As a follow up to my Halloween article found here:
This audio link might be of interest....
Hardly in agreement with my position, this Conservative Lutheran programme exhibits some of the classic modes of Sacralist thinking when it comes to issues like this. They're not necessarily pushing the Christian version of Halloween, but they're not exactly refuting it either.
Either way the agenda is to find a way to redeem it, make it Holy... and because society is doing it, we are compelled to somehow participate. Anything else would be Retreatism.
Why am I bound by traditions...not only Ecclesiastical but Cultural too? Is this not a form of bondage? Usually when people say not to celebrate Halloween, Christmas or whatever, those who say this are accused of trying to 'bind' others. Again, who's binding whom? I'm simply saying...it's not Biblical, don't do it. The others are trying to say...this is Tradition, you MUST do it.
On a personal level, I don't care what you personally do, but I do care when it is brought into the Church or when you try to bind it on me. If you want to celebrate Halloween...fine. But don't bring it in the Church and don't tell me I'm somehow sinning because I refuse to do it.
We are free in Christ. The freedom we have has nothing to do with Social Liberty. Americans have made this mistake for generations, abusing Scripture in the process. Our Liberty Bell's Biblical quotation is but one example, appropriating the Christ-foreshadowing redemptive typology of the Theocratic Jubilee, and applying it to of all things a civil revolution. Liberty has nothing to do with some kind of John Locke-ish Individualistic Libertinism. While I do love and cherish Social Liberty and am thankful for what we still have (no thanks to our military)...the Redemptive Liberty Scripture speaks of is freedom from the bondage of law (which we cannot keep, does not save, and condemns us), the bondage of sin, and the bondage of fear. Fear of Judgment, fear of man, fear of the Beast and the traditions and seductions of fallen man's false systems.
I will not be brought into some kind of bondage and be told that I have to keep some absurd tradition. I will not try to redeem something cannot be redeemed. Sacralists think the answer is....carve pumpkins with crosses. This kind of thinking gave us Roman Catholicism...and I assure you they rightly laugh at such Protestant attempts to interact with culture...and still maintain Sola Scriptura.
This kind of thinking makes a mockery of it.
Everyone cries the Sufficiency of Scripture when it comes to culture...where Scripture is not sufficient. Scripture is Covenantal and belongs to the Church. Our message to the culture is not blueprints for the social order, but the message of Christ is Coming...Repent and Believe.
But when it comes to the Church everyone abandons Sufficiency for Tradition. Traditionalists hate innovation, but they must recognize that the Traditions they cherish were innovations at some point. The Road of Innovation is a road of endless bondage and accommodation to Pagan Culture.
"Christian Worldview" applied to issues like Halloween often ends up looking like...Baptized Paganism. That's all Sacralism is in the end.
This show employs the normal methods when dealing with topics like this. Lots of straw man arguments and issues. Rather than deal with any real theological arguments they decided to deal with whether or not Anti-Halloween folks actually believe the night of 31 October is given over to Demonic Activity, or perhaps they're afraid of their children being abducted? Or maybe they're just scared to interact and want to hide in their house...???
I guess we'll just ignore all the salient issues and also ignore the fact that sometimes so-called Retreating is exactly what we're called to do. By the way if you live in town and you don't send your kids out Trick-or-treating and you turn your porch light off...that's hardly retreating. It's making quite a statement, I assure you. Everyone knows that you're making a stand. The key is to be gracious about it rather than nasty. If they take it as humble resistance, it's powerful. If your neighbours take it as finger pointing, then you're being acidic rather than salt and light.
Handing out candy with tracts and carving cross pumpkins...that's caving in. Dressing your kids up in 'harmless' and 'non-evil' costumes is also caving in. Harvest Parties and Reformation Day parties with costumes and candy are simply exercises of self-deception. You're celebrating Halloween, just don't want to admit it.
This show and many others refuse to ask....why as a Christian are you doing this? Who told you? Do we do everything the culture does? Of course not. No one thinks that. We all draw the line somewhere. Where do we draw the line? And why? And then of course when you make it a Christian Holy Day issue, now you're into a whole host of other issues regarding the Church, it's nature and mission, and certainly....worship.
As much as I sometimes appreciate this programme, and I do appreciate some things the Lutherans stand for over and against the Reformed, I'm afraid on issues like this they're at their worst. It was very disappointing and if this show was meant to be an honest treatment of the issue of whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween? They failed.