Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Honesty

It's that time of year again. The holidays are upon us again, and once again I'm marveling at the self-righteous double standard of many Christians. It begins with Halloween.

Many Christians refuse to celebrate Halloween and it's easy to see why. Halloween is a "holiday" overtly rooted in spiritual darkness. The whole tone of the festival is occultic, with it's "lighthearted" emphasis on ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. The actual origin of Halloween in Celtic paganism is the final straw for anti-Halloween believers. I understand the distate these believers feel; what I've never understood, though, is why the Christians who so sanctimoniously condemn Halloween eagerly celebrate Christmas and Easter, which are just as pagan in origin as Halloween. I've never gotten a real answer from such Christians, but I recently had the pleasure to finally meet a Christian who was honest about the holidays.

His name is E, and I work with him. He's a strong Christian and leads the prayer group at work. Right before Halloween I asked E if he was taking his kids trick or treating. I must admit that I was baiting him; I wanted to see where E stood on not only Halloween but also the larger issue of pagan "Christian" holidays. E answered my question with a question. He asked if I knew the origin of Halloween and I said I did. He then said that I should know why he didn't celebrate Halloween. Because it's pagan, I responded and E said yes. Then I asked him if he celebrated Christmas and Easter, since they're pagan in origin, too. E said he didn't, and I was surprised. That was the first time I'd heard a Christian be consistent on the holiday issue.

I told E I was surprised by his answer because most Christians I knew refused to acknowledge the paganism of Christmas and Easter. E had a response to that. He said that his duty as a Christian was to be true to Scripture, not Church tradition. E said that while he remembered Christ on Christmas and thanked God for sending His Son to earth, he didn't celebrate the holiday itself. As I said, I found that refreshing.

I admire E for his honesty. So many Christians are uninformed, inconsistent, or just plain ignorant on the issues of the holidays and whether they should celebrate them. E has taken a stand and he's letting the Bible, not cultural norms, be his guide. He is being consistent and honest on the holidays and doing it to remain true to God. E is living out holiday honesty, would that every Christian did so.