Is having fun what defines a Christian? Is FUN what makes a church even worthwhile? Is fun why we do what we do (whatever it is) in the Christian life?
When you look at many church communications, you'd assume the answer was "yes." A recent scanning of material on the web as I was researching alternative Halloween events overwhelmingly advertised events or promoted activities where the FUN promised is promoted as the primary reason people should attend. Though the focus of this article is on the combination of Halloween communications and the emphasis of FUN (intentional shouting with the all capital letters), the same concerns and cautions apply to our communication of many church outreach events.
How fun becomes the primary motivation for Halloween alternative events
Much of the thinking process behind many of these "Christian" alternatives to Halloween on the web seems to go something like this:
- Halloween is evil.
- To take part in a traditional secular celebration of Halloween is evil and sinful.
- Christians shouldn't do evil and sin.
- Instead Christians should have good, clean fun.
- Therefore our church will do a fun event for Halloween.
- People will see we are Christians by our fun.
I don't have a problem with the list up to #3—much of traditional Halloween celebrations are evil. Maybe not as evil as some timid folks fear, but probably not activities that would fall into the class of edifying Christian activities. Dressing up as demons and witches and glorifying magic is not what Christians ought to be doing. Sending your kids out alone to beg for candy in most areas today isn't safe. But the alternative to fighting evil or working to fulfill the Great Commission is not to simply have safe fun. [Read more...]