October 27, 2014

Truth and Treat - Turning a Negative Into a Positive on Halloween

There is a lot of negative energy on Halloween and a lot of pressure aimed at children towards conforming to the celebration of evil, darkness, death, the occult and witchcraft. I believe, however, there are some excellent teachable moments and talking points available that can help parents engage children together towards, “overcome evil with good” as scripture directs us (Romans 12.21). Your own convictions and guidance by God's Holy Spirit will help you as a Christian to determine if and how you can exchange the worldly standard of “trick or treat” for some helpful truth and treat. The following are some points to consider:

1. Real witches increasingly support the truth of the spiritual realm - Real witches are increasingly coming out of the broom closet. A survey of 822 witches revealed that a majority have already come out of the closet.  A 2009 book, “Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft” is celebrated by a majority of reviewers on Amazon . A recent Huffington Post article outlines how a present-day academic, “witch in multiple pagan traditions,” Sam Webster delights in the rise of witchcraft and the significance of Halloween for these people: "There is a national holiday that showcases our religion every year!" He adds, "In the West we've started taking that word (witch) and using it as a word of power. We've taken on an insult and reclaimed it." Children appreciate it when you tell them the truth, especially when it comes to subjects that interest them. There is in fact a spiritual realm and the promotion of witchcraft by real witches underscores this truth.

2. God's kingdom of light and truth is superior to Satan's kingdom of darkness and deception – While there are times where the kingdom of darkness may seem to have the upper hand, in the big picture the forces of darkness were defeated once and for all on the cross by Jesus Christ: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2.15 NIV). Jesus' prophecies of the End Times outline some very difficult persecution against Christians, but the book of Revelation underscores the ultimate victory of Christ and the Church. Young boys in particular like to talk about super heroes and who is stronger. Jesus is the ultimate super hero, who happens to embody spiritual truth.

3. Because practices are ancient does not make them true. - Comments by Kirk Cameron have stirred up controversy on the origins of Halloween. Based on my own research, I would offer that Halloween had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. Christine Hoff Kraemer, a contemporary pagan, describes how ancient occult traditions inspire her: “American Pagans are inspired both by the ancient Celtic Samhain and the Mexican Day of the Dead.”  It is helpful to explain the importance of logic and reason to your children. Though atheists and New Age practitioners don't like to admit it, Christianity and Theism offer a more logical explanation of the universe.  Point 7 in this post outlines the logic employed by the top-debater in the world regarding God's existence. 

4. Halloween offers a good talking point for civil rights. - Some U.S. public schools engage in Halloween parties and “Harvest Parties” and Halloween parades where images and themes of witches and witchcraft, the occult and evil are discussed and celebrated. However, Christian themes are always strictly forbidden 365 days of the year in U.S. public schools. According to the tenets of the “Separation Clause” - Christians and theists are having their civil rights breached on Halloween, as a biased set of rules and standards favor certain religious practices over others. I've written an article elaborating on this Halloween hypocrisy documenting how many experts on the subject have concurred that Halloween is increasingly being celebrated as a religious holiday, not just a secular one.

5. On Halloween, you can demonstrate the truth of inalienable rights. - An inalienable right is defined as follows: “a right according to natural law, a right that cannot be taken away, denied, or transferred.” The correct interpretation of the U.S. Bill of Rights defines the First Amendment as a right that is granted by our Creator, one that cannot be revoked for subjective political reasons. John Jay, the original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, rejoiced that: "Security under our constitution is given to the rights of conscience and private judgment. They are by nature subject to no control but that of Deity, and in that free situation they are now left." In Acts 5:29 of the Bible, we see an example of inalienable rights being demonstrated practically: The early apostles were commanded by the local government not to talk about God publicly. This was the response: “Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than human beings!” If your public school directs all the students to engage in a celebration that promotes witches, witchcraft, evil and the occult against the conscience of parents or children, and there have been unsuccessful attempts to resolve the situation with a letter, then according to both scripture and the tenets of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, parents have a right to boycott school on that day if the conscience directs this response. Instead of subjecting children to unfair and biased treatment, Halloween can become a teachable moment.
6. Halloween basically allows for door-to-door evangelism. – Jehovah's Witnesses cult members have given the concept of door-to-door evangelism a bad name. However, the strong desire for children to dress up in costumes can be combined with a down-to-earth approach towards sharing the truth of the gospel. A lot of people are uniformed as to the rising popularity of real witchcraft today. This fact is a perfect springboard into the truth of God's existence and the need for spiritual salvation. You never know if people will be open to discussing this until you try. While there are Christian tracts especially made just for Halloween, you might want to offer a more personal approach. Who knows, you may end up in a philosophical debate on the nature of truth and the meaning of life. In this case, it would be helpful for you to understand that the leading debater in the world is a Christian,William Lane Craig, who has some very strong logical apologetic arguments supporting the existence of God.
7. Halloween is a perfect excuse to brush up on strong apologetic arguments. – Whether it is a discussion about spirituality at the office lunch table or going door-to-door with your kids, you never know when you will have an opportunity to discuss the truth of God's existence. As the leading debater in the world, William Lane Craig usually employs the same 5 strong arguments that logically outline the truth of God's existence, as outlined in this article: "The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God."

8. Review some Bible verses on Halloween-related themes. - Does the Bible support witchcraft as a valid practice? Does the Bible teach us to go along with whatever our teacher or government tells us to do, just because everyone else is? Are there positive role models in the Bible of young people with courage to stand up for truth even though it may be uncomfortable? For me, the example of Daniel stands out as a positive role model of a young person who was committed to standing for truth even though it created difficult circumstances. Likewise, Isaiah and Jeremiah were committed to standing for truth even though they basically had to go against the grain and ended up isolated due to their convictions. There is a website, openbible.info,  with 56 Bible verses related in some manner to Halloween. Among some good verses are these: “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. (I Corinthians 10.23 ESV), "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." (Ephesians 5:11  ESV), "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2  ESV), "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." (Romans 12:9  ESV).

If you would like to share any of your ideas for turning the negative into a positive on Halloween, I'd welcome your contribution.
Tags: Redeeming Halloween, Truth and Treat, Halloween Kirk Cameron, Truth and Treat - Turning a Negative Into a Positive on Halloween

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