Why Christians should embrace the devilish holiday with gusto—and laughter.
A few years back, our local Christian radio station ran a poll asking whether Halloween is spiritually harmful. The response from a predominantly evangelical audience here in Ohio was two-to-one against Halloween. This did not surprise me. It is now popular in some Christian circles to repudiate any celebration of All Hallows Eve—Halloween. "We all know what day is coming," said a young woman in the choir of the Rhode Island church my wife and I attended when I was working on my doctorate. "And I think we need to be in prayer that the evil powers and principalities be held in check over this next weekend." Halloween fell on a Sunday that year, making the event seem all the more sinister. On the calendar of events for the Christian college where I teach, October 31 sits in a dark square with no acknowledgment that there is anything special about the date. "It's Satan's Holiday, Dr. Rearick," affirmed one of my students. "Didn't you know?" Well, no, I didn't know and I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Impostor and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his, to them I give up nothing! I have always considered Halloween a day to celebrate the imagination, to become for a short time something wonderful and strange, smelling of grease paint, to taste sweets that are permissible only once a year. How wonderful to be with other children dressed up as what they might grow up to be, what they wished they could be, or even what they secretly feared. All of us, dreams and nightmares, were brought together on equal footing, going from door to door to be given treats and admired for our creativity. How delightful to go to parties with doughnuts, apples, brown cider, and pumpkin cakes—and to hear spine-tingling ghost stories and feel our hearts skip a beat when the teller grabbed for us. Now some are pressuring us to give this all up, and they use what is for some of us the most difficult argument to answer: it's the "Christian" thing to do! Some Christians shun make-believe. Such believers feel that a young Christian's mind should never long to be in lands where little men have fuzzy feet, dragons breathe fire, and horses have wings. Instead, they maintain that a Christian should be caught up in the here and now of the "real" world. Defending the reality of fiction and the value of fantasy requires an entirely different essay. Christians certainly may be leery of sharing anything with modern pagans and Satanists who claim Halloween as theirs but who gave these individuals the right to claim the holiday? If they are Druids, they are celebrating Samhain, which is not Halloween but an even older holiday. As for Satanists, their calendar is a perversion of Christian seasons—there would be no Satanists if there were no Christians. Let them claim all they want, I give them nothing. "But look at the roots of Halloween," some may say. "Don't you see how evil it once was?" I do, but the operative word in that sentence is was. Samhain was once a time of fear and dread, but at one time so was Yule or Midvinterblot, as it was called in Sweden. Toward the time of the winter solstice, the days became shorter and colder. The land was laid waste. In pagan times, to keep the fire of the life-giving sun alight, people often made sacrifices before a great oak tree. Boniface is supposed to have stopped one such sacrifice and instituted the indoor Christmas tree at the same time. The burning of such logs in the midst of sacrifice has come down to us as the traditions of burning Yule logs and enjoying Christmas trees. I'm not suggesting fir trees and Yule logs be banned from Christmas; I'm only demonstrating what has happened time and again in history. For our pagan ancestors, the holidays that marked the great seasonal changes were often fearful, terrible, and dark but with the coming of Christ came a great light that reclaimed not only individuals but also the holidays they celebrated. In the case of Midvinterblot and Yule, the holidays that once marked the terrible price required to provide light instead began to express the joyous arrival of God's true light. Laughing away our fears and foes What would a reclaimed Halloween express? In our culture, Halloween traditionally has allowed us to look at what frightens us—to experience it, to laugh at it, and to come through it. So at the end of October, we are visited by cute Caspers, laughing pumpkin heads, and goofy ghouls. Should the forces of evil be mocked? Should Satan be laughed at? He most certainly should be. At the beginning of The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis includes two telling quotations, the first from Martin Luther: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." The second comes from Thomas More: "The devil … the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked." The one thing Satan cannot bear is to be a source of laughter. His pride is undermined by his own knowledge that his infernal rebellion against God is in reality an absurd farce. Hating laughter, he demands to be taken seriously. Indeed, I would say that those Christians who spend the night of October 31 filled with concern over what evils might be (and sometimes are) taking place are doing the very thing Lucifer wants them to do. By giving him this respect, such believers are giving his authority credence. Not all believers should celebrate Halloween. For those who have been redeemed from the occult, Halloween in its foolishness may contain what was for them deadly seriousness. While their souls were in deadly peril, however, what they experienced were lies and illusions. It is understandable that they look with horror upon what once enslaved them. Such sensitivity may be appropriate for them, but it is not appropriate for the majority of Christians. Holding their opinions as appropriate for most believers is like having a former bulimic dictate how Christians should regard church hot-plate socials. Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with gusto. If we follow the traditional formula of having a good time at his expense, Satan flees. In any event, I doubt the anti-Halloween party will prevail. This tactic was tried before—with Christmas. In the 17th century, because of its pagan ancestry and because it was a Roman Catholic holiday (Christ-mass!), many Protestants decided that true believers should not recognize Christmas. In 1620 our pilgrim forefathers purposely started unloading the Mayflower on Christmas Day to make the point to the crew that they were not going to observe such an evil day. I'm glad those believers—however well-intended—failed. How bleak and desolate would a winter's December be without Christmas! We could have lost our chance to celebrate Christ's first coming and a chance to witness to the world, as I fear those pilgrims lost a chance to witness to those sailors. If we give up All Hallows Eve, we lose the delight of God's gift of imagination and we condemn the rest of society to a darker Halloween because our laughter will not be there to make the devil run.
By Anderson M. Rearick III
Remember:"Halloween is just a bunch of people in costumes, it is people who follow evil that make the world's horrors real"
Today is my Christian Birthday, that is today is the day that I was reborn in the name of Jesus Christ. So to mark this years event, I am blogging the following story:
Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study one day and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
"Life is a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once." Also Remember: "That the will of God will never take you, where the Grace of God will not protect you!"
Sir Richard... A knight in thy service of the King of Kings.
Two little boys, ages 8 and 10, were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew all about it. If any mischief occurred in their town, the two boys were probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually. So the mother sent the 8 year old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, 'Do you know where God is, son?' The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, 'Where is God?' Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more, shook his finger in the boy's face, and bellowed, 'Where is God?' The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, 'What happened?' The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, 'We are in BIG trouble this time!' 'GOD is missing, and they think we did it!' *************** It’s one thing to know there is a God; it’s quite another to know the God who is!
- Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Of course, church small groups have become a part of the programming most churches offer their people. For some that do not give them a long try, one of the reasons could be, that they are disappointed by the lack of closeness. I believe that you can not just throw a random group of people together for a study of some kind, and expect them to become immediate intimate allies.
I am not saying that small church groups do not do this, for they do. What I am saying is that within small church group, true friendship may take awhile. As this is the sort of devotion that we all want and need but it takes place within a shared life. This is how it was meant to be and it is completely normal.
I love this description of the early church: "All the believers were one in heart" (Acts 4:32). There is a camaraderie being expressed there, a bond, an espri de corps. It means, that they all love the same thing, that they all want the same thing, and they are bonded together to find it come hell or high water! For hell or high water will come, my friends and this will be, the test of whether or not your small church group will make it. That is, if you are of one in heart.
Judas betrayed the disciples because his heart was never really with them. Just as churches which have split over the size of the parking lot, or the color of the church carpet. Then again, most churches are at times "not one in heart", as this is also completely normal. Beware though, that if you are not of one in heart like a cell you to, will also divide.
Our God is calling us together, in little communities of the heart. To fight for one another and for each other to fight for the hearts of those who have not yet been set free! That camaraderie, that intimacy, that incredible impact by a few stouthearted souls, should be available anytime anywhere, to anyone. This is the Christian life as Jesus gave it to us. For it is completely normal.
As always, with God you are never alone but our Lord also asked us to come into fellowship in His name. So lending an ear when needed is also part of the plan, or else we would all be mute and deaf.
Many awful things have been done with the doctrine of hell. “You’ll go to hell for that” has been used to condemn all sorts of things that God does not condemn. You know… “Don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t go with boys or girls who do.” Furthermore, those who have swung the idea of hell around like a club, give you the impression that they’ll be glad to see you sent there! Remember that this is not true with our God, who “is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Lord who has pursued us down through space and time, who gave His own life to rescue us from the Kingdom of Darkness.
Nonetheless, simply because certain people have abused the concept of hell doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
First, you must understand that hell was created not for mankind, but for Satan and his angels. (Matthew 25:41). Hell is not God’s intention for mankind.
But remember—He gave us free will.
He gave us a choice!
This a thought for today was posted for you by,
Richard Abbenbroek... It’s one thing to know there is a God; it’s quite another to know the God who is. As I am before God, mere "Writings in Dust"...
Some days my computer helps me fly like an eagle. Other times, it bogs me down like a chained hippopotamus. On “eagle days” I’m grateful for my computer. But there are those “hippo days” when I rue the day I bought one.
Recently I’ve had to contend with a virus that invaded my computer. What bothers me most is that viruses are created maliciously. Bright people who live with a darkness in their lives want to make other people miserable. What’s worse, I permitted the virus to enter my machine by opening what I thought was an innocent e-mail.
Just as we let a virus into our computers, we also let darkness into our lives when we open ourselves unthinkingly to evil messages that permeate our culture. We let down our guard and hardly notice that which infects our minds. But by reading God’s Word, and praying, we build a firewall, or barrier, to safeguard our minds. With His help, we’ll keep our minds from becoming unwitting hosts for unwanted guests.
Be positive but be aware, and guard your minds & hearts as you would your wallet.
Do we form no friendships, because our friends might be taken from us? Do we refuse to love, because we may be hurt? Do we forsake our dreams, because Hope has been deferred?
Yes, to open our hearts may lead to the possibility of pain but to shut down the Hope in our hearts, is to die altogether. The full proverb reads this way: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” The road to life and joy lies through, not around, the dreams of Hope.
To Hope is to be human and that is not a sin. Excess, or the abuse of others in what we do, or say = is.
So remember this: There is always Hope! And from where Hope springs, it is Eternal. :)
This "Thought For The Day", is from: Richard Abbenbroek...
God determines who walks into your life.... It's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.
When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God, is all you need. For with God, you are never alone!
Now just take few seconds and give this a shot! All you need to do is simply say this following small prayer for your friends:
Father God, please bless all my friends in whatever it is that you know they may be needing this day! May their life be full of Your peace, prosperity, and power, as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with you. In Christ Jesus name I pray.
May the grace of our Lord be with you always!
Richard Abbenbroek It’s one thing to know there is a God; it’s quite another to know the God who is. As I am before God, mere "Writings in Dust"...
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. —Romans 12:20 In Rumors Of Another World, Philip Yancey tells a story that illustrates the kind of "revenge" Paul spoke about in Romans 12:20, when he said that showing kindness to an enemy will "heap coals of fire on his head." When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, he appointed a commission to bring to trial those who had been guilty of atrocities during the time of apartheid. Any white officer who voluntarily faced his accusers and confessed his guilt would not be punished. One day an aged woman was brought face-to-face with the officer who had brutally murdered her only son and her beloved husband. Asked what she wanted from him, she said, "Although I have no family, I still have a lot of love to give." She requested that he visit her regularly so she could mother him. Then she said, "I would like to embrace him so he can know that my forgiveness is real." Yancey writes that as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand, the officer became so overwhelmed with shame and remorse that he fainted. The pain that woman inflicted was not sinful revenge but the purifying fire of a God-given love that can lead to repentance and reconciliation. That's redemptive revenge. — Herb Vander Lugt This F.Y.I. is from,
Richard Abbenbroek It’s one thing to know there is a God; it’s quite another to know the God who is. As I am before God, mere "Writings in Dust"...
Richard Abbenbroek Volunteers At:
Centre Street Church, Child Find Alberta, Team Hope NCMEC, Samaritans Purse Canada, RCACS, The Hanger, Sir Richards Music Promotions FREE
May 1989 – December 2013 (24 years 8 months) Child Find Alberta, Team Hope NCMEC
Assisted 408 Parents in the recovery of their Missing Children, through Child Find Alberta (1989 – 2008) and Team Hope of the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (2003-2013).
Helped build a Computer Lab at the High School in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Bhekulwandle South Africa.
Centre Street Church Mission
Went to the Gulf of Mexico and assisted in the recovery of 70 Hurricane Katrina ravaged homes with Samaritans Purse Canada.
Also a Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplain
RCACS ROYAL CANADIAN AIR CADET SQUADRON’S 604, 52, 781, 538 Voluteer and Parent Advisory Commitees.
The Hanger – As a Guide and Greeter, Air Show Events.
Sir Richards Music Promotions FREE: Currently helping young female singers reach their goals as professional acts and for Free.
Sir Richard/Mzikayifani (My Zulu name for homesteads are different)
With Love and all that heaven will allow!