Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Monday, October 24, 2011

How do I loathe thee, let me count the ways....

Halloween.  I just don't get it.  I don't understand what is supposed to be so fun.  It goes beyond just not getting it, though.  I actually hate this holiday.

I can leave aside the roots and history of Halloween and leave that debate to people smarter than I.  I can find enough things to hate about it without trying so hard or digging too deeply.

Let me count the ways:

Number one... 

Seriously, what is up with all the sexy costumes?  Supposedly this is a holiday for children?  This must be a favorite holiday for those that prey on children because we are sending our little girls into the night half-dressed to take candy from strangers.


Number two...

Everywhere I look this time of year--be it billboards, television commercials or the store--there is this celebration of evil.  Just driving around our neighborhood we pass several homes that freak the children out.  They have to constantly be closing their eyes.  Everything is so evil!  Why every October is it somehow acceptable to have statues of ax murderers in your yard?  Why is it OK for otherwise good and sane Christian people to pretend to cast spells and dress up like bad witches?  Blood dripping off vampire mouths, gangsters with machine guns, ghosts, demons--all of a sudden, come October things we deem unacceptable and evil are celebrated as fun and cute?  


Who knowing the judgment of God...not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.  Romans 1:32


I more than don't get it.  I really hate it.  How can we be rejoicing in evil?  The world is scary and evil enough without our encouragement.




Number three...


Fear is a negative emotion.  I don't like being afraid.  There are plenty of things that scare me in life as it is.  Real life things that trigger a real emotion.  It's not pleasant.  I much prefer peace and harmony and happy thoughts and happy endings.  (Which is why I generally avoid movies that are thrillers, mind-bending or horror.  I watch movies as entertainment to escape a bit from reality.  I want a happy world where everyone lives happily ever after.)


I don't understand why fear is fun.  I really don't.  Why is it fun to go through a haunted house and shriek and nearly wet your pants?  I would have nightmares for a week.  


Number four...


Now maybe I take it too seriously.  But, I don't understand this mocking of the dead.  All the tombstone props, people crawling half-dead out of graves, and those who dress up like the grim reaper.  It has long been held as a Christian act of mercy to bury the dead.  Mocking the dead is just not acceptable.  


Likewise, mocking the resurrection is not acceptable.  There really will be a resurrection someday and it will not be gory, but glorious.  There will not be zombies arising, but those who have died in Christ will arise to meet Him with incorruptible bodies.  


So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.  I Corinthians 15:42

I wouldn't let my children make fun of someone who has died or the resurrection.  The rule doesn't change just because it's the 31st of October.



Number five...

This is another one of those over-marketed holidays designed to get us to spend money we don't have on stuff we don't need.

Last July 4th we were chillin' with friends in our backyard, having a potluck, music on the radio and watching the fireworks.  Everyone was having a great time.  In conversation one of my friends hit the nail on the head explaining why Independence Day is so absolutely enjoyable.  It's not over-marketed.  You can buy nothing and still be enjoying it to the utmost.  Just hanging out with friends (free!), listening to Oldies (free!), spontaneously dancing (free!), kids running through the sprinkler (free!), watching fireworks (free!) and potlucking it for a fabulous meal (nearly free!).  It's low-key.  Doesn't take a ton of prep for maximum enjoyment.  And the life of it hasn't been marketed to death.

Halloween is the opposite.  Buy costumes, buy candy, feel obligated to attend parties or host one, decorate the house--for a ONE DAY celebration.  Ugh.



Number six...

Candy.  Last time I checked I was trying to avoid Red #40, artificial flavors, and excessive sugar.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I love dessert.  I eat it everyday.  But, it's made with ingredients I can pronounce and from my own cupboards usually.  The shelf-life of one of my desserts is two or three days, tops.  I'm scared by what I read on candy labels.

Oh, OK, I do indulge in candy from time to time.  Snickers are an old standby, if you must know.  But the sheer volume of candy given to the kids this time of year is staggering.  And we don't even go trick-or-treating.  Can you imagine if we did?

Dentists must love this time of year.  It keeps them in business.



Of course a candy now and then won't really hurt ya that much.  And you can make sure you brush your teeth afterwards.  And you can say that you don't let your kid dress like a hooker and your costumes are never scary and you don't make fun of dead people and you hand-make all your costumes from up-cycled materials.  So, all my reasons for hating it are moot.

Maybe that is how people get so much enjoyment out of Halloween.  I'm just over-thinking it.  Yet, unless you don't go to the grocery store or Target, drive down the freeway, turn on the TV and hand-make all your own candy, you can't avoid the evil side of Halloween.  It's there.  It's everywhere.

I can't wait for November.

So, what will the Tribe be doing on October 31?  We'll be celebrating Reformation Day.

(Bring on the comments about how it is your favorite holiday.  I will not be offended and will publish them.  *smile*  Just be kind and don't swear.)

17 comments:

Serena said...

All of your points are excellent, but regarding numbers two and three: YES. EXACTLY. WHY is it OK to celebrate or enjoy evil? It's NOT! I hate it! I don't care if you 'enjoy' thrillers or horror or whatever, that's not OK. People apparently enjoy porn, too, but that's not OK, is it? Ohhh, this just bothers me SO much (in case you couldn't tell).

And about number four: I never thought of it that way before, mocking the dead, but that's exactly what it is. Zombies and irreverent tombstones and whatnot mock the dead and the humans that were once alive. Ugh.

I could go on and on, but you've covered it well and lucidly, and I would get overly emotional. ;)

And, yes, Independence Day is wonderful, one of my favorite holidays.

Happy Elf Mom said...

The whole glorifying of witches and ghosts etc. I find a bit disconcerting. It's encouraging to see others who feel the same way about Halloween. I guess it's not the worst thing you could do, celebrating all this with children, but it makes me uncomfortable.

THE Princess Bombshell* said...

We have a BIG day planned...

...MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM! lol

It's one their annual fall Homeschool Days. All homeschoolers are free with reservations. So it should a fun day.

Otherwise, I stay home as usual and forget it is Halloween. We just really don't care. lol

Rebekah Daphne said...

I agree. The whole concept of Halloween drives me crazy.

I've heard a lot of Christians say that we should try to redeem the holiday, by handing out candy and building relationships with neighbors. I'm not sure... it seems to me that some things are past "redemption." I think it might depend on your neighborhood and what Halloween looks like there.

Alice said...

RIGHT ON!!! :D

Totally wrote this same thing (in much shorter form) as a Facebook status yesterday, that I am literally counting down the days until November and cannot STAND Halloween. Of course I got a ton of "Oh! Why not?! I LOVE Halloween!" comments.

For me it boils down to:
1) Does it glorify God? (nope)

2) Is it in line with the Bible? (nope)

3) I hate the origins. Hate them. Don't want anything to do with them.

4) I do not want my children exposed to the imagery. That's final.

So then I got, "Oh it must be portrayed as more scary in the UK than here in the States!" I didn't answer that one because from blogs like yours I KNOW it's just the same (maybe even worse! It's pretty low key here, though still horrible), but who is this English woman to start telling US folks what their country is doing?! ;)

UGGGHHH. Can't stand Halloween, and all that it stands for. I adore November! :)

Sean said...

Great post. I especially enjoyed your comments about (not) mocking the resurrection and the dead. Excellent points. Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. and Mama K said...

i totally agree! i'll be sending my mom the link...she has decorations in their front yard with jack o lanterns and ghosts and has given the kids candy in a witch/tennis box...and definitely not easy to avoid it anywhere else. they usually get stickers at trader joe's and this time of year their stickers have skeletons and such on them...

Sarah said...

Halloween's getting bigger in Australia too - nowhere near as big as the US though.

I don't get it either and I don't think you're being too serious for carefully examining the what and why of Halloween. Over here, the equivalent is hens nights. Christian women who normally declare Satan to be an enemy, suddenly wanting to dress up as him! I had a Christian friend who wanted to dress me up in a devil costume for my hens night. I said NO WAY!

Carmen at Old House Kitchen said...

Spot on! What's redemptive about Halloween? Nothing! So glad we live out in the country and don't get any trick-or-treater traffic! (Even if we did we wouldn't answer the door.) We watch the movie "Luther", make caramel corn and spiced pumpkin fudge, and play a game or two.

Beth said...

I found this a year late, but had to say I completely agree! Hate the holiday, hate the evil, hate the skanky outfits and scary decorations everywhere. I don't want my young children seeing the costumes, though it's hard to avoid the skeletons and ghosts our neighbors have displayed. Witches are real. Demons are real. Satan is real. Evil is real. My daughters are not going out trick-or-treating. We go to community harvest festivals earlier in the Fall that have nothing to do with Halloween, and community events in November and December that do not celebrate evil.

My husband goes around on Halloween saying "Happy Reformation Day!" to everyone. :)

Beth said...

I found this a year late, but had to say I completely agree! Hate the holiday, hate the evil, hate the skanky outfits and scary decorations everywhere. I don't want my young children seeing the costumes, though it's hard to avoid the skeletons and ghosts our neighbors have displayed. Witches are real. Demons are real. Satan is real. Evil is real. My daughters are not going out trick-or-treating. We go to community harvest festivals earlier in the Fall that have nothing to do with Halloween, and community events in November and December that do not celebrate evil.

My husband goes around on Halloween saying "Happy Reformation Day!" to everyone. :)

Anonymous said...

I will be sending this anonymous because I don't have the accounts need to be me :)

I do totally (well not totally) disagree with you.

I love this holiday for a massive amount of reasons that differ from why you hate it.

I won't go all in to refuting your arguments against it, I will only say why I love it and what we do.

We make our own costumes, it is a blast. This year my sons will go as Mermaid man and Barnicle boy from sponge bob. We have been thrift storing to find what they need as we do each year. We bond over the thinking of the ideas, the shopping for the items needed and the putting it together. It is a thrill every year. Nothing like some make believe fun to light up our worlds. Once we have the costumes, we get pumpkins free from our garden :) we do carve them but only nice things and we never once think about the people of old that carved them for their God's etc. because we believe that God has redeemed all things. If we were living that way, we could find a reason to do nothing but hide in our house and not move. I think God looks at the heart. All year long as a church we are looking for ways to reach our neighbors... on this night, THEY COME TO US! We are there and ready for them to with smiles on our faces greeting and getting to know as many as will let us. WE set up a firepit in the driveway with an over abundance of chairs, hoping our friends will stay. IF they will for a few, we feed them. It doesn't cost much either because we have a "chili cookoff" and the neighbors VOTE on the best chili. It is wondeful and always so fun. When they finally get close enough to the house, they find more smiling faces and a GREAT candy bar that they will remember. THey see pumpkins with candles, we have a fog machine for fun, candy corns and the beginnings of our thanskgiving leaves on the window with things we are thankful for.
When it is all said and done the only money spent is a small amount on the costumes, candy and chili supplies but the payout is endless. It has become a tradition and year after year we meet the same neighbors, new neighbors.. many have now become part of our church and are sitting in the chairs welcoming other now.
YEP it is ONE of my favorite holidays and like anything else in the world that God chose for us to live in, you make of it what you will. We choose to make it a fun night that GLorifies God as we shine brightly for Him, while living in the world He placed us in. Not of the world, but in it.

thanks for hearing a different perspective.

Anonymous said...

By the way, what does "happy reformation day" mean to anyone in the world and how does that make a path for the lost to enter? We need to be relevant to the world we live in, and God chose for us to live here. I don't mean disrespect, but really I think we all need to lighten up a bit and enjoy this life God gave us.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I don't think anyone has ever accused me of not enjoying life before. Seriously, we are the partying-est people ever.

Your shindig sounds like a lot of fun. Doesn't erase all the slutty billboards, zombies, and frightful stuff that is all around us this time of year. So, yeah, I still hate it.

We have a cool Reformation Day party, though. I mean, Martin Luther ran a brewery for goodness' sake! "He who drinks much beer sleeps well. He who sleeps does not sin and he who does no sin goes to heaven." (Martin Luther) LOL!

What does "Happy Reformation Day" mean to someone in the world? I bet if you hear that and don't know what it means, you'll ask. And then right there is a chance to share the Gospel: Reformation Day shows us that salvation is by grace, through faith alone.

Straightforward if you ask me.

Let us be careful not to imply that those who don't love celebrating Halloween aren't interested in reaching the lost or being a light.




Gombojav Tribe said...

The end of the post seems to address anonymous above. I'll repost:

Of course a candy now and then won't really hurt ya that much. And you can make sure you brush your teeth afterwards. And you can say that you don't let your kid dress like a hooker and your costumes are never scary and you don't make fun of dead people and you hand-make all your costumes from up-cycled materials. So, all my reasons for hating it are moot.

Maybe that is how people get so much enjoyment out of Halloween. I'm just over-thinking it. Yet, unless you don't go to the grocery store or Target, drive down the freeway, turn on the TV and hand-make all your own candy, you can't avoid the evil side of Halloween. It's there. It's everywhere.

LEONA said...

Funny how people think they can't have FUN parties and reach the lost on OTHER nights other than Halloween? Makes no sense to me? What that night represents IS evil, IT'S bad, BAD BAD... END of story... Regardless of what you do, how you do it, its celebrating it...
GOOD post Daja!

Gombojav Tribe said...

Yes, Leona, it seems like a strange justification to me as well. As if handing out candy is a tremendous witnessing tool. Have all these people who claim they do it to be a light actually had all their neighbors over for dinner and shared the gospel with them? Have they been out on a Saturday morning raking leaves for the neighbors and helping with the outdoor chores? Do they deliver Christmas cards and presents to all their neighbors?

Now, maybe they have. But, I bet most have not. And so to claim that they are celebrating Halloween "for Jesus" is a cop-out. I'd prefer people just said, "I like it. I want to do it." and leave Jesus out of the mix entirely.

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