31 Oct 2023

What is special about the date 31 Oct 2023? The answer depends on who you ask.

Halloween (Can forget about it)

To people who seek the thrill of a “spooky season” and those who see it as a day of great business opportunities, this is a special day called Halloween.

Halloween has its religious origin in All Hallow’s Eve, the evening before All Saints’ Day (a.k.a. All Hallow’s Day). In Catholicism, people used this day to commemorate the saints. Today, however, the meaning of Halloween has been completely twisted out of its original shape. People dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating and participate in ghoulish activities such as “horror nights.” It has also become heavily commercialized, with businesses increasingly exploiting the day for profit.

The Bible explicitly condemns many of the activities of Halloween that are associated with superstition and the occult; such as divination, witchcraft and sorcery. If there is any element of ghost worship in Halloween celebrations in the West, how different is it from our Eastern 中元节 (Ghost Festival on 15th day of 7th lunar month)?

Personally, I believe it is best to forget about Halloween. I would rather relegate it to the dustbin of my memories and reserve my “memory chip” for something more significant.

The Reformation (Important to remember)

31 Oct 2023 is a significant day because it marks the 506th anniversary of The Reformation.

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany. That document challenged the doctrinal position of the Roman Catholic Church that Luther considered unbiblical. It sparked the Protestant Reformation which quickly spread from Germany and involved other reformers like Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin.

The Reformation was a time of momentous change and upheaval, but it was also a time of great courage and conviction. Martin Luther and the other reformers stood up to the power of the Catholic Church, even when it meant risking their lives. They were motivated by their conviction in the five solas, which are the core beliefs of the Protestant faith:

  • Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone is the ultimate authority for Christian faith and practice.

  • Sola fide: Salvation is by grace through faith alone, not by works.

  • Sola gratia: Salvation is a gift of God’s grace, not something we earn.

  • Solus Christus: Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and humanity.

  • Soli Deo gloria: We should glorify God alone, not ourselves or anything else.

The five solas are still important today, and they can help us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God.

By celebrating Reformation Day, we can remember the courage and conviction of Martin Luther and the other reformers, and we can commit ourselves to the truth that the Bible is the supreme authority for the church.

John Lee

Related Articles