First, it is completely obvious the whole sorry tradition directly supports the demonic. What greater reason for not doing it would anybody need? To be involved with it is to turn a blind eye to the reality of the Devil and demons. It is to join hand in hand with unbelievers. If this does not matter to someone, then why should we take their so-called Christianity seriously? The lame rationales about what everybody else is doing don't even raise the level of serious consideration.
Second, it puts money right into the hands of godless people. People who hate what we are supposed to stand for. Christian money. It's like telling people you are opposed to something, and then handing them a pocketful of money so they can have enough to do it, anyway. If there were nothing wrong with it more than this, it would be enough for any thinking Christian to stand up and be counted among those who oppose it.
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There you go again. And so we have yet another in an ever-growing list of things we're supposed to refuse to do and condemn. Won't you legalists ever just give it a rest? Read my lips: Participating in this will not make my children Satan worshipers. You people are so ratcheted up about every little thing. You take the fun right out of fundamentalism.
And, yes, you're probably right. Some of the money I will spend probably will go to godless people. But, hello. Anybody home up there? If I go out and buy a bag of apples chances are I'm putting some money in the hands of the godless. Every time I pay taxes I already know some of it is going to support things I absolutely oppose. There's just no way we can follow the money trail of whatever we spend and insist that it be used for Christian purposes. What world do you live in, anyway?
Frankly, I'm tired of having people so narrow they can look through a keyhole with both eyes telling the rest of us what we can and cannot do. Show me a clear Bible verse? You can't. All you can do if fall back on those blank check proof texts like, "Avoid the very appearance of evil." People pull that one out every time they come up with a new list of no-no's the rest of us are supposed to buy into. Well, I don't buy it. You can read it between the lines if you want. But, as far as I'm concerned, it isn't there and you're just making all this up.
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Yep, it's that time of year again. We've heard the arguments. Probably you already lean toward one side or the other. Maybe your whole church comes down pretty hard on one side or the other. Good for them. Good for you.
The things is, look back up and re-read the two views. Because, I did not mention Halloween. This is an imaginary dialogue about a different issue: can Christians buy and eat meat that was slaughtered in the course of worship in a pagan temple? It is obviously slain in the worship of an idol, something Paul elsewhere acknowledges is the same as the worship of demons. To buy the meat is to help financially support that local pagan temple and its priests. On the other hand, a hamburger is a hamburger. Meat is just meat.
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul does not so much pronounce one side the winner (although he personally leans toward the "it doesn't matter" position). He commands that, in these kinds of matters, both sides operate out of love.
In Romans 14:1-2, here dealing with the slightly different issue of Jewish/Gentile differences about food and Sabbaths, he gives two principles that are absolutely relevant when discussing whether or not we should participate in Halloween or have Santa in our front yard in December:
Those whose views lead them to prohibitions are not to be looking down their oh-so-righteous noses judgmentally at those who don't agree and pass out Snickers or put up the inflatable fat man, anyway. Those who happily haul their costumed kids around to glean sweeties from the neighbors and hoist the giant plastic Rudolf up onto their roofs, should not look down their informed and progressive noses with contempt at the narrowed minded fundamentalists they believe see way too many things as either black or white.
Back in the early decades of the Reformation, someone wrote what would, in its English version, become on of the slogans frequently used by writers and preachers in the Stone-Campbell Movement:
In necessariis unitas, In essentials, unity
in dubiis libertas, In non-essentials, liberty
in omnibus caritas In all things, love