I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I had to! That’s how one of my favorite TikToks starts!
It’s this guy that talks in this comically awkward reading voice, saying things like “Are you going to hell for eating salt and vinegar potato chips? The answer might surprise you” and meanwhile terrible graphics are playing behind him.
It’s a send-up of those weird conspiracy theory videos, and it’s hilarious because there are people who genuinely ask questions like “are you going to hell for celebrating Halloween?”
It’s not even such a strange question when you consider how many rules and dos and don’ts are in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18 is the 18th straight chapter of dos and don’ts we’ve read. And believe it or not, it’s actually a little bit about Halloween.
Verses 9-13 are about staying away from witchcraft and spiritualism and all kinds of spooky activities, stuff that makes Halloween what it is.
So what are we to make of these rules? Are you going to hell for celebrating Halloween?
Stop asking about hell
There are two types of Christians: Christians who would answer that question with “Absolutely” and Christians who would answer “Of course not”. The way you answer this question says a lot about your relationship with God.
Is it a relationship based on rule-following? One that says “You mustn’t do this. You must do that. There is only one way to be a true, surrendered, sold-out person for God!!”
Or is it a relationship based on casual association? Does it say “That extra stuff doesn’t really matter! As long as you’re doing your best, it’s fine! God knows your heart.”
But for the kind of relationship we really want with God, one based on honest faith and real friendship, that question isn’t really an important one. It’s missing the point.
A better question would be “Is it good to celebrate Halloween? Is it showing love to God to celebrate Halloween? Will celebrating Halloween give you riches?”
Riches? Think about the stock market. When you buy shares, you’re investing in something that you think will give you a profit, something that is good for you.
Our Christian lives are supposed to have that same energy.
It goes back to verses 2 and 3 in this chapter. God explains His special rules for the Levite priests – they always have a share of the offerings made in the temple. And even though they don’t get the same material inheritance the rest of the Israelite tribes do, God sweetly reminds them that He is their inheritance.
And, like, same. God has something for us. He always has. He wants to give us more joy. He wants to fill our hearts with hope. He wants to make the rough patches of life smooth. He wants to take our pain away. He loves us.
And that’s what our faith and our Christian lives are all about. We shouldn’t be trying to earn heaven, we should be trying to know God. We shouldn’t be prioritizing our ease and comfort, we should be prioritizing God.
We shouldn’t be asking about Halloween or drinking or modesty or whatever the issue is. We should be asking how to love the God who knows what’s good for us.
“I am your inheritance.”
He is our reward. He is our reason. He is our motivation and our logic. We do the dos and don’t the don’ts and we obey and we follow His rules because He is good and because He is right and because He knows what will make our lives rich.
But this whole thing centers on faith. Do we really believe He’s good and right? Do we really believe He loves us? Do we really believe He knows what’s best?
One cool thing about God is that He’ll help us believe. Just be honest. Ask Him. I promise He is stock worth investing in. Even if it means not celebrating Halloween, the “limitations” and the “rules” won’t matter – because you’ll be rich.
What do you think? How do you decide what to do or not to do as a Christian?