Thursday, October 30, 2008

That which we call a rose

by John D Ramsey

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” — Juliet

Tonight, the little girls stayed home from AWANA because we do not celebrate Halloween in our family. More fervently than many Christians of my acquaintance, I believe that all things are lawful. Yet, Lisa and I have decided that Halloween is not expedient for our family, regardless of its appeal. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (KJV) If you choose to celebrate the holiday, I am not offended.

No one advertised tonight’s event as a Halloween party. I wish they had; at least that would be honest. Semantic contortions, such as calling a Halloween party a “harvest party,” only teach children to disrespect the truth. Calling an event a “Halloween alternative party” is even more ludicrous.

Tonight, the kids were supposed to go to church dressed as Bible characters. I am thinking, is the Witch of Endor more acceptable than the Wicked Witch of the West? Lisa corrects me; no witches allowed no matter what. Okay, what about Samuel's ghost from the same chapter, would that be acceptable?

Christians can celebrate Halloween so long as their consciences do not offend them. For me, Halloween is not a matter of conscience; it is a matter of expedience. Halloween adds no value to my family, so we abstain. Learning they have freedom to act differently than the crowd builds character in kids. Halloween is an annual opportunity for me to teach my girls that we can be different from the world. Lisa and I do not rant about the evils of Halloween. We try to teach Claire and Gabby that things do not have to be wrong to be unnecessary.

If others celebrate Halloween in good conscience, it does not bother me. However, when Christians attempt to rename Halloween to make it acceptable, they have accordingly made it a matter of conscience. For instance, Halloween equals bad. Same holiday named, Not-Halloween, equals good. How does that work?

Kids are not so easily fooled.

Renaming it, Not-Halloween, frames the holiday in the conscience. Furthermore, celebrating the renamed holiday teaches children to violate their consciences. This robs the children of their freedom and then causes them to sin.

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