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Against the Christian Scare-mare or On why Halloween and the related imagery and symbolism should not be used

by Bible believing churches to attract unbelieving young people There are at least (3) reasons Bible believing churches should not use Halloween and its related imagery and symbolism to attract unbelieving young people. These are (1) the nature of Halloween; (2) the nature of evangelism; (3) the nature of the unbeliever. These (3) reasons differ as to their ability to stand alone, or to be satisfyingly convincing apart from further argumentation. However, any of these (3) reasons is sufficient for the Christian to disregard Halloween as a viable evangelistic option. Furthermore, if all (3) of these reasons can be shown to be simultaneously true, it is necessary for the Christian to disregard Halloween as a viable evangelistic option. I. The Nature of Halloween The weakest argument against Halloween; yet also the most frequently employed. A. The timing and imagery originate in the combining of two separate and opposing cultural and religious traditions (1) Catholic, and (2) Druid. 1. Catholic All-Hallows-Eve The evening before All-Hallows-Day a. A day to honor all of the saints (known or unknown) This should be enough to disqualify any argument containing a premise which suggests there is a Christian element to Halloween. This is an outright misuse of the term Saint used in Scripture. 2. Druid A priestly class of the Celtic people of Europe and Britan. a. The people prepared the people for the coming natural phenomenon of the slowing down of life in winter i. Shorter days ii. Longer nights iii. Unfertile earth iv. Death b. Many of the familiar symbols of Halloween are tied to this understanding of nature. i. Skeletons ii. Skulls iii. Blackness of night c. On Oct 31st Nov 2nd they celebrated Samhain (sow-en) Believed the curtain between the living and the dead was lifted. More imagery. i. Ghosts ii. Demons iii. Evil spirits d. Many focused on occultism during this period to try and attain possessions, wealth, food, or drink. Hence Trick or treat 3. Combining of the two 8th Cent. Pope Gregory III declared All Saints Day to be on Nov. 1. This was to combat the paganism of the people over which the Roman Church now held influence. a. This caused the two to exist together b. And for paganism to gain Christian terminology and become Christianized occultism. B. The nature alone does not disqualify it from Christian interaction - but it does disqualify it as the lure which Christians should use to attract unbelieving people. 1. This is not to say Christians should ignore Halloween altogether 2. Rather, Christians must bring Halloween captive to Christ in that we are to bring every thought captive the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5) C. As it stands, Halloween is utterly unbound in its transgression against the Revelation of God and against His Son. 1. For the time being, Halloween is something which stands against our Lord and cannot be used to persuade men of Christ, except it be by contrast.

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If Halloween is ever brought under Christ it will only be truly so when it cannot even be referred to Christian or Christianized Halloween, but just as the truth of Christ a. This is so because to bring something captive to Christ does not mean that it is allowed to remain essentially the same but given the garb of righteousness, but rather that something is changed in essence, purpose, and presentation in order to expound the glory of Christ. The Nature of the Evangelism This is the strongest argument against the use of Halloween as an evangelistic tool. Also, the most frequently underutilized. A. The Evangelistic model recorded in the NT avoids the use of worldly, and much the more, pagan, celebrations and thinking in the presentation of the Gospel. 1. The book of Acts never records the use of any pagan celebrations to preach the Gospel. a. When the Apostles and early Christians shared the Gospel it was through the message of the Person and work of Christ. b. (6) Times in the book the declaration is made, We are all witnesses. This is always in regard to the resurrection. 2. The Evangelism of the NT was mobile, rather than stationary. a. Those who proclaimed the Gospel went to the people who needed to hear it and proclaimed it. b. They did not find an event organized by unbelievers and use it to draw an audience and then present the Gospel. 3. Whenever the NT encounters pagan thought it is used to show, by contrast, the truth of Christ, not used as a lure with which to draw in those who may possibly hear the Gospel. a. Acts 17 Mars Hill: Paul shows how the unknown god which the Pagan philosophers sought after was Jesus. b. Tit 1 Epimenides quoted to show the duplicity of the pagans and to avoid such things, rather than engage such things. c. 1 Cor. 15:33 Meander Again, the pagan is quoted to show the necessity of staying away from such people who may lead you astray. This is in regard to the Resurrection B. The nature of evangelism is that it takes place outside the church, not within. 1. Nowhere in the Bible is the unbeliever brought into the company of the Saints in order to be proselytized. a. One shouldon this point aloneconsider a Halloween celebration at a church a complete violation of what the Scriptures present evangelism to be. i. Matt. 28:19 Lit. Therefore, having gone into all the nations, make disciples. This assumes a going out into the world, not a bringing of the world into the company of the church. 2. The only reason for there to be evangelism taking place within a church is if there is a regular assembling together of unbelievers there This completely misunderstands the nature of the local church as revealed in Scripture. a. 1 Cor. 1:2 The local church is to be the gathering together of believers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. b. If one feels the need to argue this point, it is not because he has a different estimation of Halloween, but because he esteems differently the NT revelation of the local church. C. It is not enough for one to disagree with my understanding of evangelism as presented in Scripture. 1. If one is to reject this reason against Halloween he must then provide a different methodology of evangelism. This new Methodology must be a. Consistent with the methodology of the apostles found in the NT b. Allow for the use of festivals which are demonstrably rooted in pagan belief and presently inseparable from a God hating and Christ dishonoring culture which has yet to be brought into the obedience of Christ. c. Able to provide scriptural support for the bringing of unbelievers into the company of believers.

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If one is persuaded to undertake the above task, whether or not he is successful, he will be shown not to be concerned with the ability of Halloween to fit into a Biblical evangelistic model, but rather the inability of a Biblical evangelistic model to accommodate Halloween. The Nature of the Unbeliever The most important argument against the use of Halloween in the church. There are (3) mistaken assumptions made when one supports the use of Halloween as an evangelistic tool. A. The unbeliever is a fool 1. It is assumed that an unbeliever will not realize the bait and switch taking place when he is promised a Halloween event and then given the Gospel instead. 2 Pet 1:16 a. If one is to argue this point he must fail in one of (3) other points. i. If he argues that there is no bait and switch taking place he may say that only Halloween is being given But then where is the Godly purpose of the event. ii. If he argues that there is no bait and switch taking place he may say that both Halloween and the Gospel is being given but then he must also say that Halloween and the Gospel are of the same essence, otherwise it is indeed a bait and switch if only Halloween is advertised and Halloween and the Gospel are both given. iii. If he argues that there is no bait and switch taking place he may say that only the Gospel is being given but this is a ridiculous position because then we need not have this discussion regarding Halloween. 2. The unbeliever is not a fool in the sense of being unable to see the schemes of men, but because he is unable to see the ways of God as right. B. The unbeliever is wise 1. It is assumed that the unbeliever will be able to see the error of the ways of the world and the righteousness of God. Prov. 14:16 a. If one supports Halloween celebration in church but does not assume this point then he must be making (1) (or more) of the following erroneous assumptions i. Presenting the Gospel, whether the hearer can understand it or not, is a sufficient goal. 1 Cor. 2:1-5 ii. Getting the unbeliever in the church is the first step to getting him saved Gross misunderstanding of the nature of the unbeliever and his place in the church. Eph. 2:19-22 2. The unbeliever will not be able to differentiate between the true things of God and the tolerated pagan images of Halloween. This will lead to: a. Confusion over the Gospel b. Confusion over the validity of Halloween c. A questioning of the Church as the Ground and Pillar of the Truth. C. The unbeliever desires the things of God more than the wickedness of the world Rom. 3:10-12 1. If one does not accept this, then the decision to present the Gospel in the backdrop of Halloween is a pointless course of action. 2. It is counterproductive to invite an alcoholic to a party with booze and also preach the benefits of sobriety.

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