(Please note, this is a repost from last year) Apparently, the Tucson Weekly has a column called “Stupid Christian Idea of the Month.” I don’t know if this is actually a regular column or not. If it isn’t I’d be happy to provide them with some fodder to make sure it could run for quite a while. The most recent installment pokes fun at the continued attempt by many Christians to replace Halloween with some sort of “Christian” alternative.
This time, a pastor in Calgary wants to replace Halloween with “JesusWeen.” Instead of giving out candy, he wants Christians everywhere to give out Bibles and Christian books.
Watch the group’s video explaining the idea here:
I think it‘s an activity that doesn’t have anything to do with Christians. And I think many Christian families are not knowledgeable to what it’s all about. Halloween is not consistent with the Christian faith. Many people say they feel uncomfortable on that day. We think people should choose an alternative activity.
Dan Gibson of the Tucson Weekly responds:
I’m sure that every kid that’s given a copy of the New Testament instead of candy on October 31st is going to be totally psyched about attending your church.
Wait, this isn’t Bizarro America where kids hate candy and love to be proselytized by total strangers and where black is white and people say “Goodbye” instead of “Hello!”. It’s actual America, where this idea completely defies logic entirely.
A note to Tucson churches: those “harvest festivals” churches often put on, with a few jumping castles, and other stuff kids like (including candy!) providing a safe environment for families…those are actually a decent idea, providing a non-threatening, useful service to your neighborhood. Trying to change the identity of an event people seem to like? Bad idea and really only useful in reminding me that I should listen to the band Ween more often.
While I understand the sentiment behind “JesusWeen,” I can’t help but side with Gibson: “I’m sure that every kid that’s given a copy of the New Testament instead of candy on October 31st is going to be totally psyched about attending your church.” Not only that, I’d be interested to see if Pastor Ade is concerned with the pagan roots behind Christmas celebrations or if he’s wanting us to put “Christ back into XMas”? But that’s neither here nor there.
I wonder what things like this communicate to the larger culture, not just about us, but about Jesus. Instead of a Jesus who ate and drank (grape juice, of course! Maybe we could market it as “JesusWine”?!) with sinners and tax collectors (Matthew 9:10, etc), we are presenting a Jesus who wants to distance Himself from everything (and everyone) unless it is sanitized. Not to mention the fact that the group’s video (which pretends to be made by a third party but is not) admits that they “hope to have many bookstores and churches benefit.” But again, that’s neither here nor there.
Instead of taking a once/year awkward “all or nothing” leap at exposing our friends and neighbors to Christianity, wouldn’t it be better if we lived life with our neighbors all year long? Maybe I just need to drink some JesusWine and listen to Ween.