It's that time of year again. Halloween.
Personally, I don't like Halloween. I shared my thoughts last year as to why.
But I like the bickering, criticizing, and condemning even less. Christians (who are supposed to love one another) come out in droves to argue over whether this holiday is or is not the spawn of Satan.
Truth be told, this is a hard one for me. Fear, evil, witchcraft, zombies, and the like are so clearly not what Jesus stands for. It's easy for me to jump on the "Halloween is evil!" bandwagon.
But then these verses from Galatians come to mind, and I have to stop and reevaluate my position.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5:13-15This scripture has been on my heart in regards to Halloween this year. So instead of debating what exactly the Bible says about Halloween, I think I'd rather spend some time looking at what scripture says about something infinitely more important: Christian freedom.
You and I are free from religious obligations under the law. No longer does the Lord dictate which feast days, holidays, and new moons we celebrate. Rather he gives us the freedom in Christ to choose.
1 Peter 2:13 says it well.
"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God."Our freedom in Christ isn't the freedom to do whatever we want. It isn't the freedom to act immorally, to go with the flow, or to maximize our fun at any cost. Rather, our freedom is to live as servants of God.
In Galatians 3:25-4:5, Paul tells us we are no longer children under the guardianship of the law, but rather we are grown sons who are free.
Immature children need someone to tell them what to eat, what to wear, how to worship, and how to serve. However, as New Testament Christians we are set at liberty from the law and given the freedom to live by faith in Christ.
Under the law the people were all bound to follow the same rules and serve in prescribed ways.
But you and I are free to CHOOSE! We are still commanded to worship, give, and live as servants of God, but what that looks like in each of our lives will be very different.
The New Testament gives us a broad set of principles to live by and we have the freedom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to work those out in our own life.
So how can we use this liberty wisely?
Examine ScriptureThink Biblically about the way you celebrate Halloween, the way you dress, the way you speak, the job you choose, the way you raise your family. Submit every decision to God and find the broad Biblical principles that apply to those areas of your life. Be diligent in rooting out sin and daily submitting your heart to the Lord.
Be IntentionalBe intentional in your attitude and actions. Don't just go with the flow or do what everyone else is doing. Don't use your freedom as a covering for evil, but rather ask yourself, "How can I use this opportunity to honor and glorify God?"
Live in FreedomDon't be bound by rules or regulations. Don't be one who criticizes or condemns others who live and serve differently than you, but rather use your freedom to love your neighbor as yourself. Be thankful that we have the freedom to live and serve differently!
If we walk in the Spirit, not only are we free from the law, but we will have grace and love for one another, encouraging each other to live as servants of God.