Archives For Halloween

All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween, is upon us this week. In light of that, I have a question for you:

What’s your favorite scary movie?

It doesn’t have to be horror. It could be a thriller, action/adventure, whatever. It just has to be something that gets your blood pumping, your adrenaline flowing.

I’ll go first:

In recent cinematic history, I’d have to say it’s The Conjuring for me. It delivers the mood, the thrills, the chills, and a faith-affirming message, too.

What’s yours?

Share in the comments below.
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Today begins the time of year known as Hallowmas. It is a time of remembering the faithful departed who have gone before us. According to Wikipedia, Hallowmas is:

“Hallowmas, also known as the Triduum of All Hallows (Triduum of All Saints), is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually. Hallowmas is a time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.The dates of Hallowmas were established in the 8th century AD.”

Further, the word Halloween is itself a contraction of the phrase “All Hallow’s Eve.” Wikipedia states that word itself is of Christian origin:

“The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scots, the word “eve” is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase “All Hallows'” is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), “All Hallows’ Eve” is itself not seen until 1556.”

Be that as it may, it seems that the holiday may in fact be Christianization of an older, pagan celebration. But so what? So are Christmas and Easter. (We’ve been in the business of chrisrianizing things for a long, long time). Yet we have no problem celebrating those holidays. Furthermore, we (as Christians, and as Americans) seem have no problem celebrating holidays created by our government:

Independence Day
Memorial Day
Veteran’s Day
Labor Day
MLK Day (well, some of us have a problem with this one. But we’re not going there)

Getting dressed up, and going door to door, for candy is no more pagan than getting up and getting dressed for work. And I frankly don’t understand what it is that we as Christians are supposed to be fearful of this time of year? Doesn’t the Bible say “Greater is He Who is in Me than he who is in the world?” Thus it doesn’t matter what the pagans, the non-Christians, or satanists intend for this day, right?

As it also says in Scripture, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it.”

Every. Day. Is. The. Lord’s. Day folks. We would do well to not forget that. And it would do us all a bit of good to be Bereans, and investigate the faith we claim to hold.

Instead of looking down our noses at our brothers and sisters who choose to celebrate today differently than we do. The fact of the matter is that shaming, or berating, someone with our convictions is just about the fastest way to get them to run the other way.

The truth is that neither keeping, or not keeping, Halloween is even the thing. The thing is Jesus, and what we do, or don’t do, with Him. But let’s not put people off of Him by acting as the gatekeepers of orthodoxy for everyone, okay?

They has folks like that in Jesus’s day; they were called Pharisees.

Don’t be a halloweenie this Halloween, okay?

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Halloween is coming, and with it hordes of the undead. They will be descending upon your doorsteps in countless, shambling, ravenous hordes.

Do you have a plan?

They will show up hungry, demanding of you not flesh, but candy. Metric tons of it.

You can:

1) Hide–leave your lights off. Don’t open the door. You never know who’s out there these days. Play dead.

2) Open your door, pass out sweets, embrace the fun of it. Make it not about death, but life. People long for community, connection. Make it happen!

3) Go outside–embrace your neighbors, get to know them. You might find they’re not so different after all. Chances are very good that most people you meet aren’t satanists out to hex you. The point is: how are we to be salt and light if we’re not interacting with people outside the household of faith?

4) Go to your church’s harvest festival–but invite your neighbors. Salt set apart by itself has no savor.

4) Along with candy, procure and pass out copies of Clay Morgan’s excellent book, Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, Reborn. In it he tells, in a wise, witty, well-researched yet accessible, way tales of the undead from the New Testament. In fact, read it for yourself, and you may just find yourself better prepared to face those undead hordes coming for your candy.
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Just my $.02, folks.

What do you think?

>Jesus, Friend of Trick-or-Treaters? Or WWJD About Halloween?

Introduced into the social consciousness by Charles Sheldon’s 1896 book, In His Steps, the question “What would Jesus do?” has inarguably guided the faith of millions. While still popular, I think it safe to say that this meme reached its pinnacle in the 1990s. I have to wonder, though, is it the right question for us, now, at this point in history? While I agree we should be about the business of the imitation Christ, who among us is Jesus? I’m sure not—and chances are, neither are you—Jesus, and thus how are we supposed to know what He would do? (Unless we first know what He actually did–“If you abide in my Word, you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”). I think we need to back up a step and ask ourselves “What did Jesus do?” What business was He about when He walked among us? What was His primary mission? You know, what did He do? Once we know this, once it is settled in our hearts, we have a key that unlocks a whole host of other questions, such as: what does being in the world, but not of it look like? The answer that comes to mind is: Jesus. He’s our model of being in, but not of. That may seem overly simple, or all but unobtainable. But His is the only model of perfectly Christlike behavior I can find. How do we apply this? For instance, suppose we ask ourselves what would Jesus do on halloween night? How would He reach his family, friends, and neighbors? How about this: what did He do in a world dominated by fervent religiosity and overt paganism? How did He respond? What did Jesus do? Based upon my reading of Scriptures, I know that—no matter what He did do (healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead)–the Lord Jesus was called a winebibber, a glutton, and a friend of sinners. Dare we be known as the friends of trick-or-treaters? Or is that too far outside our comfort zones? I submit that if we are indeed known as such, we are in good company.
In summary, the answer to the question of “what would Jesus do?” is another question: what did Jesus do? Because what He would do is what He always did, what He has been doing for the last 2000 years: whatever it takes to change lives. And as I see it, Halloween need not be an obstacle to this endeavor, but rather an opportunity to be embraced. We should start a new meme—a new “old” movement: WDJD–“What Did Jesus Do?” (“playing the number one hit record of all time, the Gospel”)–and go and do likewise.

>     Hi, folks! I don’t normally post on weekends, but with Halloween being tomorrow, I’d like to get your take on this holiday. Is it something you celebrate with your family? Is it all in fun? Is it evil? Should we even worry about it? I mean what’s wrong with free candy, yo? Where does Jesus come down on this? (I’m of the mind that as Christians we’re to be about the business of redemption, and this can include Halloween. Call it “redeeming the time, making the most of the opportunities,” if you will).

     Also, I’d love it if you’d share your take on the absolute worst candy there is. Here’s mine: Circus Peanuts. They look like packing material and taste like sugar-sweetened styrofoam. They’re like nothing so much as candy suppositories! Insert orally for an intense alimentary response!