Last year around this time, I wrote a blog post on the controversial topic of Halloween. Soon after, the attacks began from an unexpected source — a few of my Christian Facebook brethren.
The first indication of conflict came through a vicious e-mail from one of my blog followers who was appalled over my “Bring the light into the darkness” stance to the holiday, and not condemning it altogether. Before I knew it, I logged in to find another sister who had even claimed to be a fellow ex-witch, defriended me from her online friendship without any explanation.
To this day, I’m not sure if it was done just to impress her controlling boyfriend or the online conversation she had with my manager over my refusal to harbor “hate” in my heart for those who would greet the kiddos at the door.
What’s most disturbing about these defriending’s on Facebook, is witnessing Christian brethren blinded by self-righteousness, falling prey to the enemy’s tactic to cause division within the body of Christ and seeing it come to fruition. So often, the enemy ensnares Christians into believing they are taking a firm stand for Christ when in actuality he has deceived them into thwarting their focus away from the real battle. We would be wise in learning to love one another despite our differences and recognize who our enemy really is.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” — Romans 12:21
This approach is rather humbling and goes against our natural “fleshly” way of thinking but then our ways are not… God’s ways.
What evil have you taken a stand against today? Perhaps it’s the psychic hotline you saw advertised on TV or that “Witches’ Ball” being held in your own town. I couldn’t possibly be suggesting you do good for these people… or could I? After all, doesn’t scripture also say to hate evil and cling to what is good?
It is true that God hates evil and desires us to avoid participating in evil practices, but in Luke 6:35-36, Jesus tells us: “For he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
If our heavenly Father who hates evil is kind and merciful to the ungrateful and the evil, wouldn’t it seem we should follow His example and do the same? How then can we put “overcome evil with good” to practice? Rather than standing outside the building hurling insults in the name of Jesus at the psychics on the hotline, we could pray for them to receive a better job that would be more financially rewarding and pray for the truth to be revealed.
In a world where evil lurks around every corner and hate is prevalent it’s easy to fall prey to its seduction. We so easily find ourselves responding to our adversaries with hatred rather than loving them despite our shortcomings.
We become a manifestation of evil when we lash out with tongues flaring, and eyes glaring with revenge… all at what we presume is our stand against the very evil that we unknowingly have succumbed to. In this place, we can no longer be used by God as our emotions erupt in an outburst of the hatred harbored in our hearts.
Scripture tells us we are to love our enemies, do good to those who persecute us and overcome evil… with good. A Godly response in an evil environment can only be achieved by humility, compassion, and love. By doing good we reap coals on the heads of evildoers and bring the light of Jesus’ love into the darkness.
Ultimately, we look to see what Jesus’ response was to this dark and imperfect world. He could have destroyed it in an instant but rather He lay down and died on the cross offering His sacrificial love. While He walked this earth He spoke the truth to evildoers but He did so by His example of Love… not with hatred. Love is stronger than the grave… and mercy triumphs over judgment. More importantly, “He who does not love does not know God, for God… is love.” (1 John 4:8)
Sometimes, we forget the evil of our own ways, before coming to Christ, and take up a judgmental attitude as if the lost are walking in darkness just to provoke you to anger. We seem to confuse our goal as destroying our enemies and are all too quick to forget that God desires all to be saved. We actually hinder those who don’t know God rather than welcome them with the love of Jesus. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
Just some spiritual food for thought! Not just for Halloween, but for a lifetime.
Selah Ally Tower is the author of “A Witch’s Encounter with God” and “From The Craft to Christ.”