Take Back The Night
by Lucian Thompson
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Recently I read an article by Ray Gano of www.prophezine.com concerning Christian involvement in Halloween. I must say, I agree with him 100%. For way too long Christians have sold out their values to the world by embracing the occult and teaching their children to do likewise.
Ray wrote: In my series titled “The Right Life For The Last Days” I have been focusing on separating oneself from the world. If you are a blood bought soul who lives for the Lord, we have no reason to be giving this holiday ANY sort of recognition. I also do not believe in churches having a “harvest festival” either. This is basically a Halloween party with everyone giving the “wink wink… nod nod… say no more” attitude. All we are doing in this sort of “celebration / event / party” is glorifying a pagan holiday by doing exactly as the early Catholic Church did and just gave everything a “Christian name.”
Six years ago, when God called my co-pastor and I into ministry by starting a non-denominational church devoid of the traditional trappings of the mainline churches and catering to “Those People,” we, also, held a Harvest Party on October 31. After that one time, God really spoke to us about this type of compromise to the world and we have never repeated this deception and false teaching to our flock or neighborhood since.
After much prayer and study of God’s word, we started our own response to this satanic night of evil. (Without wearing ANY type costumes) we give out what we call Trinity Treats to the homes in our neighborhood. We take our wagon out with bags of treats and have our chaperoned children take them to the doors and say, "Please accept this treat from Trinity Christian Fellowship." The colorful bag has a recorded CD of one of our full Sunday services, some non-Halloween printed candy, a brochure of our church with our service times and what we stand for, a magnetic business card, and a small toy or gift.
On the back of the brochure is printed: The Ghost In The Church…The Holy Ghost.
The church has had quite a bit of experience in dealing with spirits and the paranormal, and indeed embedded in our code of belief is a ghost. God sent this ghost with a divine adjective, the HOLY Ghost, who inspires in ways unknown to the finite human mind and outside of the realm of explanation in many cases.
On Pentecost Paul said that the Holy Ghost would come upon the believers and inspire them with words and tongues of fire. Many biblical stories are as spooky as a ghost story, what with people inhabited by devils, people overcome by a spirit that causes them to talk in languages no one has heard before, or people so excited about their faith that they appear drunk to onlookers. After Jesus' resurrection, he appeared to his disciples on several occasions as a ghost in a transcendent body, which at first frightened them. And we are told that God often comes in disguises that fool even people of faith: the homeless, the hungry, the prostitute, the prisoner, the powerless. The bible is no stranger to scary stories and to inhabiting spirits. The church since its inception has preached the good news of rising above the evils of the day. We teach that we are sustained by a spirit, the Spirit of God, by His Holy Ghost.
During one of these outreach efforts, a family decided to come to our church a few years ago, who celebrated Halloween with all the yard junk, etc. Last year, they burned all their decorations and the husband was the second man to graduate from The Trinity Christian Fellowship Theological Seminary with a Bachelors of Ministry degree, a license to preach the Gospel, and he is now enrolled at Andersonville Theological Seminary taking his Masters in Biblical Ministries. We believe we are making a difference in our community by our "Take Back The Night" attitude.
We feel the same way about Christmas. Sorry, but we don’t promote Santa. We promote Jesus and the celebration of the birth of the Savior. True, He was born sooner than December 25, but this date gives us a time to show our neighbors the miracle of the virgin birth and the gift of God to all people in His son, Jesus.
Back to that wagon. We strip it to the bare deck and add a framed Nativity with white lights and a star of Bethlehem. Add a little hay, a few live angels and a live Joseph and Mary, a baby in a manger, and we take a “Live Nativity” to the same streets. Thirty to forty singers follow behind the wagon singing Christmas carols to recorded music. Again we send our chaperoned children ahead with beautiful coffee cups imprinted with our church information and filled with a bag of hot chocolate, a magnetic business card, Christmas candy, and a brochure with our church information, this time with: MERRY CHRISTMAS… Isa 9:6…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Luke 2:8-11… And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Trinity Christian Fellowship is a diverse group of individuals who love the Lord Jesus and worship Him in truth and in spirit. We invite you to come worship with us. The door is open and the light is on!
Amazingly, some folks will come out and join with us as we walk down the street singing.
One other thing we do at Christmas time is to post a Blessing Tree on our Bulletin board with detachable leaves that have a place for a name and an amount of money to be donated to help needy children get clothes and other much needed items at Christmas. We are trying to get our flock to reduce the exorbitant amount of presents they get their own families and share with those less fortunate. We encourage the children to pick a leaf and give it to their parents on their behalf. The tree sign reads:
The Blessing Tree
Jesus, I want to share one of my Christmas presents with some child who is less fortunate than I.
As a visual, we have a small Christmas tree at the front of the church. It is bare under the tree till those who have taken a donation leaf, trade it in for a small fake package that will be placed under the tree as we get them.
The Bible instructs us in Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Why do we spend so much effort to teach our children false doctrine by embracing the ways of the world and then wonder why our children get so messed up in their later years? Personally, I am finished with any attempt to try and justify filling our kids heads with the satanic sickness of Halloween and the god of money that Christmas has turned into.
Don’t celebrate Halloween; take back the night! Don’t spend yourself into ungodly debt at Christmas; teach the truth and the wonder of the real Christmas story: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. JESUS!
Joshua 24:14 & 15 says… Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Lucian Thompson is the Associate Pastor, with Trinity Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where the old time Gospel is good enough for us. He is currently working on a Master of Ministry degree and an avid student of Eschatology with major thrust of ministry geared in Outreach. He has written a fictional book titled, “Cop Out”, based on his experience as a former Chief of Police as related to the premise, “what if he were still a cop and the Rapture happened?” It is now posted as an e-book on Wisdom Farms at: http://www.wisdomfarms.com . Look under SIMPLE LIVING and under INSPRIRATIONS FROM THE PASTOR for a free download. Web-site: trinitychristianfellowship.net .
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Thank you for the kind comments you made when reviewing my poem "The Wonder of Your Love". God has a way of drawing us to where He wants us to be and what He wants us to read. I saw you were off the PM system and decided to read one of your articles and I am so glad that I chose this one. I live in the Caribbean and because of the television many of us have adopted much of the American culture and not the best ones at that. I see Halloween slowly creeping in and I am hoping that it does not make too big a dent into our way of life. Your article is right on target and the work you are doing must bear fruit and good fruit at that. I hope to find time to read more of your articles as this one is certainly a source of inspiration to me. Thank you once again.
I was reminded of the Holy Ghost doing just such a thing for me one day... a day when I asked wholeheartedly if He would have lunch with me. Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by a whole class of preschoolers with hotdogs, fries, and drinks... chatting with me like they'd known me forever. :) Great memory you stirred there! And a great article! And a great stand! "Take back the night..." AMEN!
Amen and Amen! Thank you for making a stand against the ignorance of inviting worldliness in and cloaking it in Christian terms, and for a call to more holiness. Your church sounds wonderful. Makes me want to move to Virginia Beach~
Lucian, it is so hard in this day to take an uncompromising stand. Often, it is even more difficult to explain the reasons for that stand. Years ago, while a student in college, I did some research on an area of the occult for a required speech. What I uncovered in my research was truly unexpected ... and has made it impossible for me to celebrate Halloween ever since. I wasn't an easy decision, as Halloween was a wonderful time during my childhood days. But even while rearing my own children, when I felt guilty over depriving them of this fun, I simply could not make myself engage in these festivities. My children tell me, now that they've grown, they never felt they missed anything. God is good in granting me that blessing. One son, now that he is married and has children, has made his own decision to walk a different direction. He little ones do celebrate as clowns, and cows, and the such. Paul tells us to preach Christ. So my personal convictions I walk ever ready to give an answer to those who ask. The same son, now a youth pastor, just told me their youth group will be participating in a "Reverse Trick 'r Treat" where they pass out tracks and candy as they walk in neighborhoods. Until reading your words, I'd never heard of this. When we seek the face of God, He is ever faithful to give us ways to pierce the darkness with with the Light.
I wholeheartedly agree. Amen