Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Great Resources for Christians This Halloween

Leawo.com
I have never thought much about Halloween. I remember one year waiting until the very last minute to go trick-or-treating. I decided to put on some old sweats, take unopened panty hose from my Auntie, and went around the neighborhood as a convenient store robber. Not a highlight of my past.

Now, with Asher, I am starting to rethink everything. I don't know much about Halloween, it's origins, and how the church can effectively engage with the community when this holiday rolls around. To change that, I found two super helpful resources. If you're in the same boat as me, you may find these helpful:

WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HALLOWEEN
My friend, Justin Holcomb, wrote an excellent piece on the origins of Halloween, the history of it in the church, and how we can think through the holiday as Christians. It is important for us to consider what aspects, if any, Christians can embrace. How much of today's Halloween practices are rooted in the spiritual elements? How much of it all is just feeding into the commercialization of the holiday (Holcomb notes that 25% of all candy sold in the US for annually is for Halloween)? Do we reject the day as "the Devil's Day"? Can we wisely engage at all? If so, how? My favorite paragraph was the last one:
For those who are still bothered by Halloween’s historical association with evil spirits, Martin Luther has some advice on how to respond to the devil: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.” Perhaps instead of fleeing the darkness in fear, we should view Halloween as an opportunity to mock the enemy whose power over us has been broken.
Update: After tweeting this out, Justin shared with me another article he wrote on the connection between Halloween and Reformation Day, which is also October 31st. It commemorates that day where, in 1517, Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door.

12 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE ON MISSION THIS HALLOWEEN
If you're looking for a different way to approach Halloween, Jeff Vanderstelt of Soma Communities provides some very easy ways for Christians to be "on mission" this Halloween. Some of you may balk at that phrase, but that is for another time. The point of the post is to think through how you can be considering others on that day in a loving, intentional way as a Christian. My favorite suggestion is the first one: Give out the best candy:
Please, don’t give out tracks or toothbrushes or pennies…kids are looking for the master loot of candy. Put yourself in their shoes.
There are plenty of other posts I can recommend, especially from Verge Network, but you can explore more for yourself. I just want to help you along my own journey of starting to think through many aspects of life and culture that I often have a highly uneducated opinion on.

Now, the question is, do you recommend costumes or casting out demons in my life after that post?

By His Grace.

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