Christians and Halloween – Part 2

I am now being torn apart between being kind and being right. But I know that I also have the responsibility to spread the truth and contradict and let other people know truth vs lies.

So I have researched and read things about Halloween and carefully weighs both sides of the spectrum: those who thinks it’s okay to celebrate it and those, like me, who is not okay with it.

Let’s look at some important things I have found from Bibleinfo.

The history of Halloween

The origin of Halloween as we know it, began over 1900 years ago in England, Ireland, and Northern France. It was a Celtic celebration of the new year, called Samhain /ˈsouən/ which occurred on November 1. The Celtic druids revered it as the biggest holiday of the year and emphasized that day as the time when the souls of the dead supposedly could mingle with the living. Bonfires (bone fires = human remains) were a large aspect of this holiday as well.

Samhain remained popular until St. Patrick and other Christian missionaries arrived in the area. As the population began to convert to Christianity the holiday began to lose its popularity. However, instead of eradicating pagan practices such as “Halloween” or Samhain, the church instead used these holidays with a Christian twist to bring paganism and Christianity together, making it easier for local populations to convert to the state religion.

Another tradition is the druidic belief that during the night of November 1, demons, witches, and evil spirits freely roamed the earth with joy to greet the arrival of “their season”—the long nights and early dark of the winter months. The demons had their fun with poor mortals that night, frightening, harming, and even playing all kinds of mean tricks on them. The only way, it seemed, for scared humans to escape the persecution of the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially fancy foods and sweets. Or, in order to escape the fury of these horrible creatures, a human could disguise himself as one of them and join in their roaming. In this way, they would recognize the human as a demon or witch and the human would not be bothered that night.

During the Roman empire, there was the custom of eating or giving away fruit, especially apples, on Halloween. It spread to neighboring countries; to Ireland and Scotland from Britain, and to the Slavic countries from Austria. It is probably based upon a celebration of the Roman goddess Pomona, to whom gardens and orchards were dedicated. Since the annual Feast of Pomona was held on November 1, the relics of that observance became part of our Halloween celebration, for instance, the familiar tradition of “dunking” for apples.

Today costumes take the place of disguises and candy has replaced fruits and other fancy foods as children go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Originally trick-or-treating began as “souling,” when children would go door-to-door on Halloween, with soul cakes, singing and saying prayers for the dead. Over the course of history Halloween’s visible practices have changed with the culture of the day, but the purpose of honoring the dead, veiled in fun and festivities, has remained the same.

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

As a logical thinking person, consider for a moment what you are celebrating and what Halloween is all about. Is the holiday uplifting? Is Halloween pure? Is it lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Is Halloween based on godly themes such as the idea of peace, freedom and salvation or does the holiday bring to mind feelings of fear, oppression and bondage?

Additionally, does the Bible sanction witchcraft, witches, and sorcery? On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that these practices are an abomination to the Lord. The Bible goes on to say in Leviticus 20:27 that anyone who practiced witchcraft, soothsaying, sorcery should be killed. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 adds, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you … one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.”

Is it wrong to celebrate Halloween?

Let’s look at what the Bible adds to this topic in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” This text is calling us to not only have no association with any type of dark activity BUT ALSO to shed light on this topic to those around us. As stated earlier in this article, Halloween was not exposed by the church for what it was, but rather was incorporated into church holy days. Are Christians responding in the same way today?

As you think about Halloween—its origins and what it stands for—would it be best to spend time dwelling upon its themes or to shed light upon what lies below the surface of this holiday’s celebration. God is calling humanity to follow Him and to “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

I have also watched Beth, who was a former witch talk about Christians celebrating Halloween. She mentioned that there are three important holidays from the satanic calendar:

  1. Christmas
  2. Easter
  3. Halloween

She also mentioned that Anton LaVey, founder of the church of satan, once said that he is “glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween.” Beth also mentioned that witches curse those candies that are being given away to children. Beth said that Halloween is already evil and you cannot take away evil from Halloween. She begs Christians to STOP celebrating and participating in this demonic holiday because it doesn’t look right in the eyes of God who sent Jesus on the cross to die for our sins.

I have also checked a former Satanist talk about Christians celebrating Halloween – John Ramirez. John became a high priest in Palo Mayombe, a form of African Spiritualism. Ramirez, now a pastor, knows all about the dark reality of Halloween. He once sacrificed animals as part of satanic rituals and his friends even knew him as “Lucifer’s son.” Ramirez says that in his opinion the other events Christians hold instead of Halloween, such as “Trunk or Treat” nights, are really no different.  

John also said that Halloween isn’t just about candies and costumes – there’s a much darker side to it.  For more of John Ramirez’s story, read here.

There’s also the CBN News Facebook poll, 87% of believers feel that Christians should not celebrate Halloween, while 13% believe it’s okay.

Just to be clear, my personal stand on this matter is that WE SHOULD NOT CELEBRATE Halloween or even participate on this holiday. We should be educated and be informed about this. And if you have already participated, just come into the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness. Ask Him to cleanse you. To break the curse that you have put upon yourself by participating on this holiday.

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Grace and Mercy

 

Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We deserve judgment, but if we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive mercy from God and we are delivered from judgment. Instead of judgment, we receive by grace salvation, forgiveness of sins, abundant life (John 10:10), and an eternity in Heaven, the most wonderful place imaginable (Revelation 21-22). Because of the mercy and grace of God, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship and thanksgiving. Hebrews 4:16 declares, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

Got Questions

The message of Job

The story of Job.

Everybody seemed familiar with the story of this incredible man. A man of faith. A man who has everything then lost it all.

We went to church this morning for the worship service. This is the first time we are attending the Church of Biblical Truth here in our subdivision. I know who the Pastor here, but he was not there when we arrive. Instead, they have a lady who will be speaking. She said that she has prepared a message for the last 2 weeks and God is giving her a different message. She bargained with God. Then Sunday morning came and as she was preparing, the message felt stronger and she had changed the subject of her message. She does not even know why, but she chose to follow God’s direction.

We arrived with 4 kids. We have 2 nephews and my own 2 kids. I was not really expecting God to reveal things to me because Pastor Jess is not around so I just sat down and try to listen to the speaker. When she spoke of how the message has been changed, I was like “Okay. God led her to change it.” Then she revealed the message was of a man who has everything then lost everything and God replaced everything that he lost. That man was Job.

The story revolves around how Job was one of the people that pleased God and how God brags about him. Then Satan came to have a little “challenge” so to speak. They put Job to the test, they were trying to know what will be the man’s decision will be. They took all of his possessions, his slaves, his livestock, his children, and they caused him great pain by giving him some skin disease. One of the prayers I remember from him was “…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21 English Standard Version.

Job with his 3 friends
Job with his 3 friends

Why was this relevant to me? Why did I feel that God intentionally made me go to that church this Sunday and had me listen to the speaker? It’s because He wants me to learn and know that He is still in control. God wants me to hear how Job responded. How Job’s life was more miserable and painful than mine. I lost my job, I am in need of a financial resource because my wife is 6 months pregnant and my daughter’s still going to school, debts and bills needed to be paid…

God wanted me to hear that HE IS STILL IN CONTROL. I have forgotten how it feels to be assured by God. I have been complaining and whining. I have questioned God again and again. I know I can question God because He has given me freedom to speak and think on my own. But my line of questioning is more of a literal questions.

I have lost some of my faith along the way and I know how it is to go against God and be under His grace. I have learned how to suffer and accept the fact that I have sinned. And the story of Job made me realize, God does what He knows is best for me. Now I can never question His wisdom, but I may ask for His grace to be with me in times like this.

After God answered Job, He blessed Job more. God gave him what he lost and more. All that Job did was to trust in the Lord. TRUST IN THE LORD.

My story so far.

 

Grace Explained

I have always wanted to explain what GRACE is. Well, on my end, I found that I really can’t explain it. As Philip Yancey said on his book, “I’d rather convey grace rather than explain it.” So, I won’t attempt to do so. All I can say is, I am a recipient of grace myself.

But the question is, am I conveying grace to others? Am I giving the impression to others that I have been graced?

Questions raised. Answers needed.

The answer is just a yes or no but I can’t give it. Am I hiding things? Am I keeping some “dirty secrets“? Probably.

I will answer these things when the right time comes.

quotes on Grace

“…the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or … at least they hope to deserve the approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”

— C. S. Lewis

trails from the rivers of tears

they were left behind,
they had faith but was left behind.

they cried for help,
they cried for help to no avail.

they were scared.
they were scared and now alone.

they were cast aways,
they were cast aways and loners.

they were branded,
they were branded as traitors of faith, backsliders.

but Jesus came,
but Jesus came and cried with them.

He cried and wept,
for He knows how painful it is,
fallen angels…

 

written: October 18, 2012
Gabs Narazo
© 2012 [bLURrED publikation]

Lady Gaga, the LGBT and the Christians

Her name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, famously known as Lady Gaga, is in the country right now to perform a 2 night concert at the SM Mall of Asia or MOA. This is actually the 2nd time she is performing in the Philippines. And before she arrives, I think she has already read or heard about the protests of some “Religious” groups here in the Philippines. They don’t want her to have her concert here because they want her to “respect our faith, stop the blasphemy.” But organizers from Ovation Productions said they respect the beliefs of critics but promised that the performances “will not pose a threat to their sense of morality and conduct.

She was famous for her songs “Poker Face”, “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Alejandro” just to name a few. And also some rumors surrounding her sexuality. But we can’t deny that she is also famous for her sense of fashion and the songs that she sang. Alejandro has a very, very controversial video. According to Wikipedia, “’Alejandro’ created a media uproar after the release of the video because of its use of religious imagery. One of the most discussed scenes in the video was when Gaga, dressed in a latex nun outfit, swallowed rosary beads. The Catholic League criticized the video for its use of religious imagery, accusing Gaga of “playing a Madonna copy-cat”. Moncia Herrara said of the mayhem: “[Alejandro] courts religious controversy in much the same way that Madonna’s ‘Like a “Prayer’ video once did, intermingling Catholic imagery like rosary beads and nun’s robes with sexual cues.” In an interview with MTV, Klein explained that the religious symbolism was not meant to denote anything negative, but to represent Gaga’s battle between the darker and lighter forces. Thus at the end of the film, she is portrayed again in her nun’s habit. Klein added that the significance behind her mouth and eyes disappearing was “because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation.” He added that the scene where Gaga devours the rosary beads was her act of theophany, the desire to consume the body of God, the rosary being symbolic of the Holy.” You can check the link.

Why am I writing about her? It is because of her relationship and stand with LGBT or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Lady Gaga is a strong supporter of this group. According to Wikipedia, besides her career in music, Gaga has also contributed to various charities. Among others is:

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of Lady Gaga. But with all the protests against her in this country, we have labeled our country “THE ONLY CHRISTIAN NATION IN ASIA”. Have we reached out to the LGBT? Or we are like the many who judges them because they are members of LGBT? My previous post has somehow become related to this one. Christians attacking other people because they are not Believers. We condemn people and say that they are Anti-Christ and all, that they are the abolition of the human race, etc.

I have nothing against Lady Gaga, but I don’t condone her acts and the way she sings and her songs. What I am concerned of, is my fellow Believers. Are we becoming more judgmental? I found an article from USAToday with this headline: “Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay.” We are not becoming light and salt of this world. We are not doing our jobs. We are becoming the antagonists of the world, which should not be. We need to be the people who dispenses GRACE my brothers and sisters. That is our function. That is why we are here. It was said, “hate the sin, love the sinner”. I know we need to draw the line on this issue, but then, we need to draw them while we pray for God’s wisdom.