Monthly comment for October 2012
Halloween is a mutation and a contradiction of sorts to its more noble beginnings. Originally, it was “All Hallows Eve” and was/is the night before “All Saints Day” November 1st. “All Saints/Souls Day,” among our liturgical brethren, is the remembrance of the saints and their contributions to the church from the earliest days of its birth onward (Pentecost Acts 2). All Hallows Eve (later to be known as Halloween) was the evening before a holy day, something like Christmas Eve.
In some ways, Halloween is akin to Mardi Gras, a French phrase for “Fat Tuesday,” the practice of the High Church world to feast on rich foods and drink prior to “Ash Wednesday” and the start of 40 days of Lenten season leading up to Easter/Resurrection Sunday. If you’ll excuse the crude exaggeration, Mardi Gras became the last shot to sin and pig out before 40 days of austerity showing God how good and spiritual they could be by going without, like Jesus did for 40 days in the wilderness.
The Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic side of the Christian world may see these things as sinful and to a good degree they are and have been. Liturgy, however, can be a beautiful thing. I was raised in a liturgical setting and remember a very holy sense of God leading up to Holydays (Holidays). Unfortunately, many beautiful things of the Church get diluted and mixed in with the world.
Christ and the Bible-centered side of Christianity is not immune from eclectic concoctions of world and church. It is possible to become so seeker friendly in the Church today, that we are no longer friendly to Jesus Christ. The United States Marines have a slogan and it’s a good one, “Semper Fi,” which is the shortened form of the Latin Semper Fidelis meaning “always faithful” to Christ.
Dads and Moms, just to remind you, there is very little out in public places that are even remotely Christ honoring. John said, “…every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3). There is much to “spoil and take people captive” and some of that may be what looks to be harmless and even cute traditions (Col. 2:8). Teach your children well parents–it is your sacred charge and privilege from God.
Paul reminded the Corinthian Church, steeped in Greek philosophy and tradition, not to “peddle the word of God” (2 Cor. 2:17). Peddling, as Paul uses the word, had to do with hucksters in the tavern business, who would dilute the alcohol with water but charge the same as the real deal. Parents and church leaders can ill afford to dilute the things of God in word or deeds in this antichrist climate in which we and our children live. Be contemporary, but with fidelity to Christ our Lord.
Always Faithful to Christ and His Word!