Friday, October 31, 2008

In this world at Hallowe'en...

Jo the Vampire

Above is a pic of my pal Jo dressed up as a Vampire for a party she is, as I type, currently at. Fair play to her for making an effort. Can't wait to see her boyfriend Ritchie's outfit.

I am not a fan of Hallowe'en. I don't do horror. I am a big feerty but I also think that horror some how desensitise us in some subliminal way to the true horror in this world. I read a story last week in the news that made me cry... a father who snap the spine of his toddler and killed her. I cried at the brutality of that man. That's an aside... the point is there is too much horror in this world and I, for one, wont celebrate it.

However, I don't see anything wrong with my kids going "GUISING". It is a Scottish tradition that is not the same as "Trick or Treat". There is no malice associated with guising. No trick. Its about fun and games with friends and family. It was about the redistribution of wealth... the giving and taking part. No demanding. No transactional arrangement. It wasn't about some form of glorified protection racket. It was different.

Unfortunately, the old traditions are being replaced by the Disneyfication of Halloween. This doesn't mean, however, that because I am part of something that I support it, if that makes sense.

This is where I get really frustrated and angry with my fellow Christians.

There are people out there who claim the name of Jesus and will quickly and happily judge and condemn someone because they are part of something they themselves do not agree with... surely, as Christians, we shouldn't support / be part of / condone Hallowe'en... they say.

This makes me furious! The judgement. The implication. Someone is part of something therefore they are doing wrong.

First and foremost... its not where we go but what we do that counts. Jesus was implicated by the Pharisees as being a drunk and glutton because he hung out with drunks and gluttons. Was he a drunk and a glutton... no way... but he was implicated as one because he hung out with them. Guilty by association.

I go to pubs. Some people will readily condemn me for this. Guilt by association. The fact that I am not drinking alcohol escapes their icy stares... and even if I was... this doesn't remove my name from the Lamb's book of life.

Secondly... the Lord told us to worry about the planks in our own eyes instead of fixating about the skelfs in another's eyes. Don't judge me and mine without getting your house in order first.

I find that people attack others in this way to distract people from their own failings. Trucker Frank used the metaphor of sharks in this regard. We are broken people... let's stop pointing out the faults and focus on building us all up. This form of judgement is destructive.

Thirdly... we are called to be in the world but not of it. You judge me for being in the world... in essence you imply I am not being a good / true Christian because I am in the world. Last time I checked... I was following the Lord. How do you know how my kids were "not of it" when they interacted with their peers in the Hallowe'en shenanigans? Were you there?

We are called to be salt and light in this world. I can't think of anything more positive than encouraging my kids to have fun and to give without the expectation of receiving something in return.

You can have your "hallelujah" parties... but I don't see how they are "in the world but not of it". They are "not in the world, but are of it" because they are exclusive and divisive. I also think they are silly and miss any chance of showing how "normal" we are as people who just happen to follow Jesus. Where is the underground re-contextualising of an event that us Christians are so good at doing? We did it with Christmas... changed it from the Feast of Saturnalia into something special to us as well... why can't we re-contextualise this?

We need to move away from casting aspersions on someone's character because they do not act in a way we agree with... and move to a celebration of all the things that bind us together.

So please... next time you point the finger... take a sober look at your own life first.
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