The Theology of Halloween

What do you think about Halloween?

Is it O.K. for Christians to participate in “trick-or-treating”?

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Christian Halloween?

I’ve talked to a lot of Christians what have told me that they have no problems participating in Halloween festivities.  They say there’s nothing wrong with it.  They just change the name from Halloween to Harvest Festival or something like  that.  They also say it’s completely acceptable to be involved in any or all Halloween activities, besides, we should “become all things to all men so that by all possible means” we might save some (1 Cor. 9:22).

Yet there are many Christians who do not believe it’s acceptable to participate in Halloween.  They ask the question, “why would a Christian want to associate or celebrate on the devil’s day?”  Those who argue against taking part in Halloween say that it is not a good thing and that Christians should “avoid every appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22).

What do you believe?

As you can tell this is a sensitive subject.  I believe that most people just don’t know much about Halloween.  Most people do not know its history, whether it’s good or evil, or whether or not to participate in Halloween.  What about you?  Do you know why you are in favor or against participating in Halloween?

Growing up as a child I remember the fun I had dressing up as Satan with my brothers and sister and going out trick-or-treating (with my parents)  We had a blast!   Today, I’m a licensed minister.  I think I turned out alright.   So what’s the big deal?  Am I just lucky not to have been sucked into the dark world of evil and demonic activity?

If you ask me today, would I dress up any of my children as a devil for Halloween?  The answer is a definite NEVER!  I’ve often wondered, what were my parents thinking?  I even asked my mom about this but she doesn’t even remember me dressing up a devil.  Maybe the costume was on-sale?  Oh well.

Did you know that October 31st. is an important date for Protestants, and that it has nothing do with Halloween?  October 31st is known as Reformation Day.  It was this day in 1517 that Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, nailed his 95 Theses for discussion to the church door in Wittenberg.  What resulted over the course of many years was a massive reformation of the Christian church.  O.K. enough church history.


Is Halloween OK?
I recently read two good arguments for participating in Halloween. The first is that historically, “festivities on “All Hallows Eve” were the Christian’s way of laughing at death and evil, something that can be done in certain hope of Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.  The Church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallows Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to affirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies. Just as Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ victory over death and evil, so is Halloween!”

The second reason in favor of participating in Halloween is that “besides serving as the only time many people bother to go up to their neighbors’ houses and actually interact with them, it holds deeper meaning.  It is not about being afraid, believe it or not. It is rather about laughing in the face of fear and the things we fear: darkness, death, superstition, and monsters of every kind.  It’s about mocking the god of fear while meeting our neighbors face-to-face.”

Halloween
Although both reasons above sound good to me, not everyone agrees.  The arguments go back and forth and have been for years. Here’s a short list of pro’s and con’s on this ongoing dialogue.


Below are several articles that present reasons why Christians SHOULD NOT participate in Halloween.

  1. Why NOT TO participate in Halloween.
  2. Don’t Sup with the Devil
  3. It’s wrong but use Halloween to evangelize.
  4. Ten Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween


Below are several articles that present reasons why IT’S OK for Christians to participate in Halloween.

  1. Halloween as an opportunity to win people to Christ.
  2. Christian Halloween
  3. Halloween Alternatives.
  4. Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
  5. 7 Great Ideas for Halloween


Here’s the best answer I have found, so far, as to whether or not a Christian should participate in Halloween.

Is there a correct answer to the question as to whether or not a believer in Jesus Christ should participate in Halloween?  If there is, I think I found it right here. In a nutshell, the article says that since the debate about Halloween has been an ongoing question it falls under the category of “Romans 14”, a disputable matter.

happy halloween
The article goes on to say that participating in Halloween should be a personal conviction.  If a person does not agree with it, he/she should not judge someone else who does.  Finally, the article concludes by saying that maybe there is no real right or wrong answer to this question.

I believe Christians can and should use the occasion of Halloween to be a light to the world, (why not, we live here).  Whether you’re doing a “trunk of treats”, a Halloween skating party or a drama depicting the power of Christ over evil, teach people about the supreme power of Christ over darkness, (1 John 3:8).  Let people know that Christ can take away all fear (1 John 4:18).  Tell people that if and when they walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) they do not have to fear evil when Jesus is Lord of their lives, just lean toward the Light,  (John 3:16).  Tell people that God loves them, and that He can make a difference in their lives. (Matt 4:17).  Tell people they do not have to fear but that they too can be safe and secure in the hands of a living God.

So I ask again, what do you believe about Halloween?  How does your church respond on this day?  Does your church hide out or reach out?  Has this post changed your view?  Agree? Disagree? Agree to Disagree?  I welcome all feedback, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Saw 1

B.T.W. I haven’t even started to address the issue watching gory, scary and horror films.   Is it wrong or just “entertainment”?   Isn’t it probably worse than participating in Halloween? (which is only one night a year for just a few hours)

Should a person who practices Christianity not watch horror movies like, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist, Saw 6 and Paranormal Activities?  What about you?   Don’t you like a good horror flick every now and then?  Would you let you children watch scary movies?   If so, at what age would you allow them to start watching them?  If you don’t participate in Halloween but do habitually watch horror films, what’s the difference? Talk to me.

As you are probably thinking this conversation can lead us to ask many other questions about the life of a believer in Jesus Christ.  I’m talking about the basic characteristics of a Christian; living in holiness & righteousness, being a light to the world, being honest, having integrity, honoring God on a daily basis, being careful to the things you listen to, people you hang around with, being faithful to church, not living a life of sin, etc.   We can also talk on the subject of spiritual warfare, spiritual darkness and evil spirits but we’ll get to that later.

This conversation all started with one simple question, “What do you think about Halloween?”  It seems that there are so many other questions that must be asked along with it.  Maybe the title of this post shouldn’t be, “The Theology of Halloween”, perhaps a more appropriate tile would be, “The Theology of a Christian”.  If that’s the case, maybe just maybe, I’m asking the wrong question.  What do you say?

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P.S.  I welcome all comments.
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Choosing a Bible Translation

BibleTranslation

BibleTranslation

“Before the year 1881, you had three choices for an English Bible Translation: the KJV, the KJV, or the KJV.  Obviously, this is no longer the case.  How did the King James Version get dethroned?  Which translation is best today?  Are any of the modern translations faithful to the original?

Many people today think that a faithful translation of the Bible means a “word for word” translation.  If the original has a noun, they expect a noun in the translation.  If the original has sixteen words, they don’t want to see seventeen in the translation.  This type of translation is called, “formal equivalence.”  The KJV, ASV, and NASB, come closest to this deal”.

This is just a snippet from the article “Choosing a Bible Translation” by Daniel B. Wallace.  To read the rest of this article in pdf format click here.   My personal preference for Bible translations is the English Standard Version, (E.S.V.)  For the complete history of the ESV Bible click here.  To read my review of the ESV Study Bible click here.   So what’s your favorite Bible translation?

Bible Study Magazine

I first read the article, “Choosing a Bible Translation” in the Nov. / Dec. 2008 issue of BibleStudyMagazine.com which they sent me free.  (Thanks Ryan Burns!!!) I found it very helpful and easy to read & understand.  If you qualify, you can get a free “review copy” of their first issue here.

Library Journal, the premier magazine for librarians, featured Bible Study Magazine as one of the top 10 magazines launched in 2008.  According to Michael S. Heiser, Editor of the magazine, “Bible Study Magazine will enhance your study of God’s word in variety of ways, suggesting methods of Bible Study and offering tips on Bible study tools”.  I agree.

BibleStudyMagazine.com

BibleStudyMagazine.com

BibleStudyMagazine.com provides lots of interesting and challenging content.  You can check out other articles available free here.  Check back often because every month they post a new article.  To subscribe at almost 50% off the cover price click here.  If you like Bible Study, I think you will enjoy Bible Study Magazine.

Here’s John Barry, Associate Editor, introducing the very first issue of the magazine on YouTube.

So, what’s your favorite Bible translation?


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Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

Are you spiritually healthy, or just spiritually busy? Ask yourself these 10 probing questions that will help you look beyond your spiritual activity to assess the true state of your spiritual health.

Top 10 questions to diagnose your spiritual health

Top 10 questions to diagnose your spiritual health

Authored by Donald S. Whitney in 2001, this 144 page paperback by NavPress Publishers is available directly from their website or you can search for the best price on the web here.

I can tell you right now, the first question to always ask yourself is, “Am I praying?” Am I really seeking the Lord”. What I like about this book is that it goes deeper into the character of a person. It really does probe your spiritual walk in Christ. Ask yourself these 10 essential questions to find out how your spiritual health is doing.

To download and read a sample chapter of this book click here. You get to read chapter 8, which asks the question, “Do you still grieve over sin?”. If you want to see the remaining 9 essential questions check out the table of contents also included in the free chapter.

Ask yourself these 10 essential questions to find out how your spiritual health is doing.


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TheoloTech.com helps people in ministry do stuff better and faster with good theology and good technology.  I like to think about TheoloTech.com as the Jamboree of Theology & Technology.  The joy of enhancing ministry through using computer stuff.

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Starbucks Coffee Recipe Ebook

Starbucks Coffee Recipe Ebook

Are you obsessed with Starbucks?

Is your gourmet coffee lifestyle causing you to go broke?

Are you one of the 44 million weekly coffee visitors to McDonalds who are trying to save a buck?

Is coffee hour at your church the “third sacrament?”

Are so many people in your church hooked on coffee that your church Fellowship Hall has been renamed: “Holy Grounds,” “Cup O’ Joy,” “The Jesus Shack,” ” One Way Café,” or “The Revelation Room?”

Now you can make your own Starbucks coffee from the comfort of your own home or church with the new “Starbucks Coffee Recipes Ebook” right now (available by instant download).

In about 5 minutes you could be making your own cup of coffee, Starbucks style.  Think of all the money you’ll save?

Starbucks Coffee Recipes Ebook” is a 32 page collection of Starbucks world famous coffee recipes such as iced Frappuccino, Caramel Macchiato, Chai Tea and many more.

Plus delicious and one of a kind coffee pastries and amazing coffee sauces.

You can download this Starbucks Coffee Recipe E-book right now for yourself, for a fundraiser, or for a pretty cool fellowship in your home or church.  Each download helps to support TheoloTech.com.

Did you know that it’s biblical for a man to make coffee? It sure is.  A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, ‘You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don’t have to wait as long to get our coffee.’ The husband said, ‘ You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.’ Wife replies, ‘No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.’ Husband replies, ‘I can’t believe that, show me.’ So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says……….’HEBREWS’.

A little more on the serious side, there’s a new book out called, “When God goes to Starbucks“.  It’s written by Paul Copan.

In it Paul offers readers solid and caring Christian responses to questions people ask about faith that are being discussed in Starbucks, shopping malls, youth groups, and schools.

Each chapter provides succinct answers and points for countering the cultural questions believers are faced with today.

I recently read a very intriguing article relating to coffee and glorifying God.  I think you might like it. Here ya go.:   How to Glorify God While Drinking a Cup of Coffee.

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Download Apostle Paul

Download, Apostle Paul, a full-length college course for only $15.95 (price will increase soon).  If you don’t have time to take a college class then you definitely do not want to miss out on this excellent opportunity.  I’ve purchased this product myself and it’s very engaging.  It even comes with class notes!

Paul

Historian Luke Timothy Johnson, the best-selling author of The Real Jesus, offers a fresh and historically grounded assessment of the life and letters of Christianity’s “apostle to the Gentiles” in this 12-lecture series.

“One of the most fascinating, important, and controversial figures in the religious history of the West, Paul the Apostle continues to find champions and detractors, sometimes in surprising places,” says Professor Johnson.

Coming to grips with Christianity means coming to grips with Paul. There is no figure aside from Jesus himself who is more important to the history of this world religion, and no figure from the age of the early church about whom we know more or of whom we have a more rounded view.

You consider his letters to the Thessalonians, Corinthians, and Galatians. You explore his religious commitments as a member of the Pharisaic movement, his persecution of the Christian sect, the dramatic experience that changed him into an apostle, and his work as a missionary and church founder.

Course Lecture Titles include:

1.    An Apostle Admired and Despised
2.    How Should We Read Paul?
3.    Paul’s Life and Letters
4.    Problems of Early Christianity
5.    First and Second Thessalonians
6.    Life in the World—First Corinthians
7.    Life in Christ—Second Corinthians
8.    Life and Law—Galatians
9.    Life and Righteousness—Romans
10.    Fellowship—Letters from Captivity
11.    History and Theology
12.    Paul’s Influence

The course, Apostle Paul, is being offered by The Teaching Company, the force in adult education that distributes lectures by professors from some of the nation’s leading universities.

Download the 12 lectures for only $15.95 (my preference) or purchase the six audio CD’s for only $19.95.  What have you got to loose?

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“Helping People in Ministry do Stuff Better and Faster
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Free Bible Course from Yale University

Yale University is offering FREE and open access to several introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars.   The goal of the project is to expand access to educational materials for anyone who wishes to learn.   Are you one of them?

Introduction to the Old Testament

Introduction to the Old Testament

One of the courses being offered is the “Introduction to the Old Testament” (Hebrew Bible) with Professor Christine Hayes.  The course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization.   Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.

What is really nice is that you can read the class notes, listen to the lecture or watch it being taught right from own your computer.

There are several colleges and universities that provide Free courses.  For a complete list of all courses available visit the Free Online Courses from Great Universities site.  Categories include: cultural studies, economics, geography, history, literature, philosophy, religion, and a whole bunch more.

For more FREE Bible courses check out Free Christian Courses.  Pretty cool technology don’t you think?

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