* I originally made this post on October 29, 2007. With Halloween and Reformation day just around the corner, I thought it would be timely to re-post. I have done some editing, including how we celebrate Reformation day today, but for the most part it’s the same as it was 6 years ago.
As always, my intent is not to hurt feelings or offend. It is my intent to urge you to think about it.
Do you know that both Halloween and Reformation Day occur on the same date? October 31st? I didn’t. In fact, until about 3 years ago, (It would be about 10 years ago now) I had no idea that Reformation day even existed. Even my very wise, knowledgeable husband had no idea. Neither of us had ever heard of it.
Maybe you didn’t either? Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about even now? I certainly couldn’t blame you, it’s not commonly spoken of, even in mainline Christian circles. I don’t know why? It’s a wonderful day to celebrate!
October 31st is Reformation day. It is the anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the Wittenburg church door. Some churches celebrate this holiday on the last Sunday of the month. Many don’t celebrate it at all. And like I mentioned before, many Christians don’t even know of its existence.
If you do a search you will find many ideas for activities available to celebrate the occasion of the church separating from Catholicism.
When we first started celebrating, it basically included eating smoked turkey drumsticks while watching the modern version of the movie “Luther” It has evolved, last year (2012) as hospitality chair at church, I encouraged us to have a Reformation day celebration. This Sunday will be our 2nd year.
Dinner is “name your food” (Sola Salad, Tetzel pretzels, Cake of Indulgences, Diet of Worms cake, etc.) It’s fun to see how cleaver people can be. Then we play games: A Mighty Fortress Musical Chairs, Luther Rose Bowl, Coins in the Coffer coin toss, and a Papal bull pinata, this year we’re adding a Cake of Indulgences walk. Then, for those that want to stay, we watch Luther. This year it will be the old black and white version. I’m excited, I’ve never seen that one before.
Growing up, my family celebrated Halloween. Every year was a different costume. A witch, the devil, complete with red pointy ears, and a long tail, a princess, a 50’s girl going to the sock hop, etc. We really had no pretense of Christianity, and it wasn’t a problem. In fact, back then, everyone celebrated Halloween,
except for that strange family up the street…
their house was always dark on October 31st.
Now, we’re that strange family.
The first year Shane and I were married, he explained why he believed what he did about Halloween. Like many things back then, as a fairly new believer, It didn’t take much convincing for me to believe. When we lived in the city we kept our porch light and other lights in the front of the house off and went upstairs to watch a movie. I don’t know about Shane, but each Halloween night I prayed that no unknowing little child would ring our doorbell.
For many years this is how we celebrated.
Maybe, you celebrate Halloween, or maybe you participate in your churches “trunk or treat” or a Bible character costume party, or allow your children to go to parties that “aren’t Halloween related” but fall near Halloween on the calendar.
Maybe you don’t know that Halloween has its roots in Witchcraft and paganism. God’s word speaks against witchcraft. (If you doubt, look in your concordance, or an online Bible). Christian Information Ministries has an article here about witchcraft and Halloween. If you feel you must, you can also Google Halloween and Wicca and find a ton of Wiccan websites that talk about casting spells and such. (It gave me the creeps, but I did it a minute ago just to see what would come up). Yikes! Scary stuff…
Or maybe you know and justify it. “Oh we don’t believe that,” or, “I don’t let my kids dress up in scary costumes.” Or, “wow, you’re going kind of overboard aren’t you, it’s just an innocent time for kids to have fun” (see the above links or search yourself please-this is not an innocent holiday).
If you are a believer, you are called to be different. Why would you want to participate in a holiday that celebrates evil?
Why would you want your children practicing the selfish behavior of “trick or treat?” in other words, “If you don’t give me something, and something good, I’m going to do something mean to you.” Would that really happen? Probably not; but personally, I think it sends a wrong message to our children.
I know some think it’s a great way to evangelize, and maybe it is. If you do, please make sure you’re giving away the best candy on the block with your tract.
I urge those of you that continue to celebrate Halloween to study the issue. Don’t just go with the flow because it’s the thing to do, or because the “children will be disappointed.” Please study and decide.
I realize this is an issue each family must decide for themselves. My hope is that you’ll not continue to go into it blindly, that you’ll study and learn and know what you believe and why you believe it. I promise not to judge you if you don’t agree with me. Afterall, we all won’t ever agree on everything, will we?
And if you come down on the side of celebrating Reformation Day, let me know and I’ll give you details about our celebration at church.