Dr. James Dobson’s reply to the question: “What about Halloween?” “Halloween is a rather different story. Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard. The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this “darker side” of Halloween.
Even here, however, there is a place for some harmless fun. Kids love to dress up and pretend. If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. Make costumes for your children that represent fun characters, such as Mickey Mouse or an elderly grandmother, and then let them go door-to-door asking for treats. This side of Halloween can be thoroughly enjoyable for the little ones.
Let me add, again, that I’ve given you my personal opinion. I realize that the topic is controversial among committed Christians, and I’m sensitive to the reasons for their misgivings. My final word to parents on the subject would be ’Stay true to your own convictions.’” Especially as they, your convictions reflect God’s Word and your walk with Him.
This past week I was riding my motorcycle and in putting on my helmet I took my glasses off and laid them in the seat on my gloves. The wind blew pretty hard and blew my gloves and thus my glasses to the ground. When I got my helmet on I reached for my glasses only to realize I was standing on them. Needless to say they were bent all out o shape. I can’t see without them. So I bent them back around so I could wear them. This made me realize how important it is to be able to see things correctly, 20/20.
This made me think about our relationships with others and with God. Have you ever gotten to know someone who you were told about by someone else only to later realize that your first impression of him or her was completely wrong? We all have a tendency to form opinions based on subtle cues, knowledge and even our own perceptions. When our impressions are 180 degrees off base, they become a real barrier in building an authentic relationship with someone.
How about your relationship with God through His Son Jesus? How would you describe your best friend? Your spouse? Your children? When we know people well, our descriptions of them are richer and fuller than those we know as mere acquaintances. So … how would you describe God?
Your answer to this question has a significant impact on your life! Each week in our worship, we attempt to have you get to know God a little better. He wants you to see Him and know Him! Come worship with us and explore God’s nature and personality. Join us and learn how to see God with 20/20 vision.
The eighth reason why the service of worship is primary is we worship the Lord with our tithes and offerings; Malachi gave us the promise of the Lord: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, . . . and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
“On the first day of the week” we are to bring our tithes and offerings of love to the Lord in the Lord’s house that the work of the church may go on. As we present our offerings to the Lord, we give ourselves anew with our gifts that Christ’s kingdom may come and his will be done on earth.
Ninth, the service of worship is primary because it gives added significance to family worship. Families worship by themselves in their own homes. In Sunday School and Discipleship Training, members of the family worship and study God’s Word in various age groups and departments. But in the church worship service, the family can worship the Lord together, and on the way home they can discuss the meaning and message of the service.
We worship the Lord Sunday night, too, in a different and distinctive service. Thus, we close the Lord’s Day in the Lord’s house, a place of prayer for all people, and are ready for a new week of service.
Of course, worship services must be worthy and well planned. If every family in the church family is to worship the Lord together, the pastor and musicians and ushers and janitors, the deacons and church leaders must pray and work earnestly together that each service may be all it ought to be.
As we seek the leading of the Spirit in a true service of worship, the blessings of the Lord do come. All present are enriched and strengthened and able to say as they go Out to serve after having come to worship, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
I remember singing the song, “It was on a Sunday Somebody touched me,…”
The seventh reason the worship service is of primary importance is because it is also our supreme time of evangelism. At the close of the service of worship, the doors of the church are opened to all. Sinners are invited to come, confessing Christ as Savior and Lord; newcomers are invited to link their lives with the local church in the service of the kingdom; wanderers are welcomed back to the fold; strength is added to the church family as new members are received; and all believers are called to renewed dedication to Christ as Lord.
How thankful most of us are for that high hour of worship when we first publicly confessed Christ as Savior and Lord and were received for baptism and church membership. Others made that hour possible for us, and we in turn must make it possible for others.
In fact, it was on a Sunday, April 13, 1969, that Jesus saved my soul. Whether it was a Sunday, Wednesday, or some other night during a Revival or Vacation Bible School, my guess is, it was during a time of worship that most of us gave our hearts to Jesus as Savior and Lord.