Happy Halloween – You’re Getting a Trick, not a Treat

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(Random image found on the web)

Tonight millions of children will travel up and down their streets to be given some treats, mostly candy.  We can only image the beautiful and cute costumes they will wear.  However, what is Halloween really about? History.com says it evolved “from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.”  That’s a nice way of portraying this hell-liday as harmless. Yet nearly every year we read about some satanic group killing animals.  Which one is it?  Is it a time to get free candy or is it still about ghosts and ghouls?  There are droves of churches conducting alternatives to Halloween.  Any parent can go by one of these churches if they simply want to get free candy.  The ChurchofSatan.com say Halloween is one of the holidays.  That’s pretty cut and dry.

Unlike many of my other posts, I just want to bring a little awareness on this subjective, controversial and mysterious hell-liday.  Subjective you say?  Yes, those of us who have studied this holiday definitely know it’s a celebration of ghosts and the dead. However, I won’t go into that today but ask you consult with your pastor and you’ll be more enlightened.  Controversial you say?  Yes. I don’t know the number of times we preached and taught on this subject that some of the parents became upset and informed us that, “Halloween is innocent fun.”  Yes, there are “church folk” who will fight you over this.  To date, the contention mostly came from those who haven’t studied the subject. Let me digress for a moment. Many years ago, I was in the store buying some Halloween products.  It was going to be the first time I had ever decorated my house for Halloween.  A woman and I struck up a conversation about Halloween.  She asked me if I knew what it celebrated.  I was thinking, “What’s wrong with her?  Everyone knows this is about dressing up and having fun.”  We talked for hours as she educated me.  I later investigated the matter and found she was right and I found out other things also.  Mysterious you say?  Yes.  It’s mysterious because it seems many do not know what it means or why they celebrate it. Further, there are conflicting facts about its history.  Some sources, well a vast majority state Halloween derived from a Catholic Church tradition of remembering the dead before All Saints Day.

CNN and many shows are celebrating Halloween by dressing in different costumes.  I ask you, “What is the probability any non-Christian show will celebrate Christianity during the Christmas season?”  I’m not talking about showing Santa, Frosty and the like.  Those figures are commercial items used to “celebrate” or shall I say get you in the mode to spend during the “holiday season.”  The Guardian.com reported that Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year, next to New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday.  This indicates Halloween has a firm place in the hearts and minds of the American people. When CNN, Good Morning America and other TV shows dress up they in turn help to further entrench this “holiday” into the American conscience.  I’m looking forward to seeing them in their Christian costumes during Christmas.  Oh wait, that will be offensive to some because they’ll be forcing “their religion upon society.”

As you drive around and walk during tonight, notice how many witches, zombies, skeletons, vampires, ghosts, etc. that adorn the homes.  Please notice the celebration of the dead and the evil figures and pumpkins.  Compare those images with the things that will be around during Christmas. We are bound to hear of someone suing the city if someone has a Nativity Scene.  Ironic, is it not?  Christmas is about the birth of Christ but can’t display a Nativity Scene!

trick_or_treat_scary_clown

(Random picture found on web)

I hope you’re a little more educated from this short blog.  I leave you with “Happy Halloween.”  Wait, happy Halloween?  There is nothing happy about celebrating anything our Lord disapproves.  Lets align our worldview to a Christian worldview.  Take a few moments and investigate what this holiday is about.  If our thoughts and beliefs do not align with the bible…we need to change.  You will not find a single Scripture telling us to celebrate the dead or the devil.  You’ll find Scriptures telling you to honor God and Him only.  The costume might be “cute” but we’re called to live a holy, not an unholy life.  Lets not look and act like the unbelieving secular society.  Second Corinthians 6:15 asks the question, “And what agreement has Christ with Belial?”  Well?

I leave you with a quote from Anton LaVey, Founder of the Church of Satan.  He says, “I’m glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year.”   Remember,  if you’re celebrating a Happy Halloween, you’re getting a trick, not a treat.

Sola Scriptura

Yves

More Christian persecution: Idaho city forces pastors to marry gays – Allen B. West – AllenBWest.com

What has happened to our First Amendment rights?

Source: allenbwest.com

Mr. West makes some great points.  Tolerance is a one-way street, or so it appears.  A choice is now a right.

While we must be respect to another persons thoughts, rights or beliefs, we don’t have to accept them.

Christians are viewed as intolerant while those who oppose Christianity are viewed as progressive or enlightened. They don’t have to accept our views while we must accept theirs. Regrettably, some of our leaders have caved-in and now misrepresent our beliefs.  Either we believe in Christianity or we don’t.  We can’t be half-way Christian.  It’s an “all-in” lifestyle.

Chime in at my blog site and let me know your thoughts.

Solo Scriptura

See on Scoop.itGodliness

Attack on Traditional Marriage

The Supreme Court has opened the door for more Same Sex marriages.  It has been reported that 60% of our States will honor Same Sex marriages after the dust settles.  I encourage you to stay prayerful.  We need to stand for Christ, not for what society now says is correct.  Stand for what?  Stand for the biblical definition of marriage–one man one woman.

Let’s not confuse the issue. This is not a matter of, “Well, I love my loved one and I don’t want to hurt his/her feelings.”  The issue for Christians is to remain faithful to what we profess we believe.  One doesn’t love their loved one any less because they don’t agree with everything they believe in or do. If that were the case then everyone who doesn’t believe in what you believe doesn’t love you.  Our belief must not be based on what a loved one thinks.  If that is the case we would have to question if we actually believe what we profess. Check out this article, it’s a little old but provides a nice overview on the marriage issue for one of our States.

In my guest blog last week, I answered several comments suggesting Christians should want to get along with everyone. So Christians should accept Christianity, Islam and Judaism is the same since we worship the same God.  I pointed out the disparity in their thinking.  It was wonderful to engage in a conversation with people who were actually discussing the issue in a polite manner.  While we disagreed with one another we were able to discuss the issue nonetheless. One responder went on to suggest things would be better if we just get along.  We must stand for what we believe is correct and be faithful to Scripture.

There is no middle ground.  I hope we all stand on Christ’s side. If our loved one is following a path that doesn’t line up with our Christian worldview…we stay the path.  We share Jesus with everyone.  We don’t have a heaven or hell to give them but we can show them the right path to go.

This is just a side issue.  Last week the Denison Forum reported the new TV show, “How to Get Away with Murder” showed a Gay sex scene.  Why would the Network air this?  They are desensitizing the public to these things. This will become normalize if we don’t stand strong for Christian values.  We also must stand against heterosexual sex scenes also. It appears we’re slowing going down a slippery moral slope.

Well, what should we do?  Good question. Stay prayerful, show Christian love and discipline.  I also encourage you to stand by the training and teaching your pastor has taught you on this subject.  Now is not the time for us to “go along to get along.”  We must remain a “peculiar people.”

Blessings

Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha

Please join in the conversation on my guest post at http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=2444

The first question is sure to challenge your current thought process on the similarities of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Yves

7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 7)

I hope you’re growing as we discuss Distinguishing Habits of a Believer.  So far we talked about tithing, biblical knowledge, forgiveness, prayer, worldview, counted the cost.  Lets look at one more habit.

7. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is Repentance.  I saw a sign that said, “ A true Christian desires to be free from sin, not to sin freely.”  We must turn away from our sinful behavior and turn back to our loving God.

Let’s clarify one other thing. Don’t think you can just keep on sinning and there aren’t any consequences. For instance, you slept with someone other than your spouse. He doesn’t know and you’re not telling.

  • Your pregnancy or STD might be a result.
  • Your separation from him might be a result.
  • The loss of respect from your children might be a result.
  • His lack of trust in you might be a result.

I get it. You’re saying, “I won’t tell him.” God still knows!

Okay, you didn’t sleep with him or her but you thought about it. What did Jesus say, (Matt 5:28) “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”   Ladies, the same thing applies to you. If you look at a man or woman with lust…

We must turn from the sin and turn towards God.  A momentary pleasure isn’t worth it.

Let your brothers and sisters help you. Do be like the guy dressed in a suit and was drowning. He didn’t want to look bad so he simply raised his hand hoping someone would save him. He drowned because of his unwillingness to shout out for help.  If you’re struggling with a sin, shout it out.  Yell out and let us rally around you. We’re one body! Ps 56:3.  Most importantly, share your burden with God.  He’ll never leave you nor forsake you.

As we close out this series we need to remember a few things.  You are the key to Christianity in your circle of influence. Many people will see how Christianity by your actions. They’ll understand Christianity by the way you approach and deal with contemporary issues of the day.

You can’t be a Secret Agent Christian. You have to pick a side. If you’re a part-time Christian then you’re a full-time poser. You’re one or the other.

What did Jesus tell the devil? “It is written, ‘you shall not put The Lord your God to the test.” In other words, “Don’t push it.” God is forgiving but He isn’t forgetful. Don’t be hardheaded like the children of Israel.   If we are disciples or followers of Christ then we must act like Him.

Now that you know this information you are now responsible for executing it.   You can’t say you didn’t know. You do know.   There’s a great chance that you will make some mistakes. The good news is that your Lord and Savior, the God of this universe is loving and forgiving.

Look at yourself. Are you exhibiting any or all of these 7 habits?

  1. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is Tithing
  2. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is biblical knowledge.
  3. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is forgiveness.
  4. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is Prayer.
  5. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is a Christ Worldview.
  6. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is that they know there is a cost involved in being a believer.
  7. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is Repentance.

f not, now is the time to start. Change your life, change your legacy! Read, study and do His word!  Are you like me? Do you understand that now that we’re Christians we are conquerors? We are in a fight against evil in our lives and the world.

Solo Scriptura

Yves

7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 6)

I hope you’re growing as we discuss Distinguishing Habits of a Believer.  So far we talked about tithing, biblical knowledge, forgiveness, prayer and worldview.  Lets look at one more habit.

6. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is that they know there is a cost involved in being a believer.

Don’t be mistaken and believe this will not cause any problems. Lets just highlight a few things.

You should, no you must be different from unbelievers. As such, there will be some friction. You might be irritating to your closest friends and family. They won’t understand what you are doing and why you are acting a new way. Does this mean you should change? No you do not change for them. You change to be like Him.

  1. The way you talk should be different.
  2. The way you think should be different.
  3. The things you listen to should be different.
  4. Do you look at the same TV shows?
  5. Do you listen to the same music?
  6. What about the places they go?
  7. What about your conversation?

There must be a noticeable change. You can enjoy TV and everything else. Yet your selection should change.

I knew I was changing when I didn’t mind hearing Gospel music in my car. I had a bad system. It was rocking. I played Snoop, Cube, Biggie, Tupac and others in my car before and after church. One day my wife had the nerve to put in a Gospel tape. Yes, I said tapes.  I was heated. I wasn’t sure this relationship was going to work. She dared to change what I had on my system. I listened to the music and it was pretty decent. It was a bit strange since it didn’t talk about sex or have any profanity in it. Within time the Gangsta music was replaced by Gospel music.

This isn’t an either or proposition. We must do it with everything.

I was talking to some about their selection of TV shows. The person became upset with me when I said “You look at a lot of questionable things that are contrary to our Christian lifestyle.” I wasn’t inferring the person wasn’t a Christian. I couldn’t figure out why this person would devote so much time in things that disagree with our life style.  The person felt the need to defend themselves. The person went on to tell me that she spent time doing morning devotionals.

I responded, “Are you reading and living out the things you read in the bible?” It’s a simple and straightforward question. It’s either “yes” or “no.” I wasn’t judging the person but since the opened the door I figured I’d ask. Several months later I told my wife about incident.  She stated that you could only give what they can handle. Some people simply can’t accept things.  The cost for that person was reducing and eliminating contrary readings from their life.  It appeared the cost might have been too much for that person.

My granddaughter ate some food and it really messed up her digestive system. She was eating something that was good but her body couldn’t handle it. Some of us are like that. We can’t or don’t want to handle the good food…the Gospel.

As a minister I’m responsible to help equip you to do the work of the ministry of Christ. I have a responsibility to make sure the sermons and teachings are theologically sound and understandable. I must show you how great God is and leave out the “You’ll be a great Christian if you act or think like Yves” type of things. I don’t have a heaven or hell to give you. I can, however, lead you to the one Who does.

Your job is similar to mine. We’re compasses that lead everyone we know to the true North. Jesus.  The cost is that we must change some things.  The cost comes with a great benefit.  The benefit of being with Him for eternity.  Have you counted the cost?  Have you changed?  Is there a discernible difference between who you were prior to your life in Christ?

Solo Scriptura

Yves

7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 5)

I hope you’re growing as we discuss Distinguishing Habits of a Believer.  So far we talked about tithing, biblical knowledge, forgiveness, and prayer.

5. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is a Christ Worldview. A what? This is a term used to show that we base what we do through a Christian lens.

Here’s a quick definition of worldview. We view the world from a Christian biblical viewpoint. In other words, we filter things through “WWJD.”

Lets look at a few common examples.

  • If we’re asked is it okay to steal, we go by what the bible says. (pretty black and white)
  • If we’re asked is homosexuality is fine, we go by what the bible says. (Hmm, it’s getting a little gray)
  • If we’re asked about abortion, giving money to the poor, cursing someone out, being a good worker, a good daughter, husband and everything else.

I think you get the point.  We must live our life through biblical life principles and we speak on and act on things from a biblical Christian worldview point.  Our worldview should change.

Remember, we must get our doctrine…the way we live and our beliefs from the bible, not from the tradition of men. (Col 2:8). For example, wearing Black and White on the First Sunday.   Jesus says, “You are the light of the world (Matt 5:14-16).”

We must show people the light of Christ. They’re just like you and I used to be. We didn’t know that many of the things we were doing was wrong.   We need to help guide the lost toward the Light of the World, the bright and Morning Star.

We don’t say, “The bible says, “XYZ but I think I still can do it.”

What does Jeremiah tells us? God is talking to Jeremiah about false “oracles” and false prophets. In Jer 23:36, He says, “because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty our God.”  God told Jeremiah that He was going to punish them since they changed His word and simply lied at other times about what God did and didn’t say.  The false prophets simply led the people astray.  They didn’t want to give them a dose of reality.  Instead they wanted to just give them good news.  As a side note, if you hear a preacher of the Gospel who doesn’t talk about the struggles and stresses of Christianity…be on guard.  The bible is laced with great men and women of God who had struggles.

We can’t change God’s word to fit our view.  Rather we must change our views to fit His views.  I’m certain you know of some people who have changed what God word says and means in order to accommodate a sin.  We don’t love people less when we point out their sin.  In fact, we love them more.  I saw a great sign that said, “Friends don’t let friends go to hell.”  Lets help advance the Kingdom by staying true to the word and sharing the word with others.

As we talk about this subject we must realize our biblical worldview will be different from the unbeliever.  Consequentially, this will cause some strife in our lives.  Go back and review the other habits.  You’ll realize we will be “different” from those professing Christianity if we follow through on them.  The Apostle Paul called us a “Peculiar people.”  It’s okay to be peculiar.  Let the bible drive how you view issues of today, not vise versa.

Solo Scriptura

Yves