Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reformation Day!!!

Well, most of us know October 31st as Halloween, but many people in our churches really have no clue what Reformation Day is really all about. Reformation Day is Oct. 31st and it is an opportunity to at least point out to our children the importance of this day. As I point out to our congregation, the Jewish people had a lot of festivals and celebrations to lead their children to ask questions so they could teach them about God. We have celebrations and we come up with ways to exclude Christ and gospel. Use this time to at least mention this to your children. If you want to make the most of it, use this weekend as a movie night and watch “Luther” as a family and talk about the blessing of men who were bold enough to stand on the Word of God when it could cost them their life (while "Luther" can be a dark film and may inappropriate for young children...parents will need to be the judge of this.  Please see http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2004/q3/luther.aspx for a review of the film and its content)

Below is a short blog from biblegateway.com about October 31st.

Did you know that October 31 is one of the most significant dates in church history? No, I’m not talking about Halloween—I’m talking about Reformation Day! You probably won’t see neighborhood kids going door-to-door dressed like Martin Luther or Ulrich Zwingli on Monday night, but these men and their fellow reformers made a huge and lasting impact on the way that evangelical Christians understand and approach Scripture.
The Protestant Reformation was shaped by many people over many years, but came into focus when a monk named Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517. Luther was a Catholic priest who was upset at the widespread corruption he observed within the ecclesiarchy, most notably the sale of “indulgences” that promised postmortem forgiveness of sins for deceased loved ones.
Outside Luther’s Germany, similar “protest” movements were helmed by people like John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Knox. Beyond protesting corruption in the church, the emerging “protestant” movement challenged many of the theological teachings of the Roman Catholic church. The reformers believed that Scripture alone—not human traditions or the rulings of a church—held complete authority for Christians (see “sola scriptura”), and that salvation was a free gift of God that could not be earned by good deeds. The widespread publication and distribution of Bibles—indeed, the fact that all of us can afford and freely read the Bible ourselves—is one of the most enduring legacies of the Reformation.
The century following the Protestant Reformation was a chaotic and violent time, but the reform movements survived to form the basis of today’s Protestant denominations. Protestants owe a debt of gratitude to the many reformers who risked (and in some cases, lost) their lives rebuilding the church. And non-Protestant Christians can appreciate the reformers for confronting corruption in the church, even if they don’t agree with all of Protestant theology. So on October 31, pause for a few minutes amidst the Halloween festivities to remember this pivotal moment in church history.