And what does God say about coming out of a culture?
[Darris McNeely] Today's the day that everyone's going to be coming out with all of their costumes and robes, colors that represent the prince of darkness, the dead, the undead. All Souls' Eve coming up, and up and down the streets of America we will see people coming and going in all kinds of costumes like that and others representing darkness, representing evil, representing death. Again, as I said yesterday, it's amazing to consider the rational and the arguments that people will use to justify this.
I was reading on one article that talked about the fact that Halloween today has nothing to do with religion and the relics of its past. It has become a cultural event, and therefore it's okay for a Christian to take part in Halloween festivities as long as their conscience is not offended by such an event. And so I asked the question: Is Halloween something that's just cultural, and if it is, is it okay to participate in?
It doesn't take much of a research genius to go through the stories and find the underpinnings, the background, the origins of Halloween festivities. All Souls' Eve, the night that the people did what they could to keep the dead away from their own houses and their own lives. And such a non-Christian, thoroughly pagan festival, centuries old, represents things that in the Bible from the beginning in Genesis all the way to the book of Revelation God tells His people to stay away from.
But sometimes you see a little different twist like you do when you say, "Well, it's just cultural today" as if in our modern, to our modern mind and times we have changed it by our own good, by our own rational and reasoning that it's not religious. It's just cultural, therefore it's okay. As if the God who in the Bible says He doesn't change (Hebrews 13:8). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever would change His view on something dealing with the dead, things that would be and are completely unclean.
There's one scripture that came to mind when I was thinking about this, and it's in Revelation chapter 18 where it talks about Babylon. Revelation 18 and beginning in verse 2 in this story about Babylon, a system portrayed throughout scripture as the antithesis of the Kingdom of God and anything dealing with the culture and the way of God and His holiness and His righteous life. And in Revelation 18:2 it is recorded that "He cried mightily with a loud voice saying, 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!'" And so this picture of a future system called Babylon that is described here in the Bible as a dwelling place of demons and a prison for every foul spirit. Something that later on in the chapter here, verse 4, God says, "Come out of her My people lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities" (Revelation 18:4). The system called Babylon at the time of the end makes one last effort to thwart the purpose and plan of God is here described as being the place, the repository of every demon and every foul spirit.
And so when we look around our culture today and we see demons and we see foul spirits, and we see people reveling in that and dressing up and laughing and partying in a cultural manner, do we ask the question: Is it okay? I think that it is not, and I think that because of what scripture says. It's not my judgment. It's God's judgment.
And when you read the rest of the story here in Revelation 18 about Babylon there will be a time of judgment upon an entire system that flies in the face of God, out of which God says, "Come out. Take no part in what she does" (Revelation 18:4-8). And so you can say something has been sanitized and changed because of the way a culture and a time looks at it, but God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever still has the same point of view. And so the lesson is there for us and the decision is up to you and to me.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.