As Halloween approaches, many Christians face a dilemma of whether to participate in the festivities or not. Pastor Shane Idleman offers some advice, stating that Christians can reclaim secular holidays and celebrate in a way that leads to the fruits of the Spirit.
Christian Today reports that Pastor Idleman, from Westside Christian Fellowship, says that Christians can observe holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter which have ties to Paganism, if they keep in mind why, who, and how they observe them.
“For example, Halloween, a mixture of Celtic pagan superstition and early traditions, is associated with witchcraft and satanic activity. This is not something to be celebrated, nor can it be redeemed as it stands with themes such as horror, death, and fear," Idleman writes on his ministry's website.
"We have children and we can't always avoid the gory and grotesque decorations, so we change the theme in order to redeem. We use the opportunity to redefine Halloween to 'good overcame evil day.'"
Idleman asserts that he is not advocating that Christians celebrate Halloween, but believes that Halloween and other holidays can be an opportunity to focus on Christ’s victory on the cross.
Christmas and Easter can also be redeemed from their Pagan roots and the commercialism that modern culture has imposed on them, says Idleman.
About Christmas, Idleman says: “Rich in symbolism, the Christmas tree can point to the cross: once a dead and barren tree, supporting a lifeless Saviour, it now stands evergreen as the symbol of eternal life that darkness cannot overcome. Gift giving can also represent peace and goodwill among men."
In regard to Easter, "Like Christmas, the historical roots and the secularisation does not undermine the message in a sincere heart. Easter celebrates the reality of an empty tomb and the power of the cross to cleanse and redeem... to release us from sin and death," Idleman says. "It offers hope and peace to a dying world. This is cause for great celebration. Holidays, in many cases, are redeemed when the focus is on Christ."
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Publication date: October 28, 2015