Folks will transform themselves into all sorts of things for Halloween. Some will be “cute and fun” things like princesses or super heroes. Others will become witches, goblins, and all sorts of scary gory things. Even at Christian Halloween parties.
Because we think, “How can we reach society if we’re not relevant?” And in our desire for relevancy, to fit in, and have society accept us — we transform. And not only on Halloween. But in many ways both large and small, all throughout the year.
Let me state straight off that this is not a post about the evil origins of Halloween. Or a post against its celebration. (Although knowing its origins is enough to keep me from celebrating it!)
But because I can’t help but ask, “Is that what we are here for? To fit in and do as the world does?”
Religion today is not transforming the people; it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society – it is descending to society’s own level and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smiling, accepting its surrender.(A.W. Tozer)
Tozer wrote this before 1963. I wonder what he would say today, in a society where there are no wrongs and anything goes?
My personal convictions are strongly against what to me is a pagan holiday, firmly rooted in evil. I, personally, don’t feel comfortable with Christian Halloween celebrations. Nor do I wish to associate my Lord’s name in any way to such a holiday.
And because we can’t sanctify something by tacking the label Christian on it.
Sure, we can try. And as a result we’ve got a Christian version of many things. Christian pens and pencils, balloons and puzzles. Christian calendars and shirts. Even Christian dating services and cruises. Now I’m not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with these things.
But dictionaries define Christian as something derived from or relating to Christ or his teachings.
So perhaps we use both Scripture verses and the term Christian much too lightly. When in reality they are weighty matters. In calling something Christian, we state “this is of Jesus Christ.”
The early church, I think, more fully understood this. They spoke of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The teachings of Jesus Christ. And the peace, grace, righteousness, and love of Christ. Things that pertained directly to him or came from him. And they made such references with reverence and care.
But mostly I try to remember, all year long, what kind of transformation God wants to see in me.
He’s waiting and watching to see us transformed into Christ’s image. And for us to get out into society and transform it. Which means getting involved, reaching out, and using every opportunity possible to do so. But let’s try to remember that to do that, we must remain a bright light, shining into the darkness. Not melding with it.
“Religion today is not transforming the people,” Tozer said. “It is being transformed by the people.”
I want to be transformed into Christ’s image. Because I long to transform society around me. Don’t you?
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Romans 12:2).