Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"But we are redeeming Halloween for Christ"

You are not redeeming a holiday that you celebrate the same way the pagans do.

Nothing is being redeemed when you do that. It is being celebrated and joined. There has been no viable Christian meaning attached to October 31. The forms have not been redeemed with new Christian meanings. The forms retain their pagan meanings. If we really celebrated the lives of the saints as All Souls Day on November 1 calls for, that would be a redemption. If we really celebrated the 95 Theses being nailed to the door in Wittenberg, that would be a redemption of the day. But instead, we glibly and ignorantly participate in Druidistic pagan worship forms with no redeemed meaning.

At least Constantine redeemed the festival of Saturnalia on December 25 and instituted the celebration of Jesus' birth. He successfully attempted to redeem the pagan celebration by creating new meanings for old forms. So today, a Christmas tree is a symbol of Christ's everlasting life, not an idol from German witchcraft. Even Santa Claus is simply a modern corruption of the celebration of the life of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker, one of the greatest intercessors of all church history. Easter, a day to celebrate the fertility gods, has been redeemed with new meanings to old forms in its replacement with the glorious Resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Christmas has been redeemed. Easter has been redeemed. Halloween has not been redeemed. It is still celebrated as a day for the dark world, and its forms still represent darkness. That is because Halloween cannot be redeemed. There is nothing holy about Halloween. There is nothing inherent in its meanings which can be attached to Christianity. There is nothing redemptive in any of its forms or meanings. It is folly to claim to redeem Halloween for Jesus.

If our problem is that we don't want our children to miss out on the fun, we can give them bags of candy. We can buy or make them costumes to wear all year.

We teach our children that we do not celebrate Ramadan because we are Christians and not Muslims. We teach our children that we do not celebrate Deepavali because we are Christians and not Hindus. We should teach our children that we do not celebrate Halloween because we are Christians and not pagans. We can teach our children not to celebrate Halloween when other children their age are being sacrificed at the altars of demons.

The early church would have had no problem seeing the issue here, and neither do Christians in cultures that are only one or two generations removed from witchcraft and paganism. Why are we Westerners so blind to spiritual reality?

These are our family's convictions based on our plain reading of Scripture, but we don't think it is our job to force them on anyone else. We don't think we are better than anyone else or wiser. These posts are worth my time for the sake of warning others about the dangers of trafficking in paganism.

We also appreciate a decent respect from others not to have Halloween forced on us as if something is wrong with us, that we are mean to our kids if we don't celebrate an unredeemable day. However, other Christians often treat us as the "weaker brother" and disdained as "holier than thou," a backward anachronism, because we do not celebrate the familiar spirits of our pagan Celtic Druid heritage.

It is foolish for any Christian to participate in Halloween, and it is dangerous for any Christian leader to encourage other Christians to participate in such sin or berate those whose convictions lead them to abstain.

"... have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11]

"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?" [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]