Saturday, October 24, 2015

God or Absurdity Survey

This is going to be really interesting - it's the first time I've ever created an online form like this.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Absurdity of Christian Apologists For Halloween

With Halloween just two weeks away on the 31st of October, I decided to post some things related to this pagan celebration of darkness and evil. Below is one of the pictures that I posted the other day on my God or Absurdity Facebook page. (It was posted on AskDrBrown's Facebook page where it's already had nearly 20,000 Shares and over 4,600 Likes). It's got quite a reaction and a huge number of Christians have been commenting and debating this issue on my page and Dr Brown's page, and no doubt a lot of the people who have shared it have debated it on their own Facebook accounts. 



I'm not sure that I'd say that Christians who participate in Halloween are worshiping Satan but it depends on how you define worship. If worship is defined as giving focus, money, and attention to something with deep love and devotion then based on that definition it would seem that some or even many Christians could be said to be worshiping the Devil on Halloween. Sure that is debatable, and I'm not saying that professing Christians who love Halloween are necessarily going to hell, but it does deeply concern and trouble me that the church and the world often are virtually no different in the way they live their lives and that Christians are failing to be salt and light in the world like we are called to be.

I also posted this picture:



While people would argue it's not a real threat and so not extortion, it does seem in principle to be extortion when you think about it. 'Give me candy and if you don't I'll do something bad to you' is basically the premise behind Trick or Treating. Is that what Christians want to be teaching their kids?  It makes me wonder if that's connected with why many Christians have no problem with pastors using a form of extortion when they take an Old Testament tithing verse out of context and threaten non-tithers with God's curse. (See my blog on tithing).

And here's another that I shared - this is an actual Halloween T-Shirt:


Isaiah 5:20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."

I've been surprised at the number of Christians who are acting like apologists for Halloween - apologists in the sense that they are trying to defend Halloween as something that is a good thing even for Christians, or that at the very least Christians shouldn't judge other Christians who choose to take part in this festival.

One verse that is often quoted is Colossians 2:16:
"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day."

However, Colossians 2:16 should not be used to defend Halloween because it is about Jewish festivals and celebrations. (See the commentaries in the above link).

Even Kirk Cameron has become an apologist for Halloween. (See Kirk Cameron on Halloween: Christians Should Have the Biggest Party on the Block).

Churches in the USA are even organizing Harry Potter Halloween outreaches, and haunted house Halloween outreaches (such as Scaremare) to try and use Halloween for evangelistic purposes. Given that Halloween is thoroughly pagan I see this as being about as God-glorifying as Christian men going into strip joints to give out tracts. No matter how effective you claim it to be, it's not justifiable. 



I've had all sorts of comments on my page from these Christian apologists for Halloween. Here's one example:


When I had a look at his Facebook page I found this picture as his cover page:



And on his Facebook wall he'd posted this picture several weeks ago:



Other Christian apologists for Halloween have been more aggressive in arguing either for why Halloween is good, or why Halloween is permissible or not a big deal. I've been called a legalist (which is nonsense - legalism is something that I argue against), and had other accusations and ad hominem attacks thrown my way. It seems like nothing quite gets a lot of Christians riled like criticizing Halloween.

I wonder if these apologists for Halloween also spend as much time being apologists for Christ? I'm guessing that for many of them that isn't something they're nearly as passionate about.

One of the things I want to make clear is that with any subject we need to have the Word of God as our ultimate authority and final arbiter of truth. We need to go back and ask - what does the Bible say about this? If it's not directly mentioned in the Bible then we need to look at scriptures that are relevant to the issue and from there try to determine what the most biblically consistent position is.

I've asked some of these Christian apologists for Halloween how they came to their conclusions about Halloween being fine for Christians, and one respondent gave a long list of reasons but not one mention of the Bible or even one Bible verse was mentioned by him. That's concerning and indicates to me that such a person does not have the Bible as their authority, but that their own human reasoning is their authority.

The Bible says in Jude 1:23 "save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."
So I wonder why are Christians ok with wearing clothing stained by corrupted flesh in a festival associated with celebrating the demonic?

Of course this isn't a salvation issue, and participating in Halloween isn't going to send you to Hell, but it is going to have you associating with hellish themes, and it's not going to bring you closer to Christ.

As well as all of the pagan and satanic imagery, Halloween is also full of sensuality and debauchery. Years ago one of my non-Christian work colleagues from Canada told me that Halloween was a great time to get laid and that girls seem to lose their inhibitions when they wear a costume and mask. He thought that was a great thing, but of course based on God's word we know it's wrong and sinful.

The increasingly pagan and debaucherous nature of Halloween is clear to see. Even the secular news company CNN can see this: Move over kids: Halloween is for grown-ups - CNN. In the article they say: "Skimpy Halloween get-ups have been available for as long as costumes have been sold commercially, but in the last decade the prevalence of sexy costumes has really exploded".

Another issue raised in the above CNN article is the amount of money spent on Halloween which in 2012 was an estimated $8 billion dollars in the USA.



On top of all of those issues there is also the fact that crime spikes on Halloween night: The Halloween Crime Spike.

Messing with the demonic isn't something to be taken lightly. I'll never forget years ago seeing a teen girl who was a witch but gave her life to Christ. She manifested demons after getting saved and we had to pray for her for deliverance. She was burping and shaking as the evil spirits came out of her.

Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?

This is one of the best articles I've found on Halloween that looks at the different issues and scriptures related to the topic:

Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween? - Berean Publishers.




The Seven Sins of Halloween


"The Seven Sins of Halloween" - Pastor Steven L. Anderson is the best sermon I've heard on Halloween. (Steven Anderson is a bit wacky and off on other topics, but on the topic of Halloween he gets a lot right, and on that note it's important that we don't reject information that we don't like just based on where it comes from or who says it, as that is a logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy.

Below are the 7 points from the sermon and most of the Scriptures that he uses, and there are a LOT of Scriptures* that he uses:

1. Idolatry

1 Corinthians 10:20  "No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons."
Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

2. The Glorification of Death, Darkness, and Evil 

Proverbs 8:36 "But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death."

Mark 5:1-8
1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”"


Luke 22:53 "Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns."

John 3:19 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.""

John 12:35 "Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going."

John 12:46 "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."

Acts 26:18 "to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'"

Romans 13:12 "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."

2 Corinthians 4:6  "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ."

2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"

Ephesians 5:6-13 "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." (KJV)

Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Colossians 1:13 "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,"

1 Thessalonians 5:5 "You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness."

1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

Matthew 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light."

1 John 1:6-7 "If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."

3. Glorification of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Philippians 1:28 "without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God."

1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (KJV)

Hebrews 2:14 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--"

4. The Appearance of Evil

1 Thessalonians 5:12 "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

5. The Sin of Not Thinking For Yourself


Exodus 23:2 "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil..." (KJV)

6. The Promoting of Hollywood and it's Worldly Characters (Witchcraft, Sorcery, Sodomy etc)

If Disney is so pure then why do they have a day once a year that is a Gay Day at Disney World?

2 Chronicles 33:6 "He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger."

Leviticus 20:27 ""'A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.'""

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you."

Leviticus 19:31 ""'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."

2 Kings 21:6 "He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger."

Isaiah 19:3 "The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists."

1 John 2:15 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them."

7. Fellowshipping With Devils


Ephesians 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (KJV)

________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion


If you are a Christian and choose to celebrate Halloween then of course that is your choice, and I'm not going to condemn you for that or assume that you're not a Christian or don't love God. At the end of the day it's your choice - if you want to join in celebrating demons then I can't stop you. All I can do is encourage you to do more research and to look prayerfully at this matter from the light of God's Word. May God be glorified in all that we do and may we live lives worthy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

*All Scriptures quoted are NIV unless stated otherwise.


For Further Reading / Research: