Do not have a happy halloween…

An email today from H.B London Jr (of Focus on the Family) included the following notes — sad but true….

Halloween has become a major unofficial American holiday. Researchers at Hallmark Cards report that 65 percent of us decorate our homes and offices for the annual event. It is second only to Christmas in retail spending at about $5 billion, and it is the third biggest party day of the year in the U.S.

The treat ends there for many thoughtful Christians, however, who 1105980_pumpkin_treeunderstand a very troubling reality. Halloween is the high holy day for real witches and pagans, not just a night of “pretend.” Several hundred thousand American pagans, Druids, and witches celebrate Halloween as a holy day called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) or Shadowfest, a 2,000-year-old Celtic festival held to honor Samhain, the lord of earth. Pagans considered it to be the end of “life” (summer) and the beginning of “death” (winter).

Although today’s pagans don’t roam in black or bloody garb, snatching children, they nevertheless gather to sing ritual songs and chant ancient prayers, most of which were condemned by the early Christian church. Some still put out food offerings for the dead.

Halloween is still the primary festival celebrated by those who follow Satan, but most of our culture has absorbed the festival by embracing its supposedly innocent customs. In fact, modern witches, warlocks, pagans, and Satanists have long used the holiday as a “hook” to present their belief system as a fascinating, even benevolent religious alternative.

Certainly, for Christians to shun Halloween and other pagan practices is to swim against the cultural tide. But redirecting Halloween celebrations for our children and ourselves is one of the easier ways we can take a quiet stand.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft” (Deut. 18:10).

Respecting other religions?

It seems to me there is public pressure to respect (and tolerate) just about everyone and everything. In recent headlines the Roman Catholic Pope was being challenged to declare some “respect” for Islam — a worldwide religion, but a false religion. In an online article, Dr Al Mohler discusses this.

mosque5079792thbLet me raise the question here for individual Christians: should we ‘respect’ Islam — or how should we properly respond to Muslims? Here is an excerpt from Dr Mohler that I find most helpful….

In this light, any belief system that pulls persons away from the Gospel of Christ, denies and subverts Christian truth, and blinds sinners from seeing Christ as the only hope of salvation is, by biblical definition, a way that leads to destruction. Islam, like every other rival to the Christian gospel, takes persons captive and is devoid of genuine hope for salvation.

Thus, evangelical Christians may respect the sincerity with which Muslims hold their beliefs, but we cannot respect the beliefs themselves. We can respect Muslim people for their contributions to human welfare, scholarship, and culture. We can respect the brilliance of Muslim scholarship in the medieval era and the wonders of Islamic art and architecture. But we cannot respect a belief system that denies the truth of the gospel, insists that Jesus was not God’s Son, and takes millions of souls captive.

I’m so thankful for Dr Al Mohler, and the clarity of his writing and thinking (and the abundance of it). If you do not check his online postings — especially to gain a biblical view of news and events — you should.