Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hiding Under the Halloween Candy Bowl

Halloween is an interesting time of year for Christians. Something about the holiday can make some of us a little nuts. Some of us find no conflict at all in celebrating Halloween, choosing to make it simply a time of dress-up and make believe and innocent fun. Some of us believe it to be irrevocably tainted with evil spirits and the forces of darkness, believing that any participation at all amounts to participating in worship of the Satanic. And some of us try to walk a fine line, not believing the celebrations to be Satanic but knowing others do, and avoiding costumes and decorations that touch on the darker side of the holiday. Some of us try to redeem the holiday and hold events at our churches where children will be safe and people might hear the gospel.

I'm not about to settle this argument between Christians if you were hoping for that. Paul left enough wiggle room with respect to eating meat sacrificed to idols that I am going to leave wiggle room here. But I do think there are a few verses that, for me, touch directly on this subject. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (NLT).

These verses don't tell us who is right about how to handle Halloween, but they can speak to us as individuals about how we handle the holiday. According to these verses our light is to shine out like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden and people are too see our deeds and give glory to God because of them. We must ask ourselves if the way we handle Halloween shines like a light in the darkness. In the middle of that dark night, are our lights shining for all to see? Or do we hide our light under a bowl? If we celebrate the holiday, is there anything to show the world that we are different, that we are children of a God who has conquered the darkness, or are we just like everybody else? If we abstain from the holiday, does our light shine out for the world to see or are we hiding in our homes with the curtains drawn and the lights off, hoping nobody knocks on our doors?

I can't tell you how the Holy Spirit should lead you with regard to this holiday. But I can say, whatever you decide, you must make certain your light is shining. There is no excuse not to shine your light on the darkest night of the year.

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