bits from bob....

Halloween--Bless the Unitarians!

by Robert J. Young
©, 2006, Robert J. Young

[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

The title is not mine-I borrowed it from a newspaper article. In a time when many churches and church groups are sensitively seeking to soften the occult and evil aspects of a holiday that has traditionally focused on ghosts, goblins, and the evil possible in the supernatural realm, according to the article at least some Unitarian churches have apparently decided to forge full steam ahead with Halloween celebrations. The Unitarians have chosen to seek the "unity path" through traditional Halloween celebrations, regardless of how others may perceive such celebrations. As the author of the article pointed out, one may in a certain way admire the Unitarians for their willingness to do what is not popular regardless.

In recent years, many Christian churches have chosen to host Fall Festivals, Harvest Celebrations, or other more generic fall events in an effort to honor the consciences of those members who find overt celebrations of Halloween offensive. Such would appear for many Christians to be the most obvious way to honor the Bible teaching about conscience in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-10. The practice seems to be a reasonable compromise that includes as many of God's family as possible in the events of the church at a very special time of year when God's bounty and blessings are abounding and apparent.

Given these two approaches-the "we are going to do whatever we want to do regardless" of the Unitarians, and the "we will honor your conscience even when we do not agree" of the larger Christian community, I am both amazed and appalled by the number of church bulletins I receive (mostly from those in my fellowship in the churches of Christ) which advertise Halloween Parties. If we cannot understand the application of biblical principles in what many consider small matters, how can we expect to reach unity through the application of principles which guide relationships in matters of individual conscience in what we generally consider the larger matters?

May I never cause my brother to stumble-even when I'm right! Let those who have ears hear.

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Last updated November 7, 2006