The ghouls and ghosts, the witches and monsters, are beginning parade through our neighborhood. While walking the dog I see people decorating their houses in celebration of the darkest day of the year, Halloween.
Over the years I have been conflicted during this season, innocent fun or glorifying evil. As parents we have both dressed our children up and avoided it altogether. Mostly we have chosen other activities during the trick or treat time. Though many Christians participate in the festivities it seems inconsistent to the Christian message.
But Halloween is a clever distraction from the real darkness Paul is talking about in Ephesians. While we rail against the trappings of the occult we have allowed to seep into our lives those things that bring about the wrath of God.
Impurity, immorality, selfishness, covetousness, idolatry, adultery, greed, hatred, jealousy, drunkenness, course joking, gluttony, injustice, backbiting, divisiveness, contention, and pride. These, and more, have brought about the wrath of God and exhibit the depth in which man has strayed into the darkness.
We are to walk in light and bear its fruit. Our lives are to reflect the image of God's mercy and grace not the debauchery of the flesh. We are to stand against the darkness and expose it. There is a cost because the world recoils at the righteousness of God. Yet, we are to stand against and expose it most adamantly within the church. Wherever darkness overshadows the work of God we are to bring it to light.
When Paul says it is shameful to even speak of these things he isn't referring to reasonable discourse. He is talking about the hush tones where the ideas of darkness fester and propagate its lies. They are conversations that lead to agreement in word and deed.
There is passive and active involvement. Active involvement is easy to spot, and most of the time easy to avoid. Passive involvement says nothing and does nothing. It hopes it won't affect them and seeks to minimize conflict, and in doing so gives tacit approval of darkness.
This Halloween we will refrain from the celebration of fear and darkness, leave our house during trick or treat, and avoid the onslaught of ghouls and goblins. It will be a good time to reflect on the darkness that I have allowed in my life and ask God to expose it for what it is, and then leave its shame at the cross and walk in the light. I'm just saying...
Ephesians 5:11-13 "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret."