“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Galatians 3:1).
“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way” (Matthew 13:25).
I am excited about celebrations! I firmly believe the song that says, “This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I am glad Jesus said, “… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
While I accept that your theology may interpret this verse differently, I believe Jesus was saying that it is OK to enjoy a good party as long as you know why you are partying.
As our nation celebrates Halloween this weekend with all the traditional fanfare, I wonder how many Christians will participate without knowing what they are celebrating.
The holy scripture is filled with admonitions to abolish ignorance with knowledge. My “Big Mama” would say, “When you know better, you do better.”
According to History.com, “The American Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food, and families would give them pastries called ‘soul cakes’ in return for their promise to pray for the families’ dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as ‘going a-souling,’ eventually was taken up by children who would visit houses in their neighborhoods, where they would receive ale, food and money.
“The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and for many people, the short days of winter were full of constant worry.
“On Halloween, when it was believed ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.
“On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.”
While I love to have fun and see others, especially children, enjoy themselves, I have become very concerned that Christians are allowing the secular world to define fun for our children.
Subsequently, on Monday night, as I have done in previous years, I will turn off my house lights and attend a fall festival at Baconton Baptist and thank God for His bountiful blessings. I still will remind children not to take candy from strangers and to enjoy their festivities in a relatively safe environment.
At 5 p.m. tonight, I invite you to join the United Ministerial Alliance at First United Methodist Church in Hinesville for a youth extravaganza. This will be the UMA’s only public fundraiser of the year. Funds will go to help Liberty County residents in need.
Scott is pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of the United Ministerial Alliance.