Conflicted and Convicted


These three holidays pose such difficult quandaries for myself and my household.

With Easter- should we participate in the Easter Bunny?  How about Easter baskets?  Ok, how about just egg hunts?

With Christmas- Santa or no?  How many gifts, if any?  Should we have a tree?

And with Halloween- should we participate?  Dress up?  Trick or Treating or parties?

This is a big dilema.  A big one.

I'll tell you how I feel first of all.  This is where I'm conflicted.  On the one hand, I am a Christian.  I love Jesus.  I want to be pleasing to Him.  I know that these "traditions" are pagan ones and take AWAY from the message of Jesus.  On the other hand, I don't want my kids to be "those weird kids that don't celebrate holidays".  Because we DO celebrate holidays.  We just may not partake in every aspect of that holiday.  And, I want my kids to have fun and make sweet memories.

Here's the problem with what other people see about Christianity... that it strips away all the "fun".  Now, that's not true.  And, just because this is what WE are conflicted and convicted about doesn't mean that I judge YOU for not feeling the same way.  I do not think I am a better Christian or that I love Jesus more than you do.  This has just been laid on my heart and mind and what we have decided is right for our family.

As a child, my parents allowed me to participate in Halloween.  Every year I wore a costume and went Trick or Treating around my neighborhood.  The only restriction on Halloween was that I was not allowed to dress as anything scary or evil.  Basically my parents felt that they were on the safe side of the fence that way.

The way I feel about that "rule" is that it's pretty much getting as close to the fence as I possibly can without actually being on the other side.  And, shouldn't we as Christians not see how close we can get, but rather how FAR we can get from that proverbial "fence"?  That would be more pleasing to God.

Maybe God doesn't care about things like this... maybe He doesn't mind that we dress our babies as pumpkins.  But maybe He does.  And maybe by becoming callous to the TRUE underlying meaning and purpose of Halloween, we're allowing ourselves to become calloused about other things.  If that's ok, then other things should be too.  It becomes easier to put an excuse on it or turn your eyes away.

In Mauricio's household, they did not participate in Halloween at all.  My mother-in-law would hold the kids back from school that day so they weren't seen as the outsiders and she would buy mountains of candy for them to enjoy without having to go door to door.  She would also take them to Fall Festivals to enjoy pumpkin patches and pony rides.  When I asked her about this, her response was so simple, it floored me.  I asked her how the kids felt about being left out and her answer was, "They knew we were Christians".  I was convicted.

I believe that it's easy to do what everyone else is doing.  It's easy to fall into step with the crowd.  It's easy to say "it's all in fun".  But being a Christian means you don't always do the easy thing.

In Romans 12:2 it reads: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect".

By participating in Halloween, I am conforming to the world.  If I participated even though my GUT is telling me not to, I'd be conforming.  I believe that God has transformed my mind and I am able to discern what is good and acceptable and right and perfect and true.  Of course I think my kids would be stinkin' adorable all dressed up.  I've been dying to paint a moustache on Marco!  But the bottom line is I should be more concerned with what HE thinks than what my friends think, or how cute it'll be or if they'll have fun.

I know this is the right choice for my family.  I also know that it comes at a price.  And I know that although it's easy to veto Halloween now, it wont be so easy when the kids are older and aware of what all their friends are doing.  I know.  But it has been decided.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  In all of our decisions.  Even the not-so-fun ones.

So now you're thinking I've gotta be all or nothing.  If I'm saying "no" to Halloween, I've gotta say "no" to Christmas and Easter too... and you'd be correct, but that's a topic for another day.


Callie Nicole said...

I completely agree with you about Halloween! I wrote a post about why we don't celebrate Halloween a couple years ago too. I will say that I think Christmas and Easter are completely different though. With Halloween, the entire holiday has pagan roots - with Christmas and Easter, everyone knows (even when they don't like to admit it) that we are celebrating Jesus during these days. Christmas trees and Easter eggs may have started as pagan traditions, but there really isn't any of that association left in modern culture, and eggs and trees are not evil things in themselves like alot of the things that are associated with Halloween. That makes the difference to me, but if you are personally feeling convicted abuot Christmas trees and Easter eggs, I say good for you for taking a stand, and I support your decision! You can't really go wrong when you are just being concerned with serving the Lord better.

Callie Nicole said...

P.S. I just found another blog post on this topic. If you scroll down to the comments, there is a comment where someone asks about celebrating Christmas or Easter since some of the traditions have pagan origins, and "Rightthinker" responds - I thought her comment described my own thoughts on this pretty well, so I wanted to give you the link to that too!
:-) Curious to hear what you decide. . .