Un-Reformed Baptists and Reformation Day

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.


3 thoughts on “Un-Reformed Baptists and Reformation Day

  1. Some Protestants have the notion that Catholics do not “believe” in the Bible, so they bring up Second Timothy 3:15-16 to support their belief of Sola Scriptura:“… from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

    Certainly Catholics believe in the Bible (Catholics put together the Bible!) but this verse does not really support the belief of Sola Scriptura; it does not say that scripture alone is an adequate guide to the faith For that matter, the whole Bible does not say that we should believe in the Bible alone, nor does it say which books are inspired by God. This is only one hole in the belief of Sola Scriptura; there are many more.


    • p160,

      Classic straw-man introduction. This is only one issue I’d take with your statement; there are more.

      *Question of your “belief” in Scripture likely is based on the connotational range of the word. I don’t know any Protestants that question the Catholic belief in Scripture per se. The Catholic view of Church tradition would, however, cause some to question their full “belief.”
      *No thorough defense of Sola Scriptura is based on one verse alone, but I suspect you know that.
      *”Catholics put together the Bible!” – An statement that at best contains historical inaccuracies.
      *This verse alone may not support Sola Scriptura, but it is a part of the overall argument.
      *The remainder of your attack on this doctrine can be debated, though I don’t think either of us would be persuaded by the other!
      *I would take your argument more seriously if it didn’t come across as a thinly-veiled attempt to draw visitors to blog rather than a genuine discussion comment.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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