I have been thinking a lot about the whole Halloween debate. I think where the chips fall for me is what would Jesus do. I know he did a lot of things that angered the “evil” Pharisees. It is easy to point to the Pharisees and say how they represent all the things we disagree with and our position is represented by Christ. But you know what sometimes I find myself being a Pharisee. I do not love what Jesus loves I do not hate what he hates.
A Pharisee to me is someone who has the outward appearance of the values that Jesus came to model with none of the inward convictions he lived by. Love God Love others simple if you Love God and Love Others then either go Trick or Treating or stay home.
I think we need to take a hard look at what is meant when the Bible calls Jesus a friend of sinners.
In his book “The life you’ve always wanted” John Ortberg talks about Pseudo-Transformation. It is powerful. I think to some people Halloween has become a “boundary marker of salvation”. Here is a short excerpt from his book, powerful stuff.
The great danger that arises when we don’t experience authentic transformation is that we settle for what might be called pseudo-transformation. We know that as Christians we are called to “come out and be separate,” that our faith and spiritual commitment should make us different somehow. But if we are not marked by greater and greater amounts of love and joy, we will inevitably look for substitute ways of distinguishing ourselves from those who are not Christians. This deep pattern is almost inescapable for religious people: If we do not become changed from the inside-out – if we don’t morph- we will be tempted to look to external methods to satisfy our need to feel that we’re different from those outside the faith. If we cannot be transformed, we will settle for being informed or conformed.