We had never done a Trunk or Treat at the church before. But, since so many others that normally do so had cancelled, we saw both a need and an opportunity and stepped up to do one. The office wing hallway got filled up with gobs of candy (and, while “gobs” likely does not have an actual, official definition to it, all Southerners know what gobs are) as well as gospel tracts, magnets, Bible verse bracelets, and other Bible-based gifts to give out to everyone who came.

I even carved two pumpkins — a pretty girl pumpkin and a wide-eyed boy pumpkin staring at her in amazement.

When the cars started pulling into the parking lot, I expected to see tons of cute kids, frazzled adults, and the occasional teenager giving the all-too-transparent “this is for my little brother” excuse. What I did not expect was a fantastic spiritual lesson in the form of two tiny super heroes.

The Black Panther started making his way toward my truck, joined by a couple of little pirates. But this black panther was a little white kid of about five years old. I smiled at him and said, “Hey, Black Panther, how’s it going?” He smiled, made claws with his hands, then held out his bag for me. I gave him some candy and a magnet and said, “Keep everybody here safe, okay?” He smiled again, puffed out his chest and said, “I will!”

Maybe fifteen minutes later, Iron Man made his way to my station. But this Iron Man was a black kid of maybe eight or nine. I smiled at him and said, “Iron Man is my favorite. I even have a tag on the front of my truck.” He smiled and said, “Mine too!” and went on his way.

A white Black Panther, and a black Iron Man. “I wonder how long it will be before political correctness sucks all of the joy out of their lives by indoctrinating them with the ‘cultural appropriation’ mantra,” I said to no one in particular.

As you can likely guess, I am no fan of killjoys.

It seems to me that there are certain things that come easy in childhood, things that have to be intentionally ruined in order for people to lose them by adulthood. One of those things is faith. In Matthew 17:3 Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Children have such an easy time simply believing God; they usually have to be talked or taught out of that tendency to get them to go the wrong way.

But they also tend to have a joy of life about them, the ability to have fun without the fear of running afoul of the frowning, self-appointed arbiters of ever changing societal expectations. A little white kid decide he is the Black Panther, a black kid can decide he is Iron Man, and neither of them see anything odd about that, let alone anything inappropriate. Nor, by the way, did the cute little back girl who came by dressed as Ariel the Mermaid a few minutes later. It is almost enough to make me want to put children in charge of the world for a little while.

Some years ago an Asian friend of mine taught a bunch of white kids his “Asian Guy Version” of “I’m In The Lord’s Army,” which ended each line with “take a picture!” instead of “yes sir!” as if sung by an Asian tourist. They howled with laughter and have sung it ever since. And you can bet that someday, despite the fact that an Asian taught it to them, and that it is entirely in good clean fun, they will be stunned to get blasted as “racists” for it.

My wife as a teenager was a missionary kid in Grenada. Some of the little Grenadian girls used to do her hair in corn rows, just like theirs. If she ever runs for public office it will be inevitable that someone finds those pictures and hits her for “cultural appropriation” just for loving those kids enough to let them fix her hair. Some of the black gentlemen I used to minister to in prison taught me how to sway and clap and put “soul” into my singing. The horrors!

How exhausting. If I may be so blunt, whoever makes it their mission in life to sniff out transgressions against things that aren’t even wrong is in desperate need of this amazing thing called “a life.” Or maybe they could just “take their medicine,” as in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Kids generally come equipped by God with merry hearts and then have to be trained out of it by highly educated young adults with PhDs in Misery.

Life is too short to be miserable, and nothing makes people any more miserable than having to deal with the PC Police. So go appropriate a bowl of chips and salsa for lunch, listen to any message the late great black preacher E.V. Hill ever preached and then try to mimic him, use chopsticks for your Italian supper with baklava for desert, sing along with the delightful twang of Peg McKamey no matter where you are from, and fix your hair whatever way makes you happy, no matter what race it supposedly “belongs to.”

If you have a problem with that, not only do I have Proverbs 17:22 on my side, I am also now on pretty good terms with two super heroes, so just put a sock in it and move along quietly.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mooresboro, N.C. He is a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books. He can be reached by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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