The Reformation is a term used that covers a huge swath of history. Even among Christians it can have many different meanings. So take these tips with a grain of salt since they may only apply to me and my family.
Tip 1: Keep It Simple - Because the world teaches us that to truly celebrate we must go overboard in so many ways i.e. eating, prep time, expense, etc. this is a real temptation for many of us to follow. I have to keep reminding myself to simplify. I want space in our days and our celebrations for there to be peace that can be felt. There needs to be a place for the Spirit to speak to my children (and me!) so that they can know for themselves that God lives and loves them.
Tip 2: Pray – God will guide you to know what to do and, probably more importantly, what not to do. I have so many ideas that I have to keep a notebook to list new inspirations that keep popping up. “Ask and it shall be given you.” But remember Tip 1.
Tip 3: Get Excited! – My children love this holiday because I love it. I am excited about what I am learning and sharing. I am excited that I have been touched with a love for the scriptures and the reformers that I have never experienced before. I am excited to share my testimony with others so that they might taste of the sweetness of God’s word. I am excited for my little surprises I wrote about in Part 3. I’m excited to be experiencing a holiday that fills my family with light as we enter the Christmas season.
Tip 4: Make it Special – Set aside time in family devotionals, dinner conversations, bedtime stories or even in the car when you speak of reforming your life and the value of the scriptures. Make special foods. Maybe dress up in special clothes. I love to read by candlelight since it draws everyone closer together and feels sacred for us. Do things out of the ordinary that shows your family that this is indeed a Holy Day. And, remember Tip 1.
Tip 5: Teach the Why Behind the Celebration – There are 2 parts to this: teach why you choose to not celebrate Halloween and teach why you do choose to celebrate the Reformation. This is something I revisit every year as the neighbors put out decorations and friends ask “What are you going to be?” Each year I gain a stronger testimony that I am doing the right thing for my family. Sometimes I need the reminder too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can’t I celebrate both Halloween and the Reformation? Sure you can. And you can get married and still date other men. And you can workout every day and still eat like a pig. And you can support the right to life and send a donation to your local abortion clinic. (I don’t know how to do a smiley face but you know I’m joking, right?)
Here’s the thing. Once you understand for yourself that it is not pleasing to God for you to participate in “The Night of Supreme Demonic Jubilation” you simply won’t want to do it. The spirit of the two simply don’t mesh. If however, you have prayed about it and you feel that you should continue your Halloween observance, go ahead. I’m not here to tell you what to do, just what I chose for my family.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Make a choice. Take a stand. Be firm.
I prayed and I feel that I am to continue to celebrate Halloween. Is that possible? Sure, it’s possible. I kind of doubt that it’s probable but I didn’t have that experience, you did. If you are feeling confused about your answer or anxious I would revisit it. God’s spirit is not one of anxiety, confusion or fear. Search for “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” If you feel that peace, don’t abandon that path on my account.
I’m all for dumping Halloween but my family is not on-board. What should I do? First, go to God. He’s the one with the answer for you. For me it took some humility and willingness to take a stand against Halloween but I also asked God for a miracle so that my children would desire to go along with it. He gave me that miracle, which I wrote about in Part 1. I would also suggest having some teaching moments in family devotionals or dinner time where you can express your discomfort with the holiday and see what your children have to say. Do they really love Halloween or just the candy? Or maybe just dressing up? Find out specifically and see if you can have a Holy Day and include things they love while still honoring your revealed path.
My husband’s favorite holiday is Halloween. He decorates, he dresses up, he loves horror movies, he does it all! How can I convince him to let it go? You can’t. You will not be able to convince him of anything – especially if he thinks you are trying to convince him. That’s the job of the Spirit. I think if you take your concerns to him in a loving way, depending on your relationship, he will listen to your point of view. I would also call him out as a man and as your protector to stand up for Christ. Ultimately, prayer is your best bet. Turn him over to God and compliment him whenever you see him leading your family in righteousness and creating a safe environment for the Spirit.
I should mention that much of why we let go of Halloween was my doing. This came about from me getting serious about my stewardship as a mother and being “primarily responsible for the nurture of [my] children.” Luckily, my husband supports me in that role. Thus, I make the final decision on most of the issues around holidays and how they affect our home and children. My husband has gone along with it but he had no problem with celebrating Halloween like everyone else.
However, since last year’s celebration, (remember how simple it was?) my husband has been on-board 100%. But he had to feel of the Spirit of the Reformation before he was convinced. He is now on fire about it, something I could have never foreseen. It wasn’t something I did to convince him. It was something he was taught by the Spirit.
What’s wrong with having a little fun? We don’t do any of the evil or gross things around the holiday. In fact it holds no real meaning for us other than just being fun. There’s nothing inherently “wrong” with having fun. Make your Reformation Day celebration fun! Just don’t tell me that it’s okay to celebrate a satanic holiday as long as you don’t acknowledge it as satanic. Would you be okay with your children celebrating other holidays associated with the occult as long as they kept it all “fun”? Just remember that your “fun” Halloween traditions “grow up” like I talked about in Part 1.
Honestly, I’m not here to tell you whether or not to celebrate Halloween but to offer a much better alternative that happens to coincide with October 31st. The Reformation is so full of meaning, joy and strength that if someone tried to convince me to abandon it because something else is “fun” . . . let’s just say that they wouldn’t have chance. I know I can’t convince you to abandon a tradition if it is held deep in your heart. I’m just offering you an alternative.
You seem to focus a lot on the translation of the Bible. I thought the Reformation, and October 31st, was about Martin Luther. The Reformation can be a lot of different things. There is simply too much for me to cover to talk about it all. Also, I don’t know much about several of the events of the Reformation.
I have a lot of ideas for the coming years that will involve several other historic events and figures of the Reformation. This year I am focusing on the coming forth of the English Bible because I feel passionate about it. You can be lead to something personal and meaningful for your family.
Would you like us to all abandon Halloween and just celebrate the Reformation? That could be great if it was done for the right reasons. My hesitation is that Reformation Day would turn into another commercialized holiday with Martyr Marshmallows you can roast over an open fire or pinatas in the likeness of Martin Luther that you can whack with a stick until he vomits forth candy in the shape of a Bible. Not pretty.
Reformation Day isn’t anything like a holiday we currently celebrate in Christendom. It has a different spirit. Because it is so unsoiled from the world it is precious and not something I try to convince others of celebrating unless they feel called to do so. I felt that calling. I feel it now.
Our church leaders celebrate this holiday. Are you putting yourself above them? I guess that depends on what you mean. I put myself above everyone when it comes to receiving personal revelation for my family.
My local church leaders also participate in Halloween. In fact, I’m honestly not aware of a local Christian church that doesn’t. I’m at a loss as to know why that it because celebrating the Reformation is so incredible!
I would hate to have you for a neighbor. You are so judgmental. Really? Maybe I am your neighbor and you don’t know it. Just let me say that if you feel judged that’s for you to work out with God, not me. I have no problem loving and serving all you Halloween lovers out there. You are still my brothers and sisters in Christ. However, I honestly think you are missing out on a life changing event. But, that’s for you to decide.
I don’t want to offend anyone. Good for you. I don’t want to offend anyone either. In Matthew 24 we are told of the last days, our days. One thing he mentions is, “. . then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” We don’t seek to offend but many, including fellow Christians, will find standing for Christ to be offensive because it calls forth something in them. Let them have their offense if they choose it. It may be the path they need to follow to finally choose to turn to Christ.
By standing for Christ you are least likely to offend those who really matter. (I’m talking about God, Christ, & the Holy Spirit, not me or others who celebrate Reformation Day.)
You take this so seriously. Doesn’t God want his children to have fun? Frankly, no. I can’t find a single reference in the scriptures that encourages us to seek “fun.” I do know that God wants us to experience peace and joy. If that’s what Halloween does for you, then continue on. But I must say that I do think my family’s celebration of holidays, as different as they may be, are fun . . . or maybe enjoyable is a better word. We spend time together, play games, sing songs and create memories that strengthen our family.
You are correct that I do take this seriously. The Reformation was deadly serious. In our day I don’t know if something like the Reformation could have happened because it’s not really fun to flee from your home, watch your children suffer or burn at the stake as a witness for Christ. Pintrest is much more fun.
Don’t you miss anything about Halloween? I do. I miss sharing a common event among my family, friends & neighbors. I don’t, however, miss it enough to abandon my current path or join in theirs.
There is much to the Halloween tradition that I am glad to be rid of: the sugar intoxication, gruesome images, pornographic costumes, horror movies, and feeling terribly uncomfortable being around it all.
I always felt torn. Now I feel free.
Happy Reformation Day!