Will is dressing up as a ghost for Halloween. I was shocked. He has his Indiana Jones costume that he wears everywhere. I thought at least he would choose the Storm Trooper costume. I have given up on him being a superhero (Batman, Vigilante, Green Lantern, or any other DC character). Sigh… but a Ghost? Where did that come from?

My Fundamentalist right pinky toe started to speak.

Toe: “You know what is going to happen if he dresses up as a Ghost.”

Me: “No, what?”

Toe: “Satan.”

Me: “Say what?”

Toe: “Satan will have a foothold. You and your family will have compromised to evil.”

Me: “How so. I don’t get it?”

Toe: “Ghosts are demons. Or at least they are demonic. Therefore, your son is taking his first step toward practicing demonology. It is a form of Satan worship.”

Me: “Say what?”

Toe: “Exactly, you have already compromised and you don’t recognize it. Next thing you know, Katelynn and Kylee will be dressing up as witches.”

Me: “To what end?”

Toe: “What?”

Me: “To what end? So what? Who cares?”

Toe: “I want a new master. You can just go watch Harry Potter for all I care.”

Yes, then there is  that. Christians on Halloween. Scared to celebrate. Some with more than their pinky toe doing the talking. You know the ones. They are the only ones in the neighborhood who have their lights turned off. “Oh, here come the kids. They are going to come to our door. If we open it, we will have compromised and, in effect, told them that Satan is my friend, that Satan is my pal. Turn off the lights and HIDE! It is the only Christian thing to do.

Ahem…please. Help us.

I can’t believe I am going to say this but, WWJD? Really, what would Jesus do? Can you see it? Jesus with his lights turned off on Halloween? That would be the Jesus history never knew. That would be the Jesus of western fundamentalism. The one who is not a friend of sinners and tax gatherers. The Jesus that was never accused of being a drunkard. The Jesus who looked from a distance at the wedding of Cana waiting for the sinners to wipe the dust off their feet before he talked to them. The Jesus who saw a child dressed up as a Ghost and said, “I can’t take this anymore. It is not worth it. Give me that stone so that I can turn it into bread.”

Mark Young, my friend and former missions prof at DTS (now the president of Denver Seminary), used to talk about this in his missions 101 class. Oh the shame of all of us students who turned off the light. We left the class crying looking for little witches and ghosts to hug. His thesis: Christians are not Christians on Halloween. Not because they have compromised and participated, but precisely because they don’t participate. The one day of the year where children (“Permit them to come to me…” Mark 10:14) were attempting to come to us and we shut the door and turn off the lights. We left the class in tears and began to plan what we were going to be for Halloween.

Toe (yes, I’m back): “But…but…but…It is not about the lights being on. Its not about giving out candy. Its about participating in the evil deeds of darkness. Don’t you know the roots of Halloween?”

Give me a break. Who have you been reading? Whoever it is, stop. First of all, how many kids do you know that are into witchcraft, Satan worship, or necromancy? What happened? Your eight-year-old was walking down the street in her witch costume and thought to herself: “I suddenly feel myself tempted to say a chant and worship Satan”?

Toe: No, it happens subtly. You know, like with Harry Potter.”

Yeah, that is right. In twenty-first century America, I can see how much satanism has grown because of Harry Potter and Halloween. Witchcraft is the primary thing that young kids are having to recover from. Its not sexual promiscuity, its not our greed or materialism, its not moms and dads who can’t demonstrate commitment and love, its not a compromise of the Gospel. Its witchcraft. Its our kids becoming ghosts on Halloween.

Sorry. Will is going to be a ghost. You can turn off your lights.

(Oh, and one more thing. Don’t just give out tracts…Shame, shame. Give out the best candy in the neighborhood. Let people know that you are the house that is not cheap.)

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    99 replies to "Jesus with His Lights Turned off on Halloween"

    • Hodge

      “Also if everything we do has been determined by God that we do is it really possible for us not to glorify God. I mean after all isn’t the reason even evil happens is that God is glorified by it??”

      Everything we do ultimately glorifies God in the eschaton, not immediately and directly. This is talking about our intentions in the act, not how God will ultimately use it.

    • Hodge


      I didn’t actually attempt to make an application in means. Whether it’s merely a general thanksgiving and acknowledgment that one gives to God or is more ongoing is up for debate. I was simply pointing out that we ought to be making Halloween about Christ and glorify God with it. I said nothing of reaching into the candy bowl and continually, without fail, thinking of God without thinking about reaching into the candy bowl. My point is that this is a festival. Paul is talking about a festival. I would think that one would be able to see the direct application. If we are to participate in a festival, or do anything at all, we ought to use it to glorify God. I believe it’s clear that evaluating a practice as to whether it does so on its own, and then turning it to accomplish that purpose if it does not, is mandatory for the Christian. He needs to be constantly looking at his life and asking whether he lives in the conscious presence or absence of God, whether what he is doing is for God or for himself. Now, I do believe he must make a conscious decision to use everything for God’s glory because he is by default a self worshiper.
      The question I would ask is this: Do you think that there will be things in heaven that we do that do not glorify God? Or do you think that living in the mindful absence of God and seeking of self is a result of the Fall?

    • Hodge

      “And this is not eisegesis — the text says simplying to glorify God in everything by thanking him in our hearts. We have one understanding of this “thanking God” that is possible semantically and practically, and another that is possible semanticaaly but not practically — otherwise Paul the tentmaker, Jesus the carpenter, and Alex the lab technician couldn’t work profitably. Thus, the “constant” interpretation is nonsensical.”

      Again, you may disagree, but your examples don’t prove the point. Whether it’s constant or not is not my point. However, one could argue the constant in terms of where the mind goes when it attributes or seeks out an activity for self or for God. I’m also thinking of Brother Lawrence here as an example of this.

      And I’m sorry, but it is in fact eisegesis to start with the approach that “I don’t know how this would apply in practicality and therefore it must say something else.” We need to interpret what is being said first and then apply it the best we can.

    • Dave Z

      @Michael, comment 45.

      The full quote: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

      I figure those guys chose their words carefully – “chief end,” not only end, and “enjoy him forever.” No, wait….that last bit sounds like self-worship to me, centered on our own enjoyment, a clear violation of I Cor 10:31.

    • Hodge

      Hey Dave,

      Way to introduce a false dichotomy. The enjoy Him forever is a result of man’s glorifying Him (and notice that it is Him that we enjoy). You are again arguing that we ought to just enjoy apart from glorifying Him at times, and apart from enjoying Him at times. That’s our issue. Let’s not confuse it because you wish to sit in the seat of the mocker.

    • Dave Z

      The other day I stumbled across an old thread about C.S. Lewis on some forum, don’t even remember how I got there. But the thread was amazing. A bunch of people were posting very sincere concerns about Lewis and his writings. Some were insisting that, while presenting himself as a Christian, he was really an occultist, with ties to the Illuminati. Part of their argument was the mythological creatures in the Narnia novels. “Don’t you know that witches, fauns, saytrs and such are representations of demonic forces…” and “Isn’t this the reason why we don’t have our children read Harry Potter? Because it lightly veils actual spells? Yet the Narnia books, from my cursory observance, lightly veil occultic activity.” And some people were saying “Oh, I didn’t know that…I better stay away from anything he wrote.”

      What foolishness! Sometimes I think we Christians can find evil in just about anything. It’s like we live in fear of evil instead of victory
      over it. Sometimes I think we’re more superstitious than the person who’s afraid of Friday the 13th.

    • Dave Z

      Just found this:

      “The Catechism of the Catholic Church states superstition “in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion” (para. #2110).”

    • Dave Z

      Hodge, I’ll admit overstatement, but with a point – you seem to be saying that any form of enjoyment or entertainment is wrong, unless it somehow glorifies God. But maybe I’m misunderstanding you. The illustration of a ballgame has been made several times. Am I correct in thinking that you consider going to a baseball game to be an evil, self-worshipping activity?

      BTW, I did notice that you picked up on only the second part of my comment, but did not addess the first part – “chief end of man,” not “only end.” And to be accurate, that comment was directed at Michael, who seemed to be arguing as if “chief” means “only.”

    • Dave Z

      Here’s a link to the Lewis thread I mentioned. Read the first few comments and see if they don’t sound a lot like the arguments against Halloween. Then the debate goes on page after page after page… kinda like this one 🙂


    • Michael L.

      Wow…. each year this post shows up and each year I see the same debate…

      Lisa @ post #38… Amen sister !!

      This is a battle that has gone on for centuries ! And we won’t solve it now. Just like R-rated movies, consumption of alcohol, which music to listen to or sing for worship, etc…

      Paul told us this would happen. So let’s respect each others approach to this.

      But if you use evangelism as the reason for participating in Halloween, please make sure to ask yourself how much evangelizing you do the other 364 days of the year. Be consistent..


    • Hodge


      I made it very clear to emphasize that I am talking about the PRIMARY purpose of an activity, as I think that is what the Scripture is addressing. We can do something for a variety of other reasons, but the primary purpose of the activity should be to glorify God. The problem is that when evangelicals see “primary” they think “only.” That is not what I am saying. I am saying that any activity, including going to a ballgame, needs to have as its primary goal the glory of God rather than simply as a means to stimulate the self. If the self is stimulated as a secondary means, so be it. My problem is that you guys seem to be arguing against the idea that everything really is to be used for the glory of God, and upholding an idea that compartmentalizes certain activities and reserves them as the means to PRIMARILY stimulate the self in the absence of glorifying God. Whether this is the case because you didn’t actually read what I said, or you really believe this, isn’t clear.

    • Michael

      Hodge, since we are in agreement, I’m not sure why you wrote “Michael,

      Once again, you could use some language study. The word pas is to be translated according the context.”

      Dave Z, you jest, but the glory of God is not a joking matter. You really have a very low understanding of what it means to glorify God in everything. Like Hodge said, you are practicing eisegesis. Because you don’t understand how it can be done, you therefore conclude it can’t be done. Again you’ll find weak support on this in the scholarly realm, because just about everyone in evangelical Christianity understands what 1 Cor. 10:31 means.

      Regarding C.S. Lewis, there is some concern about his beliefs. This does not mean we are at risk of becoming demon possessed when reading his material. But it is a valid debate to discuss what the man believed and how it influenced his writing. Lewis was clearly unorthodox in many of his beliefs, a necessity of following the Universalist George MacDonald, who Lewis called his “master”. There is much good to be learned from Lewis’ writings, but one should do so with discernment.

      Again, these are poor arguments on your part: Because Halloween has been done for so long, how can it be bad? No one glorifies God 24/7, so therefore 1 Cor. 10:31 can’t mean what we think it means? So many kids have read Lewis and been fine, how can he be evil?

    • Michael T.


      I’d be interested to know on what grounds you think eating and drinking are polar opposites?? They seem to go hand in hand to me.

    • […] on whether we should participate or not. Most notably Michael Patton from Reclaiming the Mind is stirring the pot (again). And Joe Carter on First Things gives us some ideas on which tracts not to hand out. And as […]

    • jim

      Hodge you said “I’m not really into watching sports myself, but I think watching sports can glorify God; but again, the Christian has to make a conscious effort to think about it in those terms and to be in a state of thanksgiving and worship for that in which they choose to partake.”

      My reference made way back, concerning sex and Haloween had to do with this very point. The idea of Jesus being central but not everything in my life is a fact. Every human being enjoys sinless fun outside of a conscious effort of thankgiving and worship. We don’t go around confessing that the night before we forgot to thank God for an evening of love making with a spouse. We don’t every second thank him for the breath he gives us. We thank him for the gift of life and the price paid on the cross. Life as a gift is to be enjoyed with a constant effort to be sinless. To me, what your suggesting may rob the joy Christ gives us, and we may become quite legalistic.

    • Hodge

      Sorry Michael. I always refer to all Michaels just as Michael (CMP, Michael T, Mick). I guess I should change that. Sorry for the confusion.

      Michael T,

      They’re polar opposites of the meal that represent the entire meal. It’s like saying day and night. Day and night may be part of the same cycle, but they are polar opposites that represent the entire day, or all time for that matter. Perhaps you’re thinking that polar opposites have to contradict each other or something? I’m not sure. In any case, the merism is created by contrasting two elements that represent a whole in totality.

    • Hodge

      “Every human being enjoys sinless fun outside of a conscious effort of thankgiving and worship. We don’t go around confessing that the night before we forgot to thank God for an evening of love making with a spouse. We don’t every second thank him for the breath he gives us. We thank him for the gift of life and the price paid on the cross. Life as a gift is to be enjoyed with a constant effort to be sinless. To me, what your suggesting may rob the joy Christ gives us, and we may become quite legalistic.”

      Oh, I’m not suggesting, Jim. Paul is. You know, that legalist Paul. You have again failed to respond to my argument that you are arguing from experience and binding the text with it. What we do is of no consequence to what we ought to do. You are confusing, as many evangelicals do, the descriptive with the prescriptive. Maybe you should repent for not be in a spirit of thankfulness after lovemaking? Maybe it is wrong to engage in sinless fun outside of worshiping God? BTW, if God is not being worshiped by that fun then who is being worshiped by the fun, Jim? Of course, the assertion that there is such a thing as sinless fun outside of worshiping the God for Whom we have been made is begging the question to no end. You seem to be coming from the perspective that some intentions are neutral. I don’t believe that. I believe intentions and actions are good or evil. Created things are neutral, not actions. Perhaps, that’s where we differ.

    • Dave Z

      C’mon, Hodge, all kinds of actions are neutral. How about involuntary actions, such as breathing? How about simple actions such as walking, or even rising from a sitting position? “You may think I’m sitting down because I’m tired from a long day of glorifying God, but actually, my being seated is just one more act of glorification.” Honestly, I don’t get it.

      I question what I see as an assumption on your part – that everything we do is an act of worship of some sort. IF you are correct, you MAY have a point, but first I think you should offer support for your apparent assumption.

    • Hodge

      Well, Dave, that is why I made an important point in saying that “intentions” or “intentions and actions.” I didn’t just say “actions,” as though mindlessly rolling over in your sleep is what the Bible is talking about. I’ve been clear to talk about intentions and mindful actions on our part in an effort to communicate that our glorifying God has to do with what we purpose to do. It is a moral question. It is a volitional question.
      And I’m not going to sit here and try and convince you of what the Bible clearly says. If you want to disbelieve it, so be it. I’m not going to force you to believe. I think it is clear that everything we do is an act of worship, and Paul seems to agree. You don’t, and want to read Paul as saying the exact opposite of what he is saying. So be it.
      My challenge to you instead is to support your assumption about the nature of worship. You seem to have a strange definition of it. Worship to me has to do with seeking the pleasure of X as the ultimate goal of one’s actions. Please define worship if your definition is different, and tell me how exactly a conscious decision to participate in action X is neutral. Is the action neutral, as though it exists above space and time and outside of the person who produced it? Is the mind that produced the action neutral? If people are not neutral, unless you’re a Pelagian, then intentional actions are not neutral either. Please explain how they are, and refrain from providing examples that have to do with mindless bodily responses to external and internal stimuli.

    • John From Down Under

      Hey Hodge, I don’t want to be remiss in thanking you for taking time to respond to me directly. While I may not always understand you easily or even agree completely, I AM grateful that you responded. (BTW I tried saying that yesterday but the post bombed out on me and wouldn’t accept, so I broke it in two halves and posted the second half which was accepted but the first one for some reason wasn’t (even though I didn’t go over the 2000 character limit)

      Anyhow, the difficulty I have with the literalisation of 1 Cor 10:31 is that the verse is not a stand alone point but a fragment of a whole passage (at the risk of stating the obvious!) at least from v27 onwards, hence v.31 beginning with ‘So…’[Gk. Ουν]. It seems that Paul is addressing the issue of [a] weak conscience, [b] the associated guilt that comes with it, and more importantly, [c] the cause of needless offences that could result from eating food sacrificed to idols, which as we know would have been quite common in pagan-central Corinth. He seems to be employing some linear thinking that culminates in the ‘avoid offences’ imperative.

      Is not v.31 then a fragment of the whole passage? Can we build our theology on a fragment? I’m not an exegetical giant but I would think that context should matter in such categorical interpretations. To literalise v.31 as an imperative of a complete embargo from all non-honoring God activities may be hermeneutically problematic. We may then have to say that “pray without ceasing” literally means 24/7 non-stop audible vocalization to God. Is v.31 maybe pointing to a disposition of the heart similar to Colossians 3:17?

      However, when you make the primary-only and intentions-activities distinction it makes a whole lot more sense. I’m with you.

    • Dave Z

      Well, Hodge, now you’re saying “ultimate goal.” That’s not the impression I got from your earlier comments.

      I believe God can be glorified by me enjoying myself at a ball game. Think of a parent who rejoices in a child’s simple joy over say, blowing soap bubbles. The parent is pleased even though the child’s goal is to simply have fun. The child is NOT thinking “I’m going to blow bubbles because it makes daddy happy.” But is the parent any less pleased by the child’s squeals of delight? Or is he angered by the child’s “self-worship?”

    • Dave Z

      I think John from Down under is absolutely correct about the importance of considering the context of the verse, and not quoting it as if it stands alone.

    • Hodge

      John and Dave,

      The context is important, and backs up my point. The entire point is arguing that both the weaker and the stronger brother in not participating in an event and participating in an event are trying to glorify God by doing it. That’s what they are seeking in the event. Hence, whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. I’m not taking it out of context. That’s the whole point. (BTW, the context specifically sees Paul as giving thanks and consciously acknowledging God in his partaking)


      I think we have different definitions of ultimate goal. The command is for the people to have the ultimate goal of glorifying God, not that God can ultimately be glorified in whatever you do. That’s a reversal of the recipient of the command. Paul is not commanding God, but Christians (obviously). Hence, the analogy is not a child that does whatever he wants and then makes his parent happy simply because the parent likes the child having fun. There is no analogy for our relationship with God in this regard because only God alone deserves our worship. A parent does not deserve the worship of his or her child. Instead, what we are talking about is a direct link between what the Christian finds “fun” in. In other words, is his enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake (i.e., hedonism) or does He seek to worship God through it (thereby also sanctifying the activity as an act of worship toward God rather than toward self? So the analogy is false.


      Thanks. I always enjoy engaging here, as I try to do it for the glory of God. 😉 I would actually not describe my take on the text, however, as a literalistic one. I think I am interpreting it according to the sense of the passage, and so see it as something that refers to intentional actions/purposes, as you say we seem to agree on that.

    • jim


      I don’t believe that Paul is suggesting what your suggesting. You always seem to imply that you know perfectly what Paul is saying. Hodge, there comes a point when you seem to like giving authoritative opinions. But in the end they are just that, an opinion. I see a lack of love in your interaction with fellow believers. Your claim that your agrumentations are for the glory of God seems weak from my viewpoint.

      you’ll respond , you always do, and it will be what it will be!

      I will probably have to claim liberty and leave it at that.

      In him , for gives us love and life.

    • Hodge

      Hi Jim,

      I wasn’t sure what love looked like. Can you describe it to me? Certainly, taking an authoritative stance must be unloving. That’s why the apostles never do that.

      In all seriousness, Jim, this is nothing more than an ad hominem that is given by people who can’t give a real argument. Rather than provide some exegesis on what Paul is “really” saying, you simply attack me. Sounds much more loving, doesn’t it? I’m not a relativist, so I don’t really see the value in what I see to be false. Sorry, I just can’t respect what steals glory from God and gives way for man to worship himself. If that’s unloving, then consider me the most hateful man on earth. Thanks for your time.

    • Dave Z

      Yeah Hodge, that “Father” imagery that so many Christians use is just so unbiblical. Thanks for pointing that out!

      I’m outta here!

    • Marv

      Well, I don’t want to insist too much. It isn’t my bidness what you elect to do in re: Halloween.

      Blogging the suggestion that to abstain from Halloween because of convictions that it is an inappropriate celebration for Christians to engage in…is actualy UNChristlike… is… well, not exactly the kind of approach to “meat-sacrificed-to-idols” that Paul or Jesus advocated.

      And the “meat-sacrificed-to-idols” category of things is not the ethical wash that it is often treated as. The Strong with Knowledge side of such an issue has a whopping great responsibility because their actions have a much greater risk of causing harm than the “weak” side.

      The severe tone of the red letters in Rev. 2 are often not brought into the discussion. They ought to be.

    • Hodge


      I’m sorry, but do you really think when it’s a question of worship, you can make an analogy between a human parent and child and God and His children? The Father analogy in Scripture is used to describe an aspect of God’s relational status to us, not be all encompassing, as when it comes to worship, the analogy simply breaks up at that point. Are you really suggesting that it’s OK to kick God to the curb in order to go seek your own pleasure for awhile, as long you worship Him at other times? I’m sure I’m misunderstanding you, Dave, as this is pretty clearly an anti-Christian view of life. So maybe we’re talking past each other? But I won’t press you further on the point, since you’re outta here.

      I do think it shows why I disagree so much with the particular people in this conversation on other things. To me, this question is bound up with loving God more than ourselves. We simply have a different view of loving God as to worship Him through everything we do, and they are essentially arguing that one only NEEDS to love God as to worship Him in some things we do. A lot of those other conversations are starting to make more sense.

    • cherylu

      It has always seemed to me that God made it very clear in the OT what he thought of the occult in many forms. (I would dare say in all it’s form?)

      In Galatians 5, witchcraft or sorcery depending on the translation, is one of the works of the flesh listed that keeps one out of the Kingdom.

      In Acts 19 we have the example of the folks in Ephesus that came to the Lord bringing their books of sorcery or magic and burning them.

      I honestly don’t understand why, given all of the above, Christians today take the approach that it is alright to dress their kids up as witches, ghosts, or other ghoulish beings and send them out trick or treating. If the occult is something God so hates, why do we think it is ok to let our kids play with it? It may be lawful, but is it really helpful? Why do we take lightly the things God detests? For that matter, why do we want to be involved in this holiday at all in any way of actaully celebrating it since it’s main emphasis is the occult which is something God hates?

      Are we to love the things of this world? I John 2:15 Are we to be conformed to the ways of the world? Romans 12:2 Are we to partake in the deeds of darkness or are we to expose them? Ephesians 5:11

      I think there are a whole lot more Scriptures to be considered in regard to this issue then the one that talks about meat and idols.

    • jim

      Again Hodge; You assume you have taken the proper authoritative stance. Any argument or opposite opinion given is shot down. There have been many people give you their viewpoint of what scripture says…but in the end whatever is said you claim to have a better or proper understanding of it.

      This is why you find yourself replying more often than most people who blog here. I will leave you one verse which I am sure you will promptly requalify for me.

      1 Peter 3: 15
      But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (A+ to Hodge on this) yet do it with gentleness and respect. ( I’ll leave the serious grading to you personally on this one)

      Brother in Christ,

    • Hodge


      Thanks for the A+ on the first part. I’d grade myself about a B on that. A few things. 1. This is talking about giving a defense to those in authority over you in the context. So this is often taken out of context. 2. The word “gentleness” in the NT is in contrast to violence, not saying things smoothly/nicely/flattering (as smooth-talkers are seen as false prophets throughout the Bible) when someone is in error. If we take your interpretation, Jesus and the apostles (and prophets before them, as well as most teachers throughout Church history) get an F. Finally, the word “respect” is the word for fear and is in relation to the fact that this is how you respond to a figure who is in authority over you.
      I’m sorry, but the Scripture does not support your American folk religion and cult of respect for what one considers false ideas. If you have a problem with Jesus calling Peter “Satan,” or Paul telling the Judaizer Christians to go castrate themselves, you’ll have to rebuke them once you get to heaven. As for me, I think their example displays the seriousness at which we must take and love the truth and hate what opposes it. Our “tone” reflects not what we think is true, but how we think about the truth. I think the Bible and Christian history is a good example, where others think it is a bad one. I guess we’ll have to disagree on that.

    • jim


      I can see you can’t help yourself , Firstly I am not American nor do I participate in a folk religion.

      You claim truth, so do I , I certainly am no smooth talker but know someone who certainly is.

      I would be real curious as to your professional occupation.

      You make me out as to be the enemy , I am not

      In Christ

    • cherylu


      Just a quick note. I don’t see how you get that the context of that verse is speaking of someone in authority over you. The relationships discussed in that chapter and the previous one are pretty much all encompassing. They don’t deal with just those in authoritiy over us.

    • Hodge


      Sorry, I usually deal with Americans, but it really is a global folk religion, isn’t it? This idea that we should respect other ideas that we view as clearly false is not one gained from the Scripture. You’re right though. I can’t help myself. I have to engage someone who is speaking directly to me and saying something that is dangerously false. I don’t view you as the enemy. I view your ideas as in enmity with the Scripture. Please make the distinction. If you go through all of my posts, you will see me address ideas. That’s all I’m addressing. Some ideas are dangerous. Some ideas are just stupid. Some ideas are good. I’m not going to treat them all the same simply because I see no precedent in Christianity for doing so, and I think it diminishes the importance of the truth to place it as one idea among many possible ideas.

      I’d let you know my professional occupation, but the only reason I can think that you would ask is that you’re fishing for another ad hominem in some way (i.e., either I am not worthy of being in it, or it is fitting to me). I think I’ll pass. Thanks again, Jim. I think this conversation has derailed, and run its course, so I’m going to step out now. Feel free to have the last word.

    • Hodge


      1 Peter is about how we are to respond to abusive and unbelieving authority over us because, I believe, Peter is writing to those who are being persecuted by government and other authorities. Hence, in chapters 2 and 3, there is much discussion of how one is to relate to various authorities. In the specific pericope we are talking about, Peter tells Christians that if they do good then who is there to harm them? But then he says, they may suffer for doing what is good. I believe he is still talking about government authorities here. Government punishes the unrighteous for their behavior, but they may still punish Christians for good behavior, specifically their separation from the state in terms of what festivities they offer to the gods and theological matters that may dishonor Caesar or the gods. The term “fear” is also used, as said before, in regard to authority.
      However, i want to make it clear that it is not necessary to see it in the context of authority. I just think it helps put it in perspective.

    • jim


      No, I sincerely was wondering what makes Hodge, Hodge.

      I am not trying to be disrepectful or hateful but trying to figure out some background on you as you blog alot on this forum.

      You seem to me , to be sort of like the Catholic church, you claim perfect authority over interpretation of God’s word. You know, like don’t bother reading it for yourself , you lowly uneducated . Listen instead to my authority of truth. In some cases during your discourses I have read , I shout Amen. But your not always right, nor am I….

      I have a hard job understanding how your wise words actually live out in your day to day living. I guess I would have to meet you and interact with you on a more personal level to get a better feel of your actions instead of just your words.

    • Dave Z

      Hodge, here’s the thing. I believe it is wrong to live our lives constantly asking “Does this (whatever it may be) glorify God?” Such an attitude is nothing but a form of law, no different than an ancient Israelite examining his every action to see if it lines up with something from Leviticus. And as such, I utterly reject it. Augustine said it well, “Love God and do as you please.”

      Recently I came across something by Major W. Ian Thomas in which he points out how often Christians misunderstand Galatians 5:16 – “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Many Christians kind of reverse that – “Do not carry out the desire of the flesh and you will walk in the Spirit.” That’s nothing but law, and it won’t work. Paul says that when we walk in the Spirit we WILL NOT fulfill the desires of the flesh. I think we just get WAAAY too worried about some of this stuff. It’s a matter of faith – trusting God, living in him. When we walk in the Spirit, we do not sin. So I am NOT sayin we can walk in the Spirit when we wish and walk in the flesh when we wish, and that that would be OK. I don’t know how you got that from anything I wrote. BUt I do believe that when we walk in the Spirit, we are free from having to worry about the little details of whether what we do glorifies God – the Spirit in us guides us into righteousness.

      So I don’t worry about Halloween or ballgames. If we live in the Spirit, we WILL fulfil the law – Love God and love your neighbor. When we live that life we have fulfilled worship as well.

    • Dave Z

      I stand by my application of the Father/children analogy. The Father, like anyone who loves, is pleased with the pleasure of the beloved, not in sin, but in simple enjoyment. Do you really think God does not want us to enjoy life? It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit! It is a relational metaphor, but worship is part of our relationship with God and I do believe there are human parallels. Scripture tell us that love for God consists of obedience to God. Should not human parent/child relationships also have that element of obedience?

      I see no cause to try to separate worship as something outside of our childlike relationship with God. The life lived in faith pleases God AND glorifies God. It IS worship.

    • mynameisnotMichael

      I think a lot of you are missing the opportunity that exists to engage with your neighbors and be a light..just like Jesus. It is not about indulging in a pagan holiday or not. It is about being the hands and feet of Jesus in the every day. And have a little fun along the way! Sounds good to me.

    • jim

      Dave Z

      Whole hearted agreement. As I mentioned in a past post, I just don’t see the application of the kind of Christian walk that Hodge is suggesting. (No wait Paul!(LOL) It would seem to me to lead to nothing more than legalism.

      Hodge can get under our skin, but I do believe he is sincere in what he’s all about. It’s not that I don’t appreciate his viewpoint but most times he takes the high road as if his understanding is always authoritative.

      But I would miss his feedback if he was absent.

      Thanks, again Dave. sometimes I ramble, but you seem to apply scripture much like me only with better format.

    • Dave Z

      Yeah, Jim, I agree. I have found myself in whole-hearted agreement with Hodge on numerous topics. Yes, it scares me, but … 🙂

    • Ed Kratz

      Cheryl, this is an interesting article about the history of Halloween and why people dress up as ghosts. http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/open-book/no-28-concerning-halloween/

      I have not studied the issue enough to endorse what is being said, but if the contents of this article were true, would you have any problem with participating?

      Having said that, if this is true (i.e. costums were originally meant to “mock” the devil), I am not sure how biblical that may be…I am not really comfortable mocking the devil myself. However, it could be seen as a sort of Christus Victor (Christ’s defeat of all dark forces) holiday.

    • Dave Z

      I watched a show on the History Channel the other day about Halloween, and it was pretty good. Normally I distrust the History Channel (except for Pawn Stars), but this show rang true in my own life. Even as a kid in the late fifties, my typical costume was something homemade, a tramp or, one memorable year when my mom cut up an old sheet, the mummy. Some kids were ghosts. Store-bought costumes were rare, that seems to have begun in the sixties.

      We attended a very conservative, legalistic church – no movies, no playing cards, no playing Monopoly (it uses dice), preferably no TV in the house, but I don’t remember any concern about the “evils” of Halloween. I first encountered that in the late seventies. I’m beginning to wonder if all the objections we see and hear these days is, in the big picture, very recent.

      Cheryl, what do you remember from those days?

    • Dave Z

      Here’s an interesting blog from Mark Driscoll’s church. You know, I think I might trace the Christian hostility to about the time Chick tracts started publication, at least in my experience.


    • Mrs. Connors

      If the articles presented are true about the teens and witchcraft, I need to get off this blog and try to reach them for Christ!

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