Should Christians participate in Halloween?
Should Christians support sporting events, attend plays, or movies?
Should Christian parents encourage kids to play city/club sponsored team sports?
The questions above, or some form of these questions, have been asked by Christians for centuries. Of course, the details are different, but the sentiment is the same. What is the relationship between our Christian faith and our culture? Different Christians leaders have supplied different answers.
As we approach holiday seasons (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year), I thought I would take a few minutes to to give you some handles for thinking through these issues and view these opportunities from a missionary perspective.
Here are a couple bits of advice.
1. Reject the notion that everything cultural is terrible.
When we feel maligned and belittled, it is tempting to define faithfulness as huddling in a corner with likeminded believers and lobbing criticism at those who are different. This may make us feel safe, but it also makes us skeptical of anyone who does not believe and behave exactly like us.
2. Reject the notion that everything in culture is good and can be redeemed.
Christ is not the hero of our or any culture. There are elements of our culture that Christians should avoid because of our love for God and fellow human beings. Living in this world requires us to know when to say “ok” and when to say, “nope.”
3. Reject the notion that we should Christianize, or create Christian alternatives, for elements of our culture.
God has not called us to make every element of this, or any culture, Christian. Some aspects of culture are acceptable just as they are. They are, for all intents and purposes, neutral and can be enjoyed or ignored. We don’t do God, our churches, our families, or our reputation, any favors by creating alternatives to every “secular” event.
Rather than being a cultural naysayer, cultural glut, or cultural imitator, I suggest that Christians maximize cultural elements to extend the ministry of Christ. Consider these questions. . .
1. Is it possible to share a witness for Christ to the lost through this event, holiday, or activity?
2. Is it possible to encourage someone who is hurting, lonely, or neglected by including them in my celebrations?
3. Is it possible to equip less mature believers through these activities?
4. Is it possible to show the beauty of the Christian message by engaging with those who participate?
5. Is it possible to enjoy God’s good world and enjoy friendship with other people in a Christ-honoring way?
Our calendar and the events of our lives do not catch God by surprise. Let’s seek ways to join Him in His work in this world for His glory.
If you are interested, here is another post I wrote for Southeastern Seminary about this topic How Our Calendar Helps with Evangelism