The majority of us grew up celebrating Halloween. It was a big deal to us. We couldn’t wait to get our costumes and go Trick-or-Treating. We loved watching scary movies, eating candy, playing tricks on people, and anything else that was considered fun to do. We travelled from block to block, knocking on strangers’ doors asking for a trick or a treat, and always hoping it was a treat. At first we had cute little carrying containers that looked like jack-o-lanterns. Later, we got smart and started carrying pillowcases. They realized held a lot more treats. We had the time of our life going home and seeing all the delicious treats we were going to enjoy eating over the next week. No matter how much candy we had it was always gone in one week.
Eventually, things changed. People started putting sharp objects into the candies. All the candy had to be x-rayed at the police station. That ultimately led us to only going to those houses where we knew people. Finally, that became too much for our parents so we started attending Halloween parties. It didn’t bother us that we dressed up like witches, ghosts, goblins, vampires and any other horrible creature we could think of. That’s what Halloween was all about and we enjoyed every bit of it.
Eventually, we grew up and continued the madness into adulthood. Instead of trick or treating from house to house, we only went to Halloween parties, walked through haunted houses, and enjoyed a scary movie marathon. If we had children we gave a party for them to enjoy. That way they could be safe physically and have all the fun they wanted.
The Compromise Begins at Church
Then one day we got saved and started attending church services. We stopped celebrating holidays like Halloween — at least like we used to. Now we go to a Harvest Fest* and dress up as Biblical characters on Halloween or a few days before. We let the children know this is in place of Halloween. We play games for prizes, give out candy, and eat an abundance of food at our churches. We continue to do all the things we did when we didn’t go to church, but now we have better names for those activities. We enjoy ourselves and so do our children. We teach our children Halloween is bad, but Harvest Fest is good. Yet, we never think about the spiritual damage that can result by doing this.
Unknowingly, we teach our children to compromise what we believe. Instead of condemning Halloween altogether, we find substitutes. At that moment we fool ourselves into thinking we are doing the right thing because we don’t want our children to think they are missing out of something. We don’t realize that we are teaching our children that Father God doesn’t deserve our loyalty, the world has more to offer than He does, what we believe doesn’t matter that much and it’s okay to compromise as long as it makes us feel good. After all of this, we wonder how we could have raised children who questions whether God exist or not or who don’t teach our grandchildren about God at all. So we cry out to God about our children and grandchildren.
We don’t realize that we have not only compromised our beliefs, but we have taught our children, who in turn are teaching our grandchildren, to do the same. Some of us don’t believe that’s what we are doing. We are so engrained in our society that we don’t see what’s wrong with it. Let’s look at several meanings for “compromise.” Maybe then we will realize when we substitute Harvest Fest for Halloween we have compromised.
Compromise is “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.” Isn’t the purpose of Harvest Fest a resolution to the conflict we have about missing out on what the world is offering us and our children? Don’t we have to adjust our principles and what we claim to believe to settle this dispute of missing out? By using Harvest Fest as a substitution for Halloween we have, in essence, said, “We would rather fit in than be set apart.” In a sense we have become like our ancestors. Since we couldn’t celebrate with the world we cover it up with new names. Our ancestors changed the Sabbath rest to Sunday rest. They told us God’s Torah (law) was done away with so we could eat and do whatever we wanted to. Without realizing it we have become like Israel:
Don’t be like your ancestors, or like your kinsmen who sinned against ADONAI the God of their ancestors, with the result that he allowed them to become an object of horror, as you see. (2 Chronicles 30:7)
Don’t be like your ancestors. The earlier prophets proclaimed to them, ‘ADONAI-Tzva’ot says to turn back now from your evil ways and deeds’; but they didn’t listen or pay attention to me,” says ADONAI. (Zechariah 1:4)
Compromise is “the result of such a settlement.” How many of us have actually negotiated with the Great I AM about what He told us to do? How many of us, who feel we have, have actually come to an agreement? By agreement I mean you’ve walked away feeling at peace with your situation. When someone asks you why you do a thing when the scriptures says not to, you don’t jump down their throat. You don’t feel like you’re being attacked. You are at peace with what you are doing. A lot of times we act like we’ve heard from God, but deep in our hearts we know we haven’t. We acted like children who kept begging until Daddy told us yes. Only to find out later that maybe we shouldn’t have received what we were asking for because it didn’t turn out right, just like Daddy said.
Your word continues forever, ADONAI, firmly fixed in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
Compromise is “something intermediate between different things: The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multi-storied house.” Harvest Fest is the difference between Halloween and God’s word to be set apart. God’s word never tells us to substitute the ways of the world and act like He’s okay with it. He never tells us to fit in or desire the ways of the world. He never tells us to substitute anything the world does. He does tell us to be set apart, to look different, to speak different, and to act different. He has His own festivals that He has set apart to celebrate. However, most of us consider these to be archaic and no longer valid. We void out His words and replace them with our own words. Yeshua said if we are to follow him then we must take up our cross daily, not blend in with the surrounding nations. It’s not about missing out on something. It’s about being different enough so people can ask you, “Why do you have so much joy? Even when you’re going through something you still seem like you’re at peace?” or “Why don’t you celebrate Halloween?”
In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh (this world). Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. (Romans 12:2)
So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth! (Revelation 3:16)
We become and create lukewarm followers of God when we compromise. As you can see God is not fond of that.
Compromise is “an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.” When we become lukewarm from compromising so much we endanger our reputation and God’s reputation. If we look like the world, act like the world, talk like the world, then how can we honestly think we are not of the world. How can anyone tell there is a difference in us? There is a saying, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. It doesn’t matter what name you give it. It’s a duck.”
Have you ever met someone and said, “There is something different about this person. I can tell they know God”? Then you get to know them better and find out they don’t do a lot of things the world does or even the church does. They spend time studying the scriptures, praying, helping others, and a host of other things the scriptures talk about. They have become a living witness. When other people look at us can they say the same thing? Or do they feel comfortable enough to say and do anything in front of us without being ashamed? We need to unlearn the ways of the world and give our whole hearts, minds, and bodies to Yahweh our Elohim.
When you enter the land ADONAI your God is giving you, you are not to learn how to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, a diviner, a soothsayer, an enchanter, a sorcerer, a spell-caster, a consulter of ghosts or spirits, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is detestable to ADONAI, and because of these abominations ADONAI your God is driving them out ahead of you. You must be wholehearted with ADONAI your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and diviners; but you, ADONAI your God does not allow you to do this. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
How to Stand Firm
All of this can be avoided if we become strong and courageous like Joshua. YHVH told him,
Be strong, be bold; for you will cause this people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. Only be strong and very bold in taking care to follow all the Torah which Moshe my servant ordered you to follow; do not turn from it either to the right or to the left; then you will succeed wherever you go. Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold‘? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because ADONAI your God is with you wherever you go.”
This scripture gives us several ways to stand firm in God (1) be strong, be bold, (2) keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and (3) meditate on Torah day and night. When we do these things we will act the way God wants us to act. The line between good and evil, right and wrong won’t be so blurry.
Be strong, be bold. If we are strong and bold, we will tell our children the truth. There is no compromise. God doesn’t want us dressing like the world and paying tribute to the things He doesn’t like. He doesn’t want us feeling like we are missing out on something. He doesn’t want us to substitute the world’s ways. He wants us to delight in Him and what He has given us. He wants us to be set apart so we can stand out and make a difference.
Keep this book of the Torah on your lips. If we study the scriptures for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, we will learn more about what God wants and what He doesn’t. It will be easier to know when we are veering to the left or to the right. We’ll also be able to speak what the scriptures say verses what we have been indoctrinated with all of these years. Every word written from Genesis to Revelation is valid and has something to teach us. None of it is done away with. It is all essential to our growth and the ability to function as true disciples of the living God.
Meditate on Torah day and night. This means to think on and speak the scriptures day and night until it becomes a part of us. For example, the scripture says, “O God, you are my God; I will seek you eagerly. My heart thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a land parched and exhausted, where no water can be found.” (Psalm 63:1) When you first start saying this scripture over and over again you might be inspired to wake up early to pray. As time goes on you might recognize a situation that somehow keeps coming your way. In the past you haven’t always addressed the situation in the right manner. Now here it comes again. Only this time you seek God about this situation early, before it makes it to your front door, before it gets out of hand, before you become angry. This is just based on the word “early.” There is so much more to this scripture alone.
The more we focus on a particular scripture the more we get out of it. The more we get out of it the more we become who God wants us to be and not the world. Practicing these three commands will do wonders in our ability to stand firm and not compromise. For more ways to do this read Stand Firm in What You Believe this Holiday Season.
Which scriptures help you to stand firm in various situations? In what ways have you compromised the word of God and how did you get back on track? We would love to hear your story and the wisdom you’ve learned. Please share with us in the comments before.
*The term “Harvest Fest” is used to represent the day churches set aside for children to participate in instead of Halloween. Other names are used depending on the church. What matters is the fact that the only thing that changes about Halloween are the names given to the festivities, the games, etc.
A very compelling read