We have been celebrating this weekend! No, not Halloween. We haven't participated in Halloween since our eldest was a baby. Sure, we have bounced around from doing nothing at all, to going a Fall Festival at a local church, but we have always felt it was pointless. We realized early on it just wasn't good. Here is something I received last week that seemed put it into words for us.
Our country is in the grip of a fear crisis. The tension because of this fear is almost palpable. There is fear over elections, fear over the economy, and fear over hundreds of other issues ranging from the environment to terrorism.
The one fear that America is missing is a fear of the Lord. As a people, we no longer fear God. Because we do not fear God, we no longer hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).
Instead of hating evil, Americans toy with it. We toy with holidays like Halloween that were conceived in evil and that promote the “cute-ification” of evil, whether that evil takes the form of witchcraft, sorcery, ghoulishness, or some other form of malevolent imagery paraded before our children. We laugh at the very things that the Lord describes as “abominations,” and we find ourselves obsessively fascinated by, and attracted to, all things dark.
Yet we do not fear the Lord.
You can read this article by Doug Philips in it's entirety here.
It just so happens we have found something far better to do with the last few days of October. We celebrate the Reformation. I would venture to say that most Americans have little more than a faint memory of something learned in school about King Henry VIII and the Roman Church. Sadly most don't even know what the Reformation is, even those claiming to be Christians. I'll do my best to sum it up.
The Roman Catholic Church and it's beliefs and practices like purgatory, particular judgment, devotion to Mary, the intercession of the saints, most of the sacraments, and the authority of the Pope were under attack. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his Nintey-Five Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Castle challenging the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church on its many false practices such as selling indulgences, the scam of paying money to the church which claimed it would get dead family members out of purgatory, and the others mentioned earlier. On November 1st, All Saints Day, flocks of people found and read this thesis, thus the birth of the Protestant Reformation. There were many events, several of which cost many men their lives, whose purpose was to reform the medieval Roman Cathloic Church. These had great impact on the church as we know it today, as well as the world, by returning the Bible alone, not the Bible and man made traditions, as the authority in the life of the believer, as well as the Bible being made available in the language of the common person. Now people can read with their own eyes that God alone saves, not God and the Church, not God and the Pope, not God and 10 Hail Mary's, but the Scriptures alone, faith alone, God alone.
We have spent the month of October learning about great men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Thomas Cranmer, and others, and their contributions to the Reformation as well as Pope Leo X, King Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and others in opposition to this Reformation. We nailed our own Ninety-Five Thesis to the bathroom door, burned our own Papal Bull and ran from Pope Leo, and many other exciting things to learn and remember these significant events.
We used this book for our family worship and recommend it for your own study. There are many other excellent resources out there for adults as well as children, let me know if you are interested.
To close our month long study, we attended the 18th annual Reformation Conference at Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel, MS. The key note speakers, Michael Haykin and Don Whitney, were excellent. I will post links to the incredible sermons they gave once they are made available.
The Reformation reclaimed the Scriptural teaching of the Sovereignty of God over every aspect of the believer's life. All of life is to be lived to the glory of God. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." Therefore, every activity of the Christian is to be sanctified unto the glory of God. ~Pastor Jerry Marcellino, Audubon Drive Bible Church
Soli Deo Gloria!To God Alone be the Glory!