Friday, October 17, 2014

Is It Really Just Innocent Fun?

For the past few weeks, I have felt the Lord pushing me....  pushing me to write a post about a difficult subject. I have put it off since I have been busy... and tired.... and there is so much to do....  and a part of me wanted to avoid this. You see, I am new to blogging and have been at it less than a year. My blogs have grown wonderfully well... I have been so blessed by comments from readers... and I am working to make my blogs grow even more. So, writing a post like this means that I may lose readers... I may upset people.... and I don't like to do that for a lot of reasons. After all, my blog name is Gentle Joy.

However, God continues to put a burden on my heart and I want to be obedient. I have prayed much about this and have studied and today, it is time to just get started.

As a Christian woman who wants to honor my Lord, I seek to follow scripture and to teach my children to do the same. I encourage them to follow Him and His ways. I teach them that God hates sin. I teach them that God holds us responsible for our actions and even the thoughts of our heart. Yes, He forgives, but He also expects obedience.... and there is a price for disobedience. All through scripture we see that sin is rebuked, not excused... and sin is dealt with very strongly.



In our culture, the lines are blurred.... good is said to be bad and bad is said to be good.... people call these "gray" areas. I often hear such comments as "My convictions are just different from yours." Sometimes, this is used appropriately, but many times it is used to deflect justified criticism or rebuke. God calls sin sin and He gives us many clues as to what sin is... and how to avoid it, in His Word. Our culture says we can't "judge" and that we are supposed to keep our convictions to ourselves so that we don't offend others. The Bible is disrespected for the most part, so we are expected to keep it quiet and not be too strong in our convictions, since that may be "offensive" to others.

God and Christians have become the target of jokes, ridicule, criticism, disrespect, and hatred. Many Christians try to "win" the lost by softening their own views, and  by giving in a little on issues so as not to offend.  Eventually, "convictions" are not based much on the Bible, but on what is popular.. or what will be accepted... and all this does is to show the lost that there isn't really any strong conviction. Ground continues to be given... parts of the Bible are ignored... or explained away. The standard we are to keep and follow becomes vague with such treatment. Also many Christians rarely read their Bibles. They may listen to a pastor or speaker or they may watch a "Christian" movie and they absorb some Bible talk.... but there is no substitute for reading, studying, knowing and following God's Word.


I am teaching my children that it is not my job to save people; nor is it theirs. Our job is to obey and to tell others of Christ and His Word ... it is up to God to save whom He will. We are to obey scripture whether we like it or not... whether it is popular or not. It is sad that we will try to manipulate people into heaven and doing so means we really don't have a right understanding of Scripture. The terrible thing is that some people may become convinced they have become Christians when they follow some watered down version of "salvation".... and they remain condemned to a Christ-less eternity, yet are convinced they are "saved" because someone told them they are. We dare NOT do this.


This season is always troubling to me... so much evil is present and is very openly celebrated. It is almost impossible to avoid it, but we do not have to participate in it. Our family has been able to function well as we have trained ourselves to ignore such even though it is all around us.



I have hated the whole death look and obsession with death in our world... and it gets worse each year. I have been greatly saddened over seeing pictures of cute little girls and boys dressed up and painted to look like gruesome specters of death.... and I wonder why anyone would ever want their precious child to look so hideous. I have been horrified over desserts or "fun" treats being shared online - the recipes excitedly passed around and I wonder WHY anyone would be interested in treats that look like severed body parts..... especially Christians... and I feel ashamed of the shame being brought on the name of Christ by such activities among Christians.

Every year the ugliness seems to increase. For many years, babies have been savagely murdered on a regular basis here in our country and throughout the world. This is done to celebrate "choice" and "rights" and it is a child sacrifice in the worship of self. The pictures of these murdered children are sometimes shown to draw attention to the horrible wrong being done and people who share these are strongly criticized as being "insensitive", yet the gruesomeness at this time of year is defended and the ongoing exposure to such hardens hearts more and more.

Years ago, the Romans cheered the violent deaths of Christians while they sat and watched with an endless thirst for blood and more violence. Christians have been hated and have been "fair-game" for attacks for many years. Christians have been torn asunder, their bodies have been burned, they have been killed in vile ways.


 In other countries, Christians are tortured just for being Christians... and this year things have greatly escalated as evil marches onward in the name of what is defended as a "peaceful" religion, yet it is one that wields the sword and induces terror. Unspeakable atrocities are being carried out against our precious brothers and sisters in Christ. Blood is being shed.

In our world, video games are popular.. even ones that show violent deaths and ugliness and the desensitization of our people continues. Violence in schools or workplaces follows and it seems that some people have no conscience at all. Panic sets in as frightened people say that this has to stop... no more bullying... no more school violence, etc. People are only learning what they are being taught.... selfishness is rampant... others are seen as less important... God's Word is ignored when it contradicts personal wishes.


The decorations and treats and the activities are defended as being "all in fun". How can such "fun" be defended as "family friendly".  I have been shocked at the abundance of things offered as party ideas... things that are in poor taste, at best... and things that are exceedingly gruesome. I wonder WHY such horrible "treats" can gain any kind of positive attention... especially from Christians. Why would anyone allow their child to consume fake body parts as part of holiday "fun"(or even to SEE them)? Do they not know that evil people REALLY do this... with REAL body parts? Why would anyone think this is funny? People are REALLY being dismembered, so why is that funny? Such hideous things should not even be spoken of... and I am using the most careful words I can to get my point across without glorifying the ugliness.


There is so much to appreciate about this time of year... fall leaves, changing of the seasons, beautiful colors, bountiful harvests, bonfires, family times and more. Yet, the thing that dominates this time of the year is a celebration of evil. Those who love evil, love this time of year... sin is more tolerated and they say that evil spirits are more active. There is a desire to scare people more and more... costumes are used, terrible displays are glorified and the dark side is prevalent.

The Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals... and such behavior is definitely "bad company".  Even the so-called "innocent" things of halloween have definite bad connotations... you can look them up. The jack-o-lantern is a symbol of a soul lost for all eternity... not so innocent after all. Trick or Treat has had various uses in history... but it all seems to be a form of extortion. One source said the "trick or treat" idea is from a time when evil men went to homes demanding a "treat" and if it wasn't given... the "trick" they gave, was death.
 

I want my children to learn to know and love God... to learn to follow His ways... and in Him is no darkness at all. Whether it is politically correct or not, I want to honor God and follow Him. Being a light in a dark world means more than naming the name of Christ. The light grows dim when evil is mixed with it..... and many are fooling themselves and need to search their hearts to see if they even know Christ as their Savior.

May we learn to evaluate what we think and allow ... in the light of God's Word and may we be courageous enough to eliminate whatever doesn't match up with Scripture. May we make sure our salvation.... and grow in Christ as we follow His Word and His way. May we reject anything that doesn't honor or please Him - no matter what is going on around us in the world. May there be a distinct difference between "Christian" and non Christian practices...


 # halloween  #haunted  #evil  #scary   #wicked   #trickortreat


Shared on:

Fulfilled Friday
Thankful Thursday
The Weekend Creative
Saturday Soiree
Weekend Bloggy Reading
Weekly Wrap Up
Hearts For Home
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Creative Ways Link Party
Homeacre Hop
Thriving Thursday
The Homemaking Party
Wednesday's Prayer Girls
Soul Survival
A Little R & R
Winsome Wednesday
Works For Me Wednesday





24 comments:

  1. Kudos for taking a stand. We have never 'participated' in Halloween in any way (no candy for trick-or-treaters, no dressing up in costumes, nada). Because I agree--there's noting hallowed about the day the way it's 'celebrated.'

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging comment. I am so concerned in the tearing down of our Christian principles that I see happening... I know I have to remain grounded on the right foundation... God's Word. Thank you for visiting.

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    2. Well, there is hope. The Lord has been pressing me about this issue too. We aren't the only ones. I have never liked Halloween, but I have kids...kids who love their new costumes. But this year I have been feeling this issue more heavily. I have to say your article hit a lot of right notes with me. I agree with you...

      Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me.... I appreciate the support on a hard thing. :)

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  3. Good afternoon Joy. I couldn't agree more with EVERYTHING you have written here. We don't celebrate or try to mimic it in any other light in our home either. The verse in Thessalonians says it all, "Abstain from all appearance of evil". Thank you for sharing this "out loud"... but in a gentle way.

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    1. Thank you, so much, for the comment... I am glad it came across in a gentle way... that was my intention w/ this very tough subject. The encouraging comments mean so much to me. Thank you.

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  4. I appreciate your article, thank you.

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    1. Thank you.... I am so glad you stopped by and commented. :)

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. And I feel the spirit of God in this post. Thank you for standing for righteousness.

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    1. Thank you... I really appreciate your comment and your visit.

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  6. We didn't trick or treat when I was growing up. We would usually watch tv in my parents room in the dark. It felt like we were hiding. I understand why, and did then, but I have no problem with my girls participating now. They don't dress up as anything I don't approve, and we walk the neighborhood as a family.
    I appreciate your stand and love that you shared it!

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    1. Thank you... I appreciate the comment. :)

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    2. I know how hard it can be to hit the publish button. Sometimes those are the most important posts! :)

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  7. I also shared this on Google Plus... Thanks for linking it up to the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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    1. Thank you, Jes... I love linking up at your party. :)

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  8. I am not sure I agree with everything you've written here but I appreciate your willingness to standup and explain how you are and are not willing to engage with our culture and its evil and darkness.

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  9. Yes yes and YES!! Amen! My husband and I struggled with this for years. We were saved later in life. Our children were much older and had always participated in these activities. We were saved on September 20, 2005. Yes both of us accepted Christ on the same day. Long story. We were married 2 months later. Anyway, We chose as a family to abstain from this right from the beginning. Our children understood. For the first few years we would just go out to dinner, or go bowling. It's amazing at how empty these places are on this date. It just became our thing and we didn't have to feel like we were hiding in our own home. Our son is now in the fire department so he usually stays close to home just in case of a call.

    Thank you so much for this post. I know how difficult it can be to take a stand. But we each need to stand up for what the Bible tells us. Blessings!!

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    1. I am so glad you and your husband found salvation and that you are my sister in Christ. Your plan sounds well thought out and good... I am glad you shared it. I also appreciate the encouragement.... the affirming of the post... thank you. It is hard to take a stand... and yet, I am glad God led me to do so. Thank you for visiting... so nice to have you. :)

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  10. I must say, i agree with you for the most part, i am agnostic, but i also respect and commend your values! Well done for taking a stand! It saddens me that so many Christians are condemned for having a faith, and for trying to follow their faith in their daily lives, who are we to condemn those who a have a different faith? Or go to church? I respect every faith simply because it is not my place to judge :)

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    1. Thank you .... I'm glad you visited today. :)

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  11. Hi Joy, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the content on your blog and have added your blog to my sidebar. Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays each week too! Blessings ~ JES

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    1. What a precious comment... and such a special privilege that you have added my blog to your sidebar. Thank you so much... I really appreciate it and I love coming to your party each week. :)

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