Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Almost Time For...


Yes, folks, it's almost time for that most glorious of Christian anti-holidays where we drag our kids to church in scarecrow and pumpkin costumes, maybe put on a pageant, and have them pick candy out of boxes, all while wishing they were out trick or treating.

I have to say that out of all the holidays completely fabricated by Christians to oppose a popular secular holiday, Harvest-ween has to be the most fun. In honor of the fast approaching anti-holiday, and the entire Harvest-ween season in general, I've dug up this piece of beautiful harvestry.

Count my blessings? Okay, hideous pumpkin thing!

1. Thank you, Lord, for my home, and the food you provide.

2. Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful wife.

3. Thank you, Lord, for my brothers and sisters in Christ.

4. Thank you, Lord, for all this awful Jesus junk, manufactured by my brothers and sisters in Christ, giving me an outlet for my cynicism and various other frustrations.

5. Finally, thank you, Lord, for my readers. Seriously, you guys rock.

A note about Halloween evangelism: Some people do see it as an evangelism opportunity and hand out tracts on Halloween.

Generally, I'm opposed to tract evangelism, opting for forming more long term relationships. But on one night, when tons of kids are coming to your door, you don't really have time to form relationships, so you try to get in what you can, and that's okay. But don't ever, ever, hand out a tract without candy. That's as bad as leaving a tract at a restaurant without a tip.


Allen said...

Speaking of passing out tracts to trick-or-treaters, we did one better than that, in my strange demented childhood! We kids dressed up on Halloween and went ~snicker~ "tract-or-treating"! Basically, you go knocking on doors, say "tract-or-treat" and hand them the tract (probably one of those Chick anti-Halloween ones)!
I don't know whether this is sad, funny, or clever. But I'm leaning toward sadly funny.

Allen said...

Sorry for the double post here, but I just remembered: If you really want to milk this harvest theme, just celebrate the feast of tabernacles. It's a harvest festival in which a less-tacky version of that pumpkin would fit.

And don't get me started on Purim!

Miss Kitty said...

In my area, a local (hard-core, very fundamental) church puts on Judgment Journey, which is a haunted house filled with the horrors that non-Christians will experience if they don't accept Christ. One room's an abortion clinic filled w/ blood/guts/guilt/torment/screaming; another's a girl who gets assaulted after drinking at a party; another's the Hell Room, and has people burning & suffering after death. It's a disgrace.

And it gets thousands of visitors every year. They have a little tent outside the exit where paramedics treat those who've had a freak-out attack...and then they help you take Christ as your Savior. But I've always thought piss-in-your-pants fear was never a very good reason to become a Christian. And this kind of conversion probably doesn't last long.

Why can't folks just NOT celebrate Halloween if they don't like it? Sheesh.

Gregory said...

Unfortunately, scaring the hell out of people is a common tactic for extremely fundamental churches.

To be honest, I am a fundamentalist; that is, I take (most) of the Bible literally, and/or at face value. But what some fundamental churches do is disturbing to me. I've seen churches do what you're describing, and I hate it.

There's actually a Pentecostal (read: extremely charismatic) college near my house that puts on a walk through show every Christmas called "Back to Bethlehem" where they have visitors re-enact the journey to Bethlehem for the census. I wonder why churches can't do similiar, unbeliever friendly, inspiring events for Halloween?

Miss Kitty said...

The "road to Bethlehem" would be soooo much better for attracting the non-believer! Indeed, why not something similar for Halloween?

I'm Episcopalian, and we have a service every November 1--it's All Saints Day. In the past we've had a church trick-or-treat get-together, at which we trick-or-treated and discuss the (sometimes pagan) beginnings of our faith. If I were a non-believer, I think something of this sort would entice me to want to know more about the Christianity thing. Maybe the churches who try the scare-the-crap-out-of-folks tactic are again trying too hard to copy a secular world from which they say they're trying to separate themselves? Hmmmm.

Gregory said...

That's a very poignant observation, Miss Kitty.

Allen said...

I guess Protestants could dress up as Martin Luther and go around nailing lists of complaints to church doors that night.

Gregory said...

I think that would be a suitable pastime for people like us.

Miss Kitty said...

Hahahahahaaaaaa! The Martin Luther idea is great!