Tis the Season for Trick-Or-Treat (Part 2)
Most Protestants are completely unfamiliar with this Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, so for many Protestants, Halloween has lost all religious significance.
Combine this with the addition of monstrous costumes as well as the growing market of “sexy costumes,” many Christians question the entire Holiday.
Such questions are not new. In a somewhat lengthy passage, Paul addresses a very similar situation.
1 Corinthians 10:18-33 is Paul’s response to the question: “Should a Christian buy and eat meat that has been sacrificed to an idol?” IN Paul’s day, pagan temples would frequently sell the meat of animals that had been sacrificed to the god(s) of that temple. In a much similar dilemma, believers asked, “what is the Christian response?”
This passage has two parts. Verses 18-22 is a clear command to never participate in a pagan ritual because the pagan god’s are considered demonic. Christians cannot participate in the Lord’s table (communion) and the table of demons (pagan religious services).
This is very clear but does not address eating meat, a non-pagan, non-religious practice. Paul addresses this in verses 22-33.
To summarize Paul, he says (as he does in other places), eat whatever you want, but if what you do causes someone to stumble, don’t do it!
If they bought meat, don’t question it, for when they know its origin they were not to eat on account of the other person, NOT their own personal piety. Not asking was not “being sneaky,” it simply does not matter. But if you get the information, then you have a responsibility and must discern the situation.
Paul emphasizes that participation or not is based on the other person. In other words, you are not more holy for abstaining and you are not less holy for participation with food sacrificed to idols. You choose your actions based on what it does to your witness.