Let’s play pretend.
Suppose that some individual got the bright idea to create a new holiday. And further suppose that the country had so completely lost its mind as to accept and embrace this new holiday.
So is born the Day of Adultery.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a day to cheat on your spouse without it being wrong because we have a holiday to make it okay.
(Stick with me.)
Naturally, this holiday meets resistance. Only the most wanton actually celebrate it. But before long, someone gets the idea to have a “flirting party” on the Day of Adultery. Couples come, and everyone trades spouses all around.
They say it’s fun to have someone new to flirt with and have dinner with. It sharpens your skills, and you might learn a few new tricks–to use with your own spouse later, of course. It’s actually good for your marriage, see?
Besides, it’s fun to flirt without the pressure of a real relationship, ya know? It builds confidence.
Well, as the flirting parties catch on, before long everyone is either hosting them or attending them.
Because where could be safer to host a flirting party than in church?
You’re with other Christian people so nothing can go too far. If you’re at the church’s party, you won’t be at some less-upstanding flirting event. And it’s not like they’re kissing or anything. Just dressing in nice clothes and enjoying the attention of someone other than their spouse, for a change.
It’s an outreach ministry. They share the gospel during the evening, and everyone is encouraged to invite their non-Christian friends.
And, come on, your real spouse is there. This kind of thing couldn’t possibly get out of hand.
Of course, there are some who insist churches should have nothing to do with a holiday that supports adultery, but we all know they’re being legalistic. There’s no adultery going on at these flirting parties.
Part of me finds this imaginary scenario impossible. The Church would never do something so stupid!
But the other part of me finds it extremely believable.
Because we do it every year.
(Yeah, you knew where this was going, right?)
On October 31, everyone celebrates a holiday originally steeped in Satanic practices.
Costumes? They were to scare off or fool the demons who roam on Halloween so they wouldn’t bother you.
Giving treats to people who knock on your door? That was because you didn’t know if the visitor was human or demon—and of course you don’t want to get on a demon’s bad side.
Jack-o-lanterns? Those were to ward off evil spirits.
Now you’ve probably heard all that.
We like to think that while the holiday started bad, that’s not how it is today.
According to former Satanic priest, John Ramirez, Halloween is still very much alive as the devil’s holiday.
You really need to read this man’s story. God’s power to redeem is shown awesomely in his life.
He has very interesting things to say about Halloween:
Costumes? They change your identity in the spiritual world and give the devil license to attack you.
Giving treats to people who knock on your door? Mr. Ramirez likens that to the way Satan gives us things that are fun and pleasurable, all the while intending to destroy us.
Jack-o-lanterns? Those are an invitation to a specific demon to enter your house.
But we’re Westerners. We have a modern civilization. We’re not superstitious.
We don’t believe in all that stuff.
Yeah, well, just because you don’t believe in gravity doesn’t mean it won’t affect you.
Don’t you think it’s weird that we claim to be followers of the Light, yet we celebrate a holiday of darkness in our churches?
Do you see witches and warlocks celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus?
Doesn’t it seem weird to try to mix spiritual light and spiritual darkness? What are we aiming for—some kind of foggy middle ground? You can’t see in the dark. You can’t see well in a fog.
Oh, we’re good at justifying Halloween and spin-off parties. But those same justifications work pretty well for those flirting parties.
If we wouldn’t celebrate the Day of Adultery in the church, even a modified version, why do we think it’s okay to host a modified celebration of the devil’s high holiday? It’s playing with fire.
So you want to make a difference at Halloween, show people a better way?
Good. Just don’t try to do it by mimicking the devil’s practices.
Host a prayer meeting. Host a hymn-singing or worship service. Fast and pray. Read Scripture aloud for three hours straight.
John Ramirez recommends churches host a family movie night. No costumes, no candy. Just a good movie and the gospel message.
We can’t compete with the world and the devil if we’re only offering the same things. Not that Jesus has to compete. He’s far-and-away the best. We need to do a better job of showing that.
Brothers and sisters, we’re children of Light. Why do we flirt with the darkness?