1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
What does it mean to be holy? The word in Greek is hagios – sacred, physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated: – (most) holy (one, thing), saint. Saints have been set aside for service, praise and worship to God.
If you have been saved by the grace and mercy of God you are set apart for His service. You are to look different from this world. You should not talk like this world. You should not act like this world, and I’d like to ask you today; should you participate in the things of this world? Look again at 1 Peter 1:13-16 as obedient children, NOT (emphasis mine) conforming yourselves….
Believers should set ourselves apart.
Our family was confronted with this reality several years ago as we came under conviction that we should start looking at everything through the spiritual filter of God’s word. I’m sure some of you are now thinking, “okay, c’mon, Halloween, trick or treating and the KIDS…” “Is this that big of a deal?” I’ve heard the arguments because I’ve made them myself.
I can tell you our family enjoyed Halloween. We’d do up our house and Jen loved to go online and search for the coolest homemade costumes she could find. Since we were religious in those days, we didn’t want them to be outright evil, just creative so we could win the costume contest. And she was good at it and won some pretty nice cash prizes; which usually just about covered the cost of the costumes. When we first started discussing our participation in this “tradition” it was very challenging for Jen. I remember her being very upset with me as we discussed this on the phone.
Is God okay with us blending the things of this world? After all it’s a great time to spend together as a family right? Let’s allow God’s word to challenge our thinking today. If you want to hold onto the patterns of this world I hope this will have you consider making a change or affirming your current position.
Deuteronomy 18:9-13 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations, There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his sons or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
God was warning the children of Israel not to be like the Canaanites. God is warning us not to be like this cultural and the unbelieving. This scripture is still relevant to us today. Halloween is a big deal in this country, According to an article in Forbes Magazine; Americans are expected to spend $8 Billion. Have you walked into one of these shops in the mall lately or looked at some of the houses in your neighborhood? Evil is being promoted no matter how they try to disguise it.
Will our lack of participation really affect the world for the kingdom of God? If we don’t allow our kids to dress up and we don’t give out candy in the neighborhood does this make us better or worse witnesses to who Jesus Christ is in our lives? Yes and no. Yes it will, “if” when asked we are prepared with an answer. No if we are not. This is a great opportunity for you to share your convictions when asked what your kids are going to be for Halloween. It’s the perfect conversation starter a wonderful opportunity to tell them what Christ has done in your life.
Can Believer’s disagree on this issue? Yes, I believe they can. As the head of my family, I’ve decided we are not going to observe or participate in Halloween. I believe scripture calls me to set my family apart and I hope it will challenge you to think biblically in everything you do.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 Test all things, hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “come out from among them and be separate says the Lord, do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you,”
Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”