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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Every year at Halloween I hear the same diatribe on celebrating Halloween. Detractors seem to think calling it a Fall Festival is any different. If the children are allowed to dress up in costumes, play games, and get candy, guess what… it’s HALLOWEEN! The legalists among us seem to think that the origins of Halloween should disqualify Christians from involvement. They say its Celtic origins in pagan mysticism make it a night of evil. I acknowledge its historic origins, but lets look at the facts. The Celtic practices that brought us this night are all but forgotten with a liberal estimate of 1% practicing today in the US. Ninety-nine out of 100 people could not even tell you the origin of the night if you offered them a million dollars. The children who dress up and trick-or-treat have absolutely no knowledge, or care, about the origin. The same could be said for adults. Halloween, much as every other holiday, religious or not, has been assimilated into American, and is as much an American holiday as the Fourth of July. The holiday is not the worship or fear of spirits, the dead, or ritualistic pagan sacrifice. It is a time to dress up in a costume, get together with friends, and have a good time. So to those who want to make a big deal out of it on some self-righteous religious power trip, to you I say: grow up. Honestly, take a look around. We live in a country obsessed with money, sex and power, and you think putting on a costume one night a year makes any difference? What about the masquerade that we all play every day, putting on our mask to hide the true condition of our hearts? What about the sin we tuck away and hope no one will recognize? What about the pride we stand behind as we condemn those around us? What about the empty pit of despair that is destroying marriages, teenagers, and children; the pit revealed when we begin to realize that the treasures promised by materialism and naturalism fail to satisfy our longing for purpose. Who cares if we dress up in costumes, if we have jack-o-lanterns, if we tell ghost stories. “I have become all things to all men so that by all means I might save some.” Let’s stop being modern Judaizers, stop focusing on the little things like what we call one night of costumes and candy, and focus on the real problems that are destroying our friends and family.

Happy Halloween!


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