to the economy with utterly frivolous purchasing in order to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In some places Halloween generates more cash than Christmas. This is politically expedient no matter which party is in power. Because American culture is spreading influence throughout the world, and because other governments see the value in encouraging people to spend their money on worthless things, these celebrations are fast becoming global.

The little kids of course are in it for the candy. This is one of the most sinister things about it. Yet strategically, it is brilliant. All that is necessary to hook an entire generation on something -- all you need to do in order to perpetuate any kind of tradition, is make it appealing to the lust of the flesh, and get them early. Of course you wouldn't be able to attract most little children to Halloween with themes of darkness, death, and scary images of murderous demonic beings. They are born with a natural revulsion to such things. So you have to get them into it with things that appeal to their desires: cartoonish costumes for dress-up and candy. When they get older, they are still in it for the candy and dressing up but also are more interested in participating more in the dark themes of Halloween because the dark things appeal to the lusts of adolescents. Children who have always celebrated Halloween continue to do so when they are older, and they will pass it on to their children as well. This is how it is perpetuated and how it has gained in strength from one generation to the next. When I was a child, Halloween was a minor holiday. It was mostly just for the kids and the few underground pagans and occultists. There were no Halloween stores. By the time I got to High School most people my age weren't doing much of anything about the holiday, though some did take the opportunity to dabble in the occult. Today High School students are very much into Halloween, as are adults of all ages, and it is a major holiday necessitating many more square feet of retail space than was ever the case just a few years ago.

These holidays were originally absorbed into the church as a means of 'converting' pagans to Christianity. The pagans in England were not really interested in converting wholeheartedly to Christ, in "turning from idols to serve the living and true God." They were open to the idea of Christianity as it was presented to them by the Catholic church, but they didn't want to leave their ancient religion. Pope Gregory and Augustine of Canterbury worked it out so they could have both because it was politically expedient.
Political expediency is not Biblical.

Shalom Tanya,

Excellent post! Thank you!!

threebigrocks
Sep 15th 2007, 05:47 PM
Vickilynn, how about turning this more generic.

Bikers for Christ. I know many who do this as a ministry. 20 guys on Harley's decked out in leather, some with long beards, dark sunglasses, pulling into a gas station or somewhere for lunch sure makes a statement. Then again, sounds like a picture of Hell's Angels too. If people get nervous, does it mean it's bad? No!

I've heard stories about pulling up to the gas pump and someone coming up to one of them asking what they were all about. So the guy talks to them, tell's them it's a ministry, shares the gospel and hands them a tract.

It's in our perception and our worldly knowledge. Good for you for turning what was evil into something good! I need to work on stickers for the candy we hand out - evangelism oriented something or other.

Yet, in our efforts to shine light, we must be active in the darkness to counter it, no? Just like the biker example, not matter how much light we try to shine someone is going to say "Hey, a Christian is setting up for Halloween activities. HA! What a joke, what a farce!"

Just as Christ did - taking grief for hanging out with sinners - we will too. Our involvement can be taken one of many ways by the way those around us in the world see it with their worldly eyes and minds. But that is where we are called to go, to take the persecution and ridicule as an individual or as a church. We could just as easily case someone weak in faith to stumble doing good if they don't understand or see from a distance what we do.

We are just called to bring the light, and let the world or the Spirit take over with those we try to impact.

Question for you all. Ever hand out something to the homes of people who are handing out treats? Kinda backwards, but then not only would we be doing something from our homes, but to those we take our kids to also. Bold - to put something into their treat bowl!

cwarrior
Sep 15th 2007, 06:33 PM
I see Halloween as an aspect of Mystery Babylon (Rev 17 & 18). Christianized pagan holidays gather Christians and non-believers together in celebration of fleshly indulgence and service to the Great Almighty Dollar as everyone serves/pays homage to the economy with utterly frivolous purchasing in order to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In some places Halloween generates more cash than Christmas. This is politically expedient no matter which party is in power. Because American culture is spreading influence throughout the world, and because other governments see the value in encouraging people to spend their money on worthless things, these celebrations are fast becoming global.

The little kids of course are in it for the candy. This is one of the most sinister things about it. Yet strategically, it is brilliant. All that is necessary to hook an entire generation on something -- all you need to do in order to perpetuate any kind of tradition, is make it appealing to the lust of the flesh, and get them early. Of course you wouldn't be able to attract most little children to Halloween with themes of darkness, death, and scary images of murderous demonic beings. They are born with a natural revulsion to such things. So you have to get them into it with things that appeal to their desires: cartoonish costumes for dress-up and candy. When they get older, they are still in it for the candy and dressing up but also are more interested in participating more in the dark themes of Halloween because the dark things appeal to the lusts of adolescents. Children who have always celebrated Halloween continue to do so when they are older, and they will pass it on to their children as well. This is how it is perpetuated and how it has gained in strength from one generation to the next. When I was a child, Halloween was a minor holiday. It was mostly just for the kids and the few underground pagans and occultists. There were no Halloween stores. By the time I got to High School most people my age weren't doing much of anything about the holiday, though some did take the opportunity to dabble in the occult. Today High School students are very much into Halloween, as are adults of all ages, and it is a major holiday necessitating many more square feet of retail space than was ever the case just a few years ago.

These holidays were originally absorbed into the church as a means of 'converting' pagans to Christianity. The pagans in England were not really interested in converting wholeheartedly to Christ, in "turning from idols to serve the living and true God." They were open to the idea of Christianity as it was presented to them by the Catholic church, but they didn't want to leave their ancient religion. Pope Gregory and Augustine of Canterbury worked it out so they could have both because it was politically expedient.
Political expediency is not Biblical.



Where ever you got your info I would like the link if possible. Thank you:)

Tanya~
Sep 15th 2007, 07:19 PM
Where ever you got your info I would like the link if possible. Thank you:)

I'm assuming you're referring to the last paragraph. Catholic Online has an entry on their St. Augustine of Canterbury. I think a google search of "Augustine of Canterbury" will get you there and also to some other links/sources with similar information.

If you're referring to the economic power of Halloween I will have to look that up because I don't remember where I heard about that. I'll be back with more on that.

Tanya~
Sep 15th 2007, 08:06 PM
Here's an article from BSU from 2004 stating that Halloween sales are second to Christmas sales:

http://www.bsu.edu/news/article/0,1370,-1019-25035,00.html

Snopes.com however, debunks the idea that Halloween is next to Christmas in sales.

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/halloween/spending.asp

Snopes shows a comparison of overall sales for various holidays. The discrepancy is due to the fact that Halloween is not a gift-giving holiday so it obviously wouldn't generate as much money as Christmas in overall sales, but if you look at home decor and other seasonal items -- holiday-specific merchandise, it is clear that Halloween is getting very big and is very quickly catching up to Christmas.

CNN.com article (http://money.cnn.com/2002/10/21/news/companies/halloween_retail/index.htm)

When I was a kid we each carved a pumpkin, put a candle in it, and set it out on the front porch for Halloween night. This year several of my neighbors will have elaborate Halloween displays in their front yards even including strings of lights for the house, that will be put out the moment September is over if last year is any indicator of what we can expect this year.

JoyInHim
Sep 15th 2007, 08:25 PM
Yes, it saddens me to see some who spend far more time and $ decorating for Halloween than Christmas.

I believe we were created with deep desire to worship and celebrate. Once we are in Christ, we have plenty to celebrate! But, I do observe those who don't really have much to celebrate, creating celebrations anyway. It is interesting. All the more reason to reach out to the neighbors God places you next to with the Great News! :pp We think the best way to do that, from our experience, is to be the very best neighbors we can be - just love them.


This year several of my neighbors will have elaborate Halloween displays in their front yards even including strings of lights for the house, that will be put out the moment September is over if last year is any indicator of what we can expect this year.

cwarrior
Sep 15th 2007, 08:54 PM
did some research:)

http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html


will offer more when done

Tanya~
Sep 15th 2007, 09:01 PM
Once we are in Christ, we have plenty to celebrate!

So true! Now the question is how and what are we to celebrate? Does God want us to celebrate Him and what He has done for us the same way the unbelievers celebrate their festivals and worship their gods?

threebigrocks
Sep 15th 2007, 11:34 PM
So true! Now the question is how and what are we to celebrate? Does God want us to celebrate Him and what He has done for us the same way the unbelievers celebrate their festivals and worship their gods?

What are the unbelievers festivals? Halloween is the topic, but are their others?

Mark 12


29Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;
30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'


When we give something all we have and all we are, it is worship. It is the object of your desires and comes from the heart. If we are following the greatest commandment, we are giving our whole being to God.

We can have other desires for things of this world, but it must be in perspective to what is enjoyable for the here and now and what is eternal. For example I love chocolate but is that going to compromise my love for my God? No.

I think of things this way. If "it" (some worldly thing) were taken away from me with the snap of a finger, what would my honest reaction be? It's a way to see how the scales are tipped, and it can show us what we worship by the value we place on it in our lives. If loosing our Halloween decorations would cause us grief or make us upset, it is probably something that we give way too much value to in our heart.

daughter
Sep 16th 2007, 12:12 AM
Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.
Wow! What a fantastic kid!

I have always hated halloween. Hummm... as you might know from my testimony, I used to be a witch. I'd just tell the kids to go away, it was my holiday... even though I did my thing on the nearest dark moon to the festival. But still, they knew I was a real live witch, so they tended to stay clear.

Last year they had figured out something had changed, so I had a few of them at my door. I sat out front and tried to tell them about Jesus, and they ran away saying "the witch has gone mad." Well, one of them started it, the others followed.

This year, I don't know what I'll do... I'm in a different neighbourhood. They only know me as a Christian. I'll just pray my socks off and see what God wants me to say to them.

Flutecrafter
Sep 16th 2007, 05:34 AM
well, Daughter, you might consider handing out tracts with candy and
praying for those who come your way. :)

That's how we handle things here. :)

Our kids handle the door and take turns handing out candy and tracts,
then we pray for those who came. :)
This year they will be down at the church instead though. Undoubtably gathering
up as much candy as they can to trade in for treats they aren't allergic to
when I get home. :)


mark

JoyInHim
Sep 16th 2007, 12:08 PM
Hey mark - I just noticed your website below and checked it out. Fairly appropriate on this thread! I will refer my teen dd, who has ministered to teen wiccans in her school. She told me last years that it saddens her that many of the believers on campus aren't 'nice,' while the wiccans welcome warmly anybody who wants to hang out with them. She thinks that is backwards...and I agree. Many times, teens just need to be accepted, and respond quickly to Truth. Thanks!

BTW - your house sure sounds like a witness on your block. Keep it bright!

I love your idea to simply pray for each one who crosses your front porch on that evening to receive a treat. We usually buy King Size candy bars (nut free too, Lol) and rubber band a light, fun tract (no heavy stuff - the God loves you type) and we go ahead and stick our address label on the whole shebang. This way, we feel neighbors know exactly where it came from, if they have a question - or hesitate to read the material or eat the candy (since it is huge!) Although, my neighbor children have requested Ring Pops over and over - they are pretty economical bought in the large canister at Costcos.

I remember pouring over my stash as a child, and saving all the tracts. I remember not understanding some (too 'religious') but others simply, clearly told me Jesus LOVED me....I was so attracted to those and read them over and over....I remember wondering who that message was 'attached' to, which neighbor felt that way about me too? If there is a child or two out there that might react like I did, I want them to know exactly who loves the Lord enough to share generously and freely, regardless of the 'condition' (not in a church harvest party, but on their turf) and that keeps me open year round to ministering to them as well.

Our neighborhood is international (lots of engineers from all over, we live north of Detroit in an affluent county) so, many families move here for 3 years and then move back. Often, we are their only 'Halloween' experience for 3 years in a row, then they return, and that is it for them.

The children will ask our kids all about it, how it works - they are absolutely fascinated by the prospect of being allowed out after dark on a school night, to get candy. Often their English is brand new - one of our favorite memories is of our German friends (aged 11 and 12) Hans and Lara literally running across the street to be at our house first, for their very first treat. They banged on our glass storm door, and fairly shouted at us with big grins, 'Give us Candy Or We Shall Do a Trick For You!!' We burst out laughing at their excitement, and that led to them laughing at their own performance. Our 11 year old explained that it wasn't a 'card trick', but a 'threat' of doing something like egging or toilet papering the house they were supposed to say....if they wanted to follow tradition. They really thought that was odd! Now we are told by German friends that the candy industry has succeeded in getting Europe to do some version of Halloween there, as well.

It is funny to see the 'first timers' treats given, as well. Last year our teens roared in laughter at some of the 'items' placed in their bags.....handfuls of unwrapped nuts and seeds and granola type Indian foods....a treat to them, but not to Americans, lol. Some items, well, we couldn't identify, let alone consider edible, not being packaged. Dried squid, perhaps? :rolleyes:

We take it all very lightly, and completely ignore the evil traditions or aspects, ourselves. We do not fear any of it whatsoever. I totally avoid any situations, however, that place any God forsaken 'decorations' in front of our eyes - including where and when I choose to get groceries ($200/week for 7 of us) with my children. I do definitely avoid shops and stores with nasty and evil things....as I would porn. I don't fear it, I just find it nauseating, and not worthy to be put in front of my children's eyes. Some years, we bailed out because we had enough older kids (teens) in our neighborhood we knew would go for hideous and gory masks - and just won't look at that stuff. This present neighborhood, however, we have hundreds of little ones right now....and I tell my teens' (male) friends that if they dare show up at my door with anything gory or ugly...they will get Smarties in their bag, and not the super size Snickers!




well, Daughter, you might consider handing out tracts with candy and
praying for those who come your way. :)

That's how we handle things here. :)

Our kids handle the door and take turns handing out candy and tracts,
then we pray for those who came. :)
This year they will be down at the church instead though. Undoubtably gathering
up as much candy as they can to trade in for treats they aren't allergic to
when I get home. :)


mark

JoyInHim
Sep 16th 2007, 12:18 PM
Daughter, that is really an interesting comment, that the children avoided a witch on Halloween. For children, it truly is about candy and costumes.

:kiss:

Let us know how it all turns out!
But still, they knew I was a real live witch, so they tended to stay clear.

Last year they had figured out something had changed, so I had a few of them at my door. I sat out front and tried to tell them about Jesus, and they ran away saying "the witch has gone mad." Well, one of them started it, the others followed.

This year, I don't know what I'll do... I'm in a different neighbourhood. They only know me as a Christian. I'll just pray my socks off and see what God wants me to say to them.

JoyInHim
Sep 16th 2007, 12:38 PM
Well, we do not every consider that 'we' are 'celebrating' Halloween. Merely responding to children who we expect to come to our door asking for a blessing (treat).

My best understanding of God's desire for me is to celebrate Him, and to love others the best way we know how to. So - in all things, we try to put our neighbors above ourselves. This isn't always convenient or what we particularily desire to do...but it is what we feel God would have us do.

We wouldn't attend a neighborhood seance or worship with our Hindi neighbors in their home altar (they have them). But we will reach out and invite them over to dinner, and serve foods (not pork, beef, etc) that they enjoy, in order to show love to them. We -will- accept hospitality from them in their home, even right next to that altar (which is in their dining room). Because, the altar is to a false, dead god. I am tabernacling the One True Living God. And I do not fear the false god. I did not have the faith to do this, 10 years ago. But, we were not seeing Hindu families coming to Christ back then through our relationships, either! :pp

For -me-, to not be home, to have a dark porch (being 'the' house with 5 kids, and 'the' house where the mom and dad are always interacting with the neighbor kids), is to rebuke or reject our precious neighbor families. (We have been gone a couple years, and the children ask, and our children have reported that they see this as a rejection...and neighbors begin talking. It is not a good witness, in our view. It comes off as 'holier than thou'.)

Because we know that our neighbor children are excited, happy, joyful (about candy) WILL come to our house asking for and expecting treats on Oct. 31, our response is to bless them. For me, it has absolutely nothing to do with witches or vampires, and is 100% about giving to those who ask, freely and joyfully. I believe Jesus would be pleased with our heart in this, He who made time for children, and requests us to become as little children, and is a Father to the fatherless. I believe if our children ask for something, we do not present them with a 'snake' (bad thing, a rebuke, a shut door) - but a good thing: a simple smile and word of encouragement and joy, and candy.

For us, it seems the best way to worship God, is simply Love. Love Him without reservation, Joyfully as we are commanded, and love others, whom He has created for His Glory!

I am in no way telling anyone else that they should or need to respond to trick or treaters the way I feel I must. I am simply explaining why we respond the way we do. I am not condemning anyone for avoiding Halloween, and I understand why they would! I feel called to use this night to reach out, however, and have the faith to do so...and have seen good fruit from following where we feel God has led us in this.




So true! Now the question is how and what are we to celebrate? Does God want us to celebrate Him and what He has done for us the same way the unbelievers celebrate their festivals and worship their gods?

JoyInHim
Sep 16th 2007, 12:42 PM
What an excellent point 3bigrocks.






I think of things this way. If "it" (some worldly thing) were taken away from me with the snap of a finger, what would my honest reaction be? It's a way to see how the scales are tipped, and it can show us what we worship by the value we place on it in our lives. If loosing our Halloween decorations would cause us grief or make us upset, it is probably something that we give way too much value to in our heart.

Vickilynn
Sep 16th 2007, 06:03 PM
. For children, it truly is about candy and costumes.

Shalom Joy,

And that's why they have parents to train them up in the Word and in ways that please the L-rd. :idea:

Vickilynn
Sep 16th 2007, 06:18 PM
For -me-, to not be home, to have a dark porch (being 'the' house with 5 kids, and 'the' house where the mom and dad are always interacting with the neighbor kids), is to rebuke or reject our precious neighbor families. (We have been gone a couple years, and the children ask, and our children have reported that they see this as a rejection...and neighbors begin talking. It is not a good witness, in our view. It comes off as 'holier than thou'.)

Shalom Joy,
It has been repeated addressed that we are not advocating having the house dark and not being there.

I AM advocating NOT doing what the world is doing because they ARE celebrating evil, but we should show a better example, the one of truth.

As has been posted repeatedly, we should make a loving, positive statement for Yeshua by giving out tracts with candy, put on a "Light the Night" at our home, giving the neighborhood kids a safe, loving statement that Christians are not OF the world.

If we do no different than them in their evil, we cannot witness with any credibility.

Again, we are not encouraged to get drunk with the drunks to witness to the drunks. But we ARE encouraged to show them a way OUT of their drunkenness.

If you will read my posts Joy, I am saying that we SHOULD respond to Trick or Treaters in a Christian way, but we are not to engage in the same evil activities. We offer our children Christian alternatives to dressing up in costume and making Jack O'Lanterns and going Trick or Trick. We do NOT do those things, but instead we make our house a warm, inviting Christian place to be and we are not afraid to stand out from the world and make a positive Christian example.

That is what we are called to be to the world, not indistinguishable from them.

cwarrior
Sep 17th 2007, 07:59 PM
I have done research and every site that I go to explain and the depict the same thing. The sites depict darkness,ghost and demons.The origins of Halloween are from demonic roots--pagan roots- the catholic church wanting to win over the druids came with all saimts. Every aspect of halloween from dressing up to trick or treating has roots from these pagan traditions. Yes, from the many threads that I have read that perhaps an individual is not adhereing to these roots, but the fact that these roots exist should be a reason to abstain from such an event. We christians in battle. It is not only a physical battle, but a spiritually one as well. Satan will not present something in a terrify form, because of course you will run from it. He prevents something in sheep's clothing to allure you and than turn in to a wolf when an individual is unaware. When I read up on the origin of halloween everything about it is unchristian. Things that God clearly were against. Yes you may not dress your kid as a witch or Ghost, but dressing up on that particular day had an purpose behind it. ungodly purpose. We are in the world,but we are not of the world. I know people will make excuses, but I will ask.. all who do celebrate this holiday have you prayed to God asking him what he thinks of this? Because as christian you should consult God on everything. From waking up in the morning,everything in between and to when you go to sleep. Have you consulted God for guidance? Because god ask that we should pray and watch. The simple fact that a brother or sister in christ says negative things about should ring a bell? We are alll aiming for a one goal salvation. What seems simple can be something way more. So Please if you are celebrating this day why? Besides pleasing your children (because there are so many other things that kids could find pleasure and should find pleaure in) Again I ask what does the Lord say about a such an activity?


1 John 2: 15 (NLT)
do not love this world nor th things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do no have the love of the father in you

Ephesians 4: 17 (NLT)
Then christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow into God's love and keep you strong.

Leviticus 20 : 6 (NLT)

I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. ( when you research Halloween was a celtic celebration which dealt wit the comcepts that the spirit of dead people would revist the earth.)


God bless.:)

Sold Out
Sep 17th 2007, 08:16 PM
I AM advocating NOT doing what the world is doing because they ARE celebrating evil, but we should show a better example, the one of truth.

That is what we are called to be to the world, not indistinguishable from them.

Christmas was chosen to be celebrated on Dec 25th to rival a pagan holiday. Why not do the same for Halloween? Stomp Satan in his own front yard!

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 08:42 PM
Christmas was chosen to be celebrated on Dec 25th to rival a pagan holiday. Why not do the same for Halloween? Stomp Satan in his own front yard!

Are you sure it was done in order to rival the pagan holiday? I don't think conceding to the pagan practices constitutes a good strategy for rivalry, unless your interest lies in something other than genuine conversion of people through the gospel. This didn't help the church win any contest, it hurt it. It led the church further away from the Apostolic teaching of the simple gospel for which Jude warned believers to contend earnestly, and further into the world's way of doing religion. It was done by the Roman Emperor Constantine for political expediency. In doing this, he set the example which was later followed by others.

Vickilynn
Sep 17th 2007, 09:52 PM
Christmas was chosen to be celebrated on Dec 25th to rival a pagan holiday. Why not do the same for Halloween? Stomp Satan in his own front yard!

Shalom Sold Out,

If you've read any of my posts, I am saying there are ways to WITNESS during this evil day. But doing the same as unbelievers is not the way, IMHO. We are called to be salt and light to the dying world, not do exactly as they do.

threebigrocks
Sep 17th 2007, 10:00 PM
I don't think conceding to the pagan practices constitutes a good strategy for rivalry, unless your interest lies in something other than genuine conversion of people through the gospel.

I am not quite understanding that part, my brain just won't process your thought. :rolleyes: Could you clarify?

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 11:12 PM
Hi TBR,



I don't think conceding to the pagan practices constitutes a good strategy for rivalry, unless your interest lies in something other than genuine conversion of people through the gospel.

I am not quite understanding that part, my brain just won't process your thought. :rolleyes: Could you clarify?

I'm sorry TBR! :) I'd really hate to take this thread too much further off topic. What I mean is that the decision to celebrate Christmas wasn't from the gospel, it was political. Maybe in another thread we can explore it further.

CrunchyChristian
Sep 17th 2007, 11:19 PM
Hi TBR,



I'm sorry TBR! :) I'd really hate to take this thread too much further off topic. What I mean is that the decision to celebrate Christmas wasn't from the gospel, it was political. Maybe in another thread we can explore it further.

Go check out my Christmas thread I just started. I was about to reply to this one, but I didn't want to use up all of my verses to post on here. :lol:

Sold Out
Sep 18th 2007, 12:59 AM
Shalom Sold Out,

If you've read any of my posts, I am saying there are ways to WITNESS during this evil day. But doing the same as unbelievers is not the way, IMHO. We are called to be salt and light to the dying world, not do exactly as they do.

I understand what you are saying. What I meant is to take the opportunity when people are out and about and try to witness to them, not join in the holiday itself.

TanyaP - To answer your question....

"Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. However, most scholars believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Before the introduction of Christmas, each year beginning on December 17 Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, in a festival called Saturnalia. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter soltice which usually occurred around December 25 on the ancient Julian calendar. During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves. Many Romans also celebrated the lengthening of daylight following the winter solstice by participating in rituals to glorify Mithra, the Ancient Persian god of light (see Mithraism). These and other winter festivities continued through January 1, the festival of Kalends, when Romans marked the day of the new moon and the first day of the month and year. Roman Catholics first celebrated Christmas, then known as the Feast of the Nativity, as early as 336 AD. The word Christmas entered the English language sometime around 1050 as the Old English phrase Christes maesse, meaning "festival of Christ." Scholars believe the frequently used shortened form of Christmas—Xmas—may have come into use in the 13th century. The X stands for the Greek letter chi, an abbreviation of Khristos (Christ), and also represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified." http://jc.t3.bz/xmas.htm

Tanya~
Sep 18th 2007, 01:40 AM
"Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. However, most scholars believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice.

What was it that changed about the gospel in the 4th century that necessitated Christians making substitutes for pagan celebrations?

threebigrocks
Sep 18th 2007, 02:02 AM
Hi TBR,



I'm sorry TBR! :) I'd really hate to take this thread too much further off topic. What I mean is that the decision to celebrate Christmas wasn't from the gospel, it was political. Maybe in another thread we can explore it further.

Ah! Okay, makes sense. Much of what happened during those times was indeed a mix of political and religious motivation.

How can we bring across the truth when we see things mixed today, things motivated by scripture and what comes from the world? How do we get that message across that the two can't mix truths?

We can't answer the door on Halloween and say "Oh, cute costumes - but do you know that Halloween is a evil, pagan tradition?"

Or, is one particular occation really the time to counter it? :hmm:

Tanya~
Sep 18th 2007, 03:30 AM
Ah! Okay, makes sense. Much of what happened during those times was indeed a mix of political and religious motivation.

How can we bring across the truth when we see things mixed today, things motivated by scripture and what comes from the world? How do we get that message across that the two can't mix truths?

I think the Bible teaches that the believers are to be separate from the world in the sense that we are not to partake of the works of darkness. Then when opportunity presents itself, we share the gospel. We don't need the pagan things for the gospel, but if we can use it as some do without partaking of it, then that is good. Paul did that at Athens.


We can't answer the door on Halloween and say "Oh, cute costumes - but do you know that Halloween is a evil, pagan tradition?"
Or, is one particular occation really the time to counter it? :hmm:

Why would we need to counter it? In the early church they did not counter the evil, they just preached the gospel and built up the body.

Fundicon
Sep 18th 2007, 07:44 AM
I for one love All Hallow's Eve (Halloween). I was raised in an environment where it was seen as "The Devil's Day," a day when Satan was set loose through his minions who celebrated the evil of the world.

Yes, in my neighborhood we had a bunch of little Satanist wannabes who killed animals and tried to summon the Devil. Yes, people who choose to remain ignorant of history used Halloween as a day to cause mayhem and commit acts that Satan would give the blue ribbon on.

Now that I'm living on my own, I love to dress up on Halloween. I usually go for a Crow-ish look: http://members.tripod.com/~dkrapture/eric-crow1.gif

I forgo the pointless tradition of going door-to-door for a sugar rush, and all the church parties where the little kids (as well as me) wonder why their parents are ushering them further and further from me. Instead, I hang out with my Gothic Brothers and Sisters, and we usually meet for a Bible study over a campfire or in a cemetery. We focus on praying for those who are Lost, and we've had a few non-Christians show up for the studies as well.

Pretty cool when a non-Christian will forgo the commercial festivities and come to a Bible study :)

JoyInHim
Sep 18th 2007, 12:34 PM
Yeah...it seems inconsistent to me to say, ban all secular, pagan originating holidays...and yet put up a tree. Or wear a wedding band...or use the calendar, or clock....... :rolleyes:All pagan origins...that have lost their original meanings and have become secular.

Kids have no interest in the origins. They will not see witches or bats or black cats here (they might see a hamster or parakeet, though). But they will get candy from me, and the GOOD stuff! With a smile and some happy words that have nothing to do with 'halloween' or church and everything to do with saying, 'HEY - we love you guys! have fun! see you tomorrow!' It is purely secular, to our neighbors - and we have no problem being out on that night in the middle of it all, just one of a thousand ways to express love to our neighbors, no strings attached. :hug: I truly think Jesus would place Himself square in the middle of the children having fun, even if disciples try to send them off with rebukes......just my take on it all.


My take from this article is that the actual celebration of Christmas as an official holiday didn't take place until the 4th century.

threebigrocks
Sep 18th 2007, 04:21 PM
So, what do we tell people who question us on this saying that we are double minded on Halloween or any past pagan practice (eg.: wedding rings)? How do we defend Christianity against this with so many personal convictions?

Tanya~
Sep 18th 2007, 05:29 PM
Yeah...it seems inconsistent to me to say, ban all secular, pagan originating holidays...and yet put up a tree. Or wear a wedding band...or use the calendar, or clock....... :rolleyes:All pagan origins...that have lost their original meanings and have become secular.

I personally don't advocate banning anything or rebuking other people's children. I just choose not to perform the ritual celebrations. It's perfectly Biblical to separate oneself from things that stir up the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life. I'm probably just more susceptible to it than you are so for me it's best to leave it. :) Using a clock or calendar isn't the same as performing rituals in a celebration. We're not celebrating the clock or the days of the week.


Kids have no interest in the origins.

Very true, they don't. That's why all of us (or most of us) grew up performing various seasonal rituals without questioning them. Then we grow up and we keep performing the ritual, and we pass it on to our children. That obliges them to do the same, and that is how traditions get established.


Jer 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my fortress,
My refuge in the day of affliction,
The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say,
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies,
Worthlessness and unprofitable things."


Then people start talking about how it is actually somehow "more Christian" to perform these rituals than to separate oneself from them, and we all end up like the religious leaders of Jesus' day worshiping God with things He hasn't given us to do, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Tanya~
Sep 18th 2007, 06:05 PM
So, what do we tell people who question us on this saying that we are double minded on Halloween or any past pagan practice (eg.: wedding rings)? How do we defend Christianity against this with so many personal convictions?

The wedding ring seems different than performing the annual rituals and getting into the required mindset or 'spirit' associated with the various holidays. It's an indicator in our culture that the wearer is a married person which makes it more convenient when you meet people. You don't have to answer questions about whether or not you're married. We have no other recognizable indicator of marriage in our culture. There is also no Biblical instruction on how to get married or command not to wear rings, so it would seem that the cultural traditions for marriage ceremonies are acceptable. By contrast, the Bible does say this:


Gal 4:8-11
But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

threebigrocks
Sep 18th 2007, 11:11 PM
Where do we draw the line though? If it's originated in pagan tradition, what makes one less acceptable?

This is what makes this discussion so very volatile. I'm not trying to provoke anyone to frustration or anger, but as a Christian where do we draw the line?

I believe that it comes down to each person acting on their own conviction and guidance by the Spirit through our conscience. There is a reason why we are each guided a bit differently, but all through the Spirit.

Flutecrafter
Sep 28th 2007, 04:43 AM
Hey mark - I just noticed your website below and checked it out. Fairly appropriate on this thread! I will refer my teen dd, who has ministered to teen wiccans in her school. She told me last years that it saddens her that many of the believers on campus aren't 'nice,' while the wiccans welcome warmly anybody who wants to hang out with them. She thinks that is backwards...and I agree. Many times, teens just need to be accepted, and respond quickly to Truth. Thanks!

LOL

I agree with your daughter, it is backwards.
I'm glad she is standing tall for Jesus. :)
Time to update my blog again I guess, it's been a while since I did much
with it. it does link to a couple of other sites that she will find helpful
as she ministers to wiccans etc. :)

mark

Sold Out
Sep 28th 2007, 01:47 PM
I for one love All Hallow's Eve (Halloween). I was raised in an environment where it was seen as "The Devil's Day," a day when Satan was set loose through his minions who celebrated the evil of the world.

Yes, in my neighborhood we had a bunch of little Satanist wannabes who killed animals and tried to summon the Devil. Yes, people who choose to remain ignorant of history used Halloween as a day to cause mayhem and commit acts that Satan would give the blue ribbon on.

Now that I'm living on my own, I love to dress up on Halloween. I usually go for a Crow-ish look: http://members.tripod.com/~dkrapture/eric-crow1.gif

I forgo the pointless tradition of going door-to-door for a sugar rush, and all the church parties where the little kids (as well as me) wonder why their parents are ushering them further and further from me. Instead, I hang out with my Gothic Brothers and Sisters, and we usually meet for a Bible study over a campfire or in a cemetery. We focus on praying for those who are Lost, and we've had a few non-Christians show up for the studies as well.

Pretty cool when a non-Christian will forgo the commercial festivities and come to a Bible study :)

Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Mograce2U
Sep 30th 2007, 02:04 AM
I live alone and have not passed out candy on Halloween for probably 15 yrs now. But I am in a new neighborhood this year and have not met but a couple of my neighbors. So I am thinking Halloween might be an opportunity to meet some of them. Also I live on a corner lot one block from the junior high and these kids walk across my lawn every day and seldom say boo to me. They have no problem throwing their trash in my yard however or writing on my fence. So all in all I think it would be wise to try and make some friends here.

Now where to find a decent tract?

threebigrocks
Sep 30th 2007, 03:06 AM
Tracts by Way of the Master:

http://www.livingwaters.com/ (http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv)

RogerW
Oct 6th 2007, 10:12 PM
Our family too at one time participated in Halloween, but growing into Christians of mature faith and doctrine we began to sense an uneasiness in our consciences regarding this so-called innocent celebration. So, we did what many of you have done, we did a bit of research to discover for ourselves how innocent, and harmlessly this little celebration to Satan evolved. It was important for us to discover what significance the many symbols, ghouls/goblins, black cats, jack-o-laterns, apple bobbing, the colors orange & black, bonfires, etc. represent.

Since becoming Reformed we now celebrate Reformation Day on Oct 31th, which coincidentally (((NOT))) so happens to fall on Oct 31, the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg Chapel. Here is a very informative link to help anyone interested in understanding the evolution of Halloween. Hope you find it beneficial, our family certainly did.

http://wildboarnews.solideogloria.com/2007/10/way-of-heathen.html

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Oct 7th 2007, 01:42 AM
Tracts by Way of the Master:

http://www.livingwaters.com/
They have a cool little coin with the 10 commandments on one side and the gospel on the other - so I bought a few to pass out with the candy. Shoot not even all Christians know the 10 commandments by heart, I'll bet it gets read by the whole family. Now to find a place with a sale on chocolate... I remember that I always liked getting candy bars best!

DanceswithGod
Oct 8th 2007, 02:21 PM
OK, this is the time of year I always feel that I am standing alone. I came here looking for others who might believe the same as I about the celebration of Halloween.

I teach school, and have to talk my principal out of forcing me to attend the festival the weekend before and I am part of our Children's ministry and have to excuse myself from participating in the church's festival that I really wish our church did not do. And this is what I say every year:

As already posted here, Halloween is not a Christian holiday, and does not bring glory to God. And yes, the other Christian holidays are on dates that are pagan holidays, but I ask you this:

1. What do you celebrate on Christmas? The coming of winter? Or the birth of Christ? Do you bring glory to God during Christmas? Do others around you know what you are celebrating?

2. What do you celebrate on Easter? The pagan holiday? Or the resurrection of Christ? Yes, there are many Christians who just do the bunny thing and have lost sight, but we can easily bring glory to God by celebrating His resurrection here.

3. What do you celebrate on Halloween? Samhein? Or, the ritual of going door to door for candy without acknowledging where exactly that ritual itself came from, etc. How can you bring glory to God by "celebrating" Halloween? Yes, you can glorify Him by doing Bible Studies and handing out tracts, but by participating? How is that glorifying to Him?

I always think of King Jotham and King Ahaz in the Old Testament. King Jotham was a great king and a godly man. He was a wonderful leader and followed the ways of God. But he did not stand up against false gods and he had the attitude Americans have today. If it doesn't hurt me, why should I do anything about it. Therefore, he did not destroy the high places used to worship Baal in his country. His son, Ahaz, was his successor and guess what, Ahaz was an evil king. He worshipped Baal on those very high places that were not destroyed.

My point is this: we are desensitizing our children to evil on Halloween by saying it's just fun.

I teach in a Christian school, and I am the only teacher that does not celebrate Halloween or attend our school's festival (our alternative yet they follow the same traditions). It is very frustrating to me to stand alone, but I am an example to my students and my own children that I am willing to stand alone for Christ. I am willing to walk the walk.

At church, it is my family plus one other family (in the whole church) that do not celebrate Halloween. Yet we are willing to stand alone for Christ. This is a wonderful testimony for the children we minister to. They see us actually do what we tell them. They think we are crazy sometimes, but they will know that we did not give in to the pressure of those around us and we did what we knew was the godly thing to do.

What do we do on October 31st? My family and the other family I mentioned take our children out for dinner. We invite all of our friends to join us, though none do, and we go out in public, not dressed up. We sit in the middle of a restaurant full of dressed up people, and we pray aloud for our meal. And then we have a wonderful time of fellowship, unashamed of Christ.

Mograce2U
Oct 8th 2007, 04:11 PM
DanceswithGod, #67 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1404259&postcount=67)
I think taking a visible stand against compromise by not participating in the church festival is necessary. However this witness does nothing for those given over to the practice which do not know better. I instead want to do something a bit more proactive this year regarding those who may not know Christ rather than do nothing. Your going out to dinner with family and friends sounds like a proactive stance as well.

I was once still cleaning up debris in my yard when the early trick or treaters began coming out. It was not fun to tell the parents I did not celebrate this holiday and had no candy which was pretty much all I was able to say as they passed by. The reaction of the parents was pretty miserable and I am sure I came off "holier than thou" to them. There has to be a better way to do this, so I am going to try passing out tracts with candy.

What do you think of this idea?

Mograce2U
Oct 8th 2007, 04:19 PM
This example from Acts came to mind in thinking about this subject:

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
(Acts 3:1-10 KJV) Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. {2} And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; {3} Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. {4} And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. {5} And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. {6} Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. {7} And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. {8} And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. {9} And all the people saw him walking and praising God: {10} And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

rchivers
Oct 8th 2007, 04:30 PM
DanceswithGod, #67 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1404259&postcount=67)
I think taking a visible stand against compromise by not participating in the church festival is necessary. However this witness does nothing for those given over to the practice which do not know better. I instead want to do something a bit more proactive this year regarding those who may not know Christ rather than do nothing. Your going out to dinner with family and friends sounds like a proactive stance as well.

I was once still cleaning up debris in my yard when the early trick or treaters began coming out. It was not fun to tell the parents I did not celebrate this holiday and had no candy which was pretty much all I was able to say as they passed by. The reaction of the parents was pretty miserable and I am sure I came off "holier than thou" to them. There has to be a better way to do this, so I am going to try passing out tracts with candy.

What do you think of this idea?

You did not ask me, but I think this is a wonderful idea! I go through my kids candy each year and have yet to see someone take this approach which seems to be a great compromise.

I'm finding myself standing alone in another thread on my support for trick or treating, dressing up and passing out candy.

We can hide out and not answer our doors and make our kids feel like aliens OR participate and make friends, share the word (through setting up the table in the yard like Sold Outs son or attaching tracts to candy like you are proposing) and not turn our neighbors OFF to christ by suggesting (through our behavior) that they are satan worshipers because they dress up and/or hand out candy to little kids that come to their door and say "trick or treat".

Mograce2U
Oct 8th 2007, 05:20 PM
You did not ask me, but I think this is a wonderful idea! I go through my kids candy each year and have yet to see someone take this approach which seems to be a great compromise.

I'm finding myself standing alone in another thread on my support for trick or treating, dressing up and passing out candy.

We can hide out and not answer our doors and make our kids feel like aliens OR participate and make friends, share the word (through setting up the table in the yard like Sold Outs son or attaching tracts to candy like you are proposing) and not turn our neighbors OFF to christ by suggesting (through our behavior) that they are satan worshipers because they dress up and/or hand out candy to little kids that come to their door and say "trick or treat".In thinking about this passage from Acts, the asking for alms is not unlike begging for candy. While I may not be able to offer the physical healing they need, I can certainly direct them where to find what it is they need to hear by giving them the word of God. Who knows what conversation may open up as a result?

An opportunity to plant a seed is how I am looking upon it. Peter did not know until he met the man begging that he would heal him. Yet he was prepared for the encounter. That's what I want to focus on.

It is interesting too that the beggar in this passage looked to the religious and anticipated his help would come from them. He expected them to be generous and found more than he desired.

JoyInHim
Oct 11th 2007, 01:00 PM
Hi Robin -

As the mom of 2 high schoolers and 1 middle schooler right now (and 2 younger), I want to encourage you to go ahead and ignore those jr. high kids' junk on your lawn. I know it is difficult....but it is truly poor parenting that allows kids to act this way.

In my experience, kids this age respond so readily to adult attention that is positive. They are very black and white. So, if you are 'caught' out there a couple times and -merely- make eye contact and smile and give a big, 'Hi there! How are you doing today?' once or twice, you MAY end up with friends for life. The jr. high crowd is this way, it seems to me. Just a hello endears many of them - it constantly amazes me (especially when they project such a 'don't LOOK at ME' attitude at first.)

We had a boy coming around who did far more than litter on our grass. He has destroyed stuff! Not maliciously, more by just 'playing' too hard (and he's huge). But with kind, parental-type attention, he will eat our of our hands. Once he was running and jumping off our deck, and knocked an entire section down (4 year old cedar deck.) My kids came and reported it, I looked out to see half the deck missing and Jordan on the grass 4 feet below looking a bit dazed.

He said, 'Mrs. G, tell your husband I will help him repair this...' and I said, 'That would be great. And you are invited to dinner, and I expect you to stay for our Bible study now!' He did.

Kids this age are often just unattended and looking for some meaning, I think. Anyone that might encourage them that they are special to anyone!

So, I think you are RIGHT on track with what God would love you to do.
:kiss:

JoyInHim
Oct 11th 2007, 01:24 PM
Great answers, Tanya, and I agree. :hug:

In theory, I want nothing to do with the whole thing. What do I do, though, when God clearly directs me to lay MY preferences aside, and minister to my neighbors? Obey my desire to appear pure and set apart, or obey God's clear directive to us personally, to be OUT there on the 31st, smiling and giving to our neighbor kids? I cannot ignore the directives we have been convicted of. We don't scripture conflicts with the instructions we feel God has given us.

To -us- 'halloween' (we don't even use that word here!) is a not what we are 'doing.' We a My husband has told other believers who question why we are 'home' that night (and not at the church harvest party), 'it's a candy and costume celebration. '

We aren't celebrating - and we aren't performing any vain ritual, either. Our decision to stay home and GIVE on trick or treat night, is the result of MUCH thought and prayer about how we are to relate to our neighbors, personally. But this is 'our' situation - not everyone has the same thing going.

I think every family must be convinced fully about their own convictions regarding what God would have them do. If God clearly directs you to not participate in any manner, that would be the thing to do. But God has clearly instructed us to mix and mingle on this night. We have neighborhood things we do NOT do (like the annual halloween party and haunted woods thing they do.) We pray about it, and see if we should go. Giving candy seems a yes, 'celebrating' beyond that, a definite no. I don't want to go through a haunted woods :)

If Paul could eat the meat of idols, I have no trouble giving candy to my neighbor children on this night, or any day of the year. But, I do understand perhaps MOST believers, do not feel this way about this night.




I personally don't advocate banning anything or rebuking other people's children. I just choose not to perform the ritual celebrations. It's perfectly Biblical to separate oneself from things that stir up the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life. I'm probably just more susceptible to it than you are so for me it's best to leave it. :) Using a clock or calendar isn't the same as performing rituals in a celebration. We're not celebrating the clock or the days of the week.



Very true, they don't. That's why all of us (or most of us) grew up performing various seasonal rituals without questioning them. Then we grow up and we keep performing the ritual, and we pass it on to our children. That obliges them to do the same, and that is how traditions get established.


Jer 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my fortress,
My refuge in the day of affliction,
The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say,
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies,
Worthlessness and unprofitable things."


Then people start talking about how it is actually somehow "more Christian" to perform these rituals than to separate oneself from them, and we all end up like the religious leaders of Jesus' day worshiping God with things He hasn't given us to do, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Mograce2U
Oct 11th 2007, 01:47 PM
Hi JoyinHim, #72 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1407428&postcount=72)
I like your attitude. I received the little coins from livingwaters.com and they are pretty cool but hard to read. But that's ok because it will take some effort for the kids to read them! I was just thinking that I ought to offer a "cup of cold water" to these kids too. Little bottles of chilled water to wash the sugar out? And a trash can near my gate would probably be a good idea too. With a couple of weeks to go, I am actually looking forward to this opportunity.

Blessings,

JoyInHim
Oct 11th 2007, 04:22 PM
Hey Robin - I like your attitude too! Jesus was caught hanging out with sinners - I bet many of them had no clue that stealing and cheating was *wrong* too. He ministered to them directly.

Someone mentioned Jesus' anger in the Temple. He didn't lash out at children seeking candy or fun (He welcomed children when His own disciples turned them away). He was angry at His Father's house being used wrongly. If the moneychangers (cheaters) were GIVING doves away...would He have gotten angry? Or was He reacting to their TAKING advantage of worshipers, and cheating those who had to purchase their sacrificial animals and birds?

Of course it is 'wrong' to have ANYthing to do with spirits. Kids aren't looking at that. They are looking for fun and candy - and you won't disappoint them it sounds!

I see it more like going into the world, and being the light. We (personally) feel we (personally) can do that without joining in the falseness of death and evil and destruction. People can come to your porch, and have a few moments of genuine, pure joy w/o the trappings or 'scary' stuff...and will remember that! You can do it all without a track or scripture, in my opinion, too. This is my experience from my childhood - kids remember adults who know their name, smile at them, and speak to them - and definitely if you hand out chocolate or toys! :P

I love your idea about a cup of water : )

I wonder if they would rather grab a cup and leave it, than lug a heavy water bottle? My kids have asked me to open our garage and have a table with cider and hot coffee, for parents.

One mom in our neighborhood gave out wrapped baby teething cookies to babies in strollers (what a cute idea!) and dog biscuits to the dogs!

I like your coin idea. I kept and treasured little things like that (the tiny bible on a necklace and glow in the dark hands!) for years, as a child. I think God can use these things! Mostly, though, I think any kindness you show radiates Christ. Year round : ) People (and children) are so, so open to a word of kindness.

I'll check out the link you included. : ) Have FUN in your ministry on the 31st! I pray you'll make some connections with neighbors that can result in friendships throughout the year!


Hi JoyinHim, #72 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1407428&postcount=72)
I like your attitude. I received the little coins from livingwaters.com and they are pretty cool but hard to read. But that's ok because it will take some effort for the kids to read them! I was just thinking that I ought to offer a "cup of cold water" to these kids too. Little bottles of chilled water to wash the sugar out? And a trash can near my gate would probably be a good idea too. With a couple of weeks to go, I am actually looking forward to this opportunity.

Blessings,

Mograce2U
Oct 12th 2007, 01:12 AM
JoyinHim,
You are just too full of good ideas - thanks!

Another thought:
Too bad you can't come over and we could do it together...

JoyInHim
Oct 12th 2007, 11:46 AM
Those 10 com. pennies are really neat : )

They were out of them when I visited.

Is there 100 in the package?


JoyinHim,
You are just too full of good ideas - thanks!

Another thought:
Too bad you can't come over and we could do it together...

hollandmin
Oct 23rd 2007, 10:23 PM
Here is a wonderful explaination of Holloween on the Bible Answer Man broadcast

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Bible_Answer_Man/archives.asp?bcd=2007-10-18

It will shed some light on the issues of Holloween and where it stands in the light of christianity

Tanya~
Oct 23rd 2007, 11:44 PM
Hi hollandmin,

I see you're new here, welcome to the boards! At the oneplace site the blurb says:


But did you know that Halloween was actually part of a bold evangelistic effort by the early church?The question is whether this form of evangelism is Biblical or not. Is it in keeping with God's word to adapt pagan practices to make it easy for people to 'convert' or is it more in keeping with God's word to preach the truth and call people to repentance, that they should do as the Thessalonians did when they "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God?" 1 Thess 1:9

It was not easy to follow Christ from the birth of the church. When did the plan change to make it easy?

hollandmin
Oct 23rd 2007, 11:51 PM
Hi hollandmin,

I see you're new here, welcome to the boards! At the oneplace site the blurb says:

The question is whether this form of evangelism is Biblical or not. Is it in keeping with God's word to adapt pagan practices to make it easy for people to 'convert' or is it more in keeping with God's word to preach the truth and call people to repentance, that they should do as the Thessalonians did when they "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God?" 1 Thess 1:9

It was not easy to follow Christ from the birth of the church. When did the plan change to make it easy?

I agree with you and please understand that the reason I posted the link is so all could understand where holloween actually came from. This is not to say that it is in anyway acceptable in the form we have today, but if you have the time I would suggest listening to the program

Tanya~
Oct 24th 2007, 01:14 AM
I am listening to it right now. :) Thanks for the link.

Jeremiah333
Oct 29th 2007, 05:26 AM
Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.

That is great! I love it!

JoyInHim
Oct 29th 2007, 02:40 PM
If I can respond, I agree, Tanya, participating in evil is never an acceptable way to 'evangelize.' I'd not be able to dress in a gory costume, or evil (or let my children) or anything like that, as a believer. That would be celebrating death and all that goes along with Halloween.

But, we don't feel we are participating in evil by merely giving out candy that night - we feel we are maintaining good relationships with our neighbors.

I keep in mind that Paul, strong in the Lord, was able to eat meat offered up to idols in good conscience: -unless- it became a topic of discussion (whereby he was perceived as worshiping the idol). So, we pass on all things Halloween other than giving candy. We pass on the neighborhood parties and so on, because to us, the 31st is just another day, nothing to celebrate. Our neighbors never see decorations that look Halloweenish at our house. Pumpkins and mums maybe, but not skeletons or grave stones, etc.

Regarding what is 'easier'?

Well, we used to take our kids to church on the 31st, where they offered a heck of a lot more than just trick or treat (games, prizes, dinner, blow up climbing slide type things and so on). Frankly, it was easier to just go to church - fun, great fellowship, and I didn't have to cook that night. But our neighbor children took it as an offense, I'm sure they got it from their parents, when we vacated the neighborhood on Oct 31 and didn't give out candy. They are here year round, we have lots of fun at our house and in our yard with them - it is -obvious- when we show up missing on a 'fun' night of candy and costumes.

Personally, I hate any gore or death imagery - and I protect my kids from seeing it. A little tricky when I'm keeping our front door open and teens come!

We felt called to bless our neighbors by giving candy out - which we've done now, for several years.

None of our other neighbors who are believers give out candy. Because of that, we feel even more compelled that SOME Christians are in the neighborhood, sharing the fun and smiles with the secular children.

I hope the other believing families are understanding of what we feel is God's directive to our family - and don't look down on us as brothers and sisters in Christ - we certainly don't expect them to do what 'we' feel is right in every detail. But if they do feel we are in error, we still must follow Christ. I wish they'd actually pray that God uses us in our neighborhood as we try to reach out in any opportunity we find, as we do for them. We are on the same team, regardless of the position God places us in individually. :rolleyes:






The question is whether this form of evangelism is Biblical or not. Is it in keeping with God's word to adapt pagan practices to make it easy for people to 'convert' or is it more in keeping with God's word to preach the truth and call people to repentance, that they should do as the Thessalonians did when they "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God?" 1 Thess 1:9

It was not easy to follow Christ from the birth of the church. When did the plan change to make it easy?

Tanya~
Oct 29th 2007, 03:48 PM
Hi Joy,

Just to clarify, my point had to do with the reason the pagan holiday was 'Christianized' to begin with rather than Christians using it as an opportunity to point people to Christ.

The early church didn't adapt pagan practices as a way to make the unbelievers more accepting of Christianity. This was a tactic used hundreds of years after Christ, as part of the political expansion of the Roman Catholic church. Augustine of Canterbury, under the orders of Pope Gregory "the Great" went to England to accomplish two tasks. One was to bring the Christians who were already there under submission to the Pope. He was not very effective in that task. The other was to convert the Pagans to Catholicism. What he found there was that the Pagans were open to the Catholic religion but also wanted to keep their own religion. As a compromise, Augustine adapted the existing holy days, celebrations and traditions to Christianity so that the people could have both, and in this way, he 'converted' them to 'Christianity.' They didn't have to repent of their idolatry. All they had to do was rename the gods and reinterpret the rituals. Now some might think this was really a great thing because it appears to have been a very successful way to 'evangelize.' My point is to say that this was not Biblical evangelism.

For a Christian to use the opportunity to witness is a completely different issue than for a Christian to find some way to convert it into a 'Christian' thing. I think Paul's use of the altar to the UNKNOWN GOD in Athens illustrates for us how pagan things can be used in evangelism. He pointed to it and told them that the God which is unknown to them is the Father who created all of us so that we could worship Him, and that His Son died to save us from our sins. Paul then called on the people to repent of their idolatry and believe in Christ who rose from the dead.

What Augustine did in England would be more akin to Paul going through and observing how religious these Athenians were, and then taking all the idols and reinterpreting them for Christian use, then encouraging the people to think of them in "Christian" ways instead. He would then have been following in the footsteps of Aaron, the brother of Moses. After the children of Israel came out of Egypt, Moses went up on the mountain and was gone for 40 days. The people got fed up with waiting for him and demanded that Aaron make them gods to go with them. Aaron, wanting to pacify the people, made a calf idol from gold and called it after the name of YHWH. He reinterpreted the idol so that the people would use it to represent YHWH who delivered them out of Egypt, and he declared, "tomorrow is a feast to YHWH." God was none too pleased with this then, and there isn't any reason to think He would be pleased with the same thing taking place 600 some-odd years after Christ.

When Paul used pagan things to point people to Christ, those who believed the gospel repented of the idolatry, and turned to God. When Augustine reinterpreted pagan things in order to convert people to Catholicism, those who accepted the new religion incorporated its teachings into their existing forms of worship, but did not repent and did not turn from idols to God.