Sunday, October 30, 2011

A 'holy' day?

One of the most spiritually dark days of the year is tomorrow. My parents decided from the very beginning that our family would not participate in Halloween activities and I was aware of the basic reasons why, but as I was not able to give my wondering friends an explanation that satisfied both them and myself, I chose to write my final research paper in high school on the history and mystery surrounding Halloween to be able to more fully explain my parents' (and what would soon become my own) convictions. I was deeply disturbed by what I found - some of the things I encountered gave me nightmares, and I found the time I spent in research mentally and spiritually depressing. Since that time it has been an issue that is close to my heart, and I could - and did - write pages upon pages on it. But I'm going to try to keep this brief and clear, and let readers take away from it what they will...

First off, don't think I'm hating on those people - even Christians - who choose to participate in Halloween activities. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~ Ephesians 6:12 We're not called to criticize others for what they do, but pray continually that we can be a shining example for Christ and a prayer warrior that the Devil fears to go up against. However we choose to deal with Halloween, it should be done in a way that brings glory to the One that  redeemed us from the wickedness of our hearts, and our words and actions on that and any other day of the year should be salt and light to a lost and dying world. (Matthew 5:13-14)We can't change a heart, but God can. Let us do our part and leave the rest up to him.

That doesn't mean I don't have any pet peeves with regards to Christians and Halloween. Indulge me with this one: harvest parties. Am I against dressing up and getting together with friends for some food and fun? Hardly! But giving people a "safe alternative" to Halloween celebrations makes it look like there's a hole to fill - that they're somehow missing out on something if they don't have anything to do on Halloween. If anything, this is the time of year when we should be making an extra effort to set ourselves apart as "a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:14) Halloween is not a time for compromise, and 'harvest parties' are just that.
Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?  ~ 1 Cor. 10 : 19-22

Set Halloween aside as a time for prayer, and battle for those that are seeing (or even celebrating) the darkness. Instead of giving out candy, take the kiddos aside and explain to them why you choose not to take part in any celebrations on October 31st. Get out the popcorn and ice cream and make a movie night out of it, and watch something fun, uplifting and/or educating. There are so many things you can do to show the world that this is a day where you're not going to sit on the fence - or lean against it and watch. Take a stand. Make a statement.

If you're interested in reading further, here are some good links:
Should Christians participate in Halloween?
Christians and Halloween

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What's the difference?

A boy makes his girl jealous of other women. 
A gentleman makes other women jealous of his girl.

My kinda guy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

the Founder of our faith...

... is Paul. whoahhwhatwaitwho? my religion teacher thinks an awfully good case could be made for it. I mean, he did write some pretty awesome literature - all his letters to those churches are fairly compelling. And don't even get me started on Romans, one of the most-read religious documents of all time. I mean, come on here. Who else but the eloquent, educated and convincing apostle Paul could have given such a foundation for a religion such as Christianity?

Oh, I don't know.
maybe Jesus?
"...the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." ~ Hebrews 12:2-3

It really couldn't be much clearer. As much as I like you, Paul - sorry man. You're not winning this one =)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Generous Mr. Lovewell - MercyMe

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~ James 1:27

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:2

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
~ Romans 12:10

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:7

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
~ Galatians 5:13