Holidays: I don’t observe, so how do I deal?

Since there really aren’t any Scriptures that deal with this subject specifically, I’m going to share my opinions on it for the next few minutes.

Yesterday I posted a video about whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween.

My family never “celebrated” Halloween. We weren’t allowed to dress up as creepy goblins and witches. My brother and I weren’t allowed to go trick-or-treating with our friends. We never passed out candy either. When the kids started to walk around the neighborhood to collect their Halloween treasure, we shut all the drapes, closed the blinds, turned off all the lights in the house, and deactivated our motion-sensor porch light. In fact, I carved my first pumpkin when I was 23 (and it was the most awesome ninja turtle you’ve ever seen, I might add).

However, the church that we attended at the time provided a substitute for us. They had an annual “harvest party” for the kids – there was a piñata, lots of candy, you could dress up (as long as the costume wasn’t satanic or wicked – i.e. no witches, ghosts, goblins, creepy people, etc), and there were games.

This was something my brother and I looked forward to every year. I remember one year I dressed up as a princess, another year I was a pirate, and yet another year I was cat. I have good memories of those fun times.

Technically, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween, so how did we deal with it? We found a substitute.

What if substitutes aren’t an option?

When my family was attending a church in Flint (MI), there was a family there that didn’t celebrate Christmas – or at least not in the way everyone else celebrated it.

They never put up a Christmas tree, they never decorated their house, they didn’t give presents to their friends and family, and they didn’t attend the Christmas family gatherings.

They had their reasons, and I certainly respect them. They believed that Christmas was supposed to be solely about Jesus Christ and His birth, not about big feasts and pretty pine trees or brightly-wrapped presents.

No one pushed the issue – from the inside out, or from the outside in.

Don’t be a stumbling block.

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of.” – Romans 14:12-16

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” – I Corinthians 8:9

These verses are basically talking about the liberty we have in Christ. However, everyone has different struggles. So what you feel is acceptable may actually be a point of concern or a hindrance for someone else.

Take a certain holiday, for example. I believe celebrating Christmas is acceptable for Christians to do – meaning, with a tree, decorations, gifts, etc. However, for my friends it was not acceptable; it was a something that was a point of concern for them.

Not wanting to offend them or cause them to stumble away from what they believed, I never tried to force a Christmas present on them. My family never invited them over for Christmas dinner. I never made my friend any Christmas tree ornaments.

Likewise, if Halloween or some other holiday is a stumblingblock to you, then avoid it. For the recovering alcoholic it might be St. Patrick’s Day. For the person trying to lose weight it might be Thanksgiving Dinner. For the partier trying to get his life under control it might be New Years Eve.

You know your limits.

Whatever it is, you know your limits. You know in your heart what is right, what is wrong, and what is acceptable for you as a Christian.

If it’s a holiday you’re not opposed to celebrating but you know that a certain group of people will be celebrating it in a way that could cause you to stumble, avoid that crowd. If you’re throwing a party but know that some of the planned activities could be a hinderance to someone else, don’t invite them — or if you do invite them, be upfront about it so they can make an informed decision and not be blindsided by it upon their arrival.

Don’t allow yourself to be put in a place of compromise. Don’t allow yourself to be the one who puts someone else in a place of compromise.

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Doctrines of the Faith, Halloween and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is very well said, Heather.

  2. I like your thoughts on this.

  3. I was proud of my 16-year-old daughter.

    Last night we had a fellowship/trunk or treat/outreach at church. It is something our church has been doing for years, long before I came along. Thankfully, I have succeeded in removing all the “halloween” hints, like spiders hanging from streamers in the fellowship hall (yes, I know).

    Anyway, my daughter (the most spiritual in the family), hates everything about Halloween. She even stayed home last night because she felt that having any kind of celebration or party or whatever was too much like sanctioning the devil’s holiday. Good for her. At least she didn’t dress up like a vampire hooker from the stone age (like a couple of “Christian” neighbor girls did). And no, the vampires didn’t come to our gathering.

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