Friday, October 31, 2014
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Pray the Vote 2014
opinion

Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Viewpoint

Actor Kirk Cameron sees a great opportunity

By Bill Noles Jr. 

“There shall not be found among you anyone…who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-13)

Every year on October 31, Christian families dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating without ever really thinking of any connection with Satan or worshiping the dead. Many parents simply want their kids to have a little fun. They think that perhaps the greatest damage to lives by celebrating Halloween comes from all the junk food and candy their kids collect from the neighbors.

It’s a question Christians have contemplated – and debated – since the event became mainstream late in the nineteenth century: Should Christians celebrate Halloween? With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving the debate can be a challenge.

“When you go out on Halloween and see all the people dressed in costumes and see someone in a great big bobble-head Obama costume with great big ears and an Obama face, are they honoring him or poking fun?” actor Kirk Cameron asked the Christian Post. “They are poking fun at him,” the former “Growing Pains” star said, answering his own question.

While promoting his new film, “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas,” – which provides a biblical basis for time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season – Cameron is also speaking out about Halloween celebrations, urging Christians to participate in the holiday this year.

“Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ,” Cameron explained. “The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection.”

Today, Halloween is almost exclusively an American secular holiday, but many who celebrate have no concept of its religious origins or pagan heritage. The name “Halloween” comes from the All Saints Day celebration, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. “All Hallows Eve” was eventually contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which became “Halloween.”

“The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve,” the actor said. “If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That’s all tied in to Halloween.”

However, anthropologists believe the origins of Halloween go back about 2,000 years to the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which celebrated the end of the harvest season and marked the beginning of winter. This is where the evil part of Halloween comes from.

“Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children,” Travis Allen wrote in Grace to You, a ministry of John McArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. “But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church.”

“You should have the biggest party on your block, and you should have the reason for everyone to come to your house and before anyone else’s house because yours is the most fun,” Cameron urges. “Halloween gives you a great opportunity to show how Christians celebrate the day that death was defeated, and you can give them Gospel tracts and tell the story of how every ghost, goblin, witch and demon was trounced the day Jesus rose from the grave. Clearly no Christians ought to be glorifying death, because death was defeated, and that was the point of All Hallows Eve.”

The dilemma over Halloween may fall under the category of a “Romans 14 issue,” or a “disputable matter.” These are matters that lack clear and specific direction from the Bible. Ultimately, Christians must decide for themselves and follow their own convictions regarding the observance of Halloween.

This week pray:

Bill Noles Jr. is an entrepreneur, author and writer. Married for over 30 years, he is a father of two sons and grandfather of four children. He and his wife Diann live in Tucson, AZ.




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