BOO! Oh, how we like to be scared. My 4-year-old granddaughter is obsessed with wanting me to tell her scary stories. When I try and tell her a sweet story she’ll listen for about 3 seconds and then forcibly interrupt saying, “ But Mimi, make it spooky.” At her tender age, she wants to understand good and bad and it’s through stories that she’s able to safely explore evil.
We’re still drawn to the dark side (as long as it’s safe) even as adults. In fact, Americans want to be scared in a safe place. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $9.1 billion in 2018 on Halloween – up from $8.4 billion in 2016. That’s an average of $86.13 per person in the U.S.. Halloween just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
However when it comes to being terrified of God, somehow we seemed to have lost that fear. After all, God loves us. He’s the good guy. Right? True, but have you read your Bible recently? If you believe, as I do, that God never changes than when the Bible clearly states in the Old Testament how God was angry, even turning His back on the Children of Israel and how His wrath was displayed, it’s clear that we aren’t respecting the truths and reality that are written on its pages.
Or possibly we’re clearly not reading the Bible at all anymore due to our busy and distracted lives. Knowing and reading of God’s power should terrify us but it doesn’t. It’s too easy to just play around with evil at Halloween or at an amusement park.
In Hollywood, zombies, wizards, true crime police stories, and even historical stories of terrifying events are almost always hits in the entertainment world. The recent AMC television series “The Terror” based on the historic story of the British Navy’s attempt in 1800’s to find the Northwest Passage was a series that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The truth is that the world has become an increasingly terrifying place. As real horror in the real world increases and is displayed before our eyes via our digital devices, are we in denial that evil truly does exist? Is Halloween a way for us to play around with real evil and defuse our inward fear that demonic power really does exist and can affect us? Are we in denial that God won’t do to us what He did to the Jews – God’s chosen people? After all, if God allowed their lives to suffer and to go through horrific wars, famine, mother’s killing their sons and grandmothers killing their grandchildren, what about those who deny His existence altogether? Is Hell a reality in our sci-fi, special effects, virtual reality driven culture?
In a recent Christianity Today Pastor’s online magazine article, ( insert – https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/1992/spring/92l2042.html)
Episcopal priest, Barbara Brown Taylor, explores terror. She said, “In practice, we tend to preach the terrors by making them less terrible. But what is lost is the very real terror of obeying God without the least idea how things will turn out in the end—which is, after all, the human situation.”
Perhaps it’s time this Halloween season to step back from the safe scary fun for a moment and reflect on the truth of evil and what we’re teaching our kids about it. Maybe it’s time to get real and revisit fearing God. What exactly are the consequences of disobedience to God and would He allow horrible things to happen to us still today?
The evils that came to the Children of Israel were done not by a bad or malicious God but one that ultimately does love and care for us so deeply that He’ll do whatever it takes to get our attention. When Paul instructs us in Romans 6:23 that, “the wages of sin is death” he follows it with a “but.” And, in the second part of that scripture, reveals that God has given us a gift of life – Jesus Christ, who brings peace and sanctuary from the endless evils that invade our world. We have an escape hatch and an antidote to life’s unforeseen perils.
In this world there is good and there is evil so choose for yourself each day whom to serve. But be ready to pay for the evil choices you make and how they may affect generations to come and know that it’s no Halloween fun house to choose incorrectly.