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in the world not of it

so our commenting on my Easter bunny post got me thinking and i decided to just blog again instead of writing another comment...
Christ calls us to be in the world not of it right? So where do you draw the line with Holiday traditions? We already discussed the Easter bunny, Stacy and her amazing memory educated us about how getting all dressed up in new clothes is from the same pagan tradition. So if the Easter bunny is pagan, that pretty much means Easter eggs are pagan which to me means if we are going to be in the world and not of it as followers of Christ we should not take part in Easter egg hunts or Easter baskets or anything to do with the Easter bunny. It also means we should not buy our daughters those frilly dresses to wear on Easter (that doesn't mean they can't get a frilly dress and wear it some other day- hey if you wait until after Easter it will be on clearance and you can save money!) The thing that gets me about this is that most churches (mine included) has Easter egg hunts for the children. The next holiday is Halloween. I know I don't have to explain to you that Halloween is a paganistic holiday, I'm sure you can guess from the ghosts and witches... So that eliminates dressing up and trick or treating. Once again... churches (mine included) have things called Fall Festivals or something similar to allow children to dress up and get candy and have fun. One more holiday, Christmas. The biggest thing here is Santa Clause. Yes he was a real man who helped out a family in need by putting presents down their chimney because he didn't want to be known- yet he got turned into a "saint" and is now the main reason for most people's Christmases. How is all of this being in the world and not of it? It's always bothered me that churches have events like Easter egg hunts and harvest parties, to me it says "if you change the name of something bad and do it at a church it's not bad". A little confusing to me let alone the children. So what is your input? I admit Lexi had an Easter dress this year, of course I had forgotten about that part being bad, but even if I had known she probably would have gotten one. I'm really leaning towards we should not celebrate in any way Halloween and Easter should be kept as the day we remember Christ's Resurrection- AKA Resurrection Sunday. So what do you think... do we have Easter egg hunts? Do we get our pictures taken with Santa clause and the Easter bunny? Do we have celebrations on Halloween? Or is that what Christ would consider being of the world?

6 comments:

beth said...

One thing a friend told me once -
She said her pastor had made this argument about participating in Halloween festivities:
What annoys us most about Christmas? People who celebrate it in a pagan way. People who don't understand the significance of it and make up silly rituals that don't mean anything. If we were to dress up as a harmless kitty cat on October 31 and take advantage of our neighbors' generousity in the candy department, we would be doing the same thing for Halloween that pagans do for Christmas. We wouldn't be celebrating the original purpose of Halloween or even understanding the original significance of the holiday. And thus, we'd be annoying the "hell" out of Satan. Hehe, sorry about the pun, had to do it. Not sure how that ties into "in the world but not of it", but it's a thought to think about.

Jes said...

but does the world see us as annoying satan, or as celebrating holloween? I know our church has the fall festival to give kids a safe place to go and have fun and keep them off the streets- pretty harmless right? But what's wrong with just NOT celebrating holloween? As Christians aren't we called to be different and stand out? Certainly that means giving up things the world does, why is it that we fell bad for children who's parents wont let them go trick or treating?

Jes said...

oh and that annoying the "hell" out of satan thing didn't bother me, my preacher in North Carolina used to say that all the time from the pulpit. :)

StacyC1981 said...

Now this is a very tricky situation. I do not have children, so I really can't say what I would do for sure, but this is definately something I know I will think twice about. I really like what Beth's friend's pastor said. But I also see what you're saying Jes. However, I also think sometimes nonChristians can't relate very well to Christians who freak out about these kinds of things because they look like weird fanatics. Which makes it harder to win them for Christ sometimes. So maybe it would be easier to plant more seeds by coming alongside nonChristians at "safe" halloween events and Santa parties and casually explaining why I don't celebrate like the rest of the world does...or something like that. Maybe coming alongside of them and being truly in the world at those events but not being of it by witnessing like that is a good thing. Hmmm...I wonder if that made any sense at all...

StacyC1981 said...

On a side note, do either of you guys get the Grace Magazine? I just got mine and it said they are having a Pro-Life Music Festival this summer with more than 25 bands including Rebecca St James, Stellar Kart, Skillet, etc. And it's FREE! Now my big question is: why didn't they have these awesome free concerts when I was a student there??? And maybe certain people wouldn't have left Grace early for things like marriage or other schools if they would have! ;) or maybe not...

Jes said...

hmm Stacy, you have a good point (about the holidays not Grace...) Anyway, so maybe the best thing to do is to go but not dress up, or not let our children do the Easter Egg hunts. only problem with that is that the majority of the people at our easter egg hunt was people that go to our church regularly. I asked some of the ladies in my small group at Bible study about this on Monday morning, it's fun because my group is a bunch of ladies my mom's age. Anyway, they each in their own way told me that this is an area that God is probably going to convict each person at their own rate and degree. We were talking about other things to do with being in the world not of it too, such as music, movies tv etc. If i do what God tells me to do in these areas even if Eugene and I are standing alone, God will bless us (although people will call us freaks and fanatics). Hopefully more Christians will be willing to take a stand and stand out expecially when it comes to what we watch and listen to. One Christian at a time...