Christians on opposite sides of the debate on whether it’s OK to celebrate Halloween should not judge, but respect each other, says Pastor JD. Greear.
The Southern Baptist Convention president responded on his Ask Me Anything podcast on Monday to the question of whether Christians should participate in Halloween by saying, “this is one of those issues where we really have to respect where the other person is coming from.”
“There are some Christians that really feel like because of the origins of Halloween, and going back to what the symbols meant, that they feel like … participating is acknowledging Satan,” he noted.
Greear, who’s also senior pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina, noted that “cultural symbols shift over time,” and something that began a certain way doesn’t mean that it will always be tied to the same meaning.
“What do these symbols mean? Are people really out celebrating the occult?” he asked, reflecting on some questions Christians might ask themselves.
Greear pointed to Romans 14 in the Bible as a place to seek advice on the topic.
“In Romans 14, Paul is talking about how there are some believers that cannot eat a meat offered to an idol without violating their conscience, and feel like they are embellishing it with demons,” he said, though other Christians felt like the origins of the meat had nothing to do with them, and so they were OK with eating it.
“Don’t look down on Christians who say ‘that’s not what it means in my family,'” he urged.
“There should be some freedom either way.”
The pastor said that one way Halloween can be used for good is by connecting with one’s neighbors, positioning that God can redeem all things.
“For those of us who have no problem with it at all, we should have a level of respect and understanding for people who cannot separate the cultural symbol from some of its origins,” he advised.
“But there should be respect going the other way. Most cultural symbols, the language, tends to shift over time.”
Halloween’s origins date back 2,000 years ago to the Celtic festival of Samhain, according to History.com.
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Source: Christian Post