"All across America, Christians will be faced with a decision to make at the end of October, and while many won't give what they will choose a second thought, a good many others will have some internal angst about what to do. Which door will you choose? The church "harvest party" or traditional trick-or-treating with your kids? The harvest party, of course, is designed as a safe, spiritually sterile alternative to traditional Halloween that many churches will put on because, let's face it, the kids must have their candy." -- Darren Wilson
Let me proffer the notion that kids do not have to have their candy. That parenting means sometimes the denial of things our children want. It is ironic though because Wilson follows the false teachings of Bethel Church and Bill Johnson who essentially preaches this about us and Father God. Instead of candy it is whatever we want on this earth. Prosperity, money, fame, or healing. As a believer Darren Wilson believes that "kids must have their candy" and the Father's job is to provide it in unquestioning loyalty. The other problem here is the false dichotomy presented. When your premise is that kids must have their candy then you are forced to choose between two unrighteous choices. The church activities designed to mimic Halloween are just as bad. Is it so much to ask our kids to not do as the world does for day out of the year? Is that too much of a cross to bear? Realize again that in the theology of Darren Wilson, God is there to serve us and in this analogy he is using, the parents are there to serve the whims of the child. The connection is obvious and palpable. Wilson continues:
"Let me be clear right from the outset. What you choose to do with your family on Halloween is entirely between you and God. Romans 14:2-3 makes this clear when it states, "For one has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Do not let him who eats despise him who does not eat, and do not let him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has welcomed him." Paul is not talking about vegetarians judging meat-eaters here. The example he's giving carried enormous spiritual significance to many people in his culture, similar to the Halloween debate in ours. So his words should be considered very carefully." -- Darren Wilson
I understand that when someone has so little regard for Scripture that they usually cannot divide it properly. The comparison between Halloween and the recently converted Jewish believers is inane. The former Jews were having a hard time letting go of some of the ceremonial law, which Christ nailed to the cross. It was ritual and habit. Peter had the same problem until Jesus visited him in a dream in the Book of Acts. There are bound to be transitional issues when someone is converted. Former Catholics may still cling to some of their traditions when first saved as well. Becoming saved is not like turning on a light switch. It takes time for the Holy Spirit to break down some of the things that make us weak in faith, which is who Paul is addressing in Romans 14. He is also speaking against the sense of superiority that some Christians have when addressing other believers who may not be as advanced as they are theologically. We make a routine habit of devouring our own. Paul is saying do not get into the foolish arguments. Leave room for the Holy Spirit to work. What does that have to do with Halloween? Absolutely nothing. Perhaps if you had a new believer who has always participated in Halloween I could see a parallel. I would agree that there may be little point to a foolish argument trying to convince them of their peril. That does not mean that what they choose to do regarding Halloween is simply between them and God. That is a cop out. So I agree that we should consider Paul's words very carefully but only within the proper context:
The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. -- Romans 14: 6-7 (ESV)
The only way Darren Wilson even has a relatively coherent point is if the Christians celebrating Halloween are doing so for the glory of the Lord and that is simply silly. Don't get me wrong -- I have heard such ludicrous arguments. People claiming they are redeeming the holiday. There is nothing to redeem it from! It has always been associated with pure evil. Research the roots! Saying, "that's not what it means to me" is an intellectually and spiritually vacuous argument. This is considered the devils birthday. It is celebrated as the High Holy Day in Satanism. There is no day of the year that there sees more murder, crime, and evil perpetrated than on Halloween. Maybe if you organized a network of intercessors and prayed all day you can make some kind of a redemptive argument but not by actually participating in the day! Neither can you make a redemptive argument by rearranging the deck chairs in the Titanic by having a "Harvest Day" or "Trunk or Treat." Kids are not stupid. They know they are celebrating Halloween, disguised of course. Wilson continues:
"We live in a society that has increasingly become obsessed with opinions. Not only does everyone have one on just about everything, but due to the canvasing of social media, we must make sure that the whole world hears our particular opinion on any given subject, and indeed, we consider it our natural right to voice our opinions to everyone within earshot. (And yes, the irony that I am writing an opinion blog about opinions is not lost on me.) But as I've said before, just because you have an opinion on something doesn't mean you should always share it." -- Darren Wilson
At first blush this just seems like an innocuous if not pointless point but what Wilson is actually trying to do is reduce this discussion to a difference between two human points of view. In a battle of opinion, we can always more easily sin or do things contrary to God. It is when you bring in the mirror of Scripture that we see the reflection of our own deceit. Wilson's essential argument here is the people who oppose Halloween for Christians are merely expressing their personal opinion and that is untrue. We are expressing a Biblical opinion. By the way that expression is one of concern and love, not judgment or condemnation. If I see my brother walking into a burning building it is love that compels me to try and stop him. In Darren Wilson's theology that brother is just on his own journey and who am I to stop where he is going. He thinks it is love because he cannot see the building is on fire -- or that he helped light the fuse.