Have you ever noticed that we're not all the same?
There really can be things that two people of Faith feel differently regarding.
The apostle Paul addressed this whole issue in
1 Corinthians 8:4-15. Specifically, in this passage Paul is referring to meal offered to idols. In that time people sacrificed animals to specific idols and people could later purchase that meat to use for eating. Some Believers felt it was wrong to eat that meat because they felt like it would be worshiping those idols. Other Believers thought that since they were not eating the meat for the purpose of anything other than food, it was fine to go ahead and eat it. Paul tells the Believers that of course the meat means nothing and pointed out in the end of verse 8 that:
"We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do."
Then Paul goes on to say that we need to be careful as people of Faith to look out not only for ourselves, but also for others. If a Believer, by eating that meat that was sacrificed to idols, would cause another Believer to stumble, even though there was really nothing wrong with doing it, than it should be avoided. In verse 9 Paul says:
"But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble."
I find similarities in this situation to many of the current festive celebrations that we have today that had pagan roots - such as Halloween.
Although Halloween's origins were pagan, just like the meat sacrificed to idols, that is not what I see being celebrated by most Americans today. For most of us, Halloween is about young children getting to wear fun costumes and get candy. I do not see celebrating Halloween as harmful to my faith. But I know some very wonderful Christian brothers and sisters that do.
In an attempt to address this issue in the same kind of spirit that Paul describes in the 1 Corinthians 8:4-15 passage, many Christian churches try to provide alternate, fun, child centered activities close to the day of Halloween. You'll see an abundance of things titled "Harvest Festival", "Fall Fun Days", etc. at this time of year at many Christian churches. The church that I attended when I used to live in a large, urban, area used to have a huge fall carnival on Halloween night every year. Children could dress up if they chose, and there were lots of fun booths that were manned by volunteers. I volunteered at that carnival, and my sons attended it, most of the years I lived in that area and it was a lot of fun. Hundreds of local people enjoyed the fun and safety for their little ones.
What about you, do you think it's OK for Christians to celebrate Halloween? Why or Why not?
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