October 31st is just a few days away and the fall season is looking more and more like it should. Most stores have a mix of Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations but you can tell they are chomping at the bit to get Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way so as to get to Christmas on the shelves.
As a Christian I do not celebrate nor observe Halloween and as a Reformed Christian I really don’t recognize Halloween I celebrate and observe Reformation Day October 31st.
If I have any Roman Catholics as fiends they may not be so happy that I feel this is very important day in history. It’s not a holiday but it is an important day in Church history, Protestant history and Christian history.
I’m not going to get into the depths of Reformation Day because it is very deep, much more than Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis on the Wittenberg Castle Church, more than just John Calvin and his Calvin doctrine there is a whole host of men and women that played a major part in breaking away from the Papacy during the 1500’s and 1600 hundreds and this is what really sparks my question of why are Christians not celebrating Reformation day instead of Halloween.
Now mind you up until a few years ago when I embraced reformed theology I had never heard of Reformation day and that is quite sad since I have been a Christian most of my life.
It very much perplexes me why churches do not teach church history and teach the reformation, I can understand if you are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox but a lot of protestant churches seem only to know the name of Martin Luther and a lot of people think he marched on Washington.
Over the years I have heard pretty much all the arguments of why people don’t celebrate Reformation Day over Halloween not to mention some don’t even know what it is.
Excuses from “Its Halloween everyone celebrates it so it’s a great time to have block parties, hand out tracks and preach the Gospel” Yes you are right but why not have a Reformation block party theme and dress in your favorite reformer or theologian and explain to people that come by what you are doing and what it is all about.
“Our church is trying to reach the public so we have a harvest festival or a trunk or treat (whatever that is) and we invite the public to a safe place that they can have fun.” Great but why not ditch the harvest or trunk or treat and call it Reformation festival, you already ditched the name Halloween; dress as a reformer or historical theologian or teacher (Puritans, Pilgrims, American Indians) and do the same thing but show a Church history theme and why and how protestant came to be; well maybe be respectful to our brothers and sisters of the Catholic church if you can.
“My kids are at that age where all the other kids are trick or treating and how am I going to explain to them what Reformation day is, all they want to do is dress up and get candy.” How about explaining to your kids months in advance about church history, about what Reformation day is all about. They can still dress up as reformers or animals such as livestock or turkeys who doesn’t want to dress like a turkey. Have a Reformation Day party at your house and invite your kids friend’s maybe invite families that go to your church and have a Reformation party. Do you explain to your kids what Halloween is all about anyways. Why not explain to them what Reformation day is all about you might be surprised that your children could be interested and the fact they can do the dressing up and playing fun games all the in the name of Church history and the men and women that risk their lives so you could enjoy the freedom of simply reading your Bible to your kids.
I know Halloween has a strong hold on this society and culture so I expect you would be the odd man or family out if you didn’t let your kids trick or treat but in reality you don’t let your kids to everything they want, do you? You have an opportunity to teach your children, teach people in and out of your church history and the Gospel and still have fun doing so I really don’t see where this can be so bad
I don’t expect most people to even think a second thought about actually trying something like this but if you did you might be surprise it could be fun and educational.
My parents stopped letting my brother and I celebrate Halloween when we where preteens but unfortunately they knew little or nothing about Reformation day much less the Protestant founding brothers and sisters so a chance was lost to educate us at a young age.
I’m not saying don’t let your kids stop participating parties at school but I am saying why not take charge of the fall season and celebrate a day that helped changed the way we learn about God. Take charge and teach your children and others about great men and women of God that helped shaped denominations, textual understanding and great commentaries of the words of God that helped build this great nation.
October 31 is Reformation Day, 499 years ago Martin Luther nailed a 95 these’s to the Wittenberg Castle Church, men and women before and after 1517 helped reshape Christianity and how the Church would bring the Gospel to all the lands. They became known as reformers, some died just translating the Bible in their own countries language, so it is a day well worth remembering.