So, do you believe?
Most parents will ask their children that question once or twice a year – just before Christmas. Of course, these parents are not asking if the children believes in Jesus, they are asking if the child believes in Santa Claus – the mythical mascot of Christmas. Throughout this season, television shows and seasonal movies will speak of Christmas miracles brought about by jolly old Saiint Nick. We will see destitute children who have only one hope, people on their death bed with no cure, loved-ones in far-away lands who know they will not see their families. These all have one hope in common, one chance to rescue their Christmas – Santa Claus. Santa is portrayed as the one, the only one who can work out a miracle on Christmas. Of course, Santa is a myth.
Santa is not only portrayed as a miracle worker, Santa is portrayed as super-natural. Aside from all the Christmas miracles with which he is accredited, Just think about the feats Santa is capable of: He can stuff one sleigh with enough toys for all the children in the world. That sleigh is pulled by a mere nine tiny reindeer (one of which, Rudolf, is a perpetual juvenile with a miraculously glowing nose). The sleigh, reindeer, toys and, of course, Santa are able to travel to every house in every time-zone while children sleep. To accomplish this, Santa must be supernaturally omni-present with equally super-natural powers over physics. Santa seems to have lived for ever and will continue to live forever, never aging. We cannot forget that leading up to Christmas (you would think this to be his busiest time, when he would be busy in his workshop), Santa is in every mall, department store and parade. Plus, Santa is on every corner ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. Santa must be omni-present. Let us not forget that Santa knows if you are asleep or not, he knows if you have been good or bad and he can see you (when you sleep). Santa must be omnipotent. Of course, there is another point of view. Think about it- Santa watches you when you’re sleeping. Where I come from, we call people like that perverts.
Most of these attributes (except for the pervert part) are attributes of Jesus. You see, Jesus is the only one who is all-powerful, all-knowing and able to be in any place at any time. Jesus is the only one who can produce genuine love in someone and Jesus is the only one who can do a real miracle. Of course, the best miracle is the miracle of salvation.
Do you believe? The question really should be, “Do you believe in Santa?” Of course, the question is irrelevant. It really doesn’t matter whether you believe in Santa or not. What does matter is that you, I and everyone else will stand before God. On that day, the questions will be did you believe in Jesus. Today, you have the opportunity to make that choice. Are you saved (follow the link to know for sure)? Do you believe in Jesus or do you believe in a lie? You cannot believe in both.
Apparently, I haven’t been clear enough with the topic of Halloween, fall festivals, etc.
As preachers, we have a clear command: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8. Paul was admonishing Timothy to be aware of the things around him. When a lion roars, the sound echo’s across the plains as a warning. However, when the lion stalks his prey, he is not so bold. The stalking lion still has the ability to roar, but that roar would announce his presence, his prey would flee. The lion is stealthy, the lion blends, the lion moves in silence and when the lion attacks, the fight is over. In one sense, there are many lions roaming around us – different devils using different plans of attack. Halloween is one of those stealthy attacks. Even cute little kids dressed up
in cute little costumes opens a door. Any acknowledgement of this holiday as being acceptable is contrary to the Word of God and should not be named among the Christian. It certainly should not be a part of the Godly parent’s life.
Eph 5:6-11 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Halloween has become a deceptive holiday masking its true origins. Suppose I came into your home or your church one day, stood up, and proclaimed, “Let’s all gather around the alter and worship Satan and the dead.” If you had any sense, or at least any sense of God, you’d run me off as fast as you possibly could. Of course, you would be right for doing that. The Bible is very clear about the occult.
So, for a moment, what is Halloween all about? In its most basic root, it is a celebration of what they considered the first day of winter, a celebration of the “darker half” of the year where it was believed that spirits, the dead, fairies and the like had an easier time passing from their realm to ours. These spirits, etc., were welcomes. Often, great feasts were planned and table settings placed for the dead or for spirits. These spirits were also believed to be able to do great harm. Often, these spirits required some atonement to be made to them. Later, customs developed in which people would guise, or go door to door begging for food offerings while in costume. Today, Halloween may have a cute side to it, but it is clearly a day for witches and warlocks, ghosts and goblins. No one can deny the influence of the occult in the modern celebration of Halloween.
With that in mind, what does the Bible say about this? Mind you – this is not a question of what I think about this, but what the Bible says.
De 18:9-12 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, (11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. (12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
(hint: a necromancer is one who claims to be able to communicate with the dead – crazy, I know.)
In Deut 18:9-12, God is speaking of what we, today, call the occult: witchcraft, seers, those who claim to speak to and hear from spirits or the dead, etc. God is very clear about this crowd – their practices are abominable. Despite the fact that these practices are an abomination, so many people invite this into their homes. Are you so willing to invite the devil in to your home? What is most sad is that there are pastors who invite this paganism into their churches. Some are blatant about it. Some make no bones about what they are doing. There are churches with outright Halloween parties. I went to one church, years ago, which actually had a “haunted house.” Amazing – amazingly pathetic. Of course there are some churches which host “trunk or treat.” Instead of encouraging the kids to go door-to-door, they encourage them to come to the church. These churches should be encouraging the parents and kids to worship God instead of normalizing paganism. Then, there are churches which claim to offer an alternative to Halloween. The innocent “Fall Festival.” Really?!? “But it’s harmless,” they claim. “It’s all in fun, no one is getting hurt and it’s not really a Halloween party.” First, isn’t it really, honestly, just another name for a Halloween party, or do you celebrate the other three seasons of the year? No, let’s be honest. Your fall festival is just a Halloween party with a different name. So, could it be that this is harmless and no one is getting hurt? As long as it is all in fun, is there really a problem? “After all,” they claim, “this is all imaginary, anyway.” We do not need to read much of the Word of God to know the devil is quite real. He is working against us, walking about as a lion, seeking to destroy us. But still, it’s all in fun. The Bible addresses those who wink at sin.
Prov 10:10 ¶ He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
Prov 6:12-15 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. (13) He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; (14) Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. (15) Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
Well, God is pretty clear about people who sin and claim it is all in fun, just a joke or not real. God calls them a naughty person and a wicked man. So, what does this tell you about the Pastor, the man who supposedly studies the Word of God, the man who should know this, yet brings Halloween, Trunk or Treat or the Fall Festival into his church? By the way, I expect the pastor who allows this paganism into his church will invite a fat man with a beard and a red suit into your church in a few months. But, that is a discussion for another month.
Halloween is a Christian holiday, right? WRONG! There are Catholic holidays which fall on November 1st and 2nd, but the Catholic church does not speak for the true Christian. If we were on that subject, we would explore the many ways the Catholic Church has incorporated paganism into their various local works in an attempt to win indigenous people. Again, this is a discussion for another day.
Since Halloween is clearly NOT a Christian holiday, how should the church respond to it?
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
We are commanded not only to abstain from evil, but to abstain from all appearances of evil. When you drive by the church around Halloween and see a bunch of people in masks, what do you think they are doing? Is the first thought in your mind that they are having a special communion service? Nope! Any normal person will think they are having a Halloween party. There is the appearance of evil.
Separation: Come out from among them
When we are commanded to be a distinctly different people, peculiar, called out from the world, why would we ever consider inviting the world into our church? Into our home?
2Co 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
What fellowship hath… There is a series of questions in this passage ultimately leading us to the idea that we should not be like the unbeliever. Why would a Christian want to participate in this sin? Moreover, we are commanded to be separate, different from the world. We, as Christians, should not be a part of celebrations which have a pagan meaning to them.
Don’t be upset with me. This is not my opinion, this is God’s Word.