Why Christians absolutely should NOT celebrate Halloween

I previously shared another extensive article about this topic, but since it’s that time of the year again, I decided to share another article that reiterates that truth.

This original article can be found at http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/52738-why-christians-absolutely-should-not-celebrate-halloween

WHY CHRISTIANS ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN
written by Jamie Morgan, 

Many Christians celebrate Halloween. Some churches and pastors even do. I recently saw a church advertising they were having a Zombie Run. Seriously? God’s House? This pastor does not celebrate Halloween and neither does her church. In a spirit of full disclosure, when I was a brand-new believer, I allowed my son to go trick-or-treating. Part of the reason was because my husband was not yet saved and insisted we do. The other part was because I didn’t see the harm in it. After all, many Christians I respected did it, so as a new Christian I justified that it must be OK. Right? Wrong! As I grew closer to the Lord and gained more knowledge of His Word, I began to feel convicted about Halloween. I had thoughts like:

  • God is a God of life, but Halloween focuses on death. Should I celebrate a holiday where people decorate their front yards with tombstones?
  • The Scriptures tell us to put away deeds of darkness (Rom.13:12) and that light has nothing in common with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14). Is celebrating a dark holiday something a child of the light should be doing?
  • I had been delivered from fear and panic attacks and knew that fear comes from the enemy. Should I participate in a holiday that has fear as its very foundation?
  • Witchcraft is clearly detestable to the Lord (Deut 18:10-13). Shouldn’t something that glorifies witchcraft (just take a walk through the Halloween store) be detestable to me as well?”
  • Halloween is a sacred, high holiday for Wiccans (the official religion of witchcraft). Is this a holiday Christians should celebrate alongside Wiccans?
  • Is it cute when we dress our kids like the devil (or witches, ghouls, scary characters, etc.)? Isn’t it, well, demonic?
  • What if my child dresses in a wholesome fireman costume? Romans 16:19 says that we need to be wise to what is good and innocent of evil. If I let him participate in Halloween, even while dressed as a fireman, aren’t I sending him a mixed message by allowing him to participate in a celebration of evil?
  • The Lord said in 2 Cor. 6:17, “Come out from them and be separate … Touch no unclean thing …” Doesn’t God want His children to be set apart from the world and from sin and evil? Aren’t we supposed to be peculiar people?
  • My extended family thinks it’s ridiculous that we not allow our son to dress up for Halloween. Should their opinions matter to me more than God’s? Shouldn’t pleasing God be my utmost concern?
  • If there is even a question in my heart and mind that it might be wrong, shouldn’t that be my first clue? Why would I continue to do so with even a lingering thought that it is wrong?
  • Does Halloween bring glory to God? No! It glorifies the devil! Nuff said.

So as a new believer, saved only two years, I responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repented of displeasing the Lord and put a stop to Halloween. And as a pastor, after observing firsthand the amount of destruction that the enemy brings into peoples’ lives when they give him a foothold, I am even more convinced I made the right decision to close the door to the enemy and on this evil holiday.

Setting aside a day to celebrate evil, darkness, witchcraft, fear, death and the demonic brings disdain to God. Period. A Christian celebrating Halloween would be like a Satan worshiper putting up a nativity scene at Christmas while singing, “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” The two just don’t go together. Jesus has nothing in common with Satan (2 Cor. 6:14), and neither should we.

So, what did we do instead? Hide in the basement with the lights off? Hustle the family out of the house? No, darkened homes are the enemy’s victory! Where does your light shine the brightest … in the darkness!

Halloween is the one day a year when neighbors come to your door expecting to receive something. So give them JESUS! Our family chose to give God the glory and the devil a black eye by reaching out to our neighbors with the gospel of Jesus Christ! “You are the light of the world … let your light shine among men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).

So stop justifying why it is fine to celebrate this demonic, worldly, evil holiday. There are no muddled lines or gray areas about it. A committed follower of Jesus Christ should not celebrate Halloween.

Jamie Morgan is the pastor of Life Church (Assemblies of God) in Williamstown, N.J., and the Life House of Prayer (24/7 prayer).

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Love for the lost

Today my heart is breaking.

My heart breaks for those family members and friends who once knew the Truth, but who have been confused by the world’s doctrines.  My heart breaks for those who willfully reject Jesus Christ as the Lover of their hearts and souls.

My heart breaks, because other than praying for them, there is nothing I can do to make them see that Jesus, Who suffered, died and rose for their sakes, longs to be their Saviour, Father and Friend.

Some of these people were taught in Christian ways, and some once confessed Jesus as their Saviour.  Some people have simply never heard the complete gospel.  Which is worse?  The fact is that our choices have consequences, and whether we choose for or against believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour, the consequences are eternal.

I wish I could show these people how much they are loved by their Creator.  I wish I could make them experience the compassion I have felt, being comforted by my LORD when I am in despair, crying out to Him in prayer.

There have been times when I have desperately cried, realizing the greatness of my sin and my own inability to overcome the darkness in my heart, half expecting Him to reprove me with some Scripture about how I should be living for Him.  At least twice, I have experienced a compassionate Friend, comforting me in these moments with the greatness of His unending love.  Without thinking it out, I have visualized Jesus walking to me and sitting next to me in my brokenness, His arm around my shoulder, showing me His incredible mercy and grace when I’ve been whipping myself on the back about my sins.

Psalm 103:8-14
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.  He will not always chide: neither will He keep his anger for ever.  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.  For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

My heart breaks to see loved ones rejecting such an amazingly loving Saviour, not only because I deeply love Jesus, but because I truly love these family members and friends.

It is days like today when I have to remind myself that, just as God drew me to Himself in a most gentle way many years ago (and He still does!), so He is drawing each person to Him every day.  Sometimes, our hearts are hardened by our own reasoning, being blinded by a lack of understanding of what happens in our lives.  Yet, His love continues to call out to us to draw us closer to Him, never differentiating between the individuals that He lovingly created.  (Ephesians 1:16-23, Acts 10:34-35, John 12:37-40, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6)

No matter how much we love somebody here on earth, God loves them much, much more.

As I continue to pray for my unsaved friends and family, I thank God that nothing can separate us from His love, the love that He demonstrated to us when Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed His life on the cross and overcame death to make a way back to our Holy Father.

May we never forget that others will know God’s love by the way we love them.  (John 13:35, 1 John 4:11-12)

Finally, may we always have compassion for those who are still lost, knowing that the only reason why we can love, is because God first loved us and gave His life to save us while we were yet sinners.  (1 John 4:19, Romans 5:8)

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, r famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, “For Thy sake we are killed all the day long;  we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:17-19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;  that ye, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ~ Jesus Christ

How deep the Father’s love for us

Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

Healing in His wings

Sun rising over the earth from space

The Sun of Righteousness, arising with healing in His wings

Malachi 4:2 

“But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

Revelation 21:23

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof.  (See also John 8:12 & John 9:5)

Tree with Sun shining through

The Tree of Life for the healing of the nations

Revelation 22

1  And he [one of the seven angels] shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Here’s my heart, LORD

Me - Here’s my heart, Lord [x3]
Speak what is true

I am found, I am Yours (Luke 15:4-10, John 17:9)
I am loved, I’m made pure (John 15:9, 1 John 1:7)
I have life, I can breathe (John 6:47, John 10:10, Genesis 2:7)
I am healed, I am free (Isaiah 53:5, Psalms 147:3, Romans 6:22, Galatians 5:1)

You are strong, You are sure (Isaiah 40:26, Psalm 73:26, Isaiah 28:16 [1 Peter 2:6)
You are life, You endure (John 14:6, Psalm 102:12)
You are good, always true (Psalm 100:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 1 John 5:20)
You are light breaking through (John 8:12, John 9:5)

You are more than enough (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
You are here, You are love (Matthew 1:23, 1 John 4:8)
You are hope, You are grace (1 Timothy 1:1, John 1:14&17)
You’re all I have, You’re everything (Ephesians 1:21-23)

Here’s my life, Lord [x3]
Speak what is true

~ Written by:  Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Louie Giglio
Performed by:  (David) Crowder ~

Picture source:  http://yes-iamredeemed.tumblr.com/post/81696354516

Glorious day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises, (Luke 2:13)
one day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin: (Luke 1:26-38)
dwelt among men, my example is He. (John 1:14)
The Word became flesh and the light shined among us:
His glory revealed!

Living, He loved me (John 15:12)
Dying, He saved me; (Romans 5:9-10)
Buried, He carried my sins far away! (Micah 7:19, Isaiah 38:17)
Rising, He justified freely forever… (Romans 5:1)
One day He’s coming – (Acts 1:11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, (Luke 23:33)
one day, they nailed Him to die on a tree… (1 Peter 2:24)
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected, (Isaiah 53:3)
bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He! (1 Peter 1:18-19, Job 19:25)
The Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree…
(Matthew 8:2-3, Matthew 9:28-30, Matthew 20:32-34)
He took the nails for me! (Romans 5:8)

Chorus

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
one day the stone rolled away from the door… (John 20:1)
Then He arose over death He had conquered: (1 Corinthians 15:54 & 57)
now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore! (Hebrews 10:12, 1 Peter 3:22)
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
from rising again!

Chorus

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming; (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
One day the skies with His glories will shine! (Acts 1:11)
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine…

~ Written by:  Mark Hall & Michael Bleecker
Performed by:  Casting Crowns
Album:  Until the whole world hears ~

Romans 8

31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  32  He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us.  35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36  As it is written, “For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Unworthy of the Blood

I know not why the Sovereign King would leave His throne on High
to dwell here in this barren land with mortals, such as I…
He left His home in Paradise, oh why, I’ll never know…
but His precious Blood has made me purer than the virgin snow!

Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood
Unworthy of the Blood that sets me free!
Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood,
and yet, it flowed for me…

For every time I falter and I bring the Father shame,
a droplet of His precious Blood then falls upon my name…
I’ll never know the reason why this thing has come to be,
all I know is that He did it, just for you and me!

~ Written by:  Jeff Ross
Performed by:  Jimmy Swaggart ~

Ephesians 1:7
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…”

Ephesians 2:13
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Colossians 1:14, 20
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…  And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

1 Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Who you are to Me

You see yourself in the mirror of the temporary, (1 Corinthians 13:12)
and you think that your worth is something to be achieved (Galatians 2:16)
when your value really is a question of identity… (Galatians 3:26)
Has it ever crossed your mind who you are to Me?

You’re the precious child that I created; (Psalm 139:13-16, Isaiah 44:21-24)
(who you are to Me)
bought with a price, you’re My beloved! (1 Corinthians 6:20, Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 52:3, Song of Solomon 7:10)
(who you are to Me)
Open your eyes and I’ll show you how to see what I see… (Luke 18:41, Revelation 3:17-18)
If you will just believe that you are who you are in Me (Ephesians 1:6)

Defusing the bomb instilled within the minds of children:
you’re the life inside a body that refuses to believe…
A revelation of My love is waiting just to be received – (1 John 4:9-10, 19)
won’t you let Me show you who you are to Me?

And I love you so much that I crossed the great divide and (1 Timothy 2:4-6, Mark 15:39)
I love you so much that I sent My only Son to die… (John 3:16, John 1:9-14)
And there’s no one who could ever take your place in My heart:
I want you to know that I love you right where you are!

~ Lyrics by: Michael Boggs & Mike Weaver
Artist:  Big Daddy Weave
Album: Every Time I Breathe ~

For all that You have done

(Rend Collective’s beautiful adaptation to the traditional New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne”, with timeless hymn-style lyrics)

Your grace will never be forgot;
Your mercy all my life
Will be my source, forever song,
My story and my light.

From mountain top to valley low,
through laughter and through tears,
surely the goodness of my God
will follow all the years…

For all that You have done for us,
for every battle won,
we’ll raise a song to bless Your heart
for all that You have done!

You know our failures and regrets,
You always led us home;
Redemption’s arm has raised us up:
Our triumph in the storm…

(You’re faithful through the ages!)
Instrumental

In unity we’ll stand as one,
as family we’ll go…
Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand
into the great unknown…

~ By:  Rend Collective
Album:  Campfire Christmas: Vol. 1 (2014) ~

Grace is enough

I can boast to many works done out of insecurity,
and credit many conversations to my immaturity.
And while I’m misunderstood, You are understanding me,
and showing me how Grace is enough

For everything that I’ve done right, seems like a thousand I’ve done wrong;
And I keep on losing count of all the times my flesh has won…
And when the light of Christ that’s in me, is overshadowed by the fall,
You’re showing me how Grace is enough…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving –

Still I can come, just as I am,
for I find Your love is free of condition!
So I will run to Your wide-open arms,
where I am accepted, and I am forgiven:
Grace is enough for me
Your grace is enough for me

I’ve been quick at passing judgment, when I’m worthy of conviction;
and at times I’ve measured virtue only based on my religion!
But theology, it seems, is not the things that’s saving me –
You are showing me a Grace that’s enough…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving –

Chorus

Though I was blind, now I see –
Sweet is the sound of Your grace over me!
You said it all on the Cross –
Your grace goes beyond all that I’ve done…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving,
You love me beyond all my failing and hurting.
It’s not who I am, but who I can be;
I know You are working Your purpose in me!

Chorus

Your grace is enough – more than enough!
Your grace is enough for me…

~ Don Moen ~

2 Corinthians 12
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9  And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Ephesians 2
4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,  5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  7  That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14  Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now I’m found;  was blind, but now I see!

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved! 
How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed…

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me – His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun!

~ John Newton (1725-1807) ~