Thursday, October 25, 2018

Christians & Halloween?

I’d like to share with you an article that is long overdue.  In fact, my full intentions were to write this myself as Christians struggle with whether or not they should participate in this event.  Due to time and another dear brother doing such an excellent job, I’d like to pass along to you a great article that I believe reflects a Biblical perspective about this questionable event called Halloween.  In fact, his conclusions mirror my own and I believe you will find it most valuable as a Christian.  This article comes from a Christian web site called, “Got Questions.”
“Halloween, no matter how commercialized, has almost completely pagan origins. As innocent as it may seem to some, it is not something to be taken lightly. Christians tend to have various ways to celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween. For some, it means having an “alternative” Harvest Party. For others, it is staying away from the ghosts, witches, goblins, etc., and wearing innocuous costumes, e.g., little princesses, clowns, cowboys, super-heroes, etc. Some choose not to do anything, electing to lock themselves in the house with the lights off. With our freedom as Christians, we are at liberty to decide how to act.

Scripture does not speak at all about Halloween, but it does give us some principles on which we can make a decision. In Old Testament Israel, witchcraft was a crime punishable by death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). The New Testament teaching about the occult is clear. Acts 8:9-24, the story of Simon, shows that occultism and Christianity don't mix. The account of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11 reveals that sorcery is violently opposed to Christianity. Paul called Elymas a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness and a perverter of the ways of God. In Acts 16, at Philippi, a fortune-telling girl lost her demon powers when the evil spirit was cast out by Paul. The interesting matter here is that Paul refused to allow even good statements to come from a demon-influenced person. Acts 19 shows new converts who have abruptly broken with their former occultism by confessing, showing their evil deeds, bringing their magic paraphernalia, and burning it before everyone (Acts 19:19).

So, should a Christian celebrate Halloween? Is there anything evil about a Christian dressing up as a princess or cowboy and going around the block asking for candy? No, there is not. Are there things about Halloween that are anti-Christian and should be avoided? Absolutely! If parents are going to allow their children to participate in Halloween, they should make sure to keep them from getting involved in the darker aspects of the day. If Christians are going to take part in Halloween, their attitude, dress, and most importantly, their behavior should still reflect a redeemed life (Philippians 1:27). There are many churches that hold "harvest festivals" and incorporate costumes, but in a godly environment. There are many Christians who hand out tracts that share the Gospel along with the Halloween candy. The decision is ultimately ours to make. But as with all things, we are to incorporate the principles of Romans 14. We can’t allow our own convictions about a holiday to cause division in the body of Christ, nor can we use our freedom to cause others to stumble in their faith. We are to do all things as to the Lord.”

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Don't Accept Satan's Lies

Prior to being in ministry I was a subcontractor for flooring and I had various men work for me during that time.  One specific man worked for me about seven years and we became very good friends to the point that we enjoyed each other’s company even off of the clock.  He was a believer in Jesus Christ and attended another local church in town; in fact, he was very involved in ministry at that church.  He had grown up in a Christian home and his parents served as missionaries.

I knew that he had become infrequent in church and he started to enjoy more acquaintances with people outside of the church.  For his own reasons, he had become frustrated and disillusioned with the church and so called Christians.  Alcohol became a dear friend that he could trust and isolation became a regular practice in his life.  We always enjoyed each other’s company and we often picked up where we left off when we got together.  However, I knew that he lacked the joy of walking with Christ like he once did in his life.  It wasn’t long and he began to fail to acknowledge or respond to my calls and texts although I knew he was busy.  In fact, I even continued to refer him flooring work from people who would contact me for flooring—everyone loved him.

I knew that his parents and siblings were concerned for him but they did not want to interfere with his life or push him away from them.  Having never married and with his family living out of town, he spent a great deal of time by himself.  Out of the blue one day he sent me a text that said, “Please tell my parents that I’m very sorry but I’m unable go on.  I’ve tried.”  I did not know how to interpret this text although I took it to heart and attempted to call him to grab coffee with him.  After a few short exchanges of texts he went off the radar and stopped responding to me.  It was six hours later that I received a phone call from a common friend sharing with me that he had just ended his life with a gun. 

As tears filled my eyes and a lump developed in my throat, I stood speechless and dumbfounded.  I could only ask the question, “Why would he do this”?  It has been almost four years since he took his life and I keep his photo next to my desk to remind me about the preciousness of life, friends, and to keep praying for his family.  I truly believe that he succumbed to the lies of the evil one, Satan.  You see Satan would have us to believe that God is not capable of bringing deliverance in our lives.  Satan would have us to believe that life is meaningless.  Satan would have us to believe that our circumstances our hopeless and that God left us behind.  Satan would have us to believe that we are unworthy and that nobody cares for us any longer.  Satan is a liar!!!

Once an individual crosses the line and accepts Satan’s lies then Satan sets his hook deep inside of their soul.  He then attempts to draw them away causing them to entertain all types of ungodly thoughts including ending their life.  Please be convinced and share with others that there is not a thing that could ever separate us from the love of God, which is through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:38-39).  Christ proved His love to us through His death, resurrection, sitting at the right hand of God, and by interceding (praying; John 17:9) for us even today.  God wants us to know the fullness of joy and peace, which comes through walking and fellowshipping with Him.  The day we let go of God’s hand is the day we begin to look for the hand of another (Satan) who will always give us the wrong comfort and ultimately poison our soul.  Please reach those who are doubting the love of God today!