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Halloween is not the only observance that falls on the last day of October. For many Christians, Oct. 31 is the day to celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
Given the significance of the day, clergy often reflect about how far the spiritual movement has come since the 16th century.
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk for the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), told The Christian Post he believed the message of the Reformation was growing in America.
“Martin Luther would find a new wind of reformation is blowing through the church. He would be happy to see a new challenge to institutional forms of church and a new openness to laity powered ministry,” said Parsons.
“I think the message of the Reformation of a church that engages minds and hearts is growing.”
The Rev. Albert B. Collver, director of church relations for The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, believed that the Reformation message was “obscured by self-interested consumerism and post-modernism that regards all truth as relative.”
“Luther would not be surprised that much of Western Europe has abandoned the Gospel. He would not be surprised that it is in danger of being lost in the United States,” said Collver to CP.
“Repentance always has preceded every ‘reformation’ of the church. There are some signs of hope but also signs that the message of the Reformation is weakening.”
In an opinion column for the Associated Baptist Press, Columbia University Medical Center Chaplain Kevin Johnson chose to focus on the man himself, Martin Luther.
“Christians (and society as a whole) owe a lot to Luther. His translation of the Bible from Latin into the vernacular made the scriptures accessible to the masses. Luther’s German translation served as a forerunner to the King James Bible,” wrote Johnson.
“On this Reformation Day, I will be taking a few moments to remember Martin Luther, a saint of God who has had a profound impact upon me and my development as a church musician, as a student of theology, as a Protestant pastor, and especially as a believer in the message of the Scriptures.”
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg in what is now Germany. His actions are credited with starting the Protestant Reformation.