Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and Reformation Day

Happy Halloween!
and
Happy Reformation Day!


It is that time of year again! I'm torn between whether to really celebrate Halloween or not. Now that I have a child it is especially difficult trying to figure out what the right thing to do would be for our family. I both like and dislike the holiday. I want to celebrate Halloween for the reason that it is a fun holiday and seemingly harmless in many aspects. However, Jesus died to give us eternal life and we Christians are to be a light in this world of darkness and Halloween is a celebration of death, darkness, all things sinful and evil... but at the same time, it is a fun time to just be silly and dress up in fun (decent) costumes, eat candy, and enjoy having children come to your door so that you can give them candy :)

I have no interest in the things of the dead (which is why I hate most scary movies in which most people end up dying.) Witches, monsters, devils, people with stab wounds, "scary" jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, ghosts...I really don't understand the appeal of it all. Death is a mystery (to many people), but is it really something worth celebrating? Some would argue that it isn't a celebration of death, but then what is it? Does it make a difference? Does it glorify God in any way at all? I don't think it does, and I want all that I do to glorify the Lord and the life that he has given me both on this earth and for all eternity!

Some people do like the thrill of being scared, but I certainly do not. The concept has always been a mystery to me - people enjoy being scared. It's just not me. It's a strange holiday with terrible origins and it is still used for terrible and horrendous purposes to this day, but then if you just look at the holiday as a time of trick or treating it seems to be more of a "fun"holiday that I believe can be enjoyed by Christians. I basically believe that the trick or treating is harmless, but everything else associated with the holiday is not. So where do we find the middle ground? Is there one?

It is also Reformation Day (which is a far better thing to celebrate in my opinion haha). On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther posted 95 disagreements with the Medieval Catholic Church on the door of the castle church of Wittenburg, Germany. The chief debate was the matter of salvation (being saved from sins and entering into a right relationship with God). The catholic church at the time was teaching that people could buy forgiveness for their sins. Luther was a monk and a theologian, he spent a great deal of his time studying the Bible and the more he studied it, the more he realized how wrong the church was. Luther's 95 Theses protested their teaching on salvation. Luther and other reformers taught that religion and good deeds could not save people (as the Bible clearly says) and salvation can only come through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Generally speaking, Reformation Day is a celebration of the true teachings of the Bible! How awesome is that?

I grew up never trick or treating, but instead I went to Harvest Festivals at church that consisted of tons of carnival like games, lots of candy, people dressed up as the people in the Bible (and rewards for those who could figure out who they were!), good music, good food, and good fellowship. It was a celebration of life, rather than death.

Now that I'm here in Sioux Falls, I don't know of any places around here that do that. Perhaps by the time Zoe is old enough there will be something like that, and maybe there are church festivals that I just don't know about yet. I'll look into it more as Zoe gets older. If not though, I don't want her to not be able to enjoy the fun aspects of the Holiday.

What are your thoughts? How do you celebrate Halloween/Reformation Day?

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the info on Reformation day. I admit I was ignorant that today was that day, so I will now see this day as a great celebration for that fact ALONE!! We are blessed to have a church that celebrates a "Fall Festival" which is rather large so we will be taking Jacob there tonight and I am very excited about it. As far as all the rest, I completely oppose all the dark costumes because I believe it gives honor to satan and corruption, which is ludicrus. As a child I celebrated it and dressed up as witches, black cats, ghosts, etc. and I didn't really understand the dark side of it so some might argue that it was harmless, but as the Bible says, "when I was a child I thought as a child". Now I am older, and I just can't give any credence to a holiday that "celebrates" death, decay, corruption, and essentially SIN! I refuse to give any kind of honor to satan!! However, my mother in law gives out treat bags with gospel tracts in each bag which I think is WONDERFUL!! So I definitely think handing out candy is a great way to honor Jesus by sharing the gospel. How often do you have the unsaved coming to your door to ask you for "treats"? So I guess you could say I believe that as Christians we should not "hide" from Halloween, but rather we should see it as just another opportunity to oppose the enemy and fight him with the Word of God!God bless you (BTW my middle name is Christine, too!!)

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  2. I just posted about this on my biblebabies blog too. It's a really great question. I'm saying a prayer for you. Hugs

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