19 October 2012

It's THAT Holiday Time!

Here in the Czech Republic, shoppers don’t have to wait for “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) to begin their Christmas shopping. In fact, the shops are already displaying all sorts of items for that holiday, including candies, Advent calendars, ribbons and wrapping papers, sales on toys, and other things. The lines at the Pošta (Post Office) are already long.

But, wait. There is still one holiday in the way. Yes, it’s Halloween! It’s not just American anymore. They’ve been celebrating it here for around a decade. They have advertising for costume shops; a “Monster Ball,” and all the trappings of a properly ghoulish affair. So, I thought I’d trot out the essay I have published numerous times in varied places regarding this celebration of evil.

Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Halloween

I’ve always been uncomfortable about a holiday that makes light of witches, goblins, and death. The holiday which is celebrated by many in this country at the end of October is viewed as nothing but a little fun, but there are other ways to have fun.

In God’s Word we are told, “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Any one who does these things is detestable to the LORD….” (Deut. 18:10-12a). That’s quite a catalog of dabbling on the dark side. While we do not claim that those who dress up as witches are joining them in their detestable practices, we must still ask the question, “why emulate these things which God detests?”

This is why I recommend, instead of the prevailing holiday, a commemoration of the beginnings of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the University Church in Wittenburg, Germany. This set off the chain of events we today know as the Reformation. 

Many heroes of the faith stood up against a corrupt church and tainted governments during the sixteenth century. They brought the church back to believing in Christ as the Head of the Church and the Bible as His Word. They also were responsible for the acceptance of the Bible being printed in the languages of the people. The Reformation has spawned many remarkable movements, including free education and modern governmental systems.

As with every historical movement, the Reformation had its excesses. Wars were fought, brothers offended, exiled and excommunicated. The Reformation, however, was a movement of saintly men and women being moved by the Holy Spirit of God.

I propose that this be the holiday we all celebrate at the end of the month. If you’re invited to a costume party, why not go as a sixteenth century character. Do some research; be able to tell people about your character. Even better, why not throw a Reformation Party. Sixteenth century snacks (no knives and forks), clothing, maybe even games could be a part of your party. This seems a finer way to honor God and His people than that other alternative.

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