Sunday, October 28, 2007

Christians and Halloween

How should Christians respond during this season which celebrates witch crafts and horror? What message does it send to our society? What would be said of us if we participate in these events?

17 comments:

adetayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adetayo said...

How about using this season to evangelize...the first thing that popped into my head when i saw this was to hand out tracts to neighbours who come trick-or-treating instead of giving them candy when they come to our doorstep....or better still, why don't we go hand out tracts (or other evangelism material) from door to door as everyone else goes trick or treating?? It's a perfect opportunity we can take advantage of...

AFTRES said...

How about a huge banner in front of your house saying "It is Jesus who is the Lord of this house and not satan"

adetayo said...

Sounds good...but that would probably keep trick-or-treaters away from your door...and you would miss the opportunity of having that contact with them so as to be able to hand them tracts!:)

AFTRES said...

You are absolutely correct - a tract for a trick or treat is a solution.

And while on this topic, how's it that Christians don't evangelise the way they do in Africa. In Nigeria for instance people preach on buses, banks, schools, city squares and all. They knock on doors, bang on windows, and never stay silent to spread the gospel. How come here in the US we appear to be so timid to even let people know that we read the bible. Why? Are we scared or what? If each of us examines her soul winning record this year what will it look like? How can we change this? How should we begin to answer the call of the great commission?

Yemisi said...

Tract for a trick/treat sounds good.
So, at my job we are allowed to wear jeans on days that coincide with holidays..
For instance, if labor day is on a Monday, we get to wear jeans the Friday before.
I mean I love the opportunity to wear jeans just for the comfort....
So i get to work this morning and received an email that associates can wear jeans on Wednesday to coincide with Halloween..So, when did Halloween now become a public holiday???
Anyways, i have decided that I am not going to wear jeans as i don't celebrate Halloween..Am i being too spooky spiritual?????

adetayo said...

Dear Yemisi, I totally feel you...no, you're not spooky spiritual...infact, I think you shld take advantage of this opportunity to evangelize..you might consider wearing your jeans with your Jesus House Baltimore T-shirt...hopefully that will generate some interesting conversation with your colleagues at work and then you get to share Christ..how about that?:)

XtianDoctrine said...

Spooky Spiritual? Not even close. Do you remember what they called the first Christians? They were refered to as those who have turned the world upside down. We must boldy take our stand and declare our faith so that this heavily compromised society may be turned the.....right way up.

simplynues said...

When I was riding the train to work a couple of months ago, there was this woman (I bet she was Nigerian) who was "preaching the word". At first I thought that was very brave of her, then she just became really annoying as she keep on repeating the same thing over and over. Aftres, bang on people's door and yell on buses here in the US, is considered illegal. I may be inclined to call the cops. I never really thought evangelism should be done that way, either in North America or Africa. Alot of christain circles, take the Bible out of content and go out to be a nuisance to socitey.
If I decide to hand out tract for treats this Halloween season, then I hope it's would be a welcomed change. Maybe I should wrap a candy in the tract :) That way they are sure to read it!
It makes me wonder how we African Christain unknowingly (or knowingly) celebrate an "African Halloween". I have heard that in Southern Nigeria, during certain "Ife" (hope I got the name right), you are not allowed to do certain things, go certain places, or be out at certain times. The question is: Do you obey or yeild to these instructions out of fear or out of acknowlegment or belief?

XtianDoctrine said...

Simplyneus what "non-annoying" or "non-illegal" Chrisitian evangelism methods would you recommend to Believers in both the African and the US contexts? I'm not sure I understand why you would find the woman's preaching the gospel on the train annoying -repetition or not. I'm not sure Aftres literally meant you have to bang on doors or yell on buses. The point he/she was making was we need to reach out to the world around us with the goespel message. It is our Christian responsibility. The bible says that those who save souls are wise. And also that the feet of those bring the good news are beautiful. Much more than ever before the Christian message has to resonate beyong the walls of our churches. And I'm sure you know that not too many people will come with you to church.

simplynues said...

Oh yes... that is the great commission! My response... to be continued

simplynues said...

I would not like to think of the woman yelling on the train as “evangelizing”. That, I feel is plainly just someone doing his or her own thing out there. We are all God’s disciples (at least those of us who have accepted him) and we have been called to be ambassadors of God 2 Corinthians 5:20. Therefore if we as “little Christ” follow the example of Christ in his ways, his behaviors, his habits and his methods and principles, does this woman follow the example of Christ in her method in the train? You know, what comes to mind when I remember this woman’s words, Mat 3:1-2 “ In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” It is kind of funny, that is their favorite verse! There was only one John people. His purpose was to prepare the way for Christ; I believe that has been fulfilled. Most of the time, when you listen to the message of these people, they always talk or “yell” about dooms day, about how if you do not repeat now you are going to die and burn in hell. Why not yell about God’s love and God’s grace? . I John5:11 says that our testimony is that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. Not so easy right!!!!! When you study the Great Commission- Mat 28:19-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The great commission is 2 folds – to the current disciples and to the disciples to be (another story… sorry I deviate… anyways). The great commission should be the message every “Little Christ” carries, that is, since we are Disciples of Christ we should also make disciple of others (multiple). Your job does not end there, you should “teach” these new “Little Christ” to obey all the commands, not some, all, that Big Christ has given us. Yelling or shouting dooms day in a congested train or market place…just does not do it! Why not join a mission’s trip? Even if it is a trip into the city, organized, structured, with a goal, in a curiously appealing way.
Ok OK… I heard someone say… mission is just not for me! Oh… yes there is the time factor. I do not have time for that… But, do you know, that regardless that great commission is still expected of me and you. Think about it… do you have unsaved friends or family members? How often do you use the opportunity you have coffee or lunch with them to tell them about Christ? Ok.. so if you do not do lunch… what about your advise to them… are they based on biblical principles. Do you encourage, give hope… restore faith, and dispel fear? Do you have unsaved colleagues? I know I do. Ya… they might not accept my invitation to go to church or bible study or alpha but then how does my life (the one they see for 10-12 hrs in the lab or clinic or cubicle or office or factory) reflect the great commission? Am I living in the authority and power Christ has passed on to me? Am I even obeying the commands Big Christ has instructed me? Does my lifestyle, speech and actions qualify me to teach or make potential “little Christ”. You know, now it’s not so easy to say (or yell) that, is it? The God I know is a God of love and Forgiveness and His Grace is so awesome. Some how I this if this “yelling woman” put that effort in showing the love of Christ as in demonstrating it in daily life, she may be more fruitful. I got annoyed and irritated because she started to make My Friend so unattractive! Too bad I did not get to tell her to join a missions group. I really wanted to tell her to yell about God’s love. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Yes… I know that if you do not repeat you’ll are punished and I believe in judgement. But when I think of how Christ recruited his treasured disciple , Matthew, I mean Matthew was the bad boy of town. A tax collector… my goodness… they were considered worst than sinners. So basically when you have scrapped the bottom of the pot (sinners, prostitutes, thieves, 419s) you keep scrapping and you find the tax collectors. And what did Jesus say…”Follow me” Follow me….is that not cool. He kept it simple. Guess what, they followed, the watched, they believed and then learnt to obey. Even wonder why many unbelievers get so turned-off by “Christians”…. Because they re-arranged it !!!!. Today Christians preach or yell “OBEY OBEY OBEY!!!!!!!! NO NO NO…. Jesus did not do it that way. All he said was “Follow me” He never said” Well Matthew, My Father and I have been thinking about you and you have been a really really bad boy” No Christ said” Follow me”. Can you think of ways to make unbelievers follow you… my dear “little Christ” In closing (aaawwwww…finally), God’s salvation is there for all who come to him with a humble and open heart. Psalm 18:1-6.

XtianDoctrine said...

I agree with Simplyneus that the message of the Cross is about God's love for humankind. However His painful and shameful death on the cross meant something: he who believes will have eternal life and he who does not is condemned already. Jesus said this in John 8:24 "That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”

The preaching of the gospel is never a one way track: it is the same message but different methods. Preaching the love of Christ will help some, but the consequences of not believing, which is eternal damnation, is what will save some.

It is wrong for Simplyneus to simply consider the poor woman preaching on the train as annoying and misrepresenting Christ. Christ Himself several yelled at the Jews and the Pharisees saying, "Woe unto you..."

Again a balance is needed. So that the right approach is used for the right person----and that is by the guiding of the Holy Spirit. The other thing we all should know is that it's not necessarily the word that we speak that saves people but rather it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction to the heart of men.

One last thing to note is that the reason why we have so many unsaved and unregenrated souls - and consequently all manner of immorality and sin - in our pentecostal churches today is simply because of the watered down, make me feel good, messages that are being preached. When was the last time you heard the rapture, hell, lake of fire, or the book of revelations preached in your church?

simplynues said...

First let me correct myself, my Psalm 18:1-6 quote made October 31, 2007 1:05 AM was misplaced (side effect of 1:00am blogging). XtianDoctrine your statement:"It is wrong for Simplyneus to simply consider the poor woman preaching on the train as annoying and misrepresenting Christ. Christ Himself several yelled at the Jews and the Pharisees saying, "Woe unto you..." Ok OKok.. Jesus said woe unto them for what? Please fill in the .... Under what circumstance was Jesus rebuking this people? Can you share the passage in the bible. I still like to emphasize "train woman" was not preaching in the way and manner in which Christ has instructed us! We Christains need to be careful with the "gospel" messages we absorb. How much more if your were an unbeliever. Every yelling voice in the wilderness (or train) is not the always the true message and in this case right method. But my main concern here is how we as Christains carry out the "Great Commission".
About the messages in Churches, there is always a balance. Two sundays ago I heard about the consequences of the souls that are not reconciled to God. I do agree that a balance is needed. Most definately.Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Donot miss the point I am trying to make; the way you draw people to Christ is through Christ LOVE.... For God so Loved the world that HE gave HIs only Son. One good point you did mention is that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts the heart of men. That I agree...

XtianDoctrine said...

To love does not mean avoiding rebuke or not saying the truth. The scripture very well says "...spare the rod and spoil the child." God is love and at the same He is judgement. To leave one aspect of God out of our preaching in favor of the other is not the full gospel.

Now I'm not sure which instruction you refer to as the prefer way to preach. As far as I know the whole gospel needs to be preached. Either the love of God or the reality of hell fire - both are equally effective. The Holy Spirit can, and does use both, to convict the souls of men.

You may stick with the love message, but it is out place to condemn the woman on the train for preaching the gospel the way she understands- at least she is preaching and not keeping quiet like many of us do. Now I'm not sure you saw into the heart of everyone on that train to say they were not convicted.

simplynues said...

Then I thank God for the Spirit of discernment that is in me. Train woman, like so many others are just people who have decided to do there own thing out there.
Imagine, if we all (believers) decided to start yelling the "word" in public places. XtianDoctrine can you please tell me who you personally go about the great commission.

XtianDoctrine said...

Read my comment on the subject under the posting "Why Christians Aren't engaged in Preaching the Gospel."