I've been trying to think of something thought provoking to discuss for Philosophical Phriday. (Yes, i just made that up; what do you think?) I often wax philosophical in my head about lots of things, but i don't always remember what they were ten minutes later.
Here's a subject that has had a lot of time in my head lately, so i'll share it with you, and you can tell me what you think. If you wish.
I was raised in a household where we didn't celebrate anything just because everyone else did. And if we happened to celebrate something everyone else did, we very likely didn't celebrate it the same way everyone else did. I learned about the origin of every holiday - and about its modern day changes, etc.
For example, we celebrated Easter, but at my house it was called Resurrection Day. We also didn't hunt easter eggs or believe in easter bunnies or any of that. We did have a nice dinner and spend the day more in an atmosphere of thankfulness to God for His love and His salvation. And occasionally i received a candy-filled easter basket from some church member who was sure i was missing out by not celebrating in the easter egg festivities. I wasn't, but i'm sure i enjoyed the candy.
At Christmas, we definitely celebrated; however stories about fat bearded men bringing me presents through our non-existent chimney were never involved. Neither was a Christmas tree. Decorations and presents and cookies and Advent candles and all sorts of of other revelry were very much involved.
I am very thankful for the way i was brought up, by the way. It taught me to think about my actions and my celebrations and my thankfulness to God. It also taught me to value the right things about celebrations, not just how much candy or presents or money i might receive.
As a matter of fact, it taught me a little bit about how to be level-headed while doing the opposite of what a lot of other people were doing - and how not to feel bad about it.
When i grew up, i had to start making some decisions about what i believe and how i will choose to celebrate. Not because of what my parents think, but because of what i believe. I immediately rejected the banishment of Christmas trees, which represent life and beauty to me. But i held on to the rejection of easter bunnies and fat men in the chimney. Thankfully, my GSSH (that stands for gun slingin' super hero, for you new comers) and i are in perfect agreement on pretty much every holiday issue.
Now, to Halloween.
Of all the "holidays," this one is, to me, the absolutely least redeemable day on the calendar. When i was a child, my family, thankfully, simply ignored the day altogether - and shut off our porch light when it got dark. Now, in the present, i recognize that Christians should perhaps consider ways to reach out to the public on the darkest of all celebration days, but i recoil.
In my mind, my participation in halloween celebrations feels like betrayal of my Father God. The only thing i can think of that i would feel entirely comfortable doing in recognition of this day, honestly, is to participate in a prayer vigil. I'm sure to some of you i'm making myself sound like a weirdo at this point, but i'm just being honest.
This brings me to my current dilemma.
My church, which i love, whose pastor i love, whose members i love, whose ideas i usually love, is planning a halloween extravaganza for October 31 this year. The idea behind it, as i understand it, is to share the love of Christ with people in the neighborhood. And i get that. And i understand in my head that that seems like the right and Christian thing to do, on a level. But i can't bring myself to be in any way involved in it.
I guess i'm just very heavily conscience driven, and i can't do it just because my wonderful pastors tell me it's o.k. I need to have some understanding of how God sees it, and i just don't have that right now.
I shared. Now, i'd love it if you would share.
What do you think about halloween and how Christians should respond to it? Or if you're not a Christian, what do you think about how Christians respond to halloween?