As with many topics that can be classified as secondary doctrinal issues, “controversial,” or “open to interpretation,” there are several if not many ways that are seen as biblically permissible to understand and engage them. The topic of Halloween would certainly be at the top of those lists. That being said, within the confines of biblically permissible behavior we should always strive to find the best course of action for all involved.
A reputable bible scholar and mentor of mine once told me that “Leaders are responsible not only for their action but the implication of those actions as well.” Using that sound advice we should always strive to find the permissible behavior that best represents Christ to all concerned parties. I personally, when faced with this challenge, lean toward the choice that best clarifies Christ, holiness, and Christianity in the mind of the unbeliever, trusting that my brothers and sisters in the Lord will walk with the spiritual maturity needed to respect my personal convictions.
The “implications of our actions” are extremely important when living out the word of God in our lives, which means we should be ever mindful of how our behavior will be understood by the unregenerate mind that we are trying to reach. When setting the example for Christ, as an Ambassador of Christ there are no standards too high in our pursuit of holiness, while some standards could arguably be too low to accomplish our goal of being a successful witness to reach the lost. In other words if they see no difference between you and themselves they will see no difference between your God and their god, making it more difficult to understand their need for God.
1 Corinthians 8:9: “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.”
What is in your heart does not bear witness to the lost, your behavior does. Only God can see our heart; everybody else just sees what we are doing.
1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
It is never about “my way is the only right way.” Arrogant people believe that and immature people accuse that. It is always about finding the best permissible way to represent God’s way. And that means we cannot always exercise our Christian liberties if there is a chance we might hinder someone else in their understanding of, or coming to, Jesus Christ.
It’s always about the best way and how the world perceives it that will determine how they receive it. Sometimes, as scripture states, Christians need to refrain from the permissible and seemingly harmless for the greater good of the lost soul. This is why I try to avoid those Christian clichés that some people know better than scripture itself. For example, “If only one soul is saved then everything I’ve done will be worth it.” For that to be infinitely true then “If only one soul is lost by my actions then my actions are not justified.” For me to truly care about the one soul, I must always care about the one soul or else I do not truly care about one soul.
It’s not about you. It’s not about how we feel in our heart or what our Christian liberties allow. It is and always will be about God. He sets the standard and we strive to uphold it with ever-increasing diligence and determination.
That being said, this blog represents biblical standards as understood by Rev. R.B. Miller and held by Rock of Hope Ministries, Inc.
Halloween and the Christian
If we trace the roots of Halloween we can see the progression of this celebration of darkness from the time of the Celtics to the billion dollar commercialized industry of today. That being said, no one can dispute the darkness and demonic overture of Halloween. Celebrating this event to any extent, be it drinking the blood of a human sacrifice or foolishly engaging in the frivolity of today’s lust for the dark side, is as it is intended, diametrically opposed to the light of Jesus Christ.
For the point of this discussion we will focus on the relationship between the celebration of Halloween and the Christian. To ensure we cover all Christians and their involvement we will direct our focus and references to the church itself. The involvement of today’s church in the participation of this demonic day has become a thinly veiled celebration in and with the world.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If we weigh this scripture against today’s topic we would find nothing true, honest, pure, lovely, of good report, and certainly no praise be to God in any facet of Halloween.
Ephesians 5:11 commands us, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” We will use the word fellowship in this text as our segue to “Trunk or Treat.” This is the modern church’s unsuccessful usurping of these previous scriptures as well as several others. We have reworded “Trick or Treat” into “Trunk or Treat” and now it is no longer a violation of God’s holy word, now it is an awesome and exciting tool for evangelism. We will even go as far as to hold these great spiritual revivals in a “trunk” on our church parking lot. We will use the House of Worship to celebrate Halloween with the world. In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 God’s word says “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
There is a difference, you say? Trick or treating as a goblin versus Trunk or Treating as Little Bo Peep. If I were to “hook up, get lucky, score, or fornicate” there would be no difference. Renaming the action does not redefine its purpose or outcome. And if I were to commit such an egregious offense at church regardless of the latest, greatest name for it, let us recall Matthew 21:12 understanding that Jesus was not angered to action over animals in church but for the misuse of the House of Worship. In particular, using it for personal gain.
Inviting the world to church to celebrate Halloween in any context is not ordained by God. And is therefore never some great tool of evangelism. We wonder why many modern Christians have little to no understanding or desire for consecration. Why do so many people view today’s church as little more than a club for hypocrites? We invite them to church for our version of a Halloween party and then forbid them to practice it once they’ve joined. Remember this scripture? 1 Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Those people who come to your House of Worship see you celebrating Halloween, not exalting the name of Jesus. This creates confusion and resentment with the church which will result in them ultimately holding God accountable for our negligence and disobedience.
In closing we will address our misguided intentions. We should be diligent in our actions being ever mindful to never put serving God ahead of obeying God. 1 Samuel 15:22: “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.’” We tend to get this askew when we focus more on building a church for Jesus rather than obeying His command to build the church for Him. The difference being, a church’s focus is quantity and the church strives for quality concerning its members.
Allow me to translate this entire article into a statement. “We cannot and will not build a holy church by means of unholy practices.”
Even evangelism for the Lord does not take precedence over our obedience to the Lord. Be very careful when making future plans for expanding a church, we must still do so by maintaining the standard of the church. When our plans exceed His will we will need to monopolize on anything and everything outside of His will to achieve ours.
Let us finish with a biblical alternative to Halloween. In the Bible much is said about the harvest as well as the principle of sowing and reaping. During the season of celebrating death and darkness the church should be celebrating Life and Light. I would encourage you to use your local House of Worship to clearly set yourselves apart from the world. Celebrate the Autumn Harvest with a sermon topic on the principle of sowing and reaping. And at all costs avoid a watered-down version of the world with a tract attached.
Rev. R.B. Miller
Rock of Hope Ministries, Inc.
Remember, filling heaven is our purpose, not filling our sanctuary.
“By any means necessary” is not a verse in the Bible; it was the motto of the Black Panther’s leader, Malcolm X.