500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Your calendar probably doesn't say, but October 31 is the 500th anniversary of the reformation! If you ask any American what holiday comes end of October, they will promptly reply, "Halloween." Some Christians may boycott Halloween because of its promotion of evil, but few will commemorate Reformation Day.

The Christian Church in the US does not celebrate its historical birthday on Pentecost Sunday either. It comes too close to our Memorial Day (It was June 4 this year). In much of Europe and in other countries, Christians take a 3-day weekend to celebrate Pentecost. It is the most important holiday after Christmas and Easter. You can read an article that I wrote about our experiences on Pentecost when we served as missionaries in Europe here: http://www.rvharvey.org/d-pentecost.htm

Coming back to the up-coming 500th anniversary of the reformation, I suggest that US Christians who are in some way thankful for any positive fruit of the reformation, should take time to commemorate Reformation Day - at least this year. Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle chapel on October 31, 1517. It was a simple act, but it made history.

You could read up on church history, reformation history in particular. You don't need to be a Lutheran nor do you need to be "protestant" in order to benefit from such a study. If you read just one book or article about the reformation, you will learn what at least one person or group thinks, or knows, or thinks that he or she knows. There are many opinions out there, but if one is careful to observe established facts, it is still possible to get a fairly clear picture of history.

If you just celebrate Halloween like the rest of the country, you will be a loser.

Some people don't care for church history or the history of religion because there is so much in it that is not nice. The Bible is also filled with ugly stories. They are there because they are true and we should learn from them (II Timothy 3:16). I hear people talk about the "historical books of the Bible." In my estimation, there are 66 of them. Some books of the Bible are called prophetical books, but the prophets talked a lot about the past and they made history. In fact, much of the New Testament is history. The Apostles had a reputation that they had "turned the world upside down." They just preached and taught historical facts, and in the process, they made history. I could make similar statements about the poetical books and the epistles. History is HIS-STORY, whether it's called Genesis, the Gospels, Acts or Revelation.

If you don't like church history because there is too much bloodshed, read my article about the World Wars! If I have convinced you to read about church history and you don't want to spend money on books, you can read more than 20 articles that I have written on the subject absolutely free. Just click on "Ralph's Documents" and choose anything under the "Church History" heading.

I made a PowerPoint presentation about Martin Luther's famous hymn, "A Mighty Fortress" in which you can hear the music, read the words and admire dozens of castles and fortresses. Click the link! You can choose to watch it or download it to your computer.

Ralph Harvey