The origins of Halloween have long and often been debated. Nevertheless, the controversial holiday continues to be celebrated by billions around the world every year. Both children and adults will dress up in costumes and go around their neighborhoods to collect candy or head off to parties for the night. Others will most likely stay home and watch some of the scary horror movies or paranormal show marathons that will undoubtedly be airing on TV this Saturday evening.
Speaking of TV, have you witnessed the increase in horror films and television shows in the recent years? With shows like The Walking Dead, Scream Queens, Supernatural and paranormal reality shows like Ghost Hunters, Monsters & Mysteries In America, and Paranormal Witness, it is proof that Americans are more in tune with aspects of Horror and the Occult than ever before.
In fact, the rising fascination withspiritismand the supernatural have lead to the controversial live broadcast of an exorcism to be aired this Friday night onDestination America. Whether the event of the exorcism is real or a just dramatized production put on by showmen and women, there is no doubt that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, will be tuned in to watch it all unfold.
It is very clear that as Christians we are not to partake in such things that are of darkness(Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Leviticus 19:31, 1 Samuel 28, Acts 16:16-18).However as the last verse that was quoted from the book of Acts demonstrates, we are neither to become superstitious or fearful. As we read in verse 18, before casting the divining spirit out of the slave girl, we can see in its context that the Apostle Paul was not afraid of the spirit, but rather, he grew tired of it. Nowhere do we read that he became “afraid” or was “consumed with fear” of the evil divining spirit. Since He remained confident in the authority bestowed upon Him by the Holy Spirit, no harm would come to him. This was one of the few times an exorcism was ever recorded in scripture, along with the famous encounter that involved Jesus casting demons from two men in a cemetery and onto a heard of pigs(Matthew 8:28-34).
The reality of a spiritual world is, by my own admission, strangely welcomed by a culture that has slowly become antagonistic towards theistic ideals (i.e. God and the Bible, religion, etc). But as C.S. Lewis famously quoted in his preface to his literary classic, The Screwtape Letters:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
Saul regretting his very bad decision to contact spirits through the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28.
So, if obsessing over (or even rejecting) the reality of a spiritual world is a bad thing according to Lewis’ quote, what good can we find in it as Christians?
Well, the good news is that since more and more people are open to the idea of a life beyond this present one, it creates a more balanced and open ground for the saving news of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed to those who have not yet heard it. As people’s hunger for the supernatural grows more and more, so will their curiosity.
Thankfully as Christians we serve a God who is both supernatural and spiritual, and as more and more people begin to dig deeper into the darker side of spirituality I believe that we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to steer the spiritually hungry to the one who can offer them with a spiritual satisfaction that will leave them without want(John 4:14).
Last Halloween I decided to buy a bag of candy and hand them out with tracts to the trick-or-treaters that were roaming around my old neighborhood that evening. I still remember it fondly as one of the greatest experiences in my walk with Christ. I got to interact with my community, meet some great people, and even saw some awesome costumes in the process, one of my favorites was of a young toddler dressed as the bratty Max from Where The Wild Things Are (he even acted the part, too!)
If you think about it, how often do you get a large amount of strangers coming to your door in one night to ask you for something? There are churches and pastors out there who wish they had such a large amount of unsaved souls walk through their doors on any given day, and as believers we get to give the gift of salvation and redemption of sins through Christ to the lost on what is, ironically enough, the most anti-gospel day of the year.
But as God has so often demonstrated through Scripture (and even in our own personal lives) that it’s often in the darkness when His greatest works are often accomplished.
Nestor Arce is the editor for the Christian Living section of Geeks Under Grace and periodically contributes to the Movies section. He is currently busy trying to watch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" 37 more times.
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