The Gospel of Ghoul

A lady writes  – One Halloween a trick-or-treater came to my door dressed as Rocky, with satin shorts, high-top sneakers, boxing gloves, etc.  I gave him some goodies and soon afterwards he returned for more. I asked, “Aren’t you the same Rocky who left my doorstep several minutes ago?” He replied, “Yes, but now I’m the sequel.  And I’ll be back three more times tonight.”

For many years, Bible-believing congregations had no real problem with the celebration of Halloween.  Even in fundamental churches, it was not uncommon for youth groups to have haunted houses out in the country –  complete with ghosts, vampires, monsters, etc.  But then a change began to occur with questions being raised about the propriety of such things for Christians – especially as they became associated with evil spirits and demonic devils.  And so now, for a lot of saints, trick or treat out in the neighborhood has been replaced with harvest parties inside the church.  Today however, a new twist on Halloween is taking place; the old haunted house is being brought into the church.  Let me explain.

They are called Hell Houses.  A Hell House is the building of rooms that are designed to depict what an eternity in the Lake of Fire will be like.  The first part of the tour presents sin. The second part judgment.   And the third, hell itself.  Finally, as you exit the abode of darkness, there are workers ready to present the plan of salvation for any who want to be saved.

The evangelistic outreach concept has (pardon the pun) spread like wild fire.  There is even a kit you can order called, The Hell House Outreach Guide.  It comes complete with instructions for such things as – rooms, actors, costumes, scripts, props, music, effects, and so on.  The promotion on the back of the box reads:

Shake your city with the most in-your-face, high-flying, no-denying, death-defying, devil-be-crying, keep-you-from-frying, theatrical-styling, no-holds-barred, cutting-edge evangelism tool of the new millennium.

One newspaper reports the following:

For the past few years, a growing number of conservative churches around the country are sponsoring for Halloween what is called, Hell Houses …  It’s a few hours before the opening of one such place at the First Baptist Church and dozens of amateur actors are practicing their lines.  In the basement, the Gatekeeper of Hell, portrayed by the church organist, welcomes a visitor into the fiery underworld with her best high-pitched cackle – “Well, well, well, we’ve been expecting you.  You didn’t think God would send you down here, did you?  What, with all those good works you’ve done, you thought you’d go to heaven.”  … Welcome to the creepiest stop in the afterlife – complete with real fire, demonic characters, heavy metal soundtrack, and unfortunate souls bound by clanking chains.  Under 15,000 square feet of black plastic sheeting, the church has been transformed into the place of darkness.  And outside, hundreds of teens are lined up to pay good money (about the price of a premium movie ticket) in order to be scared out of their wits.

The bottom line?  The Bible does say in Jude1:22,23, And of some have compassion, making a difference.  And others, save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…