Halloween: Should Christians participate?

Halloween_MDIn our family, we disputed whether or not to participate in Halloween.  For most people, Halloween is just plain ol’ harmless.  But for those of us Christians who know about its origins, it does not sit well for us to take part in Halloween celebrations.  Some might think we’re party-poopers.  Most don’t know the origins of Halloween (read more here) but even then, it’s mostly ancient history.  But that’s the same attitude some have about Christmas too–ancient history so who cares?!

Given that it has pagan roots, should we as Christians encourage our children by participating?  What did your household do this past Halloween?  We did not participate.  I was shocked that our daughter understood the perspective of why some of us Christians do not participate without us even having to explain it to her.  She just blurted it out last night.  Some Christians think it’s harmless fun and an opportunity for kids to grab some candy.  But if we participate, do we contribute to the paganism and it’s historical significance for today?

Here’s a blurb from a Christian website:

“Halloween was thought to be a night when mischievous and evil spirits roamed freely. As in modern poltergeist lore, mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living—so it was advantageous to “hide” from them by wearing costumes. Masks and costumes were worn to either scare away the ghosts or to keep from being recognized by them:

In Ireland especially, people thought that ghosts and spirits roamed after dark on Halloween. They lit candles or lanterns to keep the spirits away, and if they had to go outside, they wore costumes and masks to frighten the spirits or to keep from being recognized by these unearthly beings.”

What’s your opinion?

 

The State of Theology in America today

Lifeway Research conducted research and issued a report called The State of Theology. It’s interesting that 56% agree that their “pastor’s sermon is not authoritative over my life.”  I wonder why? People may be turned off by something in the church, or the church has lost its spiritual authority and has become a sort of disseminator of theological reasoning and spiritual “buffet” where people can pick-up what they need or want and take it home with them.  Is this why 52% of Americans also said that worshiping alone or with their family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church? (p.5 of whitepaper). The report (commissioned by Ligonier) includes a white paper and survey of key findings.  Have a peruse.

TheStateOfTheology-Infographic

A feminized Trinity–a heresy?

Trinity logo FINAL COLWhen we think of the Trinity, most people feel it’s “blah…boring” or useless.  I recently was surprised by how interesting and useful this topic can be.  It was debated in the first four centuries over what’s true and what’s false. These debates over heresies have come up again in the twentieth-century taking new forms. Trinitarian expert, T.F. Torrance, says there are no new heresies, just old heresies dressed up in new clothes.

Elizabeth Johnson, a feminist theologian, has attempted to totally and utterly reconstruct a femininized Trinity.  She came up with this formula: Spirit-Sophia, Jesus-Sophia, and Mother-Sophia.  In  her understanding, God cannot be understood by finite minds, therefore, a person must use analogy in order to bridge human unknowingness and the mystery of God.  She states, “The only building blocks near to hand are creaturely experiences, relationships, qualities, names, and functions.” (She Who Is, 1992). In other words, it’s okay to use our human thoughts to reconstruct “God” according to our own image, experience, or understanding.

I do not want to discredit human experience but I respectfully disagree.  Without a proper revelation and God’s speech, no human being would be able to see the likeness of the Triune God, let alone, to speak of him. Human experience must have its source from God’s revelation. Personally, I haven’t experienced God as a female. Furthermore, I am not God and God is not like me. Far from it.