Sunday, October 21, 2012

Will You Be Tricked This Halloween?

By Michala T.

October marks that particular time when America opens up their haunted houses. Some of you may be tricked this year. You may go into what you think is a haunted house but is actually a Hell House. Oh, you poor dears. Well, you may get the spooks scared out of you. Who knows. Of course, that isn't exactly what Hell Houses were created for.

Hell Houses are an American occurrence that began in the 1990’s. The original Hell House was originally a modern day fire and brimstone sermon. However it has turned into a popular and modernized religious ceremony of sorts that includes stage, crew, actors, lighting, and a full audio and visual crew as well.
Now it depends on the kind of Hell House you are visiting that determines what you will see. Some Hell Houses have tour guides dressed as demons that will lead you from scene to scene (or room to room). Other times it will not be a demon but just a tour guide.

The scenes you will witness involve car crashes including drinking and driving, suicide, botched abortions, AIDS-related deaths, date rapes, school shootings, adultery, ect. The scenes really are limitless and there is no telling just what you will encounter. Each scene is narrated by the tour guide or simply allowed to unfold. The scenes depict sins that people choose to live in, and the tormented souls after they have made those decisions.
It is in a sense like a haunted house, but with a purpose. The purpose is to scare you into repenting of your sins. After the tour there are tables lined up and people are waiting to talk with you, to pray with you, and hopefully…you have been scared shitless and are willing to give your soul over to the Lord in hopes of having never face eternal damnation.

I’m a Christian. But I have to say, I just don’t agree with Christians scaring people into becoming Christians. At least not like that. It’s just utterly ridiculous. I mean, yeah, Jesus said some crazy scary stuff when he spoke of Hell but I just can’t see how a bunch of people in costumes can convey the real significance of soul-searching and living with Jesus and the other ‘spiritual’ stuff that comes with being a Christian. (Mind you…I’m not imposing my faith on anyone.) I’m actually saying that I hate when people force their beliefs onto others.
I get that as Christians we are supposed to go out to all the nations and preach the gospel. But Hell Houses more often than not spread more misinformation than they do the gospel. And quite honestly, I don’t think I would want my children or any of my loved ones believing that joining my faith is all about avoiding the ‘wrath of God’.
This site said it well. “In their efforts to offer a Christian alternative to supposed pagan elements of Halloween, they end up using the worst cultural elements to attract teens: violence, sex, blood, and carnage.”
I just don’t get where the choices my faith leads me such as loving people I wouldn’t normally love, helping out even when my time is short, and donating money even when I am in need myself is anywhere aligned with the ‘hell house’s view of the gospel. It doesn’t make sense to me at all. I mean, really! There is not one ounce of “God loves you” in any Hell House that I know of.  And if there isn’t any of that good stuff….I don’t want it! No thanks!

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