Should Christians – or Mormons – participate in the Hindu Holi Festival of Colors?


Aaron evangelizing at the
2014 Hindu Holi Festival

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Hindu Holi Festival in Spanish Fork, Utah, “draws tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints and others to Krishna Temple.” The 2014 Festival was held this past weekend. The Washington Post reported,

“’It’s an opportunity for young LDS (Mormon) kids to come and celebrate their spirituality without alcohol or drugs,’ said Caru Das, the temple’s priest.”

Listen as Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson discuss the Holi Festival and its spiritual significance on Viewpoint on Mormonism.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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46 Responses to Should Christians – or Mormons – participate in the Hindu Holi Festival of Colors?

  1. cattyjane says:

    What is this garbage? Now anything goes in the LDS faith? How is this even allowed? Does the LDS church encourage this behaivior?

  2. cattyjane says:

    Exodus 23:13 This is the answer. If a person obeys the God of Israel, the one true God, than they will obey this commandment. We are not to participate in the festivals or traditions of false Gods. The problem with LDS and Christianity is that the Old Test laws and commandments are often dismissed. Many prople who profess christianity, or lds think that because they dont “believe” in these other faiths that its ok to sit on the sidelines and enjoy the activities for a “cultural” experience. Problem here is that God is very clear about the fact that we are not to take on the way of the heathen. Best to know the rules of the King we serve before we act on our own judgement and make up excuses.

  3. Mike R says:

    Back in the day , my wife ( former JW ) myself and some friends would seek to reach out to
    Jw’s at their summer District Conventions . We would stand on the side walk near the
    Convention and offer literature to attendees . We did not go inside the actual event , we did’nt
    want to disrupt the meetings etc . Their meetings were not to the same degree publicly that
    this Hindu festival is .
    So I think Christians should reach out to these Hindu’s in any respectful way they could .
    Thank God that folks like Aaron ( pictured) took the time to reach attendees for Jesus .

  4. Rick B says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Well a short while back I was saying I have been working on a project and will tell people soon what it is. Well here it is, I was interviewed on a internet raido show by the pastor of my church, we talked about Mormonism. after the show ended, to my complete and utter surprise, He asked me if I wanted my own 1 hour raido show.

    I asked him, what will it be about? I was thinking he will ask me to talk about certain things and I will do research on them, but he told me, I can talk about what ever I want, the show will be complety mine and I do all my own research, interviews, everything.

    So the show will be on every saturday from 3-4 pm starting starting Sat April 12 2014.
    It will not be a call in show, by I can contact people I want to interview and were hoping some day to to turn it into a live call in show.

    The show will be called, (fighting for truth). The website is in the works, but part of it is up now at,

    I will be talking a lot about mormonism, but also will be talking religion in general and things going on in religion. My show will be in my style, telling it like it is and not holding back. For all the people that dont like or agree with my style, my show wont be for you, as you will get offended and mad. I will state clearly on almost every single show, if you disagree with me on something or dont like something I say, feel free to contact me via the website and tell me you want to to interview you so you can correct me or set me straight on somethings, and I will do my best to get you on.

    The pastor has known me for 14 years, and like me and my wife said to him, you know who your asking right? And you know how Rick is and what he will say, right? The pastor fully understands and is looking forward to this as he and me are so much alike, he claims we were seperated at birth.

    Once my website is fully up and running, it will have links as to how and listen to the show on the internet, and or any android device. Rick

  5. cattyjane says:

    I dont think the topic was if we should try to convert people at these events, I think it was if we should attend these events for fun or for other reasons. I think if a ritual, holiday or event has pagan roots the answer has to be no. However, the common argument I hear from people regarding similar situations is, “but we dont think of it like that” or “its not the same as it was when the pagans celebrated it” or “but we think of Jesus when we do it”. My question in respone would be “Did He tell you to do that or did you tell yourself that was ok?”

  6. cattyjane says:

    The festival does look fun and pretty doesnt it? Sometimes it helps to have some background info on what the celebration is all about. Bonfires sound fun until you hear the story behind what they symbolize. Did you know that during this festival anything is permitted? No matter what the sin is you can do it as long as a few words are said. Its a festival of complete defiance to the laws of God. We are not to participate or attend. Read this article to learn the history of the festival. Its sick.

  7. Mike R says:


    Did you notice the picture of Aaron ? What was he doing ? That was a point I was making .
    I personally feel that God will send some mature Christians to events like this to try and
    reach those attending with the gospel of Jesus . That is my opinion .

  8. Kate says:

    “I think if a ritual, holiday or event has pagan roots the answer has to be no.”

    Do you celebrate or participate in Halloween? Christmas? The Easter Bunny? A lot of our Holidays are centered around pagan beliefs, or have some roots in paganism. I personally don’t participate in the chalk throwing in Spanish Fork even though it’s pretty close to where I live. I really didn’t think of it in the way that Bill, Eric and Sharon have put it but they are completely right and I’m thankful they brought attention to this. Not being a Hindu, I was completely clueless about what the celebration meant. I do participate in Halloween and I love my Christmas tree and the yule logs and lighting candles and all that Christmas brings. Of course Jesus birth is the center of all things Christmas to me but there’s a lot of pagan symbols woven in. This is the reason the JW do not celebrate Christmas or Halloween. Too much paganism involved.

  9. MJP says:

    I think the Bible allows us to reach people in different ways. Some have mentioned mature Christians here, but I would describe them as weak/strong. This is not a question of value, as a lot can be said to those who are indeed weak– keeping closer to the things God tells us to avoid. But all the words weak and strong mean here are that weak Christians get bothered by more and see more thi a threat to faith whereas strong Christians are not so bothered and can do more without feeling threatened in their faith. Neither is better than the other.

    Should Christians have a beer? Some say yes, others no. Is either more or less a Christian? I don’t think so. But the strong Christians should indeed limit their behavior such that they do not become an impediment to other brothers and sisters. Strong Christians should not act in such a way to impede people from coming to Christ in the first place. Strong Christians should also not flaunt their position such that they in fact enter into sin: the beer drinker getting drunk, for instance.

    Going to a festival such as that expressed in the article falls into this discussion. I don’t see it as a problem going to it. Fully participating in it may be a different matter, though for hopefully obvious reasons. Nonetheless, one who goes to it is not necessarily sinning. We are, after all, told to reach people where they are and to accept them even if their practices are different from ours.

    As long as they come to accept Christ for who He is and what He did for us, who cares where they start from?

  10. jaxi says:

    When I was LDS, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I had the creepiest house on the block. I had hard core Easter egg hunts. We did all the Christmas commercialism. When I found Christ, everything became about Him. I can’t say that everything we do doesn’t have some pagan roots. my husband and I call it baptizing the holiday. We have a Christmas tree with all things centered on Christ and only a nativity under the tree. We don’t do presents until the 12 days following Christmas are over. I still let the kids dress up in costumes for Halloween but their costumes need to be something not gruesome or occultish. When trick or treaters come to my house, they will see an image of Christ lit with a candles and pumpkins carved with the cross or fish symbol, because Christ conquered death and sin. I’m not trying to tute my own horn or say everyone needs to be like me. But I think its important that we Christians examine the things that we do that are secular or tied to other religious beliefs. What are we participating in? Does it bring glory to God?

  11. cattyjane says:

    Wow. No I dont celebrate, Easter, XMas, or Haloween anymore. Not for the last year since I found out the real meaning behind all of it. Im not JW either. Anyways, like I said most peole just make up their own sideboards to their religion that they are comfortable with and twist scripture in order to ignore Gods instruction on matters. I was just responding to the post.

  12. MJP says:

    Catty, I am not jumping on you. My point, I can’t speak for everyone, is that as Christians, we are given freedom to act as we see fit, as long as we do not sin and as long as we do not cause others to sin. How do I get there? Remember Peter’s dream? He was told to eat unclean food if those he was eating with were eating unclean food. In other words, restrictions on what he could do and what he could not do were lifted. This does not mean that he is in trouble if he does not eat pork, for instance, only that it is OK if he does.

    I’ll post from Acts 11:

    “11 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
    4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

    8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

    9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

    11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

    15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a] water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

    18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

    Its about the gift God gave us in Christ, not about cleanliness.

    That said, if someone wishes to utilize strict rules moreso than others, have at it. That’s one of the joys of Christ, if you ask me. We are all in Christ together, and as long as we all celebrate the one true Christ, we are all one family and one body. Differences in each of us is what makes us strong. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and together we come bound together such that when one of us falls, the others can lift us up.

    I appreciate your dedication to the rules, Catty. It serves us all well to remember what God’s rules are. Perspective is good, and as long as we ultiamtely keep our eyes on Christ the rest does not matter.

  13. falcon says:

    So what goes on at this festival? People throw colored chalk at one another? Whoa, far out dude! It doesn’t sound like my kind of gig. I wouldn’t go to something like this unless I was there doing an out reach of some sort.
    I don’t mess with false gods or the celebrations done to honor them. This isn’t some neutral craft fair or some such thing like a Cranberry Festival or German Oktoberfest.
    Personally, I take this sort of thing very seriously. It isn’t an innocuous event without consequences. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even like going to Mormon historical sites and on the tours. Knowing what Mormons believe, the whole thing gives me the creeps. But I do it to learn and to look for opportunities to witness to Mormons regarding the Lord Jesus Christ. It also gives me an opportunity to be around Mormons. They’re as rare as Big Foot where I live!

    Halloween has always been my now adult daughter’s favorite holiday. I don’t like it at all. I use to take her trick or treating though because I’m greedy and like to see how much candy we could score. It always provided an opportunity to talk to about and give timely instruction regarding the occult. I’m quite a buzz kill I guess.
    So count me out of the chalk throwing festival.
    BTW, one of my goals has been to go to Manti during the pageant. Anyone have a spare room? I imagine it’s tough to get motel accommodations.

  14. falcon says:

    OK, the former Catholic on this blog offers this as long as Halloween made an appearance here.

    All Soul’s Day (sometimes called the “Day of the Dead”) is always November 2 (November 3rd if the 2nd falls on a Sunday).

    All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away. This comes from the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead, which celebrated the Pagan belief that the souls of the dead would return for a meal with the family. Candles in the window would guide the souls back home, and another place was set at the table. Children would come through the village, asking for food to be offered symbolically to the dead, then donated to feed the hungry.
    The day purposely follows All Saint’s Day in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in purgatory. It is celebrated with masses and festivities in honor of the dead. While the Feast of All Saints is a day to remember the glories of Heaven and those there, the Feast of All Souls reminds us of our obligations to live holy lives and that there will be purification of the souls of those destined for Heaven.

    The Christian holiday of All Soul’s Day pays respect and remembers the souls of all friends and loved ones who have died and gone to heaven. The living pray on behalf of Christians who are in purgatory, the state in the afterlife where souls are purified before proceeding to heaven. Souls in purgatory, who are members of the church just like living Christians, must suffer so that they can be purged of their sins. It is a time to pray for their souls that they may be received into heaven.

    Upon death, it is believed that souls have not yet been cleansed of sin. Praying for souls of loved ones helps to remove the stain of sin, and allow the souls to enter the pearly gates of heaven. Through prayer and good works, living members of the church may help their departed friends and family. There are three Requiem Masses that are said by the clergy to assist the souls from Purgatory to Heaven: one for the celebrant, one for the departed, and one for the pope.

  15. falcon says:

    I never liked the idea of purgatory much!
    There was no way I was going to make it to heaven without suffering, to some degree, for my sins. Even though my sins may have been forgiven, there was always some remnant that remained that needed to be dealt with.
    As a Catholic, we had all sorts of ways to help the souls in purgatory. That’s where indulgences came in. The indulgences would shorten the stay of someone trapped in purgatory until they were purified.

    It’s pretty hard to make the leap from what the Bible tells us to a system of purification in a holding cell some where after death.
    The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus made the sacrifice for our sins and that the blood of His cross was sufficient for us to be declared righteous through faith in Him. Nothing can be added to what Jesus has done for us.
    But, when you think about it, the whole system of purgatory if accepted is a great way to control people, keep them in line and continually jumping through hoops. You can never be good enough no matter what you do. You will always fall short and in danger of condemnation.

    Jesus set me free from the Law of sin and death. For what the Law couldn’t do for me, Christ did. He paid the price for my sin. I no longer live a life of rules, regulations and ordinances which appear to have some wisdom in the flesh. I live a life in the Spirit knowing that as I walk in the Spirit, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses me from all of my unrighteousness. Through Jesus I now have peace with God. There is, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The gift of eternal life is offered by all who are willing to repent of their sins and come to Him in faith.

  16. MJP says:

    I’ve never really understood purgatory too much beyond that it is a place where peopl go after they die and it acts as a sort of holding place until judgment. The “who-goes-there and “why” is what I don’t quite get.

    Christ is what is important, though, and while I may not think purgatory is real, I don’t think it disturbs the primacy of Christ and who He is. Catholic belief, in my opinion, pushes the line on a few issues such as purgatory and the saints. What I do know about them is that when applied properly, still recognize Jesus as Jesus, not a counterfeit like we see in Mormonism.

    I don’t have to believe there are saints who can petition Jesus on my behalf (rather than praying to the saints themselves to take the action). This alone does not make them “unChristian”. As long as Jesus is the focus, the real Jesus, I accept them in the body of Christ. Again, Mormonism differs in that they created a new Jesus.

    This gets back to the point I was making earlier about our differences. As long as we have Jesus, we are free to disagree on certain points. Its when we deny Jesus that we have a problem.

  17. cattyjane says:

    I think we are still reauired to obey Gods instruction. We no longer have to kill an animal to cover our sin but we are not allowed to participate in pagan rituals, no matter how much they are changed to look ok. I know everyone on this site has a very different idea about what is required and what isnt so it really doesnt matter what point I try to make. The short and sweet of it is that you cant have your cake and eat it to. We cant live a little in dark and a little in light. We cannot be lukewarm in our obediance or He will spit us out.

    2 years ago I would have been right there with you saying these holidays are ok and as long as im not sacrficing babies at midnight on halloween God doesnt care. But Ive studied a lot in two years. So much I think my head will explode sometimes. God has holidays that he has given us to observe that reveal his power, love and promises . The rest of these holidays and rituals are just a distraction.
    Can we create a better holiday than God? Are our meanings deeper than His? Im just saying to look into them. Passover is on April 14. Just read up on the first Passover in Egypt and all the places where passover was observed in the NT, both before and after Jesus death. Then look into how passover is observed. The leven is the sin we remove from our homes and lives, the bitter herbs is symbolic of the hard times that the people had during bondage in Egypt before the arm of the Lord delivered them. Its all very powerful when you know what it means.

  18. MJP says:

    “We no longer have to kill an animal to cover our sin but we are not allowed to participate in pagan rituals, no matter how much they are changed to look ok.”

    Just to be clear, you utilize the word “participate” here. What are we participating in if we celebrate the birth of our savior? What are we participating in if we choose a spring date to recognize the triumph over death of Christ? Are these celebrations, if we are in Christ when we celebrate them, distractions, or are they what Peter brought up in Acts: things made clean in Christ such that there is no reason not to partake?

    Can we create a better holiday than God? Of course not. Nonetheless, Paul tells us in 1 Cor 9: “19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

    Notice Paul starts out the chapter with this simple question: “Am I not free?”

    –This is a topic of great interest to me, by the way, our freedom in Christ. I tend to think we are afforded great freedom in Christ. But that freedom, as Paul outlines, is indeed limited. Even Christ addresses the issue when he issues a warning to those who make a brother or sister stumble.

    It is not easy to accept the freedom and restrain it; just the same it is difficult to be comfortable in that same freedom and actually be free. This is where focus on Jesus is important, such that we are not focused on what we CAN but what Jesus would have us do, and conversely that we DON”T HAVE to do everything to be saved. Jesus accomplishes it all for us and all we have to do is live in Him.

  19. falcon says:

    I would say that people need to find a path and if you don’t think doing these holidays are what God wants folks to be involved in, I’d say, by all means don’t go that direction. I don’t think I’m talking about a personal comfort zone sort of scenario. I know a Christian couple who are really into the whole Jewish, I don’t know if I’d call it Law, but I’d say it’s got their toes right up to it. There are groups who are almost like Messianic Christians. I don’t find it “prescriptive” and I’m willing to cut folks a lot of slack regarding how they conduct their walk.
    Let me just say, it’s very good for me to relax in Jesus.

  20. Rick B says:

    MJP said

    I’ve never really understood purgatory too much beyond that it is a place where peopl go after they die and it acts as a sort of holding place until judgment. The “who-goes-there and “why” is what I don’t quite get.

    I’m happy to fill you in on what your missing, Purgatory is a ski resort, thats why people choose to go there. Find more info here.

    Also as a side note, most people believe people who know Jesus cannnot or will not ever to go to hell.
    But many believers do go there and even live their, and some day I am going, to hell.

    Hell Michgan that is. LOL.
    Happy atheists holiday, AKA, April fools day.

  21. cattyjane says:

    I dont think we understand everything about how we are required to come to God right away. I certainly dont understand it all, probably not even 2% of it. For myself, I cant see that one event elimates the requirement of being obediant to the things God previously said.

  22. Kate says:

    Colossians 2:16
    “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”

    As I’ve said before, I don’t live my life in the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled the OT and He gave us a New Testament. Is the OT important? Absolutely. To understand why one event eliminates the requirement of being obedient to the things God previously said, read Galatians. I am led by the Spirit. I have the Spirit by faith, not by the law. We are not to mix the Old in with the New. Mormons have a habit of living more in the Old Testament. This is why they don’t understand Christianity, it makes no sense to them.

    This past Halloween we had a huge dress up party at my parents house and we made wonderful memories with my Mother who is terminally ill. Her favorite holiday has always been Halloween. Is God going to punish us for food, family, love and memories? I don’t believe so. I believe Halloween lost its pagan meaning many, many years ago. I don’t know of anyone who is out worshiping the devil or thinking of evil spirits while trick or treating. I certainly don’t participate in any of that. Like Winifred Sanderson (Hocus Pocus) says ” All Hallow’s Eve has become a night of frolic where children wear costumes and run amok!” It doesn’t have the same meaning it did when the Celts celebrated it. I’ve never been a Celt or a Catholic and I have never given Halloween any of those meanings. It’s always been a fun dress up holiday for kids to me.

    We have Greek Festivals all over Utah every year and people from all religious denominations attend to support our Greek Orthodox neighbors. Spanish Fork is a fairly small community and I’m betting that a lot of the people who attend the Hindu Holi Festival of Colors are there to support their Hindu neighbors and friends. I would bet most don’t even know what the festival is about. The thing that I was unaware of, and that may get a Christian into trouble, is the worshiping/praying to the Hindu god, I think Bill and Eric said it happens every hour? At least at the Greek Festival it’s the Biblical God who is being worshiped.

    I know who I am in Christ. There is freedom in Christ and I’m not about to put myself under the OT and under a curse. Why would I?

  23. falcon says:

    The Book of Acts describes what was going on with the Jewish and gentile believers in regards to the Law. It’s all made pretty clear there.
    Kate pointed to Galatians which also addresses this topic. Paul was getting pretty testy because the Jewish believers were insisting that the gentile believers get circumcised. He told them they should go all the way and mutilate themselves. He was talking about castration. That’s pretty strong stuff.
    So there was this tension with the Jewish believers still into the Law and the gentile believers told that Christ fulfilled the Law.
    If we’re talking about “sin” then it’s pretty clear we are to avoid it like the plague. If we are talking about keeping the Jewish Law, that’s a whole other issue.
    Paul keeps asking these people why they want to go back under the Law. Christ freed them from the Law. We aren’t orthodox Jews.

  24. Kate says:

    I’m not trying to make this about the law and whether or not we should keep it. I’m just pointing out why “one event eliminates the requirement of being obedient to the things God previously said” and why we no longer are required to live in the Old Testament. Galatians talks about the promise made to Abraham that is fulfilled in Jesus. There’s probably a better way to say it and other scriptures that may be better to post. As for sin, I agree.

  25. falcon says:

    If someone wants to be under the Law I guess that’s their business, but that was a controversy settled in the first century Church.
    We’re not talking about being able to throw God’s moral code out the window and being able to sin with impunity.
    We’re required to make moral judgements all of the time. Sometimes things aren’t as black and white as perhaps we’d like but are grey. If this festival under discussion was cultural in orientation, basically a craft and food fair, then it would be a little more grey. But it doesn’t appear to be more cultural but rather a religious observance honoring their god.
    I wouldn’t go even if it were a craft and food festival. But that’s my sensitivity to this type of thing.

  26. MJP says:

    I wouldn’t go either, except maybe to watch, and certainly not to participate. That’s the rub: how much does one do if they do go to something like this? What are they there for?

    We can argue all day and night about the grey areas– its the black and white parts we need to be concerned about the most. Some people are seriously hung up on dancing but have no problem drinking beer or wine.

  27. cattyjane says:

    Where in scripture does it say we cant dance? Where in scripture does it say we cant drink alcohol? It says not to be drunk and it says dont practice sexual immorality. Dancing is fine as long as it isnt done in a perverse way. Drinking is fine as long as you dont become drunk. God makes things very clear.

  28. cattyjane says:

    Its not about getting “hung up” on stuff its about honoring and obeying the instructions we were given by God. I think it must be very confusing to hear a pastor say that the old test laws are done away with because of Jesus, but then turn around and preach the commandment of tithing straight out of the old test. That should make people think, shouldnt it? Nevermind the fact that they take that scripture completely out of context and it had to do with the priests not the people, but if it had been a commandment to the people why would that one continue and not the rest?

  29. Rick B says:

    Hello Cattyjane,
    Hope your doing well.
    Anyway, MJP said

    Some people are seriously hung up on dancing but have no problem drinking beer or wine.

    CJane, MJP did not say, scripture says we cannot dance, Their are pastors and people out in the world that claim all dancing is wrong and we cannot do it, yet they fell we can drink. I agree, we can drink just not get drunk.

    Sadly there are churchs out there that claim, if you want to be part of them you must sign a waiver saying you wont dance, or go to movie theaters. Yet some of these people wont go to see movies, but they will rent them or buy them or just watch them at home on tv.

  30. MJP says:


    I agree with you. Actually the Bible is full of instructions to celebrate. My point was that some people are really hung up on the issue of dancing, see the movie Footloose for an example.

    The simple truth is that some things are not black and white or clear. What, precisely, does dressing modestly and keeping short or long hair mean? Can people “date”, if so what behavior is appropriate (clearly there are limits)? What about celebrating Christmas? Easter? There’s no direct prohibition on celebrating Christ’s birth or resurection, is there?

    You state the Bible is clear, and it generally is, but it does not address every topic. My personal opinion is that we should avoid anything that might make us look bad to people and that which would cause someone to fall.

    Further, you’ve been given scripture to suggest that our lives are much more free in Christ than they were before. I’ve listed some, as has Kate. Here’s what follows Kate’s:
    Col 2:20-23:
    “20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

    There’s more in the rest of the chapter, too.

    I really don’t mean to disparage you. You find comfort in these rules, and I say that’s great. Rules are good, but the rules God set up for us are all satisfied in Christ. We all have things that are “hang ups”. Some of us ar emore legalistic, some are more spiritual, others are too ‘free’ and rely on God’s grace more– and countless others. Each of these can be dangerous on their own, though, as we need to realize that following rules can replace God’s grace, but giving ourselves too much freedom can result in ignoring the rules and God Himself.

    I write this not to argue with you, but to show that Jesus needs to be our focus– above all else. If we find ourselves driven by rules, so be it, as long as those rules don’t replace Jesus. We should also not rely too much on Jesus’ grace, which while it is complete and does not discriminate, because if we continue to sin, we really don’t believe in Him to begin with.

    Rules are good. Freedom is good. But Jesus is better. How each of us approaches rules and freedom is up to us, and as long as Jesus is center, there is room on how we conduct ourselves. Ideally, with Jesus center, we arrive at very close to the same spot.

    Oh, as to tithing, I have never been to a church wherein a pastor says you are damned or excluded because you don’t tithe. I have been to places where giving is emphasized greater than other places, but even there it has been presented in such a way as to give what you can without requirement on some minimum. I have never heard it described as a commandment in a Christian church. (There may well be churches that do call it a commandment, I just have never been to one.)

  31. MJP says:

    Catty– rereading your post, I wanted to ask what meant by something. You said this:

    “Its not about getting “hung up” on stuff its about honoring and obeying the instructions we were given by God”

    What do you mean by saying its about “honoring and obeying the instructions we were given by God”?

    I ask becuase I don’t see that as the same as honoring or obeying God. I see it is as honoring and obeying the instructions, which are not God.

    Again, not trying to argue, and I hope you don’t take my posts that way.

  32. falcon says:

    OK, this is my rule. You can dance, but you can’t dance if you’re drunk! Or in my case, the only way I could possible dance is if I were drunk! So I don’t dance because I don’t drink.
    My wife’s grandmother wouldn’t play cards because she thought the joker was emblematic of the devil. She would play Uno which is cards but without the joker-devil. I won’t watch Dancing With the Stars which is dancing. Way too suggestive for me. I guess I am pretty up tight, right?
    If I have a question about something, I usually ask my wife. She’s sort of my tie-breaker and has a whole different way of looking at things then this former Catholic trained guy.

  33. Kate says:

    The only churches that I’m aware of that requires tithing and uses the passage in Malachi are the Mormons. Cattyjane, it seems like you are confusing your past mormon teachings with the teachings of Christianity. All Jesus says is to be a cheerful giver and that is all I have ever heard from Christians. We give what God puts on our hearts to give. There is no requirement or commandment to give a 10% tithe. My cousin, who converted to Christianity years ago, does give 10% but I think that has carried over with her from her past Mormonism. Can you give us some proof that Pastors are telling people they need to tithe 10% or that it’s a commandment because of OT scripture?

  34. cattyjane says:

    I don’t think that you are being argumentative at all. I sometimes worry about that as well because texts can be read differently by people. There are many scriptures that tell us that we have to obey his commandments. 1 John 5:3 states that if we love God we will keep his commands. It also says that his commands are not burdensome. This is straight out of the old testament in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Also Deuteronomy 30:11-14states “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach.” “The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” If we have the commandments on our heart than we must obey them. According to this, the people in the Old Testament had the commandments on their heart as well. I think that the teachings in the New Testament are the same as the Old. I just think that they are taught in a different way because the people in the New Testament already had a good understanding of the Torah and the Prophets and would know what the teachers were talking about. I don’t think that having to obey Gods commandments were removed. I think the only thing that was removed was the requirement of a blood sacrifice. I don’t think that we are able to be perfect but I think we are expected to make a conscious effort and not allow ourselves to make excuses for sin. I think there is a difference in unintentional sin and conscious sin.
    You could be right about that. I just remember being taught in church that if we didn’t tithe that it was stealing from God and a curse would be placed on us.

  35. falcon says:

    “According to this, the people in the Old Testament had the commandments on their heart as well.”
    The New Heart Covenant
    Jeremiah 31:31-34
    “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
    with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
    32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”
    declares the Lord.
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the Lord.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    This is the sign of the new covenant………………………….

  36. jaxi says:


    I understand what you are saying. I agree with you that we shouldn’t participate in events that are pagan or even secular events that are about things apposed to Christ. I think we even need to be careful with participating in events that although they have lost their occultish meaning, still may be making light of something that is serious: witches, demons, ghosts… But we can’t judge each other on these things because we don’t know each others hearts, only God does. (I’m not saying you are judging). One may think that people are trying to rationalize their way into these events, some may be and some are not. We don’t know, so the best you can do is share why you do or don’t and people will make their choices. Ones different than yours may be just as valid. I decorate my house in the fall, despite Halloween. My house has always been one of the favorites to go to. I could have decided to turn my lights off when I became a Christian (and that decision would have been fine) or I could have decided to be welcoming as I have always been but in a different way. On a night that kids are running around pretending to be ghosts, witches, zombies, and deadpeople, you will find images of Christ, His Resurection , conquerer of death. It’s not about using Christ to make Halloween okay. It is not about me trying to wiggle my way into Halloween, it’s about me using the what I would say is a secular holiday (not a religious one) and teaching truth about God and about death and what it is to have new life.

    I am also an Orthodox Christian as I have pointed out before. Christmas and Pascha (I don’t even call it Easter, though I don’t mind if others do), are two of the biggest parts of our liturgical year. It really is all about Jesus. So I don’t mind if you, as a Chrisitan, don’t celebrate those, but you came off as sounding like those holidays are pagan. Maybe I misread. I think you can make are argument that some pagan elements have been adopted into the holiday (giant bunnies and such) that are distracting from the holidays true meaning, but I’m not sure a good argument can be made to do away with the holidays themselves.

    Our job is to always be pointing people to Christ. If a Christain goes to an event (no matter what event) will people see Christ in you? I think that’s the bigger question.

  37. Rick B says:

    I want to share a few things, But let me start by saying this.
    When it comes to helloween, for me, I dont celabrate it or let my kids becasue growing up as a child and young adult, that was my all time favorite holiday. I was really into evil, loved grafic, violent, bloody horror movies, the more gore and death the better.

    I really see nothing good in helloween or any possible way of trying to redeem it. Also if I want candy or my kids want it, I can buy it any day of the week, I dont need to wait for some stupid holiday and then beg for it by going door to door.

    As far as Christmas goes, my family says, thank you Jesus for coming into this world to save us, and will go to a friends or familys for that day if people want to hang out. If friends or family want to give us gifts, we will take them, I wont refuse free items that I would otherwise pay money for.

    But I dont buy gifts for friends or family, and I dont set up and decorate any tree. Now I dont do this becasue at the origins, they are pagan, I dont do this becasue I am poor and dont have money to buy gifts for people, and in no way feel guilty for not doing it. I dont set up a tree because my house is to small for one, and I dont like setting them up, spending money to hand things on it, then tearing it all down, for me thats a waste of time and money.

    My wife and kids every year want one and every year I say no, for those reasons.
    As far as the easter bunny and easter, we again say thank you Jesus for dying for us, then wonder why people eat Ham to celabrate a Jew Dying. We dont follow any tradtion of eating Ham, sometimes we do, some times we might go to eat at a local Buffet.

    Now as far as Christians in General celabrating these things, one thing you need to remember, the Bible says, to the pure, all things are pure.

    Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    I point this verse out becasue many times a believer might not know That these holidays were/are pagan at their roots. They might have just come to know Christ and are not aware of these things. So when they celebrate them, they are doing it in a pure way. I have myself seen movies or listened to songs that I thought were great, and some christian would come along and say, Did you know….

    and try and tell me something about the song or movie that is evil or bad in some way. I never knew any of this and was viewing it in a pure way and they ruined it. Hope this helps.

  38. falcon says:

    Man……………..this has been fun. It reminds me of my days in Catholic School where the nuns set-up these scenarios where we had to make some sort of moral judgement. We could even classify the sin as mortal or venial depending on the severity. We’d then wait with anticipation for the nun to give the ruling. We use to have a saying, “Sister Says!” or “Father Says!” depending on what the nun or priest had said on a topic.
    One of my favorites, and this was in the days when we were forbidden to eat meat on Fridays:
    Let’s say you are at a Friday night football game and your order a hot dog, forgetting that it was Friday. You’re half-way done eating it and you remember it’s Friday. Can you finish it or do you have to throw it away? If you throw it away it’s wasting food; a potential sin. If you eat it, you are breaking the rule knowingly, but when you started eating it, you had forgotten it was Friday.
    So what do you do and is any potential sin mortal or venial?

    Do you folks see why I face all of these moral mine fields and have to keep reminding myself of the essentials of our faith. I lived under the Law for years and it was one of the reasons I originally became a heathen. I couldn’t stand it any more. It’s taken me years to purge myself of thinking like this because after I got saved I went right back under the Law. It was all that I knew.

    That’s why I purposed to know only Christ and Him crucified. For it is by grace through faith that I have been saved. I have no intention of going back under the Law; especially those laws that many churches impose on the members.

  39. Rick B says:

    Hey Falcon,
    I was never a Catholic, But being a chef I find it funny that people say, we wont eat meat on Fridays, but they eat Fish. I dont want to busrt any bubbles, but fish is still a meat. So in that sense it seems really hypocritacl. I also am a huge believer in following Lent.

    Every year I give up lent for the lenton season, I never fail to give that up. So if I can think, I will give up lent for the lenton season, why dont others?

  40. MJP says:


    I agree with Jaxi. Its all about Christ and how we act should always reflect Christ. This might mean following OT rules, but I don’t think that is necesssarily so. As Falcon pointed out, God did usher in a new promise to His people. Jesus is that new promise, and He greatly changed things. He literally fulfills the law.

    As to obeying God’s commandments, do you obey ALL of them? If not, then you are a perfect example of why we need Christ, and about the freedom He has given us. I still say you are more than justified for trying to abide in the laws if that keeps you focused on Christ, but the laws have nothing to do with salvation.

    I simply urge you to make sure your focus is Jesus, not the law. The two are decidedly not the same. The law enslaves, whereas Jesus frees. The book of Romans does a good job explaining it. In Romans 2 we see this: “28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”

    “No, a person is not a Jew is one one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.” I read this as saying the law is something inward, and not outward; something driven by the Holy Spirit and not by written code.

    Just before that passage we read about how those who are not circumsized can be found under the protection of the law. Circumcision was a requirement under the OT law.

    In chapter 3 of Romans, Paul gives much more on the topic of the relationship betweent the law and the righteous. He declares, unambiguously: “20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law…” Do you see that? No one is righteous because the follow the law– not one person. However, as t he elipses notes, there is more. What immediately follows is this: “…rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” The law existed not to give us a way to salvation but to simply make us aware of our sin.

    What’s next in Romans 3? Paul writes this: “21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

    Breaking this up some more, we see that righteousness is given in Christ, not through the law, to all who believe, not follow the law. Everyone falls short, Jews and Gentiles alike, and it is through the sacrifice of Christ, all can be made rigtheous, to be received by faith. Why did He do it? To prove Jesus’ just and to showHis power to save by faith.

    There’s more: “27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

    Because all are saved by faith and not works, Jews and Gentiles alike, the law is upheld. Since God saves those who have faith and follow the law as well as those who have faith and don’t follow the law, the law is upheld.

    It is important to note what Paul wrote in Chapter 2 and the first part of Chapter 3 here: the law was written not to provide a means to salvation, but as a means to notify people of their sin. Faith in Jesus brings an awareness of sin, and we are therefore within the law.

    A couple more verses from Romans so as not to write a book here. Chapter 4 discusses Abraham and his works and his faith. Paul states his works were done as a result of faith, not of following the law. He writes: “13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”

    Chapter 5, after a discussion of the hope given in Christ, how sin emanated from one man, and an emphasis therefore on Christ’s power to save, leaves us with this: “20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    Paul is saying again that the law was brought in to show people their sin, and that as trespass increases, so the need for grace also increased. He is saying that the grace and righteousness is not found in the law but in Christ.

    And just to be sure it is addressed, Paul begins Chapter 6 with this admonission: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” He ends with something similar:
    “15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
    19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    We are definately not free to sin, and whether we follow the law or not, we are slaves to righteousness and sin separates from God.

    I write all of this to showhow Jesus did in fact change the dynamic. I have no problem, though, with someone who needs to live more strictly in accordance with written laws. I actually believe that one can be saved by living 100% according to God’s laws if that person’s heart is with God but does not recognize Christ. However, this is pretty much impossible, as Romans also points out how all, each and everyone, is flawed and unrighteous. That’s where Jesus is necessary, because He alone can cover our failings, no matter how little or how much we follow the OT law. That’s the Good News and the wonderful part– all we need to do is have faith in Jesus who takes away our failings and makes us whole so that we can be made righteous.

    (I do apologize about the length of this post.)

  41. MJP says:

    From Romans 7:

    “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

  42. cattyjane says:

    Im fairly certain that law was about the law of sacrifice. We sin, something must die to cover that sin. I dont think that is referring to the other instructions given by God on how we are to behave.

  43. MJP says:

    Catty, Paul uses circumsision as an example. He tells us the law was used to show us our sin. In other words, the law was the boundary of what we could do– go past it, and you sin. He then tells us that we no longer need the law to know when we sin because we have Jesus.

    I urge you to reread Romans.

    Regardless, I just hope your priority is Christ, not the law. Whether you see a more strict adherence to the law or not, the focus needs to be on Jesus.

  44. cattyjane says:

    I know your concern. Im just trying to wrap my mind around some things that dont really make sense to me at the moment.

  45. MJP says:

    Catty, I understand. Feel free to ask if you have questions.

    God Bless!

  46. cattyjane says:

    K thanks MJP.

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