Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh, that again. It's Halloween...

As we creep upon the eve of All Hallowed (Saints) Day, the posts and tweets multiply on why Christians shouldn't participate.

But I'm not going to get into a debate about whether or not Trick or Treating is some kind of pagan ritual that celebrates a spirit of anti-Christ. When I was a kid it was strictly about one thing: loading up on candy. Period. I never heard of the Celts.

But I wonder what Jesus meant in Matthew 16:18 when He said the "gates of Hell" would not be able to "prevail" or "overpower" the church.

If Halloween is a tool in the hands of the powers of Hell, as many claim (and, yes, I'm aware of its pagan origins), is it something from which we retreat or is it something we charge as an army with the Gospel?

I mean, if Jesus was being truthful, what about Halloween do we fear? And aren't we called to invade the culture to proclaim the chains have been broken by the Cross?

Doesn't the Gospel have the power to not only overcome but convert evil to good? And if so, does that not apply to how we approach Halloween?

I'm reminded of Larry Norman's radical lyrics that challenged the church in my teenage years. "Why should the devil have all the good music?" Likewise, why surrender to the devil a fun celebration by hiding from it? Why not turn it into something that points people to Jesus?

So, do we crash the party, or do we run away? Are we truly "like a mighty army" as the old hymn says, on the offensive, or are we monastic and reclusive, hiding out in our bomb shelters until the 2nd Coming?

Just thinking out loud.

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