Commentary By Ashley McCleery

The North Jefferson News

As a kid, I loved Halloween.

Dressing up in fun costumes, staying up late, getting free candy — what kid wouldn’t love this holiday?

But throughout the years, I’ve seen how this celebration can really glorify dark subjects like murder, ghosts, evil spirits and witches.

In my article last week, I detailed several events that churches are offering to substitute Halloween but yet still celebrate autumn festivities. I commend these churches for realizing this holiday is exalting the very one they preach against every Sunday.

However, I think the First Baptist Church of Mt. Olive hit the target with their annual Judgment House, because it’s about the scary reality of choosing or denying Christ.

Their eight-scene drama far surpasses any Halloween haunted house I’ve ever been to or heard about, especially the hell scene.

Now, I don’t support scaring someone into making a decision. Believing in Christ should not be fire assurance, but rather utter disbelief and gratitude that a completely perfect divine and yet wholly human being would decide to die for our sins.

I’m not trying to preach, I promise. Well, I guess I am, so never mind. But, I left the Judgment House feeling more awestruck with my Savior than ever before and yet so deeply saddened for those who don’t know Him.

Although I did grow up as a Christian in the South, I don’t think we should beat people over the heads with our Bible, which turns people off. I like to live by St. Francis of Assisi’s motto: “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”

I guess I’m using words now, so I’m not quite following my own advice. But think about what our world would look like if we stopped talking and started doing.

People would stop complaining about the hungry and homeless on the street who are “too lazy to get a job” and actually give them a warm meal and point them to a homeless shelter that teaches job skills.

People would stop judging the homosexuals by yelling scripture at them and begin mentoring them, showing them compassion and dispelling the lies they believe.

People would stop avoiding the inner cities and begin volunteering to play with kids whose parents are absent or working all day.

What would our world look like if Christians would spread the Gospel through actions first and then words? Are we only talking about the words of Jesus or are we actually following his advice?

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