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Collin Garbarino wrote an article for reformation21.org on the subject of Halloween. In the article he argues that the history of Halloween is Christian rather than pagan/Celtic. Rooted in the memorialization of the martyrs and celebrating the victory over death by Jesus. His article has some helpful points but some areas that I would take exception with. I’ll begin with the areas of agreement.
The history of Halloween has proven to be difficult to nail down. I have tried to research it on the internet a few times over the years and would find evangelical leaders on both sides of the discussion. They would either approve or condemn the day, the dressing up, participation with neighbors, or all activities all together. Some would argue for a redeeming activity where the local church had a Trunk or Treat, Fall Festival, or some combination of both. Ultimately it was pretty pointless because I never could land on a position with great confidence and just went with what I thought was wise and honoring to God. We handed out candy, dressed as heroes or movie characters, and spent time with friends. (more…)
When parents want to bring their children before the Elders of the church to be interviewed, they often ask what the process involves. From the perspective of the Elders it is a joyous moment and opportunity to hear the profession of faith out of a young child’s mouth. However, I have come to learn that from the perspective of the child, it is an intimidating process where the seemingly all-knowing men of the church are going to see how little they know.
I thought it would be helpful, for the benefit of the parents (and the children), to write up a short guide to help parents through this process. I use it with my children and when I speak to them about Communion, or go through their catechism in the evening, I work to bring them to a knowledge of at least these five areas. These five areas are the minimal things I would want to and expect to hear from a child. Hearing a child articulate these areas I would be satisfied as their Pastor/Elder that they had a profession of faith that was biblical, that they understood the Gospel, and of course that they could discern the elements of the Supper. (more…)
There is a saying I once heard RC Sproul say “If you find the perfect church, leave because you’ll ruin it.” The obvious implication was that there are no perfect churches. I don’t believe I ever met anyone (minister, member, child, visitor) who didn’t have something about their church they didn’t like. I think some important questions are “What do you do when you have theological convictions that are different from the practice of your church?” “Can we bring about change in the church?” “What should be our attitude when our church makes changes we disagree with?”