Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reformation Day and Hallowe'en

Did you know that today is Reformation Day? It's also Hallowe'en. Two days that can been seen in a variety of ways.

For Reformation Day
1. Is it important to observe it in some manner?
2. Is it okay to just mention it in passing?
3. Do preachers HAVE to preach on it?
4. Can we just ignore it?

For Hallowe'en
1. Is it really Satan's day alone?
2. Is it just candy and fun?
3. Is it primarily a witnessing opportunity?
4. Should it be avoided at all costs?
5. Should we try to only Christianize it?

I'll tell you where I stand for this day.
I think it is very important to remember where we came from. Do I think preachers have to preach on it? Not really, not if they are preachers who are constantly calling people to truly follow after God. If they are doing that, they are already preaching what the Reformation was really calling people to do. Follow God, not the church. The church should call people to follow God, not to follow their extra-biblical stuff. I think if we can attend a "Reformation Day" service, that is a good thing. Is it a requirement of being a good Christian? By no means. It is just another nice way to get together and worship God with a bunch of his other people. :) And that, in my book, is always a good thing (whether I "feel" like it or not). God is with us when we gather to worship him. And it really is more important that Hallowe'en.

Now I know that Hallowe'en is a contentious subject for many Christians. And quite frankly, I do see it as just a fun day. But I was also raised like that.

Do I recognize that it is a night where people do evil stuff? You betcha I do. There are times when people just delight in doing evil, and Hallowe'en seems to give them "liscense" to do so. BUT I also firmly believe that God is in control of all things. I have to believe that. If I don't then I am not believing what the bible is constantly telling me. I do not believe that Satan is in control. I do believe that Satan thinks he is, but the one I believe is in bigger than that.

Can Christians, should Christians try to make an impact on this night of "let's do bad things because tonight it's okay to do so'? YES! Most definitely yes. Christians should not encourage their children to dress up in evil outfits...you know..murderers, jack the rippers, scary stuff. They just shouldn't. That's looking at the darkness inside of us. There's lots of ways to dress up that don't look at the darkness within ourselves.

There is a part of me that wonders if the whole "candification" of Hallowe'en is ploy on the part of the devil to make us less aware of the evils that can lurk on this night. And maybe so, but as Christians we are to be aware of that type of thing and use our discernment and our power in prayer to fight against it.

Christians can make the point of having "hallowe'en" or "harvest" parties if they like. But I really wish they wouldn't make them just church specific. Invite the whole neighbourhood in. Use it truly as a witnessing opportunity. Encourage youth to come and just hang out, do fun stuff, encourage them not to engage in pranks that are just damaging and not truth building.

And if you do the neighbourhood trick or treat thing, use it as a night to build bridges with your neighbours. Work at opening their eyes to the things of light and beauty and truth. Pray hard for them. Pray hard for the safety of their children. Pray hard that this night won't be a real night for "devil's play".

Anyways, that's all I have to say. What do you think?

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