Reformation Day: An Alternative to Culture's 'Focus on the Darker Side' During Halloween?

Portrait of Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1528. | (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

An Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, centuries ago on the last day of October.

As the 500th anniversary of the historic occasion is still a few years away, various groups are already overseeing ways and providing resources to celebrate the milestone.

Tom Macy, senior pastor at Faith Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that he viewed Reformation Day as a better alternative to Halloween.

"As the culture celebrates the superstitions of Halloween with a focus on the darker side, it seems appropriate that this day should be recognized by the church for its pivotal significance in church history," said Macy. "This major correction of the trajectory of the visible church remains a pivotal date for the church 500 years later."

Last year, Westminster Theological Seminary of Glenside, Pennsylvania released an 11-episode series titled "The Protestant Revolt: A Study of the Protestant Reformation."

Filmed between 2008 and 2013 in Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, England and Spain, the series focuses on various topics of the Reformation, Luther's legacy and the impact of his thoughts on the modern world.

In a statement released last October Westminster President Dr. Peter Lillback, who hosts the series, stressed the importance of the Reformation to global history.

"The story of the Protestant Reformation is truly an amazing event in the history of Western Civilization," said Lillback. "In the 16th century, there was an eruption of ideas that shook the world, as it was then known, and the aftershocks of that Reformation . . . continue to this very day."

Since 2008, a tourist project in Thuringia has been overseeing the "Luther Decade", which puts an emphasis on sites within the German province that were relevant to the life of the Protestant leader.

"Although Martin Luther nailed his famous theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, it is not possible to ignore Thuringia when considering Luther's life," noted their website. "It was here that he became a monk, translated the Bible into German and the place where the Schmalkaldic Articles were created, the most important basis of Evangelical Lutheran belief."

"The Luther Decade" includes different themes for the years 2008 to 2017. For 2014, the focus is on "Reformation and Politics."

"Authority and responsibility, belief and power, freedom of conscience and human rights – these are themes of the Reformation which are also present today and deserve an in-depth discussion in the church and in society," reads the site

As the 500th anniversary is still three years away, each year churches across the United States and different denominations observe "Reformation Sunday."

Observed on the last Sunday in October, Reformation Sunday services celebrate the Protestant Reformation.

Macy also told CP about how his congregation, averaging 600 attendees for two worship services, sang the classic Luther hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God,"

"I often find an appropriate connection to acknowledge the importance of the Reformation as a return to biblical faithfulness," said Macy.

"This Sunday, I am in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 with the focus on temptation. No problem to find a connection to Luther's battle with temptation as expressed in A Mighty Fortress: 'And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us…'"

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