Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


Bible verse

Are Halloween, Christmas or Easter really Christian?

A month or so ago, i was attacked  on of my facebook posts for listening to certain musicians and preachers, before i could fully address the accusations, my “attacker” then posted a few photos about how Christians shouldn’t celebrate Halloween, I laughed at them explaining that none of it was true (following which they gave up).

I believe that I am discerning about who I listen to in music and preaching, all that I was accused of, was lies as he didnt know me at all, i don’t celebrate Halloween and i am not enamoured with the current way Christmas is celebrated in the western world as many of my “seasonal” posts will confirm!

A friend of mine wrote a blog post on the roots of halloween, according to his post, it is actually one of the few calendar dates that has its roots in Christianity and not paganism or “non-christian” history. But then pagans would argue that their “samhain” festival came first and as usual a pope or roman emperor “appropriated it as it fitted”.

Some may know it as “All Hallows Eve”, like Christmas eve precedes Christmas day, it is the night before “All Hallows Day” or “All Saints Day”, where the church remembers the “saints” or loved ones to a lesser or greater extent depending on the denomination, some even went as far as commemorating “saints” for three days! All Saints Day was also the day, similar to Easter where we remember that Jesus death brought God’s light into the darkness of our hearts (and this world) and made us able to live in the right way.

Due to commercialism, like Christmas, that message has got lost in fun and frivolity! Many, Christian and Non-Christian, excuse Halloween as being a little fun, “horror movies are fine” etc… Christians are called to dwell our minds on things that are “pure, holy, right and lovely”, watching movies about axe murderers, people being chased, tortured or affected by demonic forces, is not something anyone should expose themselves to.

Christians claim that “Christ has redeemed us, so he can redeem anything“, but:-

  • are we allowing things that are not holy, right and lovely to distract us from things that are?
  • Are we allowing our desire to give good gifts or get “expensive stuff”, blinding us to the need of those around us?
  • Are we allowing the desire to eat lots of sweet foodstuffs, blinding us from sharing and excusing us to take from those who can ill afford it?
  • Are we letting commercialism and advertising drive our behaviour, that we forget its impact on those who will be scared, lonely or left out?
  • Are we allowing the joy of “celebration” to give us an excuse to get so drunk, we make stupid mistakes?

Now, I love food, I love all the cake and variety of things that various nationalities have created for Easter and Christmas seasons. I love the music and movies which are inspired by those seasons, I am by no means a perfect philanthropist, i do not have the personal funds nor do I claim a long track record of helping others “less fortunate” than myself.

I do what I can, I support and try to encourage the next generation to think about others, I was pleased when my youngest child decided that they wanted to donate to the harvest collection at her school, following a talk i gave to her sunday school group, not because  I personally did anything but that she got the message and she responded!

Regardless of whether Easter, Halloween or Christmas have their roots in Paganism or Christianity, if you are a follower of Christ and can truly say “this behaviour or activity is bringing glory to God, blessing others and showing Christ’s love” then by all means continue.

But if it is failing to-

  • Maybe we need to re-evaluate what we are doing and how we are doing it.
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    The present “presence of God”

    For a good few years, I have struggled with getting my head around why we occasionally sing in church “come holy spirit”.  We also sing all sorts of related things like

    Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
    Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
    Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
    To be overcome by Your presence, Lord


    Let us become more aware of Your presence
    Let us experience the glory of Your goodness

    I understand that due to sin, guilt, shame, other worries (etc etc!) we struggle to be aware of God’s presence and like the footsteps poem, it is when we are at our weakest and struggling the most that we consciously give permission for him to step in, but as it also says God is walking with us at all times! Immanuel means “God is with us“, if you take the time to look up the Hebrew names for God’s Triune attributes  you will see that he is at work in our lives “24/7” as he is eternal!!

    God the father, son and holy spirit were there at the beginning of creation, they were all there when Jesus was Baptised, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and filled the believers so that they could preach and share the good news of Jesus’ act of salvation!  There is a church where all sorts of stuff happens and they call it “Glory clouds” and they seek “God’s Glory” all the time, I was in a church where they were hankering after those types of “manifestations” but I do not believe that they are true or really from God as they fail to cause those “experiencing” to then go out and profess the good news like the early disciples did.  In fact they do not seem to even engage them in trying to respond to the poor and those in need!

    I know that everyone has a different reaction to being “touched by the Holy Spirit”, I always seem to get weepy! I have yet to find anyone in the bible that appeared drunk and could barely string two words together after getting filled with the spirit, in fact it caused them to be able to speak languages they barely knew one word of!

    The times in the bible where God’s “Glory” or “Presence” appeared, those who it appeared to were struck in awe and  had feelings of unworthiness!  It’s like walking through a muddy bog and then meeting a member of a royal family who is dressed in a white outfit, you are filthy in comparison!  Yet Jesus stretched out his hand and offers us a way out of that mess we get ourselves into!  I am no criminal, yet i have regrets about mistakes that I have made, we all have fallen short of God’s Glory, the philistines needed to return the ark of the covenant as their sin and guilt was too much, their soldiers kept dying everytime they touched the vessel where God’s glory was abiding.

    When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to counsel, equip, guide, teach and empower us, he did this after his death and resurrection so that God could once again look upon us.  We are made in God’s image, our sin has tainted and damaged that image but through the filter of Jesus’ sacrifice, he can look upon us and once again see a part of himself.

    We may be annoyed with our sin, weaknesses or faults, but when God looks upon us he sees his perfect creation and when two or more are gathered he is there with us as we are communing with others and the spirit at the same time.  We don’t need to ask for his presence, we need to ask more that he opens the eyes of our heart, that he helps us to recognise who we are in him and what he has made us to be, vessels for his glory and love, not to be “put on a shelf” in a church, some gifts are for service in the church family time and others are for use within our communities, we just need to realise that it is there for us to use, as long as we remain in him and try our best with the Holy Spirit’s help to live as close to Jesus’ example as we can!

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