Halloween Sermon Exposes Minister's Desire For Religious Dictatorship
In part one of a sermon series titled “Halloween: A Biblical Critique Of James Jordin & American Vision”, Brian Schwertly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America did not argue against the autumnal celebration on the traditional grounds that the celebration was pagan per say.
Rather he argued against it from the standpoint of the Reformed belief against the impropriety of man authorizing holy days not found in Scripture.
In this homily, he seemed to praise and certainly did not criticize Scottish authorities at the time of the Reformation that forbade under penalty of law those celebrating such commemorations after Presbyterianism became that nation's established church.
However, if man does not have the authority to compel extra-biblical holy days, on what grounds does one then forbid an individual from incorporating these practices as part of their individual devotion after they have been informed that observation of the day is not necessarily a requirement?
For does not Romans 14:5-6 seem to indicate that these sorts of matters are more in the realm of individual conscience?
In a sermon against Halloween, Presbyterian Brian Schwertly described a prank he use to engage in during that particular time of year where he would light a bag of, in his words, “poop” on fire and leave it on someone's porch.
Instead of remorsefully recounting this story in a tone of repentance, he actually laughed about it.
If Halloween really is as evil as the hardline Fundamentalists make it out to be, wouldn't that be the equivalent of fondly recalling before the congregation how Buffy down at the gentleman's club would twirl as she was giving him a lap dance?
Wouldn't an ultalegalist such as himself consider a person exhibiting such glee in the House of God sufficiently contrite?
Yes, he should be classified as an ultralegalist as he insinuated at another point in the sermon series that Roman Catholics and Arminians should be denied citizenship in the idealized Christian Reconstructionist regime.
In the sermon “Halloween: A Biblical Critique Of James Jordin & American Vision, Part 2”, Brian Schwertly examined the argument that Christian participation in Halloween is valid and legitimate as a way of ridiculing the power of Satan.
Schwertly contends that such a perspective is inappropriate in light of Jude 1:9 in which it is suggested that even the mightiest of angels are cautious about underestimating the Old Deluder.
However, it has been suggested that often conceptualizing of evil in a literary or narrative form similar to a fairy tale can assist the young in placing these kinds of fears and terrors in a proper perspective.
Why can't the symbology of Halloween play a similar kind of role?
But more importantly, perhaps the argument about justifying Halloween as a way of minimizing Satan's influence through good old fashioned ridicule came about as a result of the need in some of the more rigorous wings of Evangelicalism to always find itself in an “on position” in terms of some grand outreach effort or engaged in some never-ending confrontation.
Can't a kid just go out for a night dressed in costume to collect some candy without it being as if the Apocalypse was looming or the fate of the world hanging in the balance?
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.