Well over 30 years ago our church in Indiana would have yearly 'spooktacular's' and bring all the teens out for a night of fun and horror. One year the local farmer who belonged to our church loaned us his big barn for the event and we bused dozens of kids out to his farm to take a terror trek through it. There were monsters, vampires, cob webs, cow guts, blood, and all other kinds of horrid things to scare them with. We did it all in fun to entertain the kids. The leading athlete on our schools wrestling team was a 260 lb black kid who bragged that there was nothing we could do to scare him. He ended up being so terrified by what he saw in that barn that he ended up on his face on the floor of the barn, screaming and covering his ears with his hands. It took four or five men to pick him up and carry him out becaue he was too terrified to get up. We all laughed about that and thought it was quite funny.... ....but I don't think it's funny now. Below is an ad for a Halloween spooktacular as promoted by a liberal church. But Bible believing churches are doing this also...all across the country. Unfortunately, I gladly participated in this fiasco and continued to do so until the last year I attended that church. Then it happened... One year at Halloween one of the men in our church dressed up like a vampire...with blood running out the side of his mouth. He looked like a Dracula figure, first class. He went walking down the church hallway and my 5 year old daughter Marcia saw him. She was instantly terrorized and she flipped out; so strongly that she became temporarily autistic. I was called in to the office about it and I was horrified to see her in that condition. It was the first time in my life that I had seen any of my children like that & I was in near panic trying to get her to respond. Finally she did respond to my love and she quickly hugged me and soon told me what scared her so badly. Lesson # 1: One can't play with fire without getting burned; sooner or later. I never made the connection between our involvement in celebrating Halloween and II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. The fact is that I was responsible for what happened to my little girl and the pastor was responsible for the terror that he allowed to affect our teenagers. It was a spiritual blindness that I cannot even begin to rationalize now. We were all absolutely blind to what Paul told Timothy in this regard but as I was to find out, that spirit of fear he mentioned was and is an evil spirit/devil. Devils don't care if Christians believe in Jesus, go to church, or read their Bible regularly....for if they get involved in dark things they can operate through any compromise with evil. Lesson # 2 One cannot arbitrarily decide that evil things are not evil without consequences. In the late 1980's I allowed the children in class here to have a weekly time of fun and relaxation on Friday afternoons. Sometimes they played outside. Sometimes they played games. On one occasion I allowed the children to watch movies like "The Neverending Story" and "The Little Mermaid". What a mistake on my part! What blindness. But it's not like the devil didn't make it obvious. The very symbol of The Neverending Story struck me as demonic as soon as I saw it: The serpent swallowing its tail is the Ourobouros of the occult and pagan world and I knew it. My conscience was immediately pricked when I saw it, but I repressed my feelings and let them watch that evil movie anyway. A few years later I was sitting in the living room with my family here at home and suddenly my youngest (13 yr old) daughter started acting strangely. Soon she was making faces at me and that was disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as it was when her face transformed before me: her bottom lip went clear down to her chin and her upper lip was touching her nose and I could see every tooth in her head. She started mocking me and when I demanded to know what spirit had control of her the evil spirit spoke through her and said, "Neverending Story...does that tell you anything?" That night I had to cast a number of devils out of my girls life. I was surprised by the number of them but each of them was related to one of the characters in that movie. I was stunned when one of the devils shouted at me, "We've been in her a long time, preacher, and you didn't even know it!" That shook my to the core, but it led me to soon pray for forgiveness from God to allow the children to be exposed to evil things. The Lord was very patient with me and merciful to my daughter. She was delivered from the evil spirits in the name of Jesus. Yet, God was patient and letting me learn by experience just where the boundaries of good and evil really are. Those boundaries are not where most biblical Christians want them to be because millions of believers are in a state of compromise with evil on many levels in this day and age. Lesson # 3 Evil is still evil in no matter what form it happens to manifest itself and the devils will function in each of them whether we happen to see it or not. My wife and I stayed in a motel in a distant city in the mid-1980's. We watched a Jim Henson (originator of the Muppets) kids movie together called The Dark Crystal. I was instantly blown away by the very first scene: As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what it was: black magick. I found it hard to believe that the creator of the Muppets would be involved in such dark sinister things but that is exactly what he was involved in. It was pure gnosticism from beginning to end, just like the Roman Catholic mystic J.R.R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings...which so many believers are infatuated with. Yet most biblical Christians today don't even know what gnosticism is and don't recognize it when it is laid before them. But that is quite the point, for modern Christians, recognizing evil in all of its forms is a huge problem and many have involved themselves in evil things and darkness willfully because of personal preferences without consideration as to what the Bible says about evil. It is a blindness to be sure, but I remember my own blindness and how I rationalized things to suave my conscience. However, the devils don't care about our rationalizations and they laugh at us when we do this. They will invade any territory of our minds that we surrender to them just as the Philistines did so often in invading ancient Israel because of the compromising Israelites of old.