Every year I get email after email…should Christians celebrate Halloween? I am ok with the questions, but usually it is laced with a harsh tone… “I can’t believe anyone would agree with allowing your kids to go trick or treating”.
Our world is hurting. People are facing serious heartache and need a Savior. We are talking about the souls of mankind. As the world burns….Christ followers get distracted over things like Halloween, wearing hats in church and “stuff” that God in His divine wisdom decided not to make clear in Scripture. Something is wrong!!!!
- Instead of fighting over predestination Christ followers should be in anguish over hell and people going there.
- Instead of leaving churches because of “Halloween parties” the church should be consumed with the mission of God.
- Instead of people caring about the volume of the music we should care about the volume of disobedience in our own lives.
Here is my mantra—if the Bible is clear—I will be clear. If the Bible is not clear—I will trust God in his divine wisdom.
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. The main thing is Jesus, the mission of God and God being glorified. Jesus said the main thing is to “love God and love people”.
Paul said, “Stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults” (I Corinthians 14:20). If you are a follower of Jesus—train yourself to think correctly and thoughtfully about your theology.
Scholars carefully discern the difference between ”Dogma”, “Doctrine” or “Opinion”.
- Dogma is theology taught in Scripture that is incontrovertibly true. I call this the meat and potatoes of Christianity or the essentials of the Christian faith.
- Doctrine is theology taught by the church that is grounded in the Scripture but intellectually honest Christians understand Scripture leaves room for discussion.
- Opinion is theology and concepts held by individuals that are widely debated amongst the scholars and the church.
Here is a quick list of dogma, doctrine and opinion I see outlined in Scripture. (This list is not complete in any way)
- The Bible is final authority and inspired by God
- Jesus Christ was born of a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose again on the third day and one day will return
- Atonement of Christ for all people
- The Trinity
- Fallen man
- Salvation by faith alone in Jesus
- Holy Spirit Empowers believers
- The Sacraments: Communion and Water Baptism
- The existence of a real Hell
- Free will of man
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- End Times (The Tribulation and When will Christ Return)
- Gifts of the Spirit
- Eternal Security
- Speaking in tongues
- Baptism by immersion
- Divorce and remarriage
- Women in ministry
- Should Christians take their kids “trick or treating”?
- Worship style
- How Christians should dress in church
- Christian School vs. Public School
- Should Christians get a tattoo?
- Secular Music
- Social Drinking
- Birth control
- How loud the music should be at church
- Should you spank your kids?
- Coffee in church
- Should Christians go to movie theaters?
- Do animals go to heaven?
We should vigorously discuss doctrine/opinion, but not divide over it. Please read this line again…. “Discuss but don’t divide over doctrine/opinion”.
Yes, the church should continue to discuss doctrine. It is fascinating on every level to discuss issues of free will, women in ministry, end times, and gifts of the Spirit—but stop thinking like children and discuss these issues with humility and discernment (not pride and division).
Trust me on this—in heaven one day the church will not be fighting over tongues, hats in service, or the volume of music. Every eye will be on Jesus and every knee will bow. We won’t care about predestination, women in ministry, and for sure the volume of the music at church.
While the world burns, we act like children.
Let’s all repent of our pride and arrogance. Let’s ask God to restore hunger for Jesus, His word and the souls of mankind.