Contend Earnestly: A Pink Bunny, a Fat White Guy, a Headless Horseman and Jesus

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Pink Bunny, a Fat White Guy, a Headless Horseman and Jesus


With Halloween opening up the upcoming holiday season in U.S. and with all the Christians finding ways to attach tracts to candy like a drug dealer stuffing crack in the M & M's, I thought I would throw my two cents in with how a Christian should look at the major holidays in the United States.

It was funny because I was talking to a family in our church who adopted two 7 year old twins from Africa and they were trying to describe Halloween to them. They really didn't get it until they heard "free candy." That was all they needed to know to understand that this is probably the second best holiday behind Christmas. Where it's not candy only, but tons of presents that beat a "fun size" (good marketing) package of Skittles.

This got me thinking though on how utterly weird our holidays are in the United States. It also got me thinking about how we should all be ready to talk to our children about the holidays and what they mean. There are many critics and thoughts on the holiday season so I am going to try and balance these out and take a look at them as a whole.

Are the Holidays Biblical?

No. None of them are. What?! you might say. But when you take a look at the Bible, there is absolutely no precedence for any of the holidays that we celebrate. The closest one would be Easter, but even with Easter there are some issues. The purpose of holidays really comes down, in the simplest form, as a time of remembrance, celebration or just plain tradition. The reason I say that Easter is the closest to being biblical is because the only thing that we are told to remember is Jesus, through the death of Christ. You will see this is actually not found to happen through a holiday, or once a year, but through communion and done often.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26


So, when we talk about holidays being biblical or not, we have really missed the boat. Because none of them are biblical or outright mandated in any way through the Scriptures. I would actually argue that if you only celebrate the holidays and are "stale" throughout the rest of the year that you probably are not Christian at all, but you sure love those holidays.

Is It Wrong to Celebrate Holidays?

No. I am not a Jehovah's Witness. It is pretty funny to think about our holidays though. We have one, where a huge pink bunny hides crap around your yard and then sneaks into your child's room and leaves a basket that includes a large chocolate depiction of the bunny so you can eat him. If that is not strange, I am not sure what is. Oh wait...we also have this fat guy. Think of this. Every year you take your kid to sit on this fat guy's lap, take a picture and then give him permission to break into your house, eat your cookies and drink your milk and then leave presents. Usually, if a big fat white guy breaks into my house I shoot him, but in this case we welcome it. The one that is coming up on Friday is no less strange. We dress our kids up like strange heroes, tell them to knock on a strangers door, say "trick or treat" (hopefully they get treat, because if they get trick, I will have to call the police) and expect that person to hand our kids candy. Seriously, what is with all this non sense? It is really hilarious when you think of it.

People like to say that these things are wrong, especially Halloween, because of their root reasons that they started. The problem with this is that Christmas in general has some very pagan roots and the term Easter comes from a pagan goddess. So, to pick and choose gets very dangerous overall. With all this said, I believe it is fine to celebrate these holidays as Christians, and like most things, it all depends on the focus.

How Should We Celebrate These Holidays?

It is all about the focus and attitude of the parents involved. I personally think all these holidays are great times to talk to others about Jesus or to just have some great fellowship with others. As far as Halloween I don't know anyone who can't wait to skin a goat for Satan on this holiday, so I am not too worried about it's paganism or Satanism. If I was worried about Halloween, I should also be worried about Christmas and Easter for the above mentioned reasons.

In my house for Christmas we have fun with Santa and stuff, but we have told our kid that Santa isn't real but is just for fun and we focus more on Christ and His birth. We use the time to show the focus of giving as God gave us his Son. Is there anything wrong with the fat guy in the red suit? There could be if he is the focus, but there is nothing inherently wrong with having fun with it. And please...slow down with getting mad about people saying "Happy Holidays." The holidays in the U.S. has long left out Christ, so people saying "Happy Holidays" is just showing what happened many years ago with Christ and Christmas. It isn't a big deal. Chill out. And by the way, it isn't wrong to call it X-Mas. The "X" is "Chi" the first letter of Christos (Χριστóς), Greek for "anointed"and is in reference to the Ichthus.

As far as Easter we do the same thing. Christians like to use the term "Resurrection Sunday" which is fine. Seems more like a protest against non-Christians than just an actual statement most of the time I hear it. With my family we simply talk to our sons about how we don't celebrate Easter once a year, but all the time. We talk to them about the significance of this time, but we make sure that they understand thinking about Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection should be a daily experience. As far as the big bunny, we still do Easter egg hunts and give him a basket. Why? Because it is fun, that's why. Why do you eat a Turkey on Thanksgiving? Because it is good to eat, that's why.

Halloween is no different than other holidays. Personally I have abstained from buying a goat and sacrificing it to Lucifer because that seems a little over the top. But, we do go around and collect free candy from our neighbors. Why? Because it's fun. That's why. Unless you are teaching your children about paganism and the worship of demons, Halloween is harmless. Take the time to meet your neighbors and have fun with it. Don't be the shut ins who yell from inside your dark house, "If you celebrate Halloween you are going go to hell and celebrate it forever with your master!" Usually those people need a straight jacket and a good egging from the neighbor kids. Why? Because that is funny. That's why.

We all know that every holiday that comes around in the U.S. is really for consumerism. That's really it. It is our job, like most times, to bring the focus in on Christ and his glory. We should always be doing this. We should always be looking for ways to show our children and our culture the greatness of God. Our holidays in the U.S. is just another way to be with our communities and show them who Christ is. So, make sure you seek Christ and his ways for these times and ask him to show you the balance that is correct for your household. Personally, I don't think that abstention is the answer to these holidays, just a correct world view.

Have a great Halloween and know that if your house is dark and your not handing out candy, I am going to supply the neighbor kids with eggs. :)


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you think it is bad to pass out a gospel tract with your candy? You sure are making it sound negative when comparing it with a drug dealer... isn't it an opportunity to get the gospel out?

Seth McBee said...

Anon.
It isn't bad. Depending on how it is done. I see some people just giving out tracts to little kids with the flames of hell on the front...that is a little weird for me.

What I was trying to get across was the determination. Sometimes it is funny to watch the determination with tracts. It reminds me of the determination of a drug dealer taking the opportunity given to them.

It was supposed to be a funny observation.

People get crazy with tracts on Halloween sometimes...that is all.

Nothing wrong with it, if it is done in the correct humble way.

Anonymous said...

So, what is the correct, humble way?

Seth McBee said...

Anon.
Remember that this is just a personal conviction, so if you do it differently I am not stating that you are sinning or anything like that.

The way that I would do it, if I were to do it. I actually don't.

I would personally find a tract that was directed towards kids that showed the amazing worth of our Saviour. I would rubber band these tracts to the candy and give them out that way.

That's my personal opinion.

barrydean said...

You really suck! You are just sick and wrong! I mean that in the most brotherly way of course. I am glad that Anon got you to elaborate on the handing out of tracts. At first read that kind of offended me. Because I commented about our home doing that in our previous comments. Believe me we do not try to scare the little tykes that come by with fire and brimstone. In actuality I do agree with what you have concluded. My wife and I have had discussions about the holidays of this country and the way most folks freak about them. Good topic.

Seth McBee said...

Barry.

LOL...

I forgot that we had spoken about that in the past. It wasn't directed towards you at all.

The best would be to hand out tracts as you are dressed as Satan and the tract's front flap says, "Welcome Home"...that would really get a rise out of people

:)

barrydean said...

LOL!!!!! That would be hellarious.

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