Wednesday, October 31, 2007

James 1:27

The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.

- James 1:27

Here's another verse that tells us that part of what our obligation is as a believer in the Messiah Yeshua is to keep ourselves from being contaminated from the world. Some days this is easier than others. During the last week of October it can sometimes get difficult - especially with a little one in the house.

Our son has never been trick or treating. We've explained to him from an early age that we don't want to do anything that would make God sad and that participating in Halloween would do just that. For the past three years he has gotten quite a thrill by handing out bags of candy to trick or treaters that come to our door. Why? Because the first thing that he puts in each bag of candy is a tract telling the children how they can have a personal, real relationship with God through Christ. That gets our son really excited!

Another thing that this time of year always seems to highlight is the apparent compromise and error that has found its way into the church at large. There are many, many Christians who don't see any problem with fully participating in Halloween. There are those who think that it's okay to do what non-Christians are doing, but to call it something else. If we look at the verse from James again, I think we can get a good idea what God's position is on the matter. We are not to allow ourselves to be contaminated by the world. That means that we are also not to take something of the world and try to relabel it to make it non-pagan or to make it Christian. We are not to allow ourselves to be contaminated. Period.

Many say that not participating in things like Halloween isn't fair to the kids. After all, it's just harmless fun. Well, no, it's not harmless fun. The devil will use any opening he can get to destroy someone's life, whether we think it's fun or not. And if you want fun for the kids - and the whole family - all we need to do is look to God's Word!

In the Old Testament God has appointed seven feasts. Each of these feasts points to the Messiah in some way and each can and should be celebrated by Christians today. No, we can't and shouldn't keep them as though we were under the Law because we aren't. We have been set free from the Law and are now under the Law of Christ. But I do believe that we can celebrate these feasts with joy in our hearts for the wonderful things the Lord has done for us through His Son, Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.

It has been a joyous blessing for us to be able to celebrate and share with our son the feasts that the Lord has given us. They are a great way to learn more about our Messiah, as well as wonderful ways to fill our hearts with joy. So rather than look to the world for our fun and celebration, let's look to the Word and join our Father in celebrating the life He has given us!

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