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Quick hide! There’s scary people outside…

It always saddens me when I see Christians in a docile, defensive position; just trying to hold on to what they’ve got, while they ride out the storm. I think this is especially true of Halloween tonight. Probably more than any other night, Christians across North America are turning their lights out and hunkering down inside. All the while, darkness literally covers our cities.

There’s an awesome quote from Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is that good men do nothing”

Evil people do not wait around and ask for permission. Evil can be compelling and magnetic, and it moves forward with every inclination.

And the truth is that hunkered down, inward-focused, well-meaning, passive neutrality, will never overcome evil.

 

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • breathe fire October 31, 2006, 8:04 pm

    May those who’ve seen the light
    Boldly go out into darkness
    And show there is a Way.

    not hiding nor hunkering tonight,

    breathe fire.

  • faithuntamed October 31, 2006, 11:17 pm

    Exactly right Lon. Why do some Christians simply want to attack the culture by pointing a finger and hiding on nights like tonight? Those same folks will wrestle with Santa Claus in a few weeks too while a lost world stays in the dark.

    Excellent quote by the way!

  • Beth November 1, 2006, 8:54 am

    Thanks Lon, and not only did we not turn the lights out, we let our high school senior daughter and two friends go trick or treating, then come back to our house, count their loot, and watch Nach Libre.

    And I had a gang of about 12 jr. high students show up around 7:40. And one little one right after that.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that costumes are less gory around here. Much more PC.

    Ah, good times.

  • Lon November 1, 2006, 10:30 am

    Thanks for dropping by all, hope last night was a blast!

    It’s good to know there are people unafraid of pressing into the darkness, and also have a good time!

  • cmart November 1, 2006, 11:24 am

    Good stuff lon.

    however, we did turn our lights out – but only because we weren’t at home! we took the girls to the school sue works because the students in the dorms had decorated and well…the girls like getting the goods!!

    interestingly, sue set up a “store” this morning where they could buy toys/clothes with candy (in hopes that they won’t eat so much!) it worked!

  • joelpno81 November 1, 2006, 11:52 am

    Lon–glad to see you addressing this very crucial issue. It’s not just at halloween (although it may be the “scariest” day of them all). It’s everytime that the local church has an opportunity to reach people on a day that they choose, instead, to reach themselves. I can say that I’m very proud of my church and the effort it has expended these past few years. Last night, we had about 800 people we have never seen at our location for a Halloween event. (We are not a big church…on a given Sunday we might have 400 total). I would encourage other communities of faith to become activists in reaching their communities. And days like Halloween and Thanksgiving are ones in which sentiments are already high and opportunities can overflow. Thanks again for your comments. Congrats on being a Maker of Fire (I’m still not sure what that means or how you get it). I’ll see you at Humana 2.0.

  • Alan November 2, 2006, 11:50 pm

    wow joelpno81 that’s awesome. what event did you guys hold? I’ll be honest I want to copy.

  • joelpno81 November 4, 2006, 11:02 pm

    Sorry to respond at such a leisurely pace. Lots of churches do what we did…we even call it the “Fall Festival” becuase there are some in our church that are very opposed to supporting “Halloween”. So, in a non-halloween event in which we all dress up as something and give out candy to children, we bring together the most volunteers every year of any event we do. But there are a few reasons that this event is so effective for us:

    1) We make it about the unchurched in our community. Period. We market it, promote it, provide a free meal and give people a safe environment.

    2) We are in a more urban area than most churches. As a eal estate appraiser I would categorize it as suburban, but we are just a couple of miles from downtown Jacksonville. Within a half mile from us are rich and poor, young and old, all races, all walks of life. So, we attract those that would like a safer area from the more affluent of our guests. And we attract those that cannot afford to a provide a good Halloween experience for their kids from the less fortunate.

    3) Our children’s minister carefully plans this event and ensures that it is a success. She delegates it in such a way that basically every area of the church participates. It is truly inspirational to see senior adults that have been in church their entire life working alongside those that, a year ago, did not attend church or have a relationship with God. Our entire church believes in this event and its potential. And we have many faults as a church. We do not experience the type of unity that Paul urges. But for some reason, we do on October 31.

    4) This is the final reason I see. We do it on Halloween. Not on the nearest Sunday or Wednesday. We do it when people actually celebrate and don’t force them to conform to our calendar.

    I know many churches that probably even do a better job than we do on it, but I think this is an opporunity for many churches, especially in areas like ours, to really reach a loving hand out to their community.

    I’ll send the link to this blog to my pastor and children’s minister in case they would like to add anything.

  • Elmer November 7, 2006, 3:34 pm

    To answer: what did you do? Fall Festival is a carnival with many SS departments running game booths, staffing the inflatable, serving free hot-dogs, chips, popcorn, sno- cones, and doing registration of guests. We had about 24 games/activities in our gym and on our parking lot. We ask guest to ‘register’ with name/address – this is how their children are entered into the drawings for toys/bikes. I’ll spend about $250 on prizes for the give-aways. This year $35 bikes were the hit! So I’m not buying XBoxes or things that will require other support equipment. (My kids are not well-off, so I even attach batteries if needed.) At one point our booths were tied into Bible stories and if you could quote a verse, you won a prize. Not too great when you’re involving yourself in the community – the last thing they need is feel judgment from your event. Of course, I’m sure that was not the church’s intent, but that may have been what was communicated.

    The hardest – and most important thing to remember is – how will your event ‘feel’ or be ‘perceived’ by the non-churched? Are you communicating the message you want?

    Getting out into the world is SO important. I think it’s what Jesus did as he did ministry AS HE WENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE. It was part of his everyday life. At Halloween, most people think of trick-or-treating, so it only makes sense to start there. On that day. duh

    I’m proud of our church for pulling together. I hate that my own light if off at my home, but look at the bigger picture.

    Other ideas are out there – but, to me, the key is capitalizing on a current event/date. Why try and make March 6th extra special and rally a crowd? Use current holidays and local events. Go to them.
    Forever the church has asked non-religious people to come to them.
    BACKWARDS!

    Our Youth guy said he’s done a series of concerts on 10-31 in conjunction of the Fall Festival that appeals to younger-older teens. Great idea!

  • Lon November 8, 2006, 7:26 am

    Joel / Elmer, thanks for the great insights into how you blessed your community!

    It’s amazing what can happen when we begin intentionally letting people into our lives.

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