Family

Why I Celebrate Halloween

(This post is written to the members and attenders of Southern Hills Baptist Church. It is not meant to be controversial nor stir up trouble among those who would disagree. It is simply written to express to our congregation my thoughts on the subject.)

We are only days away from the spookiest holiday of the year and I can’t wait. For some, Halloween is a time of haunted houses, children in costumes, and enough candy to last through Christmas. For some Halloween is what keeps them in business year round – I’m talking to you dentist. For others it is a time of confusing explanations, vague historical references and self-denial. For Christians who do not celebrate Halloween I will not attempt to change your mind. To do so would be unbiblical (Romans 14). However, I would like to give a few reasons why your pastor and his family choose to participate in this holiday.

1. It’s Associations

Every year there are new people in our church that will ask Heather and I about Halloween. “I didn’t think Christians celebrated Halloween.” “Don’t you know about its pagan history?” “Don’t you know about it’s association with death and Satan?”

It is true that Halloween has some pagan history connected with the ancient Celtic holiday Samhain (Don’t feel obligated to send me links outlining Halloween’s history. I am well versed in this topic). It is also true that some 700 hundred years ago the Christian world attempted to hijack this holiday and convert it to Christianity. But I believe that none of those things are relevant today. Today the common association with Halloween is candy, princesses, ninjas, and tummy aches. The holiday is not what it used to be.

2. It’s Communal

Our neighborhood goes all out for the holidays. At Christmas you seem to be the odd man out if you don’t have lights on your house. At Halloween there are hundreds of little ones roaming the streets for candy. This is the perfect opportunity for me, as a Christian, to be part of my community and not stand out in a strange way. We are called to stand out in other ways that really matter like love we express, the grace we show, the peace we have, the holiness we exhibit. I don’t need one more thing to separate me from the people I’m trying to reach.

3. It’s Evangelistic

I like taking this kids out trick-or-treating while Heather stays home handing out the candy. For every piece of candy that we hand out we include an invitation to our church. In a single night we can distribute up to 100 invitations. If a hundred families from Southern Hills would do this we would see 10,000 invitations given away in one night. That’s Awesome!

4. It’s Fun

I hope you are ok with having fun! This year Scarlett will be going as Snow White, Savannah will be going as Barbie, Jonathan will be going as a Dodger and I will be going as Friar Tuck. I always get stuck with a ministerial themed costume. After we load up on candy and give out 100 invitations to church, all five of us will head to our family room and watch Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin. Yeah, it’s like that.

5. It’s For the Kids

Why burden Christian children with one more rule that can’t really be backed up biblically. I want our children to enjoy their childhood. This gives me another opportunity of making that happen. I don’t want to sit at home with the blinds closed, explaining to our children that the heathen children are out in the neighborhood cavorting with demons and celebrating the devil’s holiday. Heather and I want our children to remember the balanced Christian home they grew up in, a home that focused on loving Jesus and reaching our community with His gospel.

The Scriptures teach, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” – Romans 14:4-5

It’s clear that if you celebrate the day and you can do so for the Lord then other Christians are unable to judge you for doing so. If you choose to not celebrate the day for whatever reason, you should not be pressured into doing so. It is a matter of Christian liberty.

What do you think? Do you agree with my reasons? Do you have other reasons? Do you have personal reasons you don’t celebrate? Do you agree that these type of things should fall under the category of Christian liberty?

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192 Comments

  • Reply
    James Pfeiffer
    October 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I agree with you Josh – absent a definitive ruling in scripture, what matters to God are one’s intentions behind participating in a certain activity or celebrating a holiday regardless of the past associations with said activity/holiday.

    Obviously, God would not look kindly upon us celebrating Holloween in such a way where we’d take time to worship the devil. However, if it’s taken innocently as you describe where we look at it as simply a fun day where we dress up in costumes and load up on candy, we can do so with a clear conscience. God knows our hearts better than anyone

    In the same light, most Christians I know celebrate Christmas with a Christmas Tree included in the decorations. However, use of evergreens, wreaths and garlands to symbolize eternal life dates back to the ancient Egyptians amongst other cultures – I’m pretty sure most of them weren’t Christians. Also, tree worship was a common pagan practice in Europe before conversion to Christianity and it survived in the form or decorating one’s home with evergreens around Christmas time.

    As a Christian, does having a Christmas tree make me tree worshiper? I think not!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      James, you always seem to bring an interesting perspective with you comments. Thanks for sharing and for being such a faithful church member.

      • Reply
        screwtape
        October 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        joshua, thank you, i could not have said any better! love screwtape

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Wow! I wish we knew you when we were active in going to church. We have not been to a church for at least three years due to some issues that occurred that cause us to become disillusion with the church instution. ( not your church) We love God and Christ, but have encountered a lot of hypocritical behavior. It is refreshing to see a Christian express a honest perspective from the heart. Interesting.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      November 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

      I agree with you Pastor! although I have chosen not participate as others do…my heart celebrates in the same way…an opportunity to reach out as I always say, who are we to judge and with knowing that God knows the way each one as an individual needs to be reached in their own way…as He did make us all unique and with bringing different tesimonies for him to prove this uniqueness and with bringing his truth to light in us all! Afterall Jesus sat with sinners! PTL for this story pastor as i have given up the traditional ideas of halloween I was stuggling with participating with my grandbabies first year they took him out to just a few houses..I so wanted to join in and Lord touched my hearrt with these thoughts that you have written here! as with every day that we must not judge but…just go meekly with Love for one another…and let Lord use us in all things we do! 🙂

    • Reply
      Tracy Bradford
      April 5, 2014 at 1:15 am

      Let’s end this on an upbeat note, o.k.?
      Regarding Halloween::
      The Bard of Avon addressed this issue in 1599-16001 a.d.when he penned these words for Hamlet, the prince of Denmark:
      “To BOO or not to BOO – that is the question.
      Whether ’tis nobler to suff . . . . .. – – – ”
      No.
      Hold on.
      That don’t sound right.
      Can I get back to you if it turns out to be important?

      (It won’t.)

  • Reply
    Jamee
    October 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I fully agree with this blog. I love how we have the choice to participate or not. We have many friends that won’t and that’s ok but we have many friends that do and that’s ok too. I love to see the fun costumes that the kids and parents come up with. Hannah’s watermelon costume idea still cracks me up.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Jamee, is she wearing that watermelon costume this year? Thankful for you and Stacy. You are such great members of shbc.

  • Reply
    Alisa Summers
    October 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    As one of the few families in your congregation who do not participate in Halloween, I have always appreciated your view on the holiday. I agree it falls into Christian Liberties. We have been convicted over & over by the Holy Spirit that Halloween is not for our family. Just the same as public school or even private school is not for our family. God called us as a family to homeschool and God called us to refrain from Halloween. I don’t judge those who send their children off to school but answer their questions when they ask why we do what we do. I don’t judge Christians who participate in Halloween but we answer their questions about why we believe what we believe. My older children don’t believe they have missed out on any fun or that it has hurt their childhood. Just like they don’t believe you miss out on life by not attending public school. We celebrate the Reformation as Martin Luther stepped out against society in faith. We as a family do something different from society in faith. Our children write letters to God and place them on the inside of our door and receive gifts since the bible & our freedom of religion is a gift. All this came from before we moved to LV and before attending SHBC. It did not come from a legalistic church but from God convicting us directly (both of us and even now our older children). It was the conviction first that caused us to study the holiday.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Alisa,
      I appreciated your comment so much. You and Trevor are not only faithful members but also trusted leaders who care for one of our small groups. You expressed so very clearly your conviction without condemning others who have come to a different position. I just love it! Very spiritually mature. I cannot tell you how thankful I ma to have you and your family serving with us at southern hills.

      BTW – I love that you used the replacement principle for your children. You and your husband felt that there was something within the culture that was not to be for your family and you replaced it with something fun, exciting and meaningful. You are great parents and you will likely not have as many dental bills! 🙂

      Love you guys and we’ll see you on sunday!

    • Reply
      Brian Weer
      October 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      I live in North Carolina (far from Las Vegas and your church), and yet my spirit was blessed and my attitude challenged by Alisa’s comments and Pastor Josh’s response. What a BEAUTIFUL picture of the body of Christ you have each displayed in this comments section, varying in your views of this holiday to the point of restricted or enthusiastic involvement with your families, and yet continuing with loving, gentle attitudes by both sides while discussing and ministering to others.

      Please, Lord, give me the patience and love and understanding you’ve shown me here as I relate to those in my church and community with different viewpoints than mine.

      God bless, you guys.

      • Reply
        Alisa Summers
        October 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        Thank you Pastor and Brian for your kind comments. Christ only asked 2 things of us- love God and love each other. We need to remember these and keep them in the forefront of our minds.

        • Reply
          Sarah
          October 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          You don’t know me, and I don’t know you but I believe this post was shared on my Facebook wall for a reason. You have blessed me more than you know.

          You see- I no longer attend church. I was a worship leader who when asked for a divorce from my husband- was asked to step down from my position. I was young and I acted out in rebellion surrounding myself with people and things that only hurt me and my child. I achieved some stability due to a rape based pregnancy, and God sending an also divorced Christ-like man to help me raise my children, who he calls his own. Unfortunately we have taken multiple financial, and consequently, emotional hits from his ex-wife who has had a hard time forgiving. She proclaims she is a Christian.

          A few weeks ago were told that she her actions have caused us to lose our pending sale for our new home due to foreclosing on her home. She does not want us to pay the mortgage- instead she wants my husband to suffer. Today, I sat down in my in-laws kitchen(where we are living due to our housing issue-long story) and cried. I am currently feeling the most hopeless I have ever felt and honestly have developed somewhat of a revulsion to Christians- not Christ. I clicked this article expecting hate filled angst and essentially “gnashing of teeth” and instead- I was blessed and in tears. Your decision to be Christ-like and act in love and kindness has cauterized a bit of my broken heart. Thank you for your thoughtful words.
          Your action- a tiny rock in your pond has had a ripple that reached Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

          • Alisa Summers
            October 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

            Sarah,
            I don’t know you but I’m praying for you here in Las Vegas. I pray that the Lord will put Christians in your path who will show you the love of Christ through their actions and their words. Our family has faced trials, judgements, and differences of opinion with other Christians. I can’t control others but I can control myself and extend a Christ-like love even when the other party does not. For example, as I read some remarks on here attacking MY pastor I want to call those people out and tell them they are wrong for attacking a fellow Christian (especially my pastor who deserves respect). Instead, I can pray for them that the Lord will soften their heart…show them how to act Christ-like and give them the peace and love that only Christ can provide. So I hope that helps you- pray for those who disagree with you or seek to harm you. The Lord will hear your prayers and it will change your heart in the process also. Praying for you my sister in Christ.

          • Joshua Teis
            October 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

            Dear Sarah, thank you for being bold enough to write here. I’m thankful and humbled that this little post could help you in such a way. There are many hurting Christians out there who inadvertently hurt others and I’m sorry that you have seen this in your life. Please continue to find rest in Christ, He is such a loving friend. I would also encourage you to seek out a good, biblical and loving church in your community. They will help. I’m sure the Lors has the right one out there for you. Until the. Feel free to watch our services online every week at http://www.shbaptist.com

          • Stephani
            October 31, 2013 at 9:36 am

            Sarah,
            I can feel your pain and understand completely how you feel. I am praying that you will fully be blessed and feel God’s love and blessings he has for you. I was raised in more than a few churches. It was a roller coaster or different rules and regulations. We left and moved on to another church that was either just as bad or worse. My mother was told she could no longer teach Sunday school because he had be divorced, mind you, her divorce was done before I was two years old and she was asked to leave when I was 12. There was no understanding much less forgiveness, My family was basically made to live on very little, sometimes not being able to get through the month with enough food solely due to my parents trying to follow what they believed was the Godly path. Following the preaching to give all the money to the church and God will bless. My dad and mom were taught this practice and believed what they were taught. We had no money after the church got their part. I watched preachers preach one thing and do something else. I watched as church members were called out by name and preached directly to from the pulpit and I watched as one of the preachers daughter got pregnant out of wedlock, he pulled her up on stage while he preached a message about her situation then made her get on her knees and ask for forgiveness from the congregation. I learned to hate church, hate preachers and a general non trust of any of them. I still struggle with this today. I grew up and left home and never stepped foot in a church again for about 30 years. My elderly parents who has come to live with me, are still very much the Christians they have always been, however, they have spent months crying and apologizing to my brother and I for things we went through as kids because they didn’t know any better. This time they began going to a Southern Baptist church that’s local to us. I slipped in with them and now go pretty often. I had to be reminded that we are worshiping God, not the preachers or the church. While this church is very different than any I have attended I still don’t believe everything that’s taught, but I am able to worship and enjoy the many gifts God has provided for me personally and my family as a whole. I still have a general dislike of preachers and don’t think some of my issues with the church will ever really be resolved. For me it’s a matter of doing what I know is right for me. I needed God back in my life to get back on track. It’s really hard to see what worship does for the soul when you take yourself completely out because of the actions of some horrible people. I love my God, and I count on him to take me through the trials and tribulations. I also lost my house, my job and my health before I finally threw up my hands and turned it all over to God. I prayed non-stop to God in the name of his son Jesus to take care of my needs. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had nothing else to do but turn back to God. It was almost immediately that I began to see his had working in my life. I had to pack up and move across the us and move in with my daughter. Had no idea how my husband and I were going to survive. We went through what savings we had and my medical bills just kept rolling in. I applied for disability and before 2 months were up I got my approval in a time that everyone told me that I would be denied and then that to use an attorney to fight it. I got approved. Then my disability from my company was approved. I was able to get to my 401K money and was able to secure a house. My mom and dad were ailing and we were able to move them in and my future, while not what I was used to financially is back on track. NONE of this would have taken place without our loving and awesome God stepping in and lifting me up. It was hard to go through. I was at the bottom of the lowest place in my life. Long story, I’m sorry. Just don’t give up on God. He is always there for you. You just have to turn your burdens over to him. It’s about worshiping God and letting him take over your life. Not a preacher or a congregation. It’s about you and your God.

    • Reply
      Rachel
      October 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Do your children have any friends that are non-Christian?

      • Reply
        Whitney
        October 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        If I may interject, the above mentioned children may not have non-Christian friends, but as a grade-school child, I did, and as a high-school senior, still do. My parents never supported Halloween growing up, and when I discovered the date of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses, I took off with that. We’ve never done much of anything for the 31st in our house, and neither I nor my older siblings have ever felt deprived. (And like the above commenter, we are not legalistic.) I’ve been active in (non-school, non-church) theatre most of my life and have always had to answer “Why?”. When I was little I even tried convincing some of my friends to change their mind. Not celebrating Halloween has never been a problem, even as a child. I have not flown the nest yet, but when I do, I shan’t celebrate it then either.
        My parents have always given me the “why’s” behind what they do, and as a kid I took this “why” with both hands, added onto it, and made it my own conviction. The more I have grown, the stronger that conviction has become. Especially as I see that there is far more to Halloween than candy, children and sweet costumes.

    • Reply
      Sara
      October 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you Alisa. Your comments affirmed our family’s decision on the holiday as well. It was wonderful to read your post. The beautiful thing is that our children don’t express that they feel left out or lacking anything because we don’t celebrate the day. In fact, we play dress-ups just about every other day of the year. All three of them (aged 6, 4 and 2) have their own “make believe” boxes filled to the brim with dress-ups. And, they enjoy mommy’s candy “surprise” that show up in their lunchboxes.

      One of the problems I have with the day is when folks go too far and create fearful environments that impact our children. There is a neighbor that has no less than 20 stuffed or hanging corses/witches/”bloody” bodies/dolls and dismembered body parts, etc. displayed all around his yard. I do my best to remember to go a different way out of our neighborhood. But, sometimes my tired “mommy brain” forgets. Also, my son was fearful of having nightmares because someone might try to sneak up and break in his window. He had “sung” a song about a sneaky person outside, etc. in his 1st grade music class. Through prayer and talking about being “strong and courageous”, my little man went to sleep. For those reasons and others, we don’t celebrate the day.

    • Reply
      Nanette
      October 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      This is almost exactly the same as my own family. God has convicted us as well that Halloween is not for our family. We homeschool as well and also do not judge others for participating in this day. When my son was 7, he was all dressed up and we were backing our of our driveway to go to a church harvest party at our church. As I was backing our of our driveway, I felt such a heavy conviction come over me, that I could not go. We didn’t even leave our driveway. Today, my son is a youth pastor at a church in the town where he lives and he does participate in the harvest party at their church. I do not think it harmed him in any way to not celebrate it. He is an adult now and makes his own decisions and my husband and I respect he and his wives decisions in this area. We still have a daughter at home and she is “creeped out” by Halloween anyway. She is fine with it. We rent movies and go out for dinner on that night and spend some quality family time.

  • Reply
    Alex
    October 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Halloween is my Christmas (my favorite Christmas film is “The Nightmare Before Christmas”). I spend the entire month of October watching as many horror films as I can find time for, but I will get at least one in per night. The world is a scary place, and to pretend that it isn’t is folly, in my humble opinion. I realize that it isn’t for everyone, but we should all learn to be accepting of the differences between us. I find it ironic when someone who is fine with drinking even a small amount of alcohol criticizes me for enjoying a scary movie or 1,000. Just like your sermon last December, we all know that Christmas and Easter fall in line with pagan holidays as well. Does that mean we should not celebrate them either? Some of our greatest Hymns were created by using the tunes from old tavern songs with different (and much more powerful) lyrics. Should we not sing those in church?
    I’m sorry your last blog was hijacked by the closed-minded, but I thought you handled it exceptionally well. We all have our differences, and I believe that most of them are cultural. In my chosen discipline, I have been learning just how much of the society we live in has been socially constructed. Whether it be race, gender identity, laws, the economy, and even our language; almost everything we see in every day life has been given meaning based on what human beings have attributed to those objects. God did not create Halloween, Thursday, noon, daylight savings time, or traffic, but we seem to partake in these norms all the time without thinking about them. Why? Because each of these things carries a rich tradition along with them. If society would agree to change those meanings, then they will necessarily be changed and those new meanings would be passed on to the next generation (for a modern example, see marriage). Christians (in large part, anyway) have agreed to celebrate Halloween in religious themed haunted houses meant for evangelistic purposes, as well as fun things such as “Trunk or Treat.” I feel it is perfectly acceptable to attach my own meaning to things, so long as it does not contradict the Scriptures. Show me the verse that says “Thou shalt not dress like a ninja or pass out candy” and I will stop allowing my family to celebrate Halloween.

    • Reply
      Alisa Summers
      October 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Alex you brought up Christmas & Easter and made me think.
      Yes Halloween, Christmas & Easter all have pagan origins. Christmas & Easter have been redeemed and now belong to Christ and no one can argue that. BUT who does modern day Halloween belong to? THAT is a a huge question and can lead to bible verses that tell us exactly what to do. If you believe that Halloween belongs to the children, then perfect. BUT if you believe that Halloween still belongs to the occult in many ways, then you will find biblical answers in protecting your family.

      • Reply
        Alex
        October 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        Alisa,

        I believe that Halloween in it’s modern incarnation belongs to, as pastor Teis said, the community. It is a secular holiday, such as the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, in which most people just find an excuse to come together and have fun. One could also argue that any large gathering of people that come together for the purpose of sharing common rituals could be considered as secular religious activities, like sporting events. That doesn’t make such rituals evil, and it does not mean that Christians should avoid them. I’d even say that more people partake in Sunday football watching rituals than Halloween, but I have no real evidence to back that claim up.
        One thing is for sure, the original pagan religions who “invented” concepts like All Hallows Eve and Halloween have long been in remission, and I would challenge anyone to show evidence that anything other than maybe a very small minority actually follow those ancient traditions. That being said, I agree that if you fear your child falling into the clutches of some remaining occult practices, then by all means, don’t celebrate Halloween. I just hope you don’t hold it against those of us who disagree.

        • Reply
          Alisa Summers
          October 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          Alex,
          I would never hold it against you for disagreeing with me! We are just debating for debating sake. You made me think…that each person could decide who or what Halloween belongs to. If it is something evil to that person then the bible gives the answer for that person. But if it is not evil for them and instead fun then there is not an issue. So this may be the dividing force among Christians on this topic.

          • Alex
            October 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm

            Alisa, I agree with most of what you have said, I have just been trying to provide a viewpoint that may not be mainstream. I am not even debating with you, because I believe we are in the same page.

            I will, however, point out that Christians love to be divided for some reason. If not Halloween, then denomination, Bible versions, Calvinism, the validity of the Dead Sea Scrolls, what kind of music to have in the church, whether women should be pastors or even Sunday school teachers, rated R movies, and the list goes on and on. In my personal opinion, Halloween is a minor issue.

        • Reply
          Joshua Teis
          October 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

          I have enjoyed watching two good Christians in our church debate an issue from different sides without resorting to name calling and disparaging remarks. I wouldn’t expect otherwise from those in our church but we are an example to many outside of our church and I just am so proud to be pastor to each of you. Alex and Alisa, thigh you disagree on this small point you agree on christ and many other more important issues. You have learned to disagree without being disagreeable – for that I am proud of you both. (Oops, now I have pride. Time to confess.). Thankful to be your pastor.

          • Anonymous
            October 29, 2013 at 5:18 am

            Saw this article from facebook post. Grew up in a christian home and have fond memories of galivanting around our entire subdivision back in the 50’s, coming home with grocery bags full of candy ( a child’s dream) and dad going through our dumped out stash picking what he would like and mom sitting in the doorway dressed as a giant rabbit handing out candy. I have no satanic worship inclinations. We have 4 children who we allowed to trick or treat, each raising their children according to their now personally arrived at convictions. They are each at a different persspective on this issue and many other areas of christian liberty and have different practices. Knowing them as I do, each has a heart and sincere desire to love and serve the Lord and are attempting to raise their children to love and serve the Lord as well. There is no biblical reason to disparage others who have different convictions.

        • Reply
          sue. b
          October 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm

          I am one of manyv who celebrate Hallows Eve and All Sts Day Nov 1st. I love going to Church to hear about the great Christians that went before. There are many more than you think. All 3 services will be packed tomorrow! Have A great Whatever you celebrate! God bless.

      • Reply
        M N
        October 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm

        Christmas really doesn’t have pagan origins. I would encourage you to read the new book The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodge for more info Chapter 4 is very interesting as it covers how quite a few gods from mythology come from real historical figures). Easter is not based on a pagan holiday either. It takes place at the end of passover. This is when Jesus would have been crucified and then three days later rose again. In reality, only Halloween came from Pagan origins. I don’t have a problem with people celebrating Halloween. I do have a problem with my children celebrating it. I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit this year to not participate. I won’t go into details, but each family has to make a decision as to what is right for them.

        • Reply
          Tracy
          October 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

          I truly believe that Halloween is the time we glorify death, Satan, and the occult, since it is the day that is most active for witches and demons. I’m sure you study your Bible and God’s word. Do you not believe that Satan has a hand in desensitizing even Christians by making the “holiday” into a fun event? Is he not the father of lies, and comes even as an angel?

        • Reply
          ClaireElaine
          October 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

          Christmas began to be celebrated by Christians instead of the celebration of the birth of the sun (Winter Solstice) happening in their pagan communities. Or was Santa in the Bible? Actually, based on where the shepherds’ location and the timing of the census, it’s more likely that Christ was born in summer.

          Easter, is directly related to the pagan goddess Ishtar. Where do you think the rabbits, chicks, and eggs come from? They are pagan symbols of fertility. Nowhere in the New Testament are accounts of early Christians getting together to celebrate Christ’s resurrection the day after Passover. They celebrated that on a persistent basis, not just one day of the year. They did continue to celebrate Passover, though, which most Christians in the U.S. do not do.

          I don’t deny your choice not to celebrate Halloween. But these other holidays really did come from pagan roots as well.

  • Reply
    Pastor Neil Hocker
    October 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Love love love it! Thanks for the post…:)

  • Reply
    Lorrie Bigger
    October 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    My thoughts exactly!!!! I teach in the public school and students and teachers alike always question me. My answer, though not as complete as yours, is pretty similar…..all about the fun!!! And who can argue with Carlie Brown…
    Great post, thanks!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Larson
    October 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    We also celebrate Halloween. Many years ago when we were trying to decide how to handle the holiday as Christians, a wise woman from our church shared that in their family they allowed anything that gave honor to Christ and did not allow anything that gave honor to Satan. She also suggested that to ignore the day, or do as you described (curtains closed, etc) was actually giving more power to Satan. Can’t remember her exact words but I understood. So that is the line we drew. Enjoy your festivities!!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Jennifer, so glad to have you at shbc too. Thank you for your story and sharing your experience. See you on sunday

  • Reply
    Jennifer Larson
    October 28, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Also, if God can cleanse me from my sins, redeem me and make me a new creation, then I see nothing wrong with Him doing the same for pagan holidays and rituals. Party on!!!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Here’s a thought I heard someone say, “As Christians, Some things must be rejected, other things may be redeemed.”

  • Reply
    Charlie Waldorf
    October 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I also am a Christian, but I do not attend your church. I can understand your thoughts on the holiday, since I presume that your children are very young in age. But would you agree that when your children are old enough to understand the real beginnings of what the holiday really is about that at that point ‘celebrating’ the becomes something that a Christian should refrain from. I also don’t get, as Christian adults, the concept of having to dress up in costume just to use it as an excuse to party…

    Thank you for listening and God Bless!!!

    • Reply
      Karen
      October 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      I agree!

  • Reply
    Mae Koh
    October 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    When I was 7 and new to American traditions, my best friend invited me to go Trick or Treat with her family. My father did not cite any biblical verses but said that we were never to go begging for anything, least of all candy. However, when I had children of my own, they were excited by the wearing of costumes more than the actual Trick or Treat as I confiscated all the candy and checked them before they could have any. Today, I’m glad that our church has a special Trunk or Treat for all these past years where our kids can safely show off their costumes and know that the “treats they get will be safe to eat. All our holidays are tainted with commercialism and old folk lore, but we can rise above it to honor God in all that we do. I think that Pastor Josh explains it very clearly why our church participate in this so called pagan tradition. At least we teach our children that only the treat part is valid. Not everyone cares to participate irregardless of the religion. My mother would give the candy to her neighbor to pass out because she was afraid of the scary big kids. Actually, I am too…

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Mae, thank you for your thoughts. You really give an interesting point of view being from China. A lot of what we see today is very cultural isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Amber
    October 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Pastor!
    I have not done Halloween for many years…yes I am the house with no lights on Halloween night. There are several reasons for this. I dont really like what I believe the holiday is for but most of all, I cannot take all the trips to the front door when I am normally upstairs very early for the evening. I simply am no physically able to do so. I totally understand your point of view. No worries here, I always let my childrens fathers take them trick or treating while I handed out candy at home. So I do see how much kids love it. Perhaps if I lived in a one story home it would be another story. I love our church family in that all our opinions are accepted. Love you all.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Amber, I wouldn’t feel badly that you are unable to pass out candy and gospel brochures to the children. We know that you physical condition will inhibit you from certain evangelistic efforts but there are many things I know that you do that are very helpful to the cause. Your card ministry is amazing and you have helped so many through this gift. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      Amber S
      October 31, 2018 at 5:06 am

      Oh my goodness….I just found this reply to this article you wrote FIVE YEARS ago….old and forgetful now. lol

  • Reply
    Rachael
    October 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I am curious…are you being serious in this article? Or is this meant to be an example of poor justification? I am not being sarcastic in any way. I honestly can not tell. The intro seems sincere, but then the reasons you list make me question my original assumptions.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

      What about the verse that tells us to abstain from even the appearance of evil?

      • Reply
        Darren
        October 30, 2013 at 4:42 am

        Anonymous,
        I probably shouldn’t respond to someone who doesn’t leave their name, but I can’t stand by and let that false interpretation of the verse stand. Let’s look at the context: I Thessalonians 5:19-22 (KJV): “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
        It is clear here that Paul is talking about church matters. He is talking about doctrine and teaching in the church, and how we are to be discerning. Pastor Teis notes Romans 14 above. Other comments have cited I Corinthians 8-9. Paul wrote those chapters too. Surely you don’t believe Paul is contradicting himself by implying I Thess. 5:22 is referring to preferential matters when he has made his position clear in the other three chapters?
        Notice how you are adding to the Scripture to make it fit your interpretation. There is no “even” in the verse. A lot of people think the verse says “even the appearance” or “the very appearance” because that’s what they’ve been taught. We need to practice the discernment Paul is advising here in I Thessalonians and examine the Scriptures for ourselves.
        Finally, Jesus Himself did not practice what you preach. Luke 7:34 (KJV): “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!” Was Jesus a drunkard or a glutton? Obviously not. But He did not live His life in fear that some misguided soul might think He was. He was determined to enjoy the good things in life bestowed by the Father in a way that honored Him.
        My purpose here is to clarify the Scripture for you and hopefully others. We all have blind spots and things we have believed for years that when we search the Scriptures for ourselves we come to a different conclusion. That’s a good thing! That’s what growth in the Spirit is all about. Augustine went back and edited all of his writing before he died, finding many of his own statements that he disagreed with when reading them after a lifetime of following the Lord. In our modern day of mass-published books and internet archives such editing is not possible, but we all can learn from Augustine’s example. Don’t be afraid to grow, learn or change. That’s the spirit in which I wrote this, and I hope you receive it that way.

        • Reply
          Marla
          October 31, 2013 at 10:40 am

          That’s the problem, so many people “Clarifying” the scriptures for others. What happened to people reading their bibles and letting the Holy Spirit do the clarifying. One eats meat and another doesn’t, but don’t cause your brother to stumble by your liberties. How many people know those who have this as a stumbling block. Your brother or sister in Christ is obviously telling you that they have a problem with it in their conscience when they object to it. By you ignoring it you don’t care for the struggle that they may be having. Stop being so haughty in your liberties and care about your christian kin. I don’t need this article or your preaching to help me to accept something. If its causing division for just a liberty I’m just not going to do it.

    • Reply
      Kris
      October 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Rachel, I agree with you. The reasons do seem quite shallow and unbiblical, and not what I was expecting from a studied pastor. It’s based on thoughts & feelings of men. What about all of the Scripture that has to be ignored in order to come to this conclusion? I’m half expecting an “I was just kidding” post.

      • Reply
        Tracy
        October 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        I agree. If parents let their children celebrate a pagan holiday (and it is not a myth- it’s as real as the Celtics themselves), then they will be the ones to face our Lord one day and explain to Him why they happily led their most precious possessions into even the slightest “dabbling” in the occult. What is next? Letting them play with Ouija boards because it might be fun?

        • Reply
          Ben
          October 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm

          I assure you, when all is said and done, the Almighty will give no thought to young children who went trick-or-treating or played with Ouija boards. God is concerned with much higher and far greater things in our lives. The author o this blog has laid it out fairly simply. Halloween is no longer associated with the occult or pagan tradition. It’s trick-or-treating, costumes and candy. To think that the present-day American version of Halloween is anything other than literal Fun and Games is quite simple-minded.

          Signed,
          Someone who never celebrated Halloween as a child.

          • Rich
            October 31, 2013 at 6:09 am

            You said: “Halloween is no longer associated with the occult or pagan tradition.” Are you serious?????????? Just yesterday I worked across the street from a guy working on a display with at least 15 full size mummies, ghosts, witches, vampires, skeletons, and other gruesome creatures. Other scenes included dismembered bodies, bloody heads on stakes, etc. I didn’t see any princesses or ninjas. Haunted hayrides and attractions are huge moneymakers- some in the millions. People don’t come to these events for trick or treating and candy, but to be scared by viewing scenes of mutilation and torture, demons, zombies, and other things no person should want to see, especially a follower of Christ. Horror and occult movies are very popular, and are most likely seen on TV around Halloween– not so much around Christmas and Easter. I see children dress up as witches, demons, ghosts, zombies, and other demonic creatures, as well as princesses. If anything, Halloween is more about the occult, death, and darkness today than it was 30 years ago. To say that Halloween today is totally innocent is ridiculous.

          • Kathleen
            October 31, 2015 at 3:01 pm

            I have to agree with you, Rich.

  • Reply
    Tammy Hannold
    October 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Thank you so much! Growing up in a Christian home we celebrated Halloween. I had a blast dressing up and trick or treating. My mom and dad are big kids even to this day. I always took my kids, Sarah and Jeff out trick or treating too. We have always just had fun as a family. I use to go to a church or 2 that preached against halloween and did all these studies on it. But I was never convicted and just continued to enjoy the fun of halloween. I am so glad I did!

    • Reply
      Kathleen
      October 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      I have to agree with you, Rich.

      • Reply
        Kathleen
        October 31, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        ^ Sorry, replied to wrong post.

  • Reply
    Jeremy Henderson
    October 28, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Bro. Josh,
    I really appreciate your candidness and openness on the subject. So many times it’s easy to be made to feel like you are a carnal person for not having the typical “Christian” point of view on Halloween in relation to separation from the world. I myself have used the idea of “regarding a day” as right or wrong, and to be persuaded in your own mind. I really appreciate the way that you addressed this to your own congregation, allowing them to know that, not only will you be participating, but why. That shows character. Reading your article, I was able to see a few other reasons that I consider to be very legitimate, and although I did not come up with them myself, I can now use those as reasons why I too allow my family to participate in Halloween. Some things are simply what we make them to be. Thanks Bro. Josh for this. It encouraged me

    Jeremy Henderson
    LBC Summer Missionary ’07

  • Reply
    alison
    October 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you so much! I am tired of being frowned upon! Finally someone has the same mindset. You can also give church invites to the houses you knock on. Thank you for the wonderful post.

  • Reply
    kenny
    October 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    My culture celebrates by making your own scary masks usually with horns to celebrate the dead as we parade down the streets all night long. In the USA we celebrate with haunted houses blood and gore. At SHBC we celebrate with trunk or treat….from my life experience, I’d rather spend time with my fellow Christian family compared to the other two ways. It’s a tradition my family has stuck with for the past seven years…another great excuse to fellowship with a few with my friends. Ain’t nothing cuter than seeing the kiddies all dressed up for Halloween in costumes appropriate for our outting….

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      AJ is definitely a cutie! Heather and I just love him! You bring up an interesting point about cultural perspective. I suppose if I was deeply involved in a culter that viewed Halloween in such ways I would be less inclined as a Christian to be involved. Within the little culture of shbc we tend to see the things that are redeemable about this day. Thanks for the post Kenny. Given me more to think about. So thankful to have you at shbc

  • Reply
    Barb
    October 28, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    When I was young, I went trick or treating. The apples were never eaten unless we knew the person that gave them. The candy was gone through for pin holes, rips, etc. I never had any thought of there being anything wrong with going. That was in N. IL. Later after having children, living in S. IL I had the same thoughts. Later, living in MO, there was much emphasis on rituals in cemetaries, satanic rituals, killing of animals, witchcraft, etc. These mentioned things were being done there and there were frequent reports on these being done in the news media. At that time I was convicted and my children did not go trick or treating. I did put a bowl of candy on the porch with the light on and we went to our church, with the children dressed in non witchcraft, etc costumes (that were not allowed) and games were played and treats were handed out. Later, we moved to OH. There the town that we lived in as well as the surrounding towns did not have children go trick or treating on Halloween because of the bad thoughts that surround it. However, they do trick or treating on a different day (they called it something else to change the connotation of it) and the hospitals advertised free x-rays for all candy. I was not convicted there. Here in Las Vegas, I have not heard of the goings on that were being done in MO while I lived there; therefore, my light will be on and my bowl will be filled. Let’s pray that everyone is safe on Halloween.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    October 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I say every day belong to the Lord. I say enjoy it however you please. But as for me and my house we will be dressing up and enjoying another day that the Lord has made, as a family, and I will rejoice and be glad in Him. No matter what pagans or traditions say, everyday belong to Him.

  • Reply
    Debra McIntosh
    October 29, 2013 at 1:58 am

    When I was growing up, my family celebrated Halloween also. We were part of the occult. I will not speak of the horrible things we did after we had gone Trick or Treating. Halloween is a high holy day for witchcraft. Satan demands sacrifice. Still does. Why do you think there are so many cases of children having razor blades or poison in their candy? I was deeply disturbed that you as a pastor would participate in Halloween and encourage others to do so. I think you are giving Satan a foothold in your family. I am so thankful that Jesus saved me from that life. To celebrate Halloween in any way would be to deny that Halloween is a sacred day for Satan. That is what Satan wants Christians to think. Halloween is harmless. Not so!

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Praise the Lord you were saved out of the occult! Thank you for your post! It is difficult for me to get past the fact that the premise of Halloween is death and fear–neither of which are attributes of God, but obviously are satanic. I’m not against fun, and I’m certainly not against candy, but even my kids can understand why we don’t celebrate Halloween. (btw, I can purchase a whole parcel load of candy for what I would spend on costumes, etc.) Two simple verses: II Timothy 1:7 & John 5:24 (as well as several others that show that Christianity is about LIFE not death). Each time I have examined Scripture, and searched in prayer, & evaluated reasons for/against celebrating Halloween (which is pretty much yearly as I read stuff for/against it) I am reminded that the premise of Halloween is what I was saved FROM, not what I was saved to. II Cor 6:14 makes me question the possibility of participating in something so “dark” as Halloween. ALL Halloween decorations are about death or fear. My SAYING that it is innocent for me doesn’t, in fact, make it so. My FEELINGS about Halloween doesn’t help interpret Scripture. I must remember that Satan is a master deceiver, even of Christians! (Eph. 6:11-12) Thank you again for posting your reply!

    • Reply
      Sara
      October 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Debra,
      So thankful for your comment….I came very close to getting involved in the occult…did a lot of reading of occult writings . Grew up in an area with many covens and witches… when I learned about Halloween being their “holiest” day of the year and the blood sacrifices that were made, when our church building was ruined by Satanists with paint, dead chickens on the altar, burnt Bibles…when I saw how the costumes, in general got more and more “evil” looking, I decided not to participate. There are some areas of the country where people apparently don ‘t have this going on, or don’t know about it, and don’t have the evil associations. “Let every man be fully persuaded in their own mind” the LORD will judge our hearts. I don’t judge anyone for wanting to have a fun time with their children, or give out candy and church invitations. But, let’s not judge each other harshly over this. There are those of us who have been horribly scarred by read witchcraft. There are those of us who are blissfully ignorant of those things…so thankful we can agree to disagree in a loving way, through Christ!~

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Hevener
    October 29, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I am not a member of your church either, but I have appreciated reading this article and the different comments about it. My husband is a pastor of a small church in VA. We do not celebrate Halloween, but we do like to use this opportunity to share with the community. We are having a Family Fun Night that is open to the public where people can come and have fun and also get the gospel. We give every person that comes a Bible and a tract. Please pray for us as we endeavor to show our community that Jesus loves them. God bless you!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 29, 2013 at 4:28 am

    In your number 1, there is no way you can water down Halloween and say it’s not that bad-just fairies and candy. In case you haven’t noticed, Halloween has gotten closer and closer to actual devil worship. Just look at the costumes around you. Some meant in fun, yes. But what are they portraying? You see more bad costumes than good. Women have increasingly made this holiday a time where they can dress scantily. We are to be IN the world, but not OF it. Everyone knows of it’s background and increasing foreground of this wicked holiday.
    For your number 2, we are SUPPOSED to stick out. You really think God can use someone who blends in? Tries to fit in with this wicked world? They’ll think you’re a joke. Why would someone want to become a Christian if Christians do the same things that worldly people do. Yeah your fruits of the spirit matter, but you can’t display those fruits if you can’t reach them in the first place! They will not be willing to listen to you. Your ACTIONS are what they see first because they speak louder than WORDS! Besides the fact that the church was created for a body of believers to grow in Christ. Not a place to get people saved. Can people get saved in churches? Yes, of course. But preaching a gospel message every Sunday for them produces no growth for those already saved.
    Deuteronomy 14:2 KJV
    [2] For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
    I realize this verse is speaking to the children of Israel, but shouldn’t we want to be like God’s chosen nation?
    Lastly, your number 5. Your kids will not be kids forever. They will not want to dress like princesses forever. They will want zombie costumes like everybody else. How do you defend yourself then?
    For the record, we never celebrated Halloween at my house and I turned out just fine. I never and still don’t “need” Halloween and so I’d rather not participate in something that worships the devil. (And the devil did a good job tricking you that supposedly that’s all in the past. He is the great deceiver. But honestly, all you have to do is look around to know that Satan certainly is still worshipped by this holiday) The only part we would have in it some years is handing out candy with a salvation tract.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Amen!

    • Reply
      James Pfeiffer
      October 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Respectfully, to each of your points:

      # 1 – Christmas and Easter have old pagan associations as well that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s birth or resurrection…should we not celebrate these holidays b/c of the way a few non-believers chose to celebrate them at some point in history?

      # 2 – Yes, we are supposed to stick out and I believe we do so most effectively in the way we are to show love to one another (John 13:35 – By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another). Is it possible, that the way some Christians decide to “stick out” can be off-putting to the non-believers they’re supposed to be trying to reach? Which would do more to further the kingdom: participating in Halloween by passing out gospel tracks with candy as people knock on my door, or deciding to shun the day completely; no candy, no answering the door to trick-or-treaters, no gospel tracks?

      # 5 – Correct, kids are not kids forever. Kids grow up to be adults with freewill to live their lives as they see fit for good or ill. All parents can do is give children the best knowledge base they can and set them on the best path possible…it’s up to the kids to continue walking it though. I made many mistakes as a young adult that hurt me and a lot of other people…should I blame my father, my mother? The correct answer would be, no…they were my choices.

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        October 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm

        The primary focus of Christmas and Easter is CHRIST (birth and ressurection) what is the primary focus of halloween?

        • Reply
          James Pfeiffer
          October 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

          It can be what ever you, the individual, want it to be. Remember, the devil is no more active on Halloween than any other day of the year. I don’t deny that there are people out around doing very evil things on Halloween (just like they do the other 364 days of the year) but does that mean one can’t use the day in a way that is honoring to God? I think you can, but you and other like minded individuals may want to take a more conservative approach based on your own convictions…I believe that’s ok too!

        • Reply
          ClaireElaine
          October 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

          Your premise is that Halloween is a religious holiday. As pagan celebrations, are Memorial Day and New Year’s also forbidden? For many in the United States, Halloween is no longer a religious holiday. Comparing it to Easter and Christmas is like comparing Easter and Christmas to the Fourth of July.

    • Reply
      Tracy
      October 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Amen and amen

    • Reply
      matt
      October 29, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Amen!

  • Reply
    Debbie Raley
    October 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

    It has been real interesting reading the thoughts of others. When the girls were growing up Bob and the girls would decorate the front yard, we would give out candy until the girls were ready to go trick or treating. I have fond memories of participating in Halloween as a family. We had so much fun. Now the girls are grown and Bob and I still like to listen to family Halloween music, watch scary movies, buy our favorite candy, go to Disneyland for their Halloween celebration and give children candy. I have been very disappointed in years past that I have bought all of this candy and there are so few children coming to our house for candy. On the other hand I really like what society is doing to keep our children safe by having trunk or treat, Safe Street, the malls giving out candy and so on. Now if I want to give candy to children I can go to trunk or treat. I have given the subject of Halloween a lot of thought. Halloween is what a person makes it with in their own family. It does not have to be scared, bloody and evil. It can be sweet and innocent. The costumes do not have to be evil. I saw and still do not see a reason to deny children the opportunity to have fun on Halloween. God knows our hearts and our intentions.

    Debbie Raley

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Debbie, I like the statement that you made about Halloween being what you make it to be. I agree. Thankful for the many faithful years that you and bob have been part of shbc

  • Reply
    Jenna
    October 29, 2013 at 8:44 am

    My sister posted this on her Facebook page, and I couldn’t agree more! As a kid, I loved dressing up, so Halloween became my favorite holiday. For me, the lure of Halloween had nothing to do with the occult. I just loved to play dress up, and, if I got candy in the process, even better! It wasn’t until my church started having “harvest parties” that I found out it had a less-than-stellar background. Even as a 7 year old, I remember thinking the holiday didn’t have any negative meaning for me, and I remember getting into many heated debates over the years about this one particular issue. Does celebrating or not celebrating Halloween have anything to do with salvation? No. So, why debate it so much? And, if we want to talk about pagan holidays, what about Lupercalia, Roman festival of fertility? It was celebrated on February 13-15. I guess Valentine’s Day was accidentally placed on February 14th… 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracy
    October 29, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Raising our kids, we did all the spooky stuff, and had a lot of fun with it.
    But upon ending the trick-or-treat time, we used the occasion to celebrate the fact that no Christian has to be afraid of anything – ever.
    There are any number of Bible references to that effect, and we thought it a good time to teach that by having our kids and their friends read some of them before digging in for a sugar high.

  • Reply
    Monica
    October 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I am from Lancaster…in my opinion, the greatest church in the world. Our pastor has always discouraged the idea of partaking in Halloween while at the same time encouraging an alternative. That is his view and I have the utmost respect for him. However, I have worked for a Catholic family as their nanny/babysitter for the last two years. When asked why I never have celebrated Halloween as a kid, I was unable to come up with a defendable (is that a word?) answer. I simply replied, “I don’t know, we just never did.” I plan on spending Halloween with them this year because it may be my last opportunity to, and honestly I was feeling like I was rebelling a little because I thought Christians weren’t supposed to celebrate. I always thought it was a matter of Christian liberty but because I was never taught that, I felt as if I was disobeying. Thank you for this article!! It really helped put my mind at ease!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Monica, I love your church and your pastor is one if the best pastors I America. Thankful for his friendship and help in so many areas.

  • Reply
    Surry
    October 29, 2013 at 10:16 am

    yes, exactly this! while we do participate in Halloween festivities, we do not allow our children to dress as anything evil(like witches, devils, demons, monsters, zombies, or anything blood-covered) We honor God with our costumes and our actions. It’s possible to be in the world but not of the world!

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 29, 2013 at 11:42 am

    All I can say is don’t write such an article and state that you are not doing it to cause controversy. You have just proven you have no business being a pastor. You claim you don’t want to stand out and be strange. I thought Christians were suppose to stand out and be different from the world. All I can say is….. enjoy it now because when you take your last breath you will know how wrong you were.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Oh Jen, that’s not very nice.

      • Reply
        Carla J
        October 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

        Is that the best reply you could come back with?? The bottom line factor is Halloween is Satanic. PERIOD!!!! you can not justify it is being “Chrisian” IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM! God will ultimately judge you for your wrong doings.!!

        • Reply
          Josh
          October 31, 2013 at 7:12 am

          I do not think a Christian should celebrate Halloween. So Pastor Teis and I would disagree on this issue (though not argue, I am sure, because he seems to have a proper attitude on disagreement).

          But I must ask, did you or Jen pray before posting the things that you did? It seems you did not. The internet can be a place where people post things that they would not say in real life, because they would know in person that they were entirely inappropriate, and not pleasing to Christ. Please consider your statements before putting them on the internet.

          “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt…” Col. 4:6

    • Reply
      James Pfeiffer
      October 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Meh…If you actually knew the man you’d know he’s a pretty awesome guy and a truly fantastic preacher.

    • Reply
      Susie
      October 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Jen, that was the most ungodly reply I’ve seen on this thread. You say he has no business being a pastor because of his opinion…I would venture to guess some people might think you have no business calling yourself a Christ-Follower. Jesus Christ loved, and he did it without regard to someone else’s opinion. Love like Christ did.

      • Reply
        Carla J
        October 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

        Maybe you should reread her reply because she never once mantioned or stated she was a “Christian-Like” follower.

    • Reply
      Tracy Bradford
      October 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      We are praying for you, Jen, that you may receive, and then learn to share the Love of Christ with others.

  • Reply
    Derrick
    October 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    It is proven by the evidence presented, that Christianity is nothing more than a bastard religion. We allow anything and everything to persuade our thinking, and when it doesn’t bend to our will then we say ” That goes against my Theology.” We take a little from here and a little from there and wonder why there are so many different views. When even Yeshua taught from the Torah in Luke 4:17. We can’t stand going back to Torah for the fact that it will bring TRUE conviction,which brings accountability!!!!!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I like candy.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      🙂

  • Reply
    Tiffani Dumpert
    October 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I am a nineteen year old girl who has grown up in a conservative Christian home. Although I was never allowed to participate in Halloween activities, I am fully convinced that there is nothing wrong with doing so. Do I believe Christians are to be different from the world? Yes (1Peter 2:9). But do I not think that this is just another opportunity to reach people with the gospel? Of course it is (1Corinthians 9:22-23)! Instead of spending so much time giving reasons for why it’s all wrong and how fellow Christians shouldn’t be involved in such a thing, why don’t we take this chance to be a blessing in our community? I understand it may not be appropriate to dress as the grim reaper or a witch necessarily, but did anyone ever think to dress as a Bible character? Hello! What a witness you could be! Too much emphasis is being placed on the “Do! Do! Do!” now-a-days. What happened to the “be” or even the “go”? It seems relatively Pharisaical to sit back and act all “holier than thou” and judge a brother or sister in Christ who chooses to represent Christ in an appropriate manner to his or her community. Stop and think of Christ. How would He handle this situation? And before you say anything, think of the story of Zacchaeus and how our Lord ate among sinners there, being scorned by the religious authorities surrounding Him. I truly believe with the right spirit and a godly aspect, Halloween does not have to be a day set aside for the devil, but rather used as another example of Christ’s endless love and mercy.

    • Reply
      Anne Wolfe
      October 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      I agree! I thought I was the only young person to think so 🙂

      • Reply
        Tiffani Dumpert
        October 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

        Thank you! I just get sick and tired of people making a big deal over something so small… God bless!

  • Reply
    Anne Wolfe
    October 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I’m from San Diego and when I was a kid my family never celebrated halloween. My parents would come with us just around our small block and get some candy and that was it. Our church’s big day or friend day outreach runs for two weeks mornings and every night Monday through Saturday. We take out several buses and hand out invitations for our church and chick tracts to the kids. One of the nights of our push would always be halloween. I admit I would always make sure that I brought a bigger bag on that night for candy. When we knocked on each door I think people were surprised to hear us (teenagers) say “good evening I’m from Lighthouse Baptist Church and we would like to invite you to our fall Big Day” instead of “trick or treat” and often people would ask what we were dressed up as (in our jean skirts) and our response was Christians or soul winners (they still gave us candy ) :). We were not going out because of the candy. We were going out to serve the Lord. It’s sad to see other christians condemning and judging other christians decision. Every day is the Lord’s and halloween is no exception it does not belong to the devil. It is just one of the devils lies to deceive us into not going out. I’m not saying that evil things don not happen on halloween because I know for a fact that they do. Yes in the Bible it says to abstain from the appearance of evil, but I do not see how going out on halloween, collecting candy, and giving out the Gospel at the same time is wrong. If your intention is for the candy it may not be right but doing it for God gives Glory to Him.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Hello 😉 Well, I have to say I agree and lovingly disagree as well 😉 I am one that loves to dress up, loves to have fun with my kids, and if anything I may even be more of a kid at heart than they are lol (hence why the Lord is leading my husband and I to work with youth ;). I agree that this is an opportunity to outreach, however that may be (via church trunk or treat, harvest festival, tracks or invitations to church with candy, etc). I don’t, however, agree with celebrating the way the world celebrates. Halloween represents something (a belief or holiday) that we just don’t celebrate. It’s not something we honor or want to uplift. As a Christian and a member of this body of Christ representing the king, I personally don’t believe Halloween embodies anything “good.” Now that being said, I do not believe in condemning or looking down upon those that want to dress their kids up and get candy…I wholeheartedly believe in ministering on Halloween. This means I keep my kids home from school (because for me, the schools celebrate Halloween the way the world does), I take them to lunch and ice cream, and this year we will go and pick out the biggest candy bars at BJs, paste invitations to our church to the back of those candy bars, and hand them out to friends and any kids that come to our house. Now that’s what the Lord put on my heart; how he told me to personally outreach and use the opportunity to involve my kids in ministering to others. You are exactly right…that even though we are supposed to be set apart we still need to minister and be among people. Jesus walked amongst sinners and met them right where they were…we are to do the same! But notice Jesus never took on their customs or their beliefs..he just loved on them and through that love they wanted to know Him more and leave their sinful ways… And that’s what its all about…us pointing them to Him…letting his love show through us…so when we talk, we look like Him and when we act, we act like Him. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matt 5:16. However Christians choose to celebrate or minister during this time, I think it really comes down to what God would have you do personally in this moment.

    • Reply
      anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Interesting comments, but truthfully if you take your kids out of school and make a day of it- YOU’RE CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN. Thanks to people like you- I have walked away from the nonsense you preach.

    • Reply
      Tootie
      November 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Love your ideas and your post is a blessing to me. Your right, Jesus didn’t run and hide, he walked with sinners. He never took on their ungodly customs though. Today it sometimes seems murky on how to be in the world, and not of it, but you have gave a great example of such a way. Thanks from East Tennessee! Oh, and thanks Mr. Josh for the blog.

  • Reply
    Rita
    October 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Too bad you have to preface this left, right, and center because so many are so uptight now days.
    Costumes and candy don’t take anything away from God, he probably gets a kick out of it too.

  • Reply
    Melanie
    October 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I mainly agree with this article, although I don’t personally go to Halloween parties and dress up anymore. The only thing I would disagree on is that it’s main associations are candy, princesses and ninjas. The parts of Halloween that I have a problem with are the horror flicks, the gruesome costumes and the sometimes equally gruesome decorations. Clearly, all costumes and decorations are not bloody or dark in nature, but that is a definite part of how we celebrate it as a culture. I would simply add that Christians celebrating Halloween should try to do so in a way that doesn’t glorify the evil things of the world.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    October 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I just wanted to say Thank You. When I was a kid, I loved to Trick or Treat. To go dress up and go out for free candy. I remember one house in Texas that you never knew what to expect when you knocked on the door. My favorite year was when the gentleman that lived there dressed up as a gorilla and handed out bananas. As I grew up and had children of my own my enjoyment turned to annoyance. We let our children dress up in costumes and go out. But then something happened, we went from going all over to go going to our friends’ houses. Eventually none of our friends were giving out candy and so our children stopped going out. When we moved to another state, our children would dress up again but were only able to go to 1 house because we wanted to make sure the candy was safe. Just a couple months ago we moved into a new neighborhood and are looking forward to seeing kids come to our house so that we can hand out candy, tracts and an invitation to church. I might add that we are friendly to bats and spiders, of course, the best time to get these items for our daughter who is a bat conservationist is Halloween. So when you come to our home, year round we have spider and bat decorations. Thank you again for your article and I have enjoyed reading many of the comments as well.

  • Reply
    Becky
    October 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I have recently walked away from the faith for many of those “silly rules” that can’t be backed up Biblically. Thanks for being real-if the church/religious community has any future, more and more people will start thinking in this way.

  • Reply
    Karl Bastian
    October 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Hello! I clicked on the church link about and could not find Josh Teis on the staff page? But I wanted to write to Josh and ask permission to reprint this on Kidology.org (a children’s ministry website) with a link back. Thanks! Great article!

    Karl Bastian, president Kidology Inc.

  • Reply
    Brad
    October 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Liberty is not freedom to do what ever i want. Just because i can does not mean that i should.

  • Reply
    Joshua Teis
    October 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I want to thank so many of you for your comments. Please forgive me for not responding to each sense this was a post directed to the members & attenders of our church. I know for some this post has caused some thought and discussion, which is a good thing. For others this post has discouraged them, and for that I am sorry. God loves you and so do I. Be true to the Word of God and to your convictions. So thankful for each of you.

  • Reply
    Tyler Boring
    October 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Romans 14. Excellent application.
    Rules and regulations without Bible make rebellion. Every time.
    Thanks for standing on the Bible.

  • Reply
    Adam D
    October 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I agree with you. The history of the holiday doesn’t really matter. What really matters is how we use our lives to be light to this world for Christ! We can do that with Halloween just like anything else… it doesn’t need to be “Satan’s Holiday” where only he is making any impact and Christians are hiding inside with their blinds shut. I wouldn’t celebrate Halloween just like everyone else and become one of the crowd but it is very good for ministry and to have fun while ministering. You understand this, many people don’t!

  • Reply
    Greg
    October 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Pastor Teis,
    I was saved at the age of 12 from a Catholic background and remember growing up celebrating Halloween and partaking in all of the activities that go along with it. I have heard you preach personally and to be honest was very disturbed when I read this. You mentioned in point #1 that the common association with Halloween today is “candy, princesses, ninjas, and tummy aches.” I just happened to have done a little research on Halloween and found out that on the night of Halloween a devout Satanist will actually sacrifice children! You may think this sounds crazy, but its true! On multiple cases I have watched real accounts of people who have been saved out of Satanism and have described their “past Halloweens” and they have said that at midnight on Halloween they remember being sexually assaulted, raped, drugged, and also witnessing babies and children being sacrificed on stone altars! Just think about that as you dress up your children this Halloween and remember when they are “having fun” some innocent child is being killed for Satan. Secondly, you mentioned that it’s evangelistic. I would agree with handing out the Gospel anywhere (don’t get me wrong) but if you know that Halloween has origins from the occult and other Satanic influences why would you want to “attach” the gospel of Jesus Christ with that? I’m sure you wouldn’t hand out “Christian rock” because quite honestly they can’t be mixed and glorify God! You wouldn’t walk into a bar to pass out tracts in order to win an alcoholic, would you? Thirdly, you mentioned that you don’t want to “burden your kids with something that can’t be backed up Biblically” well actually it can! The Bible says that we are to abstain from all appearance of evil . (1 Thess. 5:22) You would have to be blind to not see the evil that is in the costumes, decorations, and other activities that go on at Halloween. 2nd Corinthians tells us to come out from them and be ye separate saith the Lord. With that being said what would be wrong with not going out and celebrating this day? I would have to ask you Pastor how is using Scripture to help explain a reason why you don’t celebrate something a burden? Let’s say that one day you catch your child sneaking out to a friends house and you catch him drinking a beer. When he gets home you confront him about it and tell him that he can’t go to that friend’s house anymore because that friend is a bad influence and he says “but dad I have so much fun with him” Will you say “ok I’m sorry, you’re right you can continue going over to their house”? NO!!!!!! You will show him from Scripture why he shouldn’t do those things or associate with those types of actions. Lastly, you brought up the issue of Christian Liberty and how it’s your right to do something as long as its for the Lord. Pastor Teis this is the exact philosophies of the new age movement of Christianity. People say they can sing rock music as long as they add God. They say “its ok to have a women pastor as long as she is serving the Lord” and the list could go on. My question is where do you draw the line? You will dress your kids up in costumes, but as they get older will they still want to be Snow White and Barbie or something a little more “scary” how then will you be able to tell them no without looking hypocritical? The Bible says “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” (1st Cor. 8:9). I have a read a few posts by other people and see that some people have talked about how they have been saved out of these things and don’t want to go back to the associations of Halloween. I don’t see how they could understand their pastor saying it’s ok. Be careful not to take these “liberties” to far and cause a young Christian to be hindered in their growth, especially this Thursday.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      The best post I’ve read so far.

    • Reply
      Timothy Payne
      October 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      A devout satanist may sacrifice a child on sunday. Doesn’t mean we stop having church on Sunday.

    • Reply
      Conner Smith
      October 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      This one’s pretty interesting as well.

      http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/34420-why-a-former-satanist-thanks-god-for-halloween

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Amen. I remember clearly several years our Christian school received threats from local Satanist groups, and we had to stay indoors. As a blonde, I was terrified. (it seems they prefer to sacrifice blonde children) The replacement principle is great–celebrate Fall Festival, thank the Lord for the Harvest, on a DIFFERENT day. Really, thanking the Lord for Harvest is completely biblical, and has no association with the evils of Halloween.

    • Reply
      Anna
      October 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      >and found out that on the night of Halloween a devout Satanist will actually sacrifice children! You may think this sounds crazy, but its true! On multiple cases I have watched real accounts of people who have been saved out of Satanism and have described their “past Halloweens” and they have said that at midnight on Halloween they remember being sexually assaulted, raped, drugged, and also witnessing babies and children being sacrificed on stone altars! Just think about that as you dress up your children this Halloween and remember when they are “having fun” some innocent child is being killed for Satan.

      Wait – I thought that was the Jews who did that! Silliness, I’m sorry. I live very close to one of the largest Hasidic communities on the East Coast, and trust me – they don’t sacrifice children, drink their blood, or any of the rest of that foolishness that is trotted out to scare people into submission. Wiccans (aka pagans, in your book, I am sure) are among the most gentle people one could know. I bet God has a room for them in His house, too.

      Halloween? We celebrated as kids. But then, we also went out on Mischief Night, soaping up windows, pranking our neighbors (quite innocently). As immigrants, it was important to our parents that we fit in. Didn’t dress up in “evil” costumes. etc. Those were simpler days, really, but there were still the rumors of razors in apples, needles in candy bars. My kids always went out. Again – they dressed in pretty mundane costumes. An equestrian. A baseball player. Peter Pan and a Losr Boy when they were little. A belly dancer. A peacock. And so on and so forth. They had fun, and so did I. Yes, other ids dressed in scarier costumes. They had their own parents.

      I’m not as well versed in Scripture as some of you, although I can tell you that the Church I belong to out-Catholics the Catholics. But I will leave you with this: Matthew 7.1 – Judge not, lest ye be judged. (Although John 8.7 works, too.)

      Thank you, Pastor Josh, for your polite and reasoned posts. Were other “Christians” as non-judgmental as you appear to be.

      I personally believe that God has much better things to do with His time than to bother with how each pf His children actually believes and worships, and is more interested in how each of us treats our fellow living creatures, how we safeguard the home He has given us here on Earth, how we live the precious lives we have been given. A loving athiest may well have a better chance to reach the Kingdom of Heaven than a judgmental “Christian”. JMO. God bless.

    • Reply
      Allison
      October 31, 2013 at 7:15 am

      I absolutely WOULD walk into a bar to talk about Christ. Jesus hung out with tax collectors and sinners. He calls us to be in the world, but not of the world. I hope that Christ’s light shines into every dark corner of the world, not just where you are comfortable bringing it. Yes, Iron sharpens Iron, and we should surround ourselves with those who build us up… but live by Christ’s example and attach the gospel to EVERYTIHNG! Why not refresh what you describe as an evil tradition by bringing the Gospel to it? I truly think you are seeing this all wrong… It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

    • Reply
      sue. b
      October 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Funny I was saved out of a legalistc denomination and am now Catholic and couldn’t love Jesus more. I celebrate halloween and hallows eve. And All Sts Day is a favorite day to remember great Christians of the past. Peace, Sue

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Our church (another Baptist Church) is having a Trunk-or-Treat in our parking lot with refreshments and a Bounce House. It is all about making a connection with the neighborhood where our church has served for 60 years. We have choices. We can isolate ourselves in our building built by God’s grace and with His tithes and wither away and be disobedient to the great commission or we can take every opportunity to meet with our neighbors and invite them to His house and show His love and hospitality and open the doors to share His message as we have been commissioned. We might even have a little fun ourselves (OH, MY!).
    So, we clean out the car trunks and the truck beds, decorate them up, back them into the parking lot at the church and have a cool (hopefully not snowy)evening making new friends in the Name of Jesus. And trust me, it is as good for us old folks as it is for those precious little people who come to get their treats. Thanks for letting me share.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      I did not mean to be anonymous. I am Rebecca Green from Aberdeen Baptist Church in Pueblo, Colorado green51b@yahoo.com

      • Reply
        Tracy
        October 30, 2013 at 5:10 am

        I know this anonymous! Nice to see you around the blogging as well.

  • Reply
    Esther
    October 29, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    This article makes me very sad. I tire of people calling Gods people judgmental or pharisaical for choosing to separate from the world. (I do not believe that you have done this) It is that some have chosen to be as pure in heart in order to truly see God. And in order to be pure in heart, we must remove distractions, sins and worldly things. My personal choice to not celebrate Halloween is not because I’m told not to, nor do I judge another for choosing to. But since you are a spiritual leader, I’m just disappointed and sad. Not necessarily, at you but just in how our faith is getting watered down. Halloween is the darkest night in history. Some make fun of Christians for staying home and sitting in the dark on that night. We don’t all do that. We shine for him and choose alternative methods to bring glory to Him on that night.

    1 John 2:15
    Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    James 4:4
    Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      October 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Right on

  • Reply
    Sunshine
    October 29, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Did anyone else notice how this pastor used a single verse to “back up” his claims as to why celebrating Halloween is justifiable and that no other has the right to judge those who choose to celebrate it…
    When the very next verse speaks of giving that day TO THE LORD.

    • Reply
      Anonymous to Anonymous
      November 2, 2013 at 9:42 am

      you assume he did not because you disapprove of his activity…some people think they cannot pray while sitting on a toilet either like he cant be with you and you with him always. all days are God’s ==just like colors no devil has the right to claim a day nor gang a color for they did not make them. People credit the devil at every turn -its’ perverted!

  • Reply
    Timothy Payne
    October 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I agree. I really enjoyed this holiday growing up. When I worked at wal-mart, we were encouraged to dress up at work. It was a blast.
    And we’d go out trick-or-tracting. We’d knock on doors, and when people answered, we’d hand them a tract and say “trick or tract”!

  • Reply
    Tracy Bradford
    October 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I am struck by the ease with which one can separate posts here exhibiting the love with which Jesus endowed his followers, and those exhibiting other characteristics.
    Let us all get back together after reading Pastor Teis’ blog of October 22, 2013.
    I propose we not hide our lights under any kind of basket, but rather let them shine as a life-saving beacon in whatever fashion we (individually or corporately) are able.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Upon reading this article and the diversified comments, I begin to wonder whether the article was really more helpful or more hurtful. Was it’s purpose to ease the writer’s conscience, or to convince another’s? A lot of the comments were very gracious, but yet some were hurtful and caused argument. The writer states that he does not mean to cause controversy, but with this topic wouldn’t that be inevitable? How is this profitable? How does it edify? In the grand scheme of things does all of this glorify God? The writer came up with evangelistic opportunities from celebrating Halloween, but yet all of those opportunities could be carried out without participating or celebrating Halloween. How then, does celebrating Halloween glorify God? If someone asks you why you don’t celebrate Halloween, isn’t that a perfect opportunity to give the Gospel? To be seen as a light in darkness? No one is going to notice that you do celebrate Halloween because everyone else is doing it. So which creates more evangelistic opportunity? You can still pass out tracks to kids at the door. You can even go door to door and hand them out. The only good reason for celebrating Halloween that stands alone, is that it’s fun. Are we here to seek pleasure? “Deny yourself and take up your cross daily.” Should we be seeking pleasure in a holiday with dark origins? Should we be trying to become less different from the society we live in? And are we causing other Believers to stumble? Does this article cause other Believers to stumble?
    “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (I Corinthians 8:9-13 NKJV)

  • Reply
    Conner Smith
    October 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Research rather than rhetoric is always nice 🙂
    Check out this link. http://altreligion.about.com/od/holidaysfestivalsevents/f/halloween-satanism.htm

  • Reply
    Peter Schutzman
    October 30, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Ya there is somthing really satanic about dressing up your kids in a Winnie the Pooh and thomas the train costume. Especially after eating all that candy there is somthing really demonic in my belly or it could be all the sugar . don’t get me started on giving out candy canes from last Christmas because that’s just evil! Buy candy it’s not that expensive . And to top it off, you know the kids that come back thinking that you won’t recognize them?! Seriously ! Oh and don’t you hate it when you leave the chocolate in your pocket and it melts, I hate that. And there is somthing unbiblical about giving out mints I rather get carrots..

    P.s. I changed my mind I rather take the mints over the carrots

  • Reply
    Michael
    October 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Pastor,

    I am an atheist, but because of my political beliefs and the family which I belong to I spend a lot of time with Christians and am judged pretty brutally and that’s fine. I felt like letting you know however that this was a refreshing read, absent the usual bigotry and misguided rantings which usually litter these sorts of things. Level headed and clear. It’s nice to see, so thank you.

  • Reply
    Vic Christian
    October 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Questions for all: 1. What determines if something is wrong or right for Christians to participate? God’s Word, cultural or community standards, our own feelings? 2. Regarding Halloween – is celebrating honoring or dishonoring to God the Father, or is it neutral? 3. Are we to attack or “not love” those who disagree? 4. Are all holidays such as Christmas, easter and Halloween neutral – and make no difference?

  • Reply
    Eric
    October 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Well said.

  • Reply
    sue. b
    October 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Love this. It certainly makes more sense than the “Chick Tract” reasoning I grew up with. Kids will cherish the memories and family time. I know from experience with my kids they won’t grow up loving Jesus less.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Correction on something that is very important. Inviting people to church isn’t evangelism. Preaching the gospel is evangelism. Invitation to a church isn’t the gospel at all. You can hand out gospel tracts that contain the gospel an the information to your church but simply saying come to so and so isn’t what 1 Cor 15:1-4 say.

    • Reply
      Brian
      October 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Amen!

  • Reply
    anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    It is interesting to study “liberty” in Romans 14 in the context of Acts 15::29. “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” In other words, the conlusion of Romans 14 in verse 21 is the point “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended, or is made weak.” It seems this thread is concerned more with the partakers good, rather than the destruction of those who may be offended. Truthfully, celebrating a satanic holiday is offensive to more than one Christian. Make light of those who have been saved from this if you will, but it is very real that Halloween acknowledges Satan and evil in the context of worship in the same way that meat offered to idols offends former idol worshipers. If you honestly believe no one worships the devil today, or that a quiet member of your ministry does not have a horrific past, you either naive or worse.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    October 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    What ever happened to avoiding all appearance of evil? Touch not the unclean thing? Not being a stumblingblock to other believers?

  • Reply
    Julie Elzeftawy
    October 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Pastor Josh, I am amazed at the vitriol in these posts I don’t really appreciate Halloween but I really don’t appreciate the ways things are said in these comments even more . we did trick or treating when the kids were small and later we made the days a family night dinner clean movie and a candy hunt when we got home so they didn’t miss out .i agree that we need to stand up for our principles to honor God but done in kindness and love. Not name calling and accusations. I believe that turns more people away more than anything else is the attitude of fighting Christians. No matter who is right. Knowing you as I do pastor Josh I commend you for being brave enough to post a thing like this be bombarded and still stand your ground in love. I know you to be a most balanced accepting loving person. I am proud to call you my pastor ! The important thing is the principles I stand on. The omnipotence of God the inerrant word of God the deity of Christ and the death burial and ressurection of Christ and the Trinity most of the rest is personal choice thank you pastor Josh.

    • Reply
      Julie Elzeftawy
      October 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Something I forgot. Think about what a teaching moment this can be for your children. We do live in the world and need to do everything we can to be the light and salt. Not condemning and push people away but still standing on or convictions

  • Reply
    Julie Elzeftawy
    October 30, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    There is a time to be strong and bold and say what needs to be said but not over something so trivial . As this is my mind so many more important things

  • Reply
    J.W.
    October 31, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I see your point. However, I am one Baptist that does not celebrate Halloween. I simply believe that it is an issue of separation. I believe that we abstain from every appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)…and I personally believe that because there is a pagan history and conotation then it appears evil
    .
    and therefore we should do all to abstain.

  • Reply
    annonymous
    October 31, 2013 at 7:10 am

    You will one day see that you are totally wrong and anything associated with halloween is wrong. It is only about satan and his and he decieves people just like you into thinking you can water down his intentions and make it fun.
    Have you forgotten those who have suffered and died because the enemy of God chose this day to take their lives and what about all of the families who teach their children that this “holiday” is ok just to find their child is out trick or treating and doesn’t come home. What are you going to say to them? Here have a piece of candy or a tract?
    So sorry you have been so totally deceived, but you will one day face God and have to tell Him how wrong you were and how many people you led the wrong way. How will it feel to face someone who lost a child or some one whose heart could have been won to Jesus if you weren’t participating the stupid worship of satan without even knowing it? God call us to be salt and light, this isn’t any of either of those things.
    Sorry you don’t choose to put away the idol worship and deception from the enemy and uphold what God Himself told us to do.

  • Reply
    Tara
    October 31, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Bottom line is God really has called us to be holy. We are supposed to be set-apart. I am not looking for another opportunity to be like the world. I think you are wrong and this is really sad. As a leader, I pray God have mercy upon you and those you lead.

  • Reply
    James
    October 31, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I very much appreciate this article. To me this seems like the modern day equivalent to meat offered to idols. Celebrating Halloween, like the meat offered to idols, came from a non-Christian religious event. Paul, the stronger Christian, had no problem eating the meat, because he wasn’t encouraging or participating in the offending behavior. He was willing to forgo that to help a weaker brother from stumbling (note he didn’t say he would stop to keep from OFFENDING a weaker brother) but if it wasn’t causing a weaker brother to stumble he was okay with it. I think that directly correlates with celebrating Halloween, as long as you’re not causing a brother to stumble or doing anything directly prohibited by God, it’s okay in his eyes.

  • Reply
    Joseph Campbell sr
    October 31, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I like it but I wished we had thought of those types of suggestions before banning it not the candy but the thought of saying (trick or treat) and dressing up to go door to door. But that is a great idea to pass out tract in your neighborhood we decide to pass out bible verses at random your reason is very agreeable, love you Pastor Josh.

  • Reply
    Mark C
    October 31, 2013 at 8:35 am

    As I read through the comments, there were many things going through my mind. If it be okay, I would like to share some thoughts/experience:
    Being in the ministry for almost a decade and saved for 13 years, I’ve seen and witnessed many things. Many to be victories and milestones that God had allowed us to have in my church and in my personal Christian life, and many trials and heartaches along the way. It was easy to focus on the negatives, and to my shame, it made it hard to see how good God is. What God had revealed to me is to work on myself and how to be more like Him. I cannot control what others do or how they should be, but I can control me. My relationship with God is in His control (I am His child and he is my Father), which I cannot change. But Fellowship with Him is in my control. I can break fellowship with Him according to my decisions in life (whether it be by sin or a falling away), but I’m so glad that when I come before Him, humbled, asking for forgiveness, He is so quick to forgive.

    I was in a position where I was in disagreement with a really close person. I did not like the decisions he made and the direction he went and I was very bitter for a long time. Just recently I realized that he is in the ministry, glorifying God in what he does and his heart is for God’s people. He may not be serving in “my” ministries, but he is serving God. Through these “experiences,” I’ve realized some things.

    My conviction may not be the same as his. He is and will always be in a different area in his christian walk than me. His struggles and what God allows may be different than mine. His strengths and weaknesses may also be different than mine. All I know is God had placed within me specific convictions. Because of those convictions, I have to protect them with standards. I know what type of person I was before I was saved, and I know what I used to do. Because I am aware of that, I can trust in God’s decisions on my life more. I must concentrate on my ministries and the people God has allowed me to minister to. I am accountable to them and on how I directed them to God or distracted them from God.

    I have also learned to trust God in the appointing of my Pastor over me. Jeremiah tells us that God has given us Pastors after His own heart… And God has given Pastor Josh Teis to the people of Southern Hills Baptist Church. God knows I need my Pastor, as I’m sure God knows the people of SHBC needs Pastor Josh. He stated that this article is for those in his ministry of SHBC. God appointed him to that church and I believe that the congregation deserves to know where their pastor stands. Jeremiah showed his heart and is was very clear. I hope that we can all see our Pastors be full of joy, sadness, frustrated…be human, because that’s what they are. We are all sinners saved by grace.

    I have very close Christian friends that celebrate Holloween and some that don’t. I love them all just the same and I pray for all them. As God is no respecters of persons, neither should I. I need to allow the work of the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of people whether it be through a message I preach or a lesson I teach.

    I hope this made some sense. In the end, my main focus is to glorify my Father and to live a life that pleases Him. I feel that Pastor Josh means well and his intentions are sincere. I do not see him meaning harm, but to be transparent to his congregation (as a pastor should be). Whether or not I agree with his stand is not my place, especially to his congregation. I would not walk into my friend’s church and point out to his people who wrong I thought he was and how bad he is. Let God convict him and allow the Word to direct their path.
    May God bless you all.
    And for the unbelievers here, please let not the content of these pages turn you away from God, but seek after your own self God. Remember, we are all not perfect, but we should strive to be closer to God.
    1. Realize you are a sinner (as we all are). – Romans 3:10, 23
    2. Realize there is a penalty for those sins. – Romans 6:23a
    3. Realize what Jesus did. (paid for that penalty=hell) – Romans 6:23b
    4. Realize it’s not you, it’s Him. – Put your trust in Him and that it has nothing to do with what you can do to get to heaven, but trust that He did all that needed to be don so you can get to heaven. – Romans 10:13

  • Reply
    JM
    October 31, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I do find it interesting that you mention ” Today the common association with Halloween is candy, princesses, ninjas, and tummy aches. The holiday is not what it used to be.” when I just watched a Dateline episode online that opens by saying something to the effect of “Halloween has morphed from our national obsession with candy, to a coast to coast, alcohol fuled party…” So it seems even the unsaved know it’s not just about candy.

  • Reply
    JM
    October 31, 2013 at 8:58 am

    *fueled

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 31, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I am a Christian, have been for most of my life. When I was a child, I read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other books like that. I had a big imagination. Most every Halloween I dressed up like an elf, a witch, Dorothy, or princess Leah. I never associated these things with the devil. I never thought witches were real. I don’t believe any of these things have any real power under the name of Christ. I thought of all of these things as characters in a story. I don’t see any problem with Halloween, but I don’t feel any conviction over it either. I think it all comes back to what God’s will for you is.

    • Reply
      Stephani
      October 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Agreed…..Never has any of it been about anything but fun, candy and cute kids.

  • Reply
    Stephani
    October 31, 2013 at 9:53 am

    It’s refreshing to hear the love in these posts. I too when the subject came up expected lashing out and condemning of people and their beliefs. I was raised in many churches, some participated and some did not. This topic was so split in the churches I was in that there were literal fights between members of the congregation and the pastoral staff. It’s refreshing to hear this preachers take on the scriptures. We have always celebrated Halloween in my house since the birth of my children. They are grown and married now and still it’s one of their favorite holidays. I celebrate for many reasons. I do think that our children should be protected from those that follow the demonic rituals of the past and don’t really believe that those rituals are completely in the past. There are some bad people out there and we just have to protect our children from that. The costumes and the conversation that takes place from neighbors we rarely speak to is always good and goes a long way to creating a good bond in the community. I no longer have children and it’s fun to be there to watch how much fun they have. As with anything, celebrate responsibly and don’t make it out to be something it’s not. If you choose not to participate, that’s your right and no one should have an issue,

  • Reply
    Stephani
    October 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    There is EVIL out there and there are people that practice the whole demonic side of Halloween. That being said, it has nothing to do with my grandchildren dressing up as frogs and princesses and going trick or treating. In addition, all these churches that don’t celebrate but do have a carnival on the church grounds under the name of “fall festival” are in fact celebrating Halloween. It’s a chance to meet and greet people. Just because there is a evil out there does not attach itself to every event on that night. Fun is fun. My kids and grandkids are not going to turn to the dark side and start sacrificing to the devil because they celebrate Halloween.

  • Reply
    Marla
    October 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Division. The Christian establishment is broken. The true church which is Christ’s body is not. How sad and grieving that people cannot differentiate good from evil. October 31st is just that October 31st. There is never a need to go around begging. My children dress up all year and run around. If the kids coming to the door are hungry feed them. Some say it’s a good opportunity to hand out tracks, well what about the other 364 days of the year. And don’t lie and say you proclaim the gospel like you should because I have a feeling that your house would be avoided on October 31st if you really did. Seriously I don’t care about your liberties in Christ and you rubbing it in my face. All I care about is my relationship with the Lord and how this can be a stumbling block to some (obviously it is because they wouldn’t mention it if it weren’t) If for this non issue you can’t help your brother or sister in Christ by abstaining what about bigger issues. How sad.

  • Reply
    Brian
    October 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    This was shared on my facebook page and since you asked for feedback, and made it public, I thought I would share my thoughts! I respect your role as pastor and the communication you have with your church members. I hope I present this in a way that is not judgmental and just acts as giving my thoughts and furthering the conversation. 🙂

    I will post my thoughts in the format you presented.

    1.) It’s Associations

    You will have no arguments from me regarding your knowledge of the History of Halloween. In fact, I basically agree with you. My concern is that by claiming apparent associations as general fact is subjective and dangerous. If, indeed, Halloween was all candy, princesses, ninjas, and tummy aches, then I would have no reservations as there is nothing inherently evil about these things (though I have had some tummy aches that sure felt evil 😛 ). Now given that Halloween IS the above mentioned things, allow me, in fairness, to continue the list. Halloween is alcohol, ghosts, provocatively dressed women, Scooby-Doo, scary movies, chainsaws, demons, parties, Spiderman, haunted houses, zombies, bloody limbs, witches, devils, Satan, and Winnie the Pooh. I’ll just stop there.
    My point is, yes, there are non-evil things on the list like Scooby-Doo, candy, and Spiderman. But, you must include the other associations as well that are forms of evil such as demons, witches, and Satan. We are called to avoid such things.

    2.) It’s Communal

    I think being part of a community is great. But the examples you mention seem a bit self-oriented. They seem to boil down to wanting to fit in and to not stand out. As followers of Christ we will have the mantle of being, and doing, just the opposite. I am not handing out candy in my neighborhood and I don’t view it as being separated from people or an opportunity missed. There are 364 other days to exhibit all of the ways in which we are called to stand out that you mentioned. I am all for community based Halloween celebrations if they are in safe, edifying environment.

    3.) It’s Evangelistic

    As someone else had mentioned previously, it is not the handing out of invitations to a church that promotes the Gospel.

    4.) It’s Fun

    It sure can be! And I too am fond of The Great Pumpkin. 🙂

    5.) It’s For the Kids

    I do not have children, so it may be a bit hard to comment here. I can say, that I would not want to expose my children anything that may be viewed as evil. For that reason, I would not allow them to go trick or treating in neighborhoods, or to watch scary movies, or to dress up as a witch, demon, etc. I am all for positive alternatives. Now, I am no scholar, but the scriptures you referenced seem to demonstrate preferences and traditions. These differences were between Jewish believers and Gentile believers (both of which were referred to as weak believers in these verses). The Jewish believers wanted to hold on to the traditions while the Gentiles wanted to separate themselves from some of theirs. And, as you said, both had serving Christ in mind.
    If we go back to the first point, about association, we can see some parallels here. You have identified Halloween as a holiday that has changed over the course of time. There are traditions and preferences that some want to hold on to, and those that others want to remove themselves from, i.e. dressing up, trick-or-treating, and handing out candy. These things, in and of themselves, are fine. And, I believe, in proper treatment, we can serve God while participating in the festivities. The difference with this holiday seems to be the moral/sin implications. Would dressing up as a demon or devil, or dressing scantly clad, be sinful? Is the house that decided to decorate excessively with bloody limbs serving God? Is it moral to expose children to frightening, sometimes gruesome images in the name of fun?

    Thank you for allowing me to share,
    Brian

  • Reply
    James Roberson
    October 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I agree with you but your post has caused a lot of strife between Christians…. I know it wasn’t your intention but…

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      James, I feel truly bad about that. I wish we could disagree in an agreeable way.

  • Reply
    Joey
    October 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Does anyone else realize that the little girl in the picture at the top is dressed as a witch? I feel like that should give some pretty good insight to the nature of this holiday. God has not given us the spirit of fear so I wonder who supplies the obvious fearful(spooky) spirit that this holiday is centered around? When I got saved my unsaved friends stopped inviting me to halloween parties. Interesting how even the unsaved crowd knew a Christian wouldnt be interested in any of that.

    One has to question why this was posted all over social media if it “was written to the members and attenders of Southern Hills Baptist Church. It is not meant to be controversial nor stir up trouble among those who would disagree. It is simply written to express to our congregation my thoughts on the subject.”
    I feel like if you truly meant that, then this could have accomplished what you say you wanted to accomplish from your own pulpit without causing the strife you have.

  • Reply
    Stephen
    November 1, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I was referred to your article via FB. Thought I’d share with you all something I wrote up and posted yesterday.
    (This a long post, but I think it is a good read, enjoy!)
    Should Christians participate in Halloween?
    Every October Christians of all backgrounds are confronted with the question of Halloween. Thanks to the magic of social media, more and more people (like me) are able to put in their two cents on the issue, and it often gets quite heated between Christians who think Halloween is the devil’s birthday, and those who think it is completely harmless fun. I would like to think we can meet somewhere in the middle. I have heard most of the arguments for and against Halloween, so I’ll try to address both sides in a hopefully fair and logical manner. So let’s first look at a common starting point in the debate…
    1) The question of ORIGINS — Many note the pagan roots of Halloween as being a reason not to participate, while others correctly counter that Christmas and Easter have pagan roots. The question though, for me, is not so much where these holidays came from, but what are they today? While Christmas and Easter still have some traditions that are clearly pagan in origin, the focus of these holidays is unmistakably Christ. Santa and the Easter Bunny make their appearances, but it is hardly their holiday. Contrast this with Halloween. The focus of this holiday has not changed much from its pagan roots, and Christ is certainly not part of it. Halloween today still centers on monsters and the occult. I think we therefore need to just toss the whole “pagan holiday” argument out the window and focus on what these holidays represent today, which leads us to…
    2) The question of THEMES — The themes of most all holidays are very positive and uplifting. Christmas is about joy, hope, and peace, Easter is about forgiveness and love, Thanksgiving is about family and thankfulness, Independence Day is about liberty and freedom. These are concepts that we can all agree on as being good, whether we are religious or not. The themes of Halloween are fear, death, greed, and vandalism. This is a pretty one-sided argument against Halloween, which is usually countered by…
    3) The question of FUN — There is no doubt that Halloween is a fun holiday. Dressing in silly costumes and getting candy just about sums up the day for most people, whereas the negative themes are just an after-thought, so the previous question does not apply to them. It is hard to argue with this good aspect of Halloween, so I chalk this one up to the pro-Halloween side. But it does lead to another thought…
    4) The question of IMAGE — Is it possible to successfully excise the fun portion of Halloween out of all the dark aspects of it? This is a tough one for Halloween supporters. All of the images of Halloween, such as vampires, witches, ghosts, etc., are decidedly evil in nature and inconsistent with Christian beliefs. While one may not support these concepts in particular, the fact remains that the holiday itself is inundated with this imagery. As a way of example, imagine that a neo-Nazi group is having a parade to celebrate their beliefs. Would you show up if they were throwing out free candy as they marched? Probably not because you would not want to be associated with such a hateful, negative activity, even if you were just in it for the candy! And you certainly would not want your friends and family to think you in any way endorsed their beliefs by your attendance. The fact is that all images mean something, and our participation in an activity that promotes or celebrates certain themes implies tacit approval or endorsement of such themes, even if we do not endorse those themes ourselves. Halloween is on some shaky ground here, but there is one final consideration…
    5) The question of ISOLATION — Parents are very averse to the idea of their kids being made to feel left out or different, so being the “only kid in school” who does not participate in Halloween is not a preferable choice. Unfortunately, kids are always going to feel singled out by something, whether it is not having the latest electronic device, going to the coolest party, or wearing the trendiest clothes. In fact, our choice to be a follower of Christ ensures that we will be different and singled out. I know that I have always taught my children that being an individual is important, especially for Christians, and that being like everyone else is never a good reason for doing something.
    This debate is a tricky one and I see the merit in the arguments of both sides. However, I am more persuaded that Halloween does not align itself with my beliefs and does not promote positive values. As such, my family does not participate in it. That being said, there is no reason to go around condemning those who do as our faith does not hinge on this matter. In fact, as some have shared, Halloween can be an excellent time to reach out to our communities with the Gospel, such as by giving out candy with scriptures attached. We need to make educated decisions based on facts and logic, not feelings and knee-jerk reactions, and strongly consider in what way we can best honor God and represent Christ in our lives.
    Well, that’s enough from me on this topic. Time to get ready to go to Dave and Buster’s for the annual fun day with my daughter. I guess, in a way, Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, cause I get to spend some quality time with my family!

  • Reply
    Alesia
    November 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Your comments and reason to celebrate Halloween is causing me as a Christian to stumble. Shouldn’t that be enough reason according to Gods word NOT to celebrate this evil, Satanic holiday?

  • Reply
    victoria
    November 1, 2013 at 11:05 am

    In this article you posted the man said … “This is the perfect opportunity for me, as a Christian, to be part of my community and not stand out in a strange way. ” “Why burden Christian children with one more rule that can’t really be backed up biblically. ”

    Romans 12:2 ESV

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    1 Thessalonians 5:22

    Reject every kind of evil.

    NOT trying to start a debate or say uour a horrible person / christian for taking your kids tricker treating

  • Reply
    Tracy Bradford
    November 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Halloween is over.
    I am still saved, and it is my hope you are too.
    I know Josh Teis and Alisa Summers et al are saved, and I too rejoice at our ability to love one another not in spite of, but because of our differences.
    See what a wonderful place SHBC is?
    Cool.
    Some observations: This past week, I have attended;
    1.) the Trunk or Treat function
    2.) a local “Harvest Festival”,
    3.) an “interminable” shopping trip to Fashion Show Mall (with treat-seekers all over the place),
    4.) a large Halloween party at The Venetian (The Strip) sponsored by my professional association (some members of which are clearly non-Christians), and
    5.) Our HOA Trick or Treat.
    The only vicious word or deed, of one of person against another observed in this entire time, has been right here from the “SuperChristians”.
    Same on you. Where in your fog is the light of Grace?
    Shame on you. You offer vitriol to a most kind and learned Gospel teacher – and for what purpose?
    Shame on you. You say inviting people to church is not evangelism?
    Shame on you. Evangelism is a process. Inviting people to hear the Gospel is part of that process.
    When Alisa wrote, it was of her own conviction. And nobody can argue she is not correct, as she speaks of her personal case.
    But in the service of legalism you “reason” in a general and prescriptive way that;
    As Halloween has been used by doers of evil deeds, you will refuse it.
    Well – – –
    Automobile back seats have been used by doers of evil deeds. To be consistent in your reasoning, you must now refuse to put your children in the back seat of an automobile.
    Beds have over the years been the site of horrible sin. To be consistent with your argument – – –
    Shame on you!
    Your special pleading and term-shifting fall back upon you.
    Oh never mind. I’m going to take the advice of Socrates.
    And don’t bother sending me nastygrams. I won’t read ‘em. I’m gonna take a nap.
    🙂

  • Reply
    Peter Schutzman
    November 2, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Here is another thing that crossed my mind, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Then why is it that if an old holiday was evil but is now used to bring people to Christ a bad thing? Don’t you think that somthing that was once evil but is now meant for good a bad thing? Do you really think God can’t forgive a holiday like he forgives a sinner like you and me? We were once evil too but God uses us now. The stumbling blocks I see here are the ones trying to push old dead rules that applied when Halloween was evil and only making us Christians look like fools for not celebrating Halloween for what it is today, a time to witness and fellowship with believers and non believers in a fun neutral setting. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. How you might ask? By acting like Pharisees, people don’t wanna go to church if your acting like a whole lot of Jehovah witnesses when it comes holidays. Forget about yourselves for a minute and use all opportunities to win souls to Christ period.

    • Reply
      Anonymous to Anonymous
      November 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

      There is deception within when one believes that God appoints the pastor to have oversight over the church and attends it in faith (not ritualistically without thought)but then shows no trust in his pastor to have oversight over himself…to accuse him for murder of those long passed, other malice and more and to do so behind Anonymous mask is nothing more than accuser of the brethren which is very much a picture of the devil –mirror up & see your living mask is on.. If this act brought all you babies & hypocrites out into the light for him to see how sick we are as a whole, then that alone made it worth it! May you let God heal your hard hearts to walk in love and humility b4 u die tonight -u think about that while u lock yourselves away from those ready to perish –you are 2blind t2see just how blessed u r 2have a patient man of God in our mist, i’d of taken a whip2 your tales & ran u out if I were in charge –u shame yourselves (&us or was that your hope?)

  • Reply
    Marie Osuna
    November 2, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I’d like to share with you what I posted on FB: What’s on my mind? I’m thinking that I might offend some people tonight. I’ve been thinking about Halloween . . . Since we are to do all to the glory of God, do you think we glorify God during Halloween? To help myself, I made a list of some similarities and differences of the two most celebrated days of the year – Christmas and Halloween.

    CHRISTMAS ………….HALLOWEEN
    God …………. Evil
    Jesus …………. No mention
    Holy Spirit …………. No mention
    Good …………. Bad
    Light …………. Darkness
    Angelic Hosts ……Witches/Sorcerers
    Songs ………… Howls
    **********************************************
    Celebration …………. Celebration
    Neighborly …………. Neighborly
    Cute outfits ……….. Cute costumes
    Food ………… Food
    Fun …………. Fun
    Laughter …………. Laughter
    Giving …………. Giving

    Now tell me, do we glorify God on Halloween? The second half of the lists look so the same isn’t it? This is why people think and feel that there is nothing wrong with Halloween. I just realized this while walking around the neighborhood last night and this convicted me!

    “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:20 NKJV)

    In addition, I would say that Halloween is not glorifying to God, but what we do with Halloween such as passing out tracks with candies is glorifying to God.

  • Reply
    anonymous
    November 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    1) I think your first reason is really off. All month, I’ve been having to console my terrified children when they see the Halloween decor! It is still very scary and evil. The neighbors houses are decorated with limbs, tombstones, bones, etc. Witches and evil imagery abound. This type of decor is present in nearly every store we enter.
    2) As far as it being communal, surely there is a better way than celebrating a pagan holiday? Shouldn’t we as Christians, show we are different than the world?
    3) Surely you could find a more creative way to use the day to evangelize than for you and your family to participate. It seems like a rationalization to me. What if you walked around and handed out tracks or just handed them out with the candy, but didn’t go yourselves?
    4) There are other ways to have fun. Just because something is fun doesn’t make it right!
    5) When I was a naive kid I thought it was for kids, but then I grew up and learned that it was for grown-ups to have parties. Do I really need to say more?

  • Reply
    Good Thoughts
    November 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Listen to Michael Savage about Halloween:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C7c9NbrCmY
    “Candy is Poison”

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    Stunned
    April 2, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Unreal. You are a complete idiot and no man of God. There is so MUCH wrong with this I won’t even take the time to address it all but to say that you are the most effeminate, weak, ignorant and worldy IFB “pastor” I know of.

    Shame on you.

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      Joshua Teis
      April 2, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Relax pal – we happen to disagree on a minor issue. I appreciate the feedback.

      • Reply
        Stunned
        April 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        We disagree on MUCH more than you realize. You are not my pal, neither am I yours.

        I will never relax while wolves like you are feasting on the flesh of God’s sheep.

        It most certainly is NOT a “minor issue”. You saying so only hardens my resolve agains you and the other Joel Osteens of “fundamentalism”.

        Warning: a good shepherd WILL give his life for the sheep. Beware.

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      April 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm

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    • Reply
      Tracy Bradford
      April 2, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      QUICK!
      Somebody get this guy a ladder.
      If he tries gettin’ off that high horse he’s on without one, he’s gonna get hurt!
      I am a combat-certified United States Marine. There are more scars on my body and soul than you, Mr; “hide-behind-a-pseudonym-macho-taco” can count. I have campaigned all over this globe, and never met a more masculine man than Joshua Teis.
      His courage to proclaim the gospel of our Lord is unflinching.
      His honesty and open regard for the human condition are above question.
      He is a man’s man – in that knocking someone down makes one nothing more than a brute. But picking that person UP, now THAT identifies one as a MAN. Try to pay attention here, Gomer.
      Hiding behind a pseudonym, using initials to indicate profanity, Your having nothing in your argument other than personal invective – now THAT shows a real will to display to the world a unified Glory of the Gospel, doesn’t it?
      NOT.
      Go ask your mommy for another hug. You need one.

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    April 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Been thinking about this for a while.
    No doubt about it,
    This is an example of “Bradford’s Third Law”
    Which is:
    “You cannot create a situation worse than one in which two well-intended people understand the same thing PERFECTLY,
    but DIFFERENTLY.”
    “Stunned”, here understands “Halloween” perfectly – but differently – from how you and I interpret the term “Halloween”.
    I’m willing to bet if we understood that term in the same way “Stunned” does, we would feel as “Stunned” does.
    So let’s invite ourselves to love “Stunned” as a Christian sibling (brother or sister – we’re not sure).
    It is that simple.

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    Robin
    July 23, 2015 at 6:36 am

    I totally agree. I think the same. My husband is also a pastor and we get some comments but it is fun and it is evangelical. I pass out over 100 tracts for our church. And love doing it. This year my husband/I are good to dress up like batman /robin and we r going to go down main street in his little car. He has a miata and inside he has put batman and robin on the seats on the car he has emblems of the crusaders painted on. Pretty cool car. So we have fun on that day. I think there’s a little fear in me for we know what goes on that day after everyone is in bed. I do pray for the wickedness for we have an occult that meets they night and only God knows what they do. Tks .robin

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