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7 Great Reasons Christians Can and Should Celebrate Hallowe’en

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We are getting to that stage of year where Christians suddenly turn into pagans.  Not because they are dressing up, getting some free sweets, and enjoying Hallowe’en – that’s not pagan.  But because some Christians actually believe that demons get more powerful based on a day of the year!  That’s paganism, not Christianity.  Being scared of demons is utterly incompatible with being a child of the living God.

So, in honour of the season, here are 7 great reasons Christians should celebration Hallowe’en:

1.  Hallowe’en has never been about evil.  In Victorian times, children dressed up as tramps, as burglars, as pirates.  It was creativity, it was escapism, it was using our imagination.  So much of success in life depends on our imagination, and our ability to conceive a future above and beyond what we are doing right now, realizing we have a God who is above and beyond anything we have right now and can conceive naturally.  Let your children practice and rehearse using theirs!  If you are uncomfortable with them going door to door alone that is nothing to do with Hallowe’en, that’s just good parenting.  Take your children out – spend some time with them!  Enjoy “guising” with them.  Or take them to a party.  Let this day be a day you invest in your children!

2.  Don’t let the pagan past of the day bother you.  Colossians 2.16 says not to let anyone judge you on the day you keep – we are free to observe or not observe days.  Both the dates of Easter and Christmas in this country are pagan in history – so are the days of the week: Thursday is Thor’s Day, Friday is Frei Day.  They are the names of pagan gods.  January is named after a two-faced god called Janus.  So – if you feel bad about celebrating Hallowe’en because it is “pagan” then don’t give anyone a Christmas card, don’t celebrate your pagan birthday in pagan January, and certainly don’t go to church on the day named by people who worship the Sun!

3.  Get a grip on rumours and conjecture.  Here is the truth: no one actually knows what Wiccans and pagans did during the ancient festival of Samhain.  What we do know is the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1st so that people had something to celebrate at this time of year.  If that sounds familiar it should – that’s how we have the current dates for Christmas. 

4.  Realize that satan has been utterly and completely and totally and irreversibly defeated.  I mean seriously – if I dress up as a dog I am eating at the table of the devil, falling into the devil’s pit and walking into the devil’s trap?  Did you forget about Calvary?  Did you forget that the devil has a squished head.  Did you forget that Jesus beat him once and for all for all eternity?  If you think the devil is so powerful that he can demonize someone for dressing up or eating candy, or bob for apples, or carving a face into a pumpkin, then you don’t have a Biblical paradigm, you have a pagan one.

5. This wonderful quote from Martin Luther: The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.  Have a good laugh at the devil.  Here is this day that some Christians are scared of, some Christians will hate you for embracing, some Christians will not sleep at night because of the imaginary extra demon activity – you may even hear stories of witches praying and fasting – here is this scary, scary day and you are getting time with your children, you are getting free sweets, you are oblivious to him and his ridiculous fear-tactics.  Have a good laugh about now, because that’s awesome.   Don’t spend the night concerned and worried – that’s not the fruit of redemption.  Have some fun and have a laugh at the no-powered, flat-headed, wannabe that tried so hard to give you the heebie jeebies.

6. All Saint’s Day (November 1st) is a really important thing.  I know some people think that you have to be really really special to be a saint.  Nah!  Every single born again Christian is a saint – is a holy one.  You were made holy by Jesus the moment you accepted his life into yourself.  Your spirit was transformed into righteousness and your life changed so significantly Jesus called it being born again.  It’s great to take some time to remember all the saints who have influenced you, helped you, mentored you, inspired you with their books and biographies.  It’s important to remember that generation after generation the church has grown, survived and helped people and that you are currently where you are only because you are standing on the shoulders of giants.  Hallowe’en is from “Hallow’s eve” which is the night before All Hallow’s or All Saint’s day – the day of remembering the saints.

7.  Hallowe’en is a great day to smash a stereotype.  Some people think Christians are a bunch of frail-minded, superstitious fools who see a devil in every corner.  They think you are sitting under your covers rebuking the devil, warding them off with your HOLY Bible and separating yourself from people.  Get out there, smile at the neighbours as they go round the streets.  Get boxes full of sweets and hand them out.  Be the most generous giver of sweets on your street.  I would say don’t dare stick a tract in the bag unless you know that bag has the most sweets in it of anyone in your street.  Get yourself talked about – get the whole street talking about your generosity, which is spelled L O V E.   Then when someone asks why give an answer about the love and life of God inside you.

Celebration Church and Living Church

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In Matthew 16.18 Jesus himself said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Think about that – the church is Jesus’ idea and His plan and has His promise of divine protection and guaranteed victory against hell.

If you want to be in the place you can be confident of guaranteed victory against hell, then plug into and get planted into a church! Hebrews 10.25 says not to forsake or give up assembling together.

Now how we should assemble is the issue I want to think about today: because I believe a healthy church should provide 7 things for a Christian who assembles with them:

1. A place where they are inspired by a huge vision (Pro. 29.18)
2. A place where they can worship in unity (Eph. 5.18ff)
3. A place where they can be equipped by effective preaching (Eph. 4.11ff)
4. A place where they can be loved for who they are (John 13.34)
5. A place where they can serve both practically and spiritually (Php. 2.1-4, Acts. 20.35)
6. A place where they can be corrected if they are missing it (2 Tim. 3.16)
7. A place where they can be discipled and become a leader themselves (Matt. 28.19, Luke 6.39-40)

Most churches do not provide a healthy balance of all these elements.

Large theatre style churches provide 1-3, often based around 2 or 3. People will go to these churches just for the worship or the preacher. That’s fine for a season, but for real Christian growth you need more!

Family based or tribal based churches will provide 4, 5 and 6 – and if the face fits and you have the right surname will help you with 7.

Just watching a TV church might just provide 3, if it is the right preacher. But nothing else.

Most traditional churches will provide 2, 4 and 5.

But a healthy growing church must concentrate on supplying all 7. Whether any given individual will receive all 7 is their choice (people are as integral to a healthy church as they choose to be), but the church should be providing them.

As far as I can see, the only way to provide all seven is by having two very different church gatherings each week. The Celebration Church provides 1-3, the Living Church meets in houses in the week and provides 4-7.

Your destiny is to be a powerhouse, a person of influence, a changer of nations, a healer of the sick, a destroyer of the devil, a discipler of nations. Where you go to church is far too important to be left to chance, or habit, or geography. Find a church that will provide what you need and get integrated. Some people just want a worship service but I am committed to providing for people who want to be world changers.

6 Ways to Successfully Build and Pastor a Multi-Ethnic Church

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1.  Celebrate food!  People will accept you if you love their food and eat it with enthusiasm.  It’s amazing what a pot luck will turn into with food from several nations.  It’s a lot more fun than just quiche and mini-sausages, I can promise you!  And eating together breaks down all barriers.

2. Do not appoint leaders just because of their ethnicity or gender.  Appoint the best leaders for the task.  

3. Always be sensitive to any group that is a significant minority.  It’s not easy being the odd man out.  Show that sensitivity by listening to people.  People from a new culture who come to the church are often gateway people who bring a number of people from the same culture, help them feel at home and disciple them.  Awesome.  If people are doing that job, make them part of your leadership team and encourage them to keep discipling.

4. (This is a controversial one) Never divide your small groups on the basis of ethnicity.  People need to get to know – and trust – people from every culture.  We are preparing people for heaven, which will be every tongue, every tribe and every nation.  I know some church growth strategists disagree with this, but sometimes growing people is more important than growing numerically.

5. Have a couple of people you know and trust from the different cultures and run any big ideas through them.  They may see things you haven’t seen, and they can advice you on the impact that decision would have on people who have been raised in a different culture from yourself.

6.  Remember at the end of the day, there are no white people, black people, Asian people: there are just people.  We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and we are all made righteous freely through the redemption of Jesus Christ.  Our similarities as Christians far, far, far outweigh our differences.  We have the same faith, the same God, the same peace, the same Bible, the same struggles, the same temptations, the same Holy Spirit.  

We Must Reclaim the Church Before We Can Even Begin to Reclaim the Culture (Brannon Howse)

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We Must Reclaim the Church
Before We Can Even Begin to Reclaim the Culture

By Brannon Howse  

My friend and Worldview Weekend speaker Ken Ham has written an excellent book with Britt Beemer and Todd Hillard entitled, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it. Ham worked with a professional pollster to survey those who went to church every week or nearly every week and they deliberately polled conservative congregations, not liberal ones.  Let me share some highlights from their book that confirm that the church needs to be reclaimed before we even attempt to reclaim the culture.

  • A mass exodus is underway. Most youth of today will not be coming to church tomorrow. Nationwide polls and denominational reports are showing that the next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the faith.
  • Only 11 percent of those who have left the Church did so during the college years. Almost 90 percent of them were lost in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college they were already gone! About 40 percent are leaving the Church during elementary and middle school years!
  • If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of those who are sitting among us have already left in their hearts; it will only take a couple years before their bodies are absent as well.
  • The numbers indicate that Sunday school actually didn’t do anything to help them develop a Christian worldview…The brutal conclusion is that, on the whole, the Sunday school programs of today are statistical failures.
  • Part of the concern is that the mere existence of youth ministry and Sunday school allows parents to shrug off their responsibility as the primary teachers, mentors, and pastors to their family.[1]

The answer to this crisis is Biblical worldview and apologetics training. The church in America has had billions of dollars at their disposal in modern times, with which to fulfill the Great Commission-making disciples of Jesus Christ. Training and equipping adults and students in apologetics and a Biblical worldview is how this is accomplished. Yet, with all their billions of dollars, the modern-church has largely failed. Untold billions have been spent on buildings and entertainment. This news report details that one church denomination has over 7 billion in their annuity fund. I mention this just to back up my claim that the modern church has had billions and billions at its disposal by which to aggressively teach a comprehensive Biblical worldview yet surveys reveal that only 1% of adults have a Biblical worldview, only 51% of our pastors have a Biblical worldview and our teens are leaving the church in huge numbers because of lack of Biblical worldview training.   

Yes, there are some churches in America that are being led by Godly pastors that are doing a great job and for them I am thankful. But this little group is just that. We have a few churches sponsor our conference each year but for the majority of our conferences we are simply renting their building. We have even had several churches tell us they would be very happy for us to rent their building for $7,000 to $10,000.

In fact, over the past few years we have found ourselves increasingly renting hotel ballrooms. We have numerous churches each year tell us that they do not let outside groups use their building. Thus, we have rented hotel ballrooms while “evangelical” churches sit empty down the street. Even after we explain to these churches that we are attempting to hold a free Biblical worldview conference in their town and we are willing to defer custodial fees and any other expenses we are still told no.

Many of the churches we talk to do not even understand what it is we are trying to accomplish. They are not familiar with the meaning of worldview or apologetics training.

Some of the churches understand perfectly what we are attempting to accomplish but they tell us we would not be welcome to rent their facility because their once evangelical church now embraces postmodernism, mysticism, rejects the exclusivity of Jesus Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture and most of the essential Christian doctrines.

Even among our truly evangelical, Bible-believing churches, how many churches teach the Biblical worldview for law, science, economics, history, family, social issues, and education? At church do adults or students learn about the lie of global warming, radical environmentalism, socialism, evolution, postmodernism, situational ethics, political correctness, population control, the myth of the separation of church and state, the Biblical worldview for marriage, the Biblical role of men and women and the lie of feminism? Every one of these issues can and must be addressed from the Bible and when we do so, we are not being political, we are making disciples that think and live like Christians.

Because the church is not answering the real-world questions of our students and the public school system is, Christian youth increasingly believe that at church we deal with “spiritual” issue but at school we talk about “real life” issues. The truth is, all issues are spiritual; every issue can be examined in light of Biblical principles but not if the church is only teaching Bible stories instead of Biblical principles contained in those Bible stories.

I founded Worldview Weekend in 1993 and all our conferences had an admission fee until three years ago. Because the church in America has largely neglected worldview and apologetic training and because the only hope for America is Biblical Christians that will oppose the evil that is washing over our nation, Worldview Weekend has been holding free Worldview Weekend Rallies for the past three years.

The window of freedom is closing on America and soon I, and our other speakers, could be prosecuted for the Biblical truth we are teaching. Hate-crime laws would do just this.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. As our religious liberties are lost so will our liberty.  Just this week, national news outlets reported that government officials would like to fine broadcasters up to $250 million dollars for programming that does not meet the government’s approval. A principle and athletic director in Florida are going on trial for praying with adults over a booster club luncheon. If these men are found guilty they could be incarcerated. This is happening in America.

Worldview Weekend is training, equipping, and encouraging individuals of all ages that will be just like these men.  Our nation needs Christians that will stand up and speak out with the truth of a Biblical worldview even in the face of persecution and prosecution.

By the end of 2009, we will have held almost 50, free Worldview Weekend Rallies just in 2009 alone. These free rallies are on a Friday night, Saturday night, or Sunday night, and they are attended by elementary students, middle-school students, high-school students, college students, adults, and senior adults. You can see our entire fall schedule at www.worldviewweekendrally.com

At the end of 2009, we will have trained around 50,000 adults and students in person. This does not include our online training institute, DVDs, our free magazines, our free websites and our free radio program. Please click here to read the testimonials of students and adults that have been impacted by our free Worldview Weekend Rally.

As we will be explaining in detail at our Worldview Weekend Rallies this fall, the worldview war in America is connected to four major forces; occultism/pagan spirituality, the apostate church, corrupt government/corporate officials and the educational establishment. All four of these groups are aggressively working at the national and international level to accomplish their ultimate goal of global governance as predicted by many New Age writers like Alice Bailey. The Bible predicts this will occur and at this year’s rallies we will look at how God would have us to respond to what is happening at break-neck speed.

Our focus must be on preserving our families and preparing them for what is to come. Our focus must be on evangelism and Biblical discipleship and preparing those that can lead the remnant. Our current schedule has us going to 22 cities in ten weeks to host the free, Worldview Weekend Rally. Each rally is free but you must register online and print out a ticket so we do not over-fill the building. This would have happen in a few cities but because we had a count, we were able to move the conference to a larger auditorium.

Here is just a sample of some of the topics we will cover at our rallies this fall:

How This Happened to America, Where We Are Going and The Biblical Response; Biblical Prophecies Being Fulfilled That Reveal the Supernatural Nature of God’s Word; How This Can Be The Greatest Hour For the American Church; How to Prepare Committed Christians For What is Coming; The Worldviews and People Destroying America From the Grave and How Every Teen and Adult Must Respond To Be Protected; Refuting Evolution; What Happened to the Dinosaurs; The Impact of Evolution on America; Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism;  What the Bible Has to Say About The Coming One-World Religion, One-World Economy and Global Governance. How to Contend for the Faith in the 21st Century; Why Oprah’s Pagan Spirituality is Doubling in America Every Eighteen Months and a Christian Response; Why Worldview Training Matters and Students Want it and much more.

 
For us to keep our fall schedule as is, I need your help.

1.)  If you see we are coming to a city near you will you please got to this website and order a quantity of our free magazines to distribute in your area? We really need your help in getting out the word that we are coming to town. Please get them to your local churches, Christian schools, home-school groups, Bible studies and others that will help distribute them. –Thank you. If we see people are not registering for a rally then we will know that that city is not interested in having the free Worldview Weekend Rally as a resource in their community and we will be forced to cancel the event. This has only happen three times in our 16 year history but it will happen again if a community does not want the rally.

2.)  We need you to pray that the Lord bless us with a great attendance of youth and adults. Please pray for our travel in safety, our health and that we will see lives impacted and changed to His honor and glory. Please let us know you are praying for us with an e-mail info@worldviewweekend.com or by offering feedback to this article at the bottom of the page. We would like to know we have thousands of you praying for this fall’s conferences.

3.)  We need your financial support. Will you help us equip thousands of adults and students with the ability to contend for the faith as we are commanded to do in the book of Jude? We must raise the funds to cover the several thousand dollars that each of these events will cost. Please partner with us in this vital and life-changing work. You can make a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here. If you prefer to send a check please send to:

Worldview Weekend Foundation
1016 W. Poplar Ave #106-228
Collierville, TN 38017

Thank you in advance for your help and prayers.

Sincerely,
Brannon Howse 


 

[1] Ken Ham & Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it (Master Books, Green Forest, AR., 2009) p. 22, 33, 41,
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By Brannon Howse

Email: Brannon@worldviewweekend.com

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