“Should a Christian participate in a ‘Color Run?”
by Rev Kyle Mangino
Lately I’ve been seeing friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, participating in this event’s called “Color Runs” which are usually 5k runs, were people wear white and stop by color stations to throw colored powder on themselves, their friends and in the air. The past two springs, more and more pictures on Facebook of smiling people covered in blues, purples, yellows, reds and other colors with little spots of their white tee-shirts peeking out from behind, keep showing up in my timeline.
Honestly, It looks like a lot of fun (a little precarious for anyone with dust allergies or asthma) and just imagine an adult food fight, replacing the food with colored powders and celebrating -as the press release I ran across was reading says, “a feel-good, happy, colorful event. It is a living, moving work of art.”
Which browsing over the press release is fine at first read.
Digging a little further into the release I caught this wording, and it got me thinking and wanting to do a little more investigation on the philosophy behind the event, “It was clear from the beginning that The Color Run has some hidden magic.”
“Hidden Magic” is an interesting choice of words and anytime I hear the word magic in relation to an event or celebration, it makes me start to wonder.
So, being the curious internet detective- I started googling and bing-ing away and ran into some interesting information about a color celebration that seems very similar to the color runs that are sweeping the nation.
It seems there is in the Hindu religion there is an event called the Holi festival, each year in India, where colors are thrown into the air.
It’s a magical festival, celebrating the destruction of Hiranyakashipu, a king of demons ruling demon, is destroyed by his son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. According to Wikipedia, “the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.”
A few different areas of India have slightly different perspectives on the magical and mythological aspect of the celebration, but it does have common themes throughout all parts of the country.
According to about.com regarding the Holi Festival, “People spend the day smearing colored powder all over each other’s faces, throwing colored water at each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers.” Which looks strikingly similar to some of the pictures I’ve seen- that I’ve mentioned were on my friends facebook pages.
It’s interesting to note that the same months the Holi Festival happen are also the same months the color runs across the US are booked where thousands of runners participate in the festivities.
Is a color run a bad thing in itself? Maybe not, but we as Christians are warned to use our discernment and not fall to the wiles and tricks of the devil who tries to infiltrate our lives and minds though seemingly innocuous ways.
What a great way to indoctrinate the people of the US to a festival that celebrates a demon killing its demon king father and being blessed by a god. And I use the term god with a lowercase G, because it is a “god” of this world.
Here is how the devil works. Satan steals love, or tries to steal love from people and his wicked plans are at work all around us. The pathetic thing about Lucifer in his jealousy for God, where he’s so desperate for adoration he tries to trick us into worshiping and celebrating him, without us even knowing it. Trickery…and speaking of that word, trickery is also mentioned in this Holi festival, since it also celebrates the silliness and trickery of a prank of Krishna against Radha- by placing color on him.
If you look at photographs on the internet of the color runs and also photos of the Holi festival, it will be hard to tell the difference between the two events. People dressed in white, a rainbow of colors thrown into the air, running, playing… so on.
In Matthew 7:15 the lord warns us to watch out for false prophets in the coming age “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves…” And Jesus states in another part of the New Testament regarding Satan, “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The bible also talks about idolatry and worshiping false gods.
Satan is the king of Diversion and makes the wrong things seem attractive, and he’s also the master of deception and lies.
The thing that can trap Christians into celebrating what seems to be a fun, innocent time of throwing colors into the air, is the fact you do not know you are deceived until you awake from your deception. Usually, a deceived person will not even check to see if they are deceived, they start accepting the deception.
Again, I will point out I don’t know the true intention and motivation behind the runs nationwide but I do know, this run celebrates many of the same themes as does the Hindu festival, it is right around the same exact time of year/season and uses a lot of the same colorful imagery.
I will leave it up to you and Jesus and your own discernment whether or not you want to participate in events such as this. I’d suggest studying the festival in India more and looking into who is hosting the color event you’re thinking about attending, what their religious affiliations are and what charities they’re involved in.
I’m doing my spiritual duty as a fellow brother-in-Christ to suggest that as a Christian you take this as a word of caution, pray and think about attending these events.
Personally, looking at pictures of both events, something is disturbing to my spirit, so for those of you who invited me to come walking/running with you this past month, don’t worry about inviting me in the future- I’ll pass on attending, and not just for the asthmatic reasons.
God Bless and let prayer and discernment guide your way.