By Kristen Johnson
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NRSV): 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Christians are allowed to have fun. Really – it’s okay! We’re allowed to laugh, play, and feel joy. We’re allowed to enjoy God’s creation and to experience happiness as we show gratitude for our blessings.
As a Christian, there’s really nothing worse than being surrounded by Christians who point the finger at everyone else, condemn the world for sinfulness, and sit arrogantly in judgment with their big lists of do’s and don’ts. I have no doubt that I am not the only person who has met a Christian like that and I’m also sure that Christians with negative, judgmental attitudes keep people from the Church.
One glaring example of glaring self-righteousness is shown in Christians who carry on about the evil of Halloween. (We can find this attitude also in Christians who insist that we keep the “Christ in Christmas” even though Christmas is an entirely nauseating display of over-consumerism and greed which says nothing of the love and sacrificial message exhibited by Jesus.) If a child (or grown-up for that matter) wants to dress up like a cowboy for Halloween, mooch some candy off the neighbors, and generally have a good time with friends – there simply is no harm in it. Any “pagan” roots are irrelevant if the individual isn’t celebrating anything pagan. I can’t recall worshipping Satan or killing cats at a single Halloween celebration in my 40+ years on this planet. (I do, however, agree that women and girls who wear overtly sexual costumes are annoying and anti-feminist. We’re not objects ladies, so stop acting like we are!)
If Christians insist on getting rid of Halloween because of “pagan” roots, then they’ll have to get rid of Christmas and Easter too. The Romans celebrated a “winter solstice” which was eventually wrapped up in our current Christmas traditions. They hung figurines and masks on trees, and they exchanged presents with friends. Easter traditions are rooted in worship of the Sun God. The Easter Bunny was the symbol of fertility and colored eggs can be traced back to Babylonian worship. (RealTruth.org).
When children dress up in costumes on Halloween, exchange gifts with family members on Christmas, or hunt for eggs on Easter they aren’t worshipping pagan idols or participating in pagan customs. They’re just having fun, and if they happen to be celebrating any of the above customs in a Church, then it’s likely that they’re worshipping God too.
Drawing people into the Church is something that all Christians need to do. Ostracizing people by pointing the “sinner, sinner, sinner” finger is not the way to do it. Show love and kindness always, and above all else – show joy. It’s okay!
Proverbs 10:28 (NRSV): The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
Serve all with love.
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