Sermons

Summary: Rather generic Halloween message!

What Should We Do With Halloween?

Romans 14:1-9, John 8:12

October 31, 2004

Introduction

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. Today’s message is going to be a bit shorter than usual, for a couple of reasons. First, because what I want to share with you regarding Halloween is pretty concise, and second, trying to preach AND keep my hand elevated is going to stretch my limited capabilities.

Halloween is one of those holidays that is viewed by different people in different ways.

Some feel that due to the pagan origin and continued ties to Halloween that it should not be celebrated at all.

Others feel that it’s an innocent holiday that allows children to have fun collecting candy and such, and it’s no big deal.

And I think both positions can find plenty of backing. My hope today is not to convince you one way or another.

What I want to do is just give you some stuff to chew on as you think through your participation or non-participation.

Normally in your note-taking guides, I leave parts of the main points blank, because I don’t want to give away where I’m going. But I forgot to put the blanks in, so you have an idea of my train of thought.

But I’m going to ask that you hang in with me, because I think you might be surprised.

Let’s dive right in, okay? In looking at the question of what should we do with Halloween, we first need to...

1. Recognize its origins.

You know, there’s just no getting around the fact that Halloween has pagan origins, and many of the current practices surrounding the holiday are reminiscent of those origins.

For instance, trick or treating is reminiscent of the belief that evil spirits came out to terrorize people, and the only way to keep them away was to offer them treats. If a treat wasn’t offered, the people believed the spirit would play tricks or otherwise bring harm.

Halloween is still a high holiday for pagans and Wiccans.

By the way, did you know that Christmas and Easter also had pagan origins, at least as it concerns what time of year it’s practiced?

We don’t know when Jesus was born, but Biblical scholars don’t think it was on December 25. In fact, observance of Christmas was not even legal in the early history of the U.S.

Our Easter celebration is generally near Passover, when Jesus was actually killed, but it actually coincides with pagan spring solstice celebrations. This coming Easter is almost a full month before Passover.

The dates for these were chosen by the early Catholic church as alternatives for the pagan celebrations.

With Christmas and Easter, the early origins have become overshadowed. But not so with Halloween. It is not universally recognized as a Christian holiday, in spite of the attempts to point out that November 1 is All Saints Day, the day after All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.

Why do I bring this up? Simply to help you see that while for many people, Halloween is just a fun time, its origins are not that innocent. Just recognize its origins.

Next, in looking at the question about what should you do with Halloween, you should...

2. Re-think your participation.

For this portion of the message, I would like to turn your attention to Romans 14:1-8, which you can find on page 804 of the Bibles in the seats.

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Here is what I want to point out here, and you’re probably going to wonder why I read this long passage to say this little bit, but here it is. I’m sorry I didn’t get this in your note-taking guide. Ready?

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