Jesusween? Boo!

I knew a few people in seminary who enrolled in certain classes just so they could argue.  I’m not entirely sure whether they were there to learn or take perverse pleasure in vocally disagreeing with their professors over various points of theology.  In any case, they would share the stories of their “battles” proudly, as if they had achieved some great victory over the forces of darkness.

Unlikely.  More probably they just annoyed their professors and classmates both.  I have little patience for this kind of approach to education, theology, and/or the Christian life, and don’t appreciate the self-inflicted wounds of an intentional martyr.  Arguing about minutiae and picking fights is not in the best interests of the Church.  Being contrary without good cause is, well, dumb.

This brings me to Jesusween:

JesusWeen is a non profit organization also known as JesusWin. We are focused on helping people live better lives through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. JesusWeen is a God-given vision which was born as an answer to the cry of many every October 31st. The dictionary meaning of Ween is to expect, believe or think. We therefore see October 31st as a day to expect a gift of salvation and re-think receiving Jesus.

Every year, the world and its system have a day set aside (October 31st) to celebrate ungodly images and evil characters while Christians all over the world participate, hide or just stay quiet on Halloween day. Being a day that is widely acceptable to solicit and knock on doors, God inspired us to encourage Christians to use this day as an opportunity to spread the gospel. The days of hiding are over and we choose to take a stand for Jesus. “Evil prevails when good people do nothing”. JesusWeen is expected to become the most effective Christian outreach day ever and that is why we also call it” World Evangelism Day”.

Now, I have nothing against evangelism.  I am a proud Pentecostal and consider it God’s call on our lives to be ready to share His love and salvation.  In some sense I understand and have sympathy with the ideals of Jesusween.

But really?  On Halloween?  The non-Christian world already thinks that we hate them in the name of God, and now we’re tacitly attacking a day when their little kids get dressed up and visit their community while neighbors share candy and laughs.  To be sure, there are undeniable pagan origins to the holiday, but the same could be said of Easter or Christmas.  While some choose to use the day as an excuse to disgust or titillate, for many children and families it is a happy one.  Attacking it is at least as bad as signing up for a course just to argue with the professor.  If we make the effort to judge the holiday so harshly and publicly it will indeed be much worse.

In the words of the “Jesusween” website, “Christians all over the world participate, hide or just stay quiet on Halloween day.”  Hide?  Really?  For spiritual reasons, or are they just too cheap to give out candy? (that’s my excuse, but I think Jesusween is causing me to reconsider).

Friends, I think we’re picking a fight where none ought to exist.  If Christmas and Easter can be co-opted and corrupted by secular and consumer culture, this day can be co-opted for God.  Halloween is a pagan holiday, yes.  But it can be redeemed…not by turning it into a bold and brassy Jehovah’s Witness style evangelism invasion, but by showing love to our neighbors and participating in one of the few community events available in our suburban individualism.  So fill that bowl with candy, not tracts.  Dress up like a princess or a cowboy.  Go out there and be in the world to which Christ has called you.  Do so as a Christian men and women, but not as pushy salesmen who couldn’t have picked a worse evening.

And please…let’s just all calm down and call it HALLOWEEN.  That’s its name–not some ridiculous made up half-name that will likely serve to bring only reproach and ridicule on the name of Christ.

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4 comments on “Jesusween? Boo!

  1. KathyS says:

    My eyes rolled nearly out of my head several years ago when a church I attended made Halloween an all-night prayer vigil against the forces of evil out on Halloween night. I’m with you in failing to see how little ones dressed up as spider-man and princesses going around to visit neighbors is the epitome of evil taking over the world.

    Christmas was originally a pagan holiday that was co-opted by the Christians, and is now being re-co-opted by secular society, Halloween was a pagan holiday co-opted by Christians (All Hallows Eve) now re-co-opted by secularists, Easter is a combination Jewish and pagan holiday, co-opted by Christians. Hide from all this! Heck no!

  2. Viletta says:

    My kids never went trick or treating on Halloween, and I think they turned out okay. They’re 20 and 26 now. I never taught them that there was something “evil” about the other kids who did. It was a choice I made as a Christian. And no, I didn’t hand out candy (or tracts) on Halloween night either. We’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 28 years, and it’s fairly obvious which houses ‘celebrate’ Halloween and which don’t by the decorations.

    I think that it is something that each family should decide for their children. I don’t think we should vilify those Christians who tactfully decide not to participate. I also don’t think Christians should ignore the true origins of Halloween and at least discuss with their kids (at an appropriate age) what it really celebrates.

    • Understood, Viletta, and thank you for your comment. I’m not sure, though, that Halloween really celebrates anything pagan (at least in the historic sense) today; it has been more secularized.

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