My goal today is not to tell you what to think, but merely to encourage you to think about what you think, and to think consistently about it. And by “it,” I mean them, and by “them” I mean Christmas and Halloween- although this has lots of applications. It’s like duct tape or bacon.
Every Halloween we hear that we should NOT celebrate Halloween for one of two reasons:
- It has roots in evil paganism, and so, even though the majority of us have no idea what that means or what used to be done in its name (And whatever it was, it was certainly not dressing up small children as licenced movie characters and going door to door asking for candy from friends and neighbors) it’s an evil pagan holiday.
- Evil Pagans today do evil pagan things on that day, and non pagans do sinful things on that day in its name, and so it’s an evil pagan holiday.
Similarly, every Christmas we are told that wishing people a Merry Christmas is offensive because:
- Christmas has its roots in Christianity, and so even though the majority of us have no idea what that means or what used to be done in it’s name (And whatever it was, it was certainly not about a fat man in a red sleigh pulled by flying reindeer coming down your chimney to put toys in a sock) it’s still a religious holiday specific to the Christian church.
- Religious Christians do religious things on and around that day, and non Christians do spiritual things or at least intentionally moral things during this time of year, such as remembering the poor, and so it is a religious Holiday which needs to be renamed and made more secular because it is a Christian holiday, which is somehow offensive.
But of course we are told we CAN celebrate Halloween because, whatever it USED to be, it’s now a holiday focused almost entirely on playing dress up and eating sugar. Similarly, atheists and Jews LOVE Christmas because it’s now primarily about lights and festive parties and eating too much and buying presents and lots of other things which basically boil down to pretending its everyone’s birthday all at the same time even when it is not.
So here’s what I advise: Let’s all understand that a holiday is what you make of it. The DATE does not determine if it is a religious or a pagan holiday. Neither does the name. A holiday is sacred if you honor God, just as a Tuesday afternoon is sacred if you use it to honor God, and it is pagan if you use it to worship anything other than God- just like other days, your money, and rock n roll music.
That Easter is a holy day where in we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead does not somehow make sacred the ridiculous notion that a rabbit is hiding colored eggs in your backyard with baskets of candy. That Halloween may have been a date where Pagans did evil things doesn’t taint with evil your six year old daughter’s Disney princess costume, nor the Snickers fun size candy bad she got from the family next door.
So what will you decide? That Satan gets certain calendar days, and there is no way to redeem them? Or that God is God over all, and as long as we are honoring Him, we can do it every day in a million ways? Let me know what you decide. I’m going to honor God today with a tall cup of Egg Nog and a cookie. Merry Christmas my friends, and #JesusLovesYou