Each year on October 31st, our family celebrates Reformation Day honoring the day Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. Our celebration varies from year to year, but we enjoy some form of celebration each year. I don’t know anyone who would consider me a full-fledged Reformed Baptist so some might wonder why I participate in recognizing this date. Some go so far as to say a Baptist has no business doing so.
Tomorrow I will share some of the reasons FOR celebrating. In this post I want to briefly answer some objections I’ve encountered.
1. Baptists aren’t Protestant
I’ll leave the finer points of this debate to the historians, but it is beside the point. Why do you have to be a Protestant to appreciate the emphasis and effects of the Reformation? If that’s the case, only descendants of the original colonists should celebrate Independence Day. Subsequent immigrants should refrain.
But that is not the case. Just as every American should celebrate Independence Day because we enjoy the benefits of it, and freedom-loving citizens of any country can participate because they appreciate the truths it embodies, a Baptist can enjoy Reformation Day with a clear conscience.
2. It’s just an alternative to Halloween
Our family doesn’t celebrate it as an alternative. We choose not to be involved in recognizing Halloween, but do not view Reformation Day as a weak-sister option. There are sufficient reasons (which I will address in my next post) to celebrate it in its own right.
Besides, why would this be a reason NOT to celebrate it?
3. Bad things happened in the Reformation
Certainly this is true, but bad things happen in anything people are involved in. This is not a celebration of everything that happened during the Reformation, it is a celebration of the things it got right. If this reasoning was applied consistently, we wouldn’t celebrate anything. Will we stop celebrating Christmas because of evil done in the name of Christianity down through the centuries?
4. We have doctrinal differences with many of the Reformers
Again, this is true, but not enough reason to denigrate the things I believe they got right. I am not celebrating the differences, I am celebrating what I have in common with them: Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone), Sola fide (by faith alone), Sola gratia (by grace alone), Solo Christo (through Christ alone), Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)!
Tomorrow I will post my reasons FOR celebrating Reformation Day.