Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is Halloween BAD for Christians?

 

bms021333 This week, I am actually reposting a version of an article I wrote last year…

It amazes me how interested kids are in spiritual darkness these days=0 They are curious about things…

I had some of my tween friends ask me, “IS HALLOWEEN BAD?”

We briefly discussed the history of Halloween and I attempted to explain  why it is so popular now AND how it is indeed a holiday on a different level for many….

Below you will find my excerpt from last year:

 

Today I read a blog post concerning a topic I have been brewing on…. Halloween….funny part is I was JUST sitting down to write/ pray about it….I have a lot of kids in my life from lots of genres and I need a way to teach…but NOT condemn….

Excerpt From Family Matters Blog

“As we round the corner to Halloween, one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the United States, many Christian parents are unsure what they should allow their kids to do. By many, this holiday is seen as a chance to have some good old fashion fun dressing up and getting way too many treats. But for others, this holiday represents a dark side of life that intimidates them.”

Halloween = The Great Divide among Christians

Halloween is one of THOSE TOPICS…………..

I have know God fearing, God loving Christians on BOTH sides of the fence….especially in groups where a final decision had to made about what holidays to celebrate. More times than not the groups I was involved in chose to skip Halloween and either do a Huge Harvest Fest instead….to keep it fun for the kids or do a Halleluiah Nite or Brunch….or nothing at all.

The Soberness of Halloween for Believers = Prayer

mother-daughter-praying The soberness of the situation came recently a few days ago when 2 different believers reminded me to PRAY during this season of “increased spiritual activity”. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY… I was told….

 

This encouragement was just based on discernment of the times….I learned alot in the past about Halloween but I need some Facts on Halloween and its History AND what should I say to the kiddos….to TEACH the CHILDREN about Halloween ALL the facts and NOT CONDEMN them at the same time if we all have DIFFERENT VIEWS….

Halloween Information = A Christian Perspective

The first excerpt is from a website that digged into the history roots of Halloween…for the full article please visit the website….as a caution…it IS an Anti-Satanism site and that is where they are coming from…

The cool thing is that the site also reviews the origins of minor items like the jack-o-lanterns, black cats, brooms, skulls and some of the other familiar icons from Halloween tradition:

Where did Halloween begin?

It began over 2000 yrs. ago with people known as the Celtics. They lived in what is today England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.

What is Halloween all about? Trick-or-treating?

Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called "lord of death". It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.

Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you….

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, this is the day when Satan himself comes to "fellowship" with his followers. Many changes have occurred over the centuries, but one thing ha stayed the same, the practice of giving an "offering" has stayed the same.

Jeremiah Project says: …When America and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and the powers of darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating our homes, schools, businesses and churches with occult symbols, Satanic power is glorified.

Halloween & Christianity Link History from About.com

During the 8th century in the diocese of Rome, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1, officially making October 31 "All Hallows Eve," some say, as a way of claiming the celebration for Christians…. Pope Gregory IV broadened the feast to include the entire Church.

Inevitably, some of the pagan practices associated with the season persisted and have been mixed into modern celebrations of Halloween.

They also include this excerpt which I thought was interesting:

Ephesians 5:7-12

    Don't participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

    Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

    (NLT)

 

What Should I Say and Teach as a Christian About Halloween? 3 Approaches

1) 

 Well, first of all I LIKE Missionaries Rob and Millie’s Approach…to evangelize in season…..that is one approach of many Christians

….My son says…”I like Rob and Millie…because they tell other people about Jesus….G-O-D”

Evangelizing for Halloween  probably the BEST way of approaching Halloween……. Presidents’ Day…Grandparents Day……… or ANY HOLIDAY for that matter!!!!!!!!!!!

In years past we have taken this approach to Halloween. We used to give out pencils and other trinkets from Oriental Trading with a message…

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2)

Ignoring, denying and/or or being against Halloween is another Christian Perspective:

Many Christians strongly oppose Halloween and don’t even mention it as a day of significance. The danger of this of course is that it is a very real holiday for not just stores who start the Halloween season  late summer…but for many Christians and non Christians who celebrate in offices, schools, churches, and the like. To pretend Halloween did not exist would be a challenge for kids…..We teach the kids about the History of Halloween…and how it is being celebrated today…

It is also important to help the kids NOT BE JUDGMENTAL against Christians who celebrate….this is not a salvation issue. It is a RELATIONSHIP with God issue….it is God who communicates…so I will NOT tell the kids outside of my home NOT to celebrate BUT I will try to teach them about the TRUTHS of Halloween. It is up to them to decide.

As a family, we have left home some Halloweens to avoid the door scene when our oldest crop of kids were still little…..especially at the times when their harvest party was scheduled on a different day….we didn’t want them to feel confused or BAD about not trick-or-treating… They had TONS of candy already…so we’d go to the mall…(still getting candy – can’t avoid it, ha ha) or to an event our church had planned at the Play Plaza or just go hang out somewhere……

 

3)

A Final Christian Approach to Halloween: Some Christians Celebrate Halloween

I have heard of some who try to take the darkest parts OUT for their kids sake….like my fellow blogger who says:

“Then there is a middle ground approach that includes the fun but excludes the dark influences.”

I have many God fearing family members who go to Halloween parties and such.

As a kid I was allowed to dress up and go on my city block to trick-or-treat…  82600962

I must admit is was a SCARY CAT  cat at times because of the PROJECTILE EGGS COMING DOWN from the roofs of the 4 story apt buildings. LOL

Kids would sneak on the rooftops and bombard passer-bys. Those EGGS HURT if they hit you… SOME kids would use umbrellas as they trick-or-treated.

One author I read felt

…Vandalism and wanton disregard for the property of others is common on Halloween night.

Even normally well-behaved children are driven by unseen forces to destructive behavior. Police officials everywhere report a great increase in such activities on Halloween

.… it can get very destructive..

In fact at some schools’ administration have instituted a curfew to cut down on the mischief…

As a college student we kids actually called Halloween MISCHIEF NIGHT….

The administration had to implement this policy after my freshman year when some kids damaged light fixtures and other expensive items to repair…My immediate friends and I were surprised considering we had powder filled sock fights BUT that became the new policy. Some students had gone too far…

the author’s thoughts I just mentioned about destructive behavior on Halloween make me wonder as I reflect…..

Finally, some parents ONLY let their kids do a limited amount of involvement with the Halloween Holiday…only visiting family or close neighbors…etc.

 

The Conclusion of the Matter on Halloween from a Christian Perspective

I believe God’s heart is for us to seek HIS FACE…about everything.

God is fully capable of touching a speaking to US on a regular basis.

Out of that INTIMACY with the Father God we will each receive direction concerning Halloween so we can in turn teach the children in our paths.

Following tradition blindly either way….to celebrate or not….to me is the biggest mistake that can be made by any …

GOD CARES ABOUT the details in our lives…and has an encouragement and direction to speak to individuals….

He LOVES US….

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Co-Parenting With God

 

 

I wanted to say a few words about an exciting opportunity I had to speak in an interview with Antiqua Libby as part of her weekly HUGS (Hearts Uniting God’s Spirit) series. The interview process itself was totally led by God. In fact, He took the show to an angle we had not quite planned….which is even better. He had a blast. She is a wonderful hostess!

Parenting and Training the Children in Our Lives

The interview stresses techniques and tips to communicate with God to parent and train the children in our lives. These children may be our students, friends, birth children, step-children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors….

I believe, God wanted His us to know how much He can help us and partner with us to raise our families and the children and youth of today.

So many children are hurting these days. They need love and care. Some have special needs. It takes a lot and God has the resources. In fact, He has a plan.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Through the Tough Times

Even during the tough times God’s hand is available to help, guide, instruct, tutor, strategize and comfort.

Sometimes I meet children and situations that feel over my head. The pain is deep and cutting. Many tears I have shed over the years but He always makes His presence known. I like to ask Him for wisdom and comfort during these times….sometimes it feels more like a beg=) I know I just have to ask.

God promises to teach our children:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

He desires us to partner with Him. There is so much success available…

He speaks to us as parents……….if we ask Him.

 

Help for You

If it is difficult for you as a parent to hear God and feel connected please let me know. You may want encouragement, support, prayer a few pointers to resources available….just ask!

 

Facebook PTAM clip

The PTAM Facebook page is the best place to message. I would appreciate, if you “LIKE” the page=)

http://facebook.com/ParentingTwinsandMore

 

Looking For Your Connect and Success Stories

Have you had times when you connected with God and received help from Him?

Do you have any of these stories you can share?

I would LOVE if you would share them with. We want to encourage one another.

  1. Use the link above to either POST it if you want others to benefit.
  2. Or, message me there with details.

 

To see the full story from Antiqua Libby’s beautiful and inviting site, listen to the audio version of the HUGS….or better yet, enjoy encouragement from other guests please CLICK on the image below:

 

HUGS interview Lois Ridley