Should Christians Avoid Halloween?

People Afraid

We have a bizarre obsession with fear. This photo is from the Nightmares Fear Factory Haunted House.

This post includes two conclusions I’ve drawn about culture and spirituality. One of them might be more liberal than you are comfortable with and the other might be more conservative than you are comfortable with. Maybe I can provide at least something for everyone to disagree with.

It’s Halloween again. Which means dressing up in ridiculous costumes, kids looking adorable, kids hopped up on crazy amounts of sugar, and questions about whether a Christian can have any part of this. I just wrote a reply to an email I received from someone in our church and it got me thinking about how my family handles this holiday. Hopefully my conclusions can help you figure out your family’s stance.


Authority Struggle

Take Your Piety Elsewhere

From my position at Central, overseeing the weekend worship services and our online presence, in addition to writing this blog for the better part of a decade, I have had experience after experience in being surprised by things people say. Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. I’ve heard a wide spectrum of people’s opinions about just about everything. Yet every now and then I’ll hear something else that will cause me to pause and reflect.

Consider a comment I got on my blog this week on a post I wrote back in 2010:

“Take your piety elsewhere.”

That was all it said. I had to laugh at the brevity and bluntness. Granted, I don’t think this guy is a regular reader of my blog and I’m not sure how he stumbled onto that post from years ago. Regardless, he felt the need to leave his opinionated response.

Now piety simply means reverence or devotion to God in its basic sense, but can also be used to represent spiritual arrogance (which I’m guessing my commenter was implying).

I had a number of reactions to his comment:


Dad is Fat

Dad Is Fat - Jim GaffiganI’ve always loved studying stand up comedians since they are the closest profession to share the challenges of preaching. Engaging a crowd’s attention with one person speaking on stage for forty plus minutes is no easy task. While I often study great stand up routines I was eager to read comedian Jim Gaffigan’s book Dad is Fat. As the title suggests, this is a funny book about parenting. Specifically, a comedian’s insight into parenting five children. As a guy who is working on a big family myself I enjoyed his perspective. While the book is unabashedly funny, you can sense the conviction and determination that Jim brings to his role as a dad.

Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.

I was born with a heart that was two sizes too small, but when I saw my baby, it was like the Grinch discovering the true meaning of Christmas.


2 Tricks to Become a Morning Person

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to regularly wake up earlier. As a self professed night owl this has been a challenge. As I updated in February, I’ve been able to make some progress bit by bit. My goal has been to offer encouragement for the many other people who easily make it to the single digits before they go to bed each night but then feel like they are always late to the party each morning.

I’ve recently hit a couple of new breakthroughs. I read through this article and came away with a couple great insights on how to trick yourself into waking up earlier.


Stop Looking for Your Soulmate

I had the chance last week to teach at our leadership institute at Central for our interns. At one point they asked me about how I met my wife Michelle. I recounted our journey as high school sweethearts up until the present day. At one point, I nonchalantly explained that I don’t believe in the concept of a soulmate and then explained my reasoning. In my explanation I got my first quote on their chalk wall of quotes.


As you might imagine, my quote is missing a bit of context. So let me explain.