Right now Halloween is the Christian topic of choice. Do you participate, celebrate, take note of this day? We share our opinions all in the name of seeking to glorify God. But are we?
Are we glorifying God with our vain discussions? Are we glorifying God by dressing our children up as puppy dogs? Are we glorifying God as we gorge ourselves on candy? Are we glorifying God as we go door-to-door holding out our bags and saying trick or treat, or is it trunk or treat?
Are we glorifying God when we turn our heads from the haunted house down the street? Are we glorifying God as we stay home with our doors locked and lights out? Are we glorifying God by celebrating Harvest Day instead?
We all want to glorify God this Halloween, but are we?
Every year around October 1st I begin to contemplate the Christian reaction to Halloween and what my response will be. It can consume my thoughts. I roll each perspective over in my mind and in my prayers. I read scripture and start the cycle of contemplation all over again.
Where is the gentleness? Where is the kindness? Where is the mercy? Where is the grace? Where is the hope of the gospel?
Each holiday is steeped in paganism – Halloween, Easter (you should really look that one up), changing the Sabbath day to Sunday, and Christmas to name a few. As Christians we must be intentional to think through each holiday to determine what the Bible says and what we’re going to do about it.
This is true for all areas of our lives though, not just holidays. I hope being intentional and living by grace in all areas of your life is a part of your daily M.O.
I harp on personal mission statements and family mission statements a lot around here because I believe they are essential to pursuing godliness! I don’t think anyone should do something just because “it’s the way we’ve always done it” or “I turned out just fine, so there must not be any harm” or fill in some other rationality that you did not take time to really look into. We must know WHY we do what we do.
Even more than knowing our WHY behind what we do, we must be able to communicate our reasons to others in a spirit of love. Not arrogance, pride, or self-righteousness.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it build itself up in love.” ~Ephesians 4:15-16
As bloggers, we like to share our opinions. As writers, we live through our writing – to not write would be to not breathe. As writers and bloggers, to have people read our words is deeply fulfilling.
Here is where we go awry – we think our blogs are for us. We think our opinions matter. We think our voices are needed. I’ve fed into that lie. Trust me, I fall into that snare more than anyone else.
But let me just break it to all of us, our words are not needed. Our opinions do not matter, and our blogs are vanity upon vanities when it’s not done for the glory of God. We must decrease so that He may increase.
We will give account for every reactive post we write. We will give account for every thoughtless word typed, for every post written to prove someone wrong or to make our stance known. It’s humbling, and I’ve been on my knees a lot lately begging forgiveness for my lack of concern for how I use this corner of the internet.
And this isn’t just about bloggers or writers. This goes for all of us. We all have words that we use each day and opinions that we share over the water cooler or in the nursing moms room at church. Facebook
rants statuses are included here.
Why am I going down this road right now? What do our words have to do with Halloween?
I’m going this route because I think we all need to be reminded that our words and how we use them deeply matter because God’s glory is at stake. We must take care to communicate carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully our convictions. If we want to share our thoughts, we must take the time to divide the scriptures, communicate gently, respectfully, and we must be willing to go the extra mile with those who may disagree with our stance as we seek to build up the body of Christ.
And as we speak and share, we must be aware of our audience. I think we forget this as bloggers. We expect everyone who reads our blogs to be just like us. But more and more, I’m learning the internet is where people go to find answers to their burning questions. It is likely that someone who finds this post or your post is not a Christian or is a new Christian, and we must take care how we communicate on matters that don’t pertain to salvation. We must give space for people to pursue God, seek Him, and to grow up in maturity. Let us not assume everyone is just like us. Let us trust and appeal to the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do!
Our words are an empty drop in a bucket. There is no power in our words. There is only power in the words that are anointed by Jesus, the living God who gives us the gift of writing!
I’ve seen far too many posts in blogosphere pertaining to Halloween that is simply a sharing of opinions for the traffic that a Halloween post will bring, and not even remotely about the reader who might be reading and asking, “How can I glorify God this Halloween?” I’m often left with the questions, “But why? Why do you put a sign out that says, ‘No candy here,’ or why does your family choose to hand out candy and not go door to door yourself? What is the biblical conviction behind what you’re doing, and not just, ‘This is what we’ve come to after much prayer and consideration.’ Please give me more than your opinion!”
Perhaps this is an ode to writers, a plea for bloggers to wake up!
Our world is perishing, the night is getting darker, and our witnesses must get better! We must stop writing for ourselves, and start writing for the glory of God.
“For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions.” ~2 Timothy 3:6
Don’t be a weak woman. And again, this goes for all of us, not just writers.
When it comes to Halloween for my family, we come back to this passage of scripture:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. ~Matthew 5:14-16
We seek to live every single day of our lives as lights – for our children, our neighborhood, and our city. We are all called to be missionaries because of the Great Commission. We all have a God-given purpose, one in which He desires us to walk in and fulfill.
Personally, my family chooses to take our lights into the city in which we live, and we don’t make Halloween the exception. It’s a part of our family’s DNA to be at the heart of events in our town. Just like the local arts festival that brings out droves of people and the Christmas parade where Santa Claus will inevitably pull up the rear, in our town, everyone gathers downtown for Halloween. The shop owners hand out candy, toys, and even french fries (when we lived in Colorado!) to the children dressed in their favorite costume.
We smile and chat with our neighbors and friends. We laugh as our children don their superhero masks on upside down. We pray as we walk past the haunted house, and we take phone numbers of people dressed as mummies and vampires so we can share a meal in the future.
We pray for opportunities to share our faith, to be a light, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Halloween downtown is another opportunity to share the love of Jesus with the people we meet. Another day to be a light in the world, especially on a day when the dark wants to reign.
It is in the darkest of nights when a light will shine ever more brightly.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” ~James 3:13-18
I want to help you.
“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. ~Romans 14:5-6
I want you to confidently answer this question: Am I glorifying God this Halloween? I want you to be fully convinced in your own mind that your family’s approach to this day is biblical, thought through, and done in the honor of the Lord. Therefore, I created a short scripture study for you to print off and use during your Bible study time.
It is my prayer that each of us will consider how we can be salt and light this Halloween. How we can be a city on a hill in grace and truth. Regardless of what you choose this Halloween (because I believe there is no “right” way), I beg you to remember that God has “made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47).
As you dress up, stay home, hand out candy, or go out of town, do so with His glory in mind. Don’t die on the hill of your opinion, but instead share the truth in love so as to build up the body of Christ and give grace to those who hear. Be full of mercy. Be peaceable. Be faithful and humble.