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Have a Blessed Reformation Day!

Is your church doing anything in recognition of Reformation Day tomorrow? If so, what?

At TCBC, we’ll be rejoicing in God’s grace — in our song service, our Scripture reading, our public prayers and our sermon (from Titus 2:11-14). I’m anticipating a great day!

In year’s past we’ve enjoyed some church history highlights as part of our evening service on Reformation Day. Several historical videos have been a blessing, as have some biographical studies. Last year, Pastor Joe delivered a stellar overview of the English Reformation.

If you’re not celebrating our gospel heritage tomorrow, I’d encourage you to do so in the future. You may very well have to educate your people about the significance of the day & the events it commemorates. We’ve worked to that end. Here’s a quick note from the TCBC bulletin on 10/26/03:

Reformation Day?

The last Sunday of October is recognized by Bible-believing Christians as Reformation Day. Most Christians are unaware that Reformation Day exists and have a scant understanding of the Protestant Reformation which it honors. Yet, our ignorance is our loss. The Reformation was a time when vital doctrines of Scripture were “rediscovered.” Men such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and William Tyndale led men away from the dead traditions of Roman Catholicism and to the life-giving truths of Scripture. Luther especially took the lead in these battles, and Reformation Day is a reminder of his famous “95 Theses” which decried the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church and which he publicly displayed on the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517.

The key doctrines of the Reformation are…
* Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
* Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
* Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

Praise the Lord for the heritage that is ours through the Protestant Reformation! The men God used were far from perfect, but we see farther and more clearly only because we stand on their shoulders. What a blessing it would be to you and your family to determine to learn of God’s workings in the lives of these and others who have gone before us!

Pastor Chris Anderson

Lest we get more excited about the day than the doctrines, here’s a bitter pill from Wikipedia:

“Reformation Day is also a public holiday in Slovenia, as the Reformation contributed to its cultural development profoundly. Nevertheless, Slovenians are mainly Catholics.

Take some time this Lord’s Day to rejoice in the heritage of the Reformation. More importantly, take time to rejoice in the Bible doctrines which the Reformers declared and for which many of them died.

Grace to you!

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10 Responses

  1. Thanks Chris for posting these thoughts. I have been trying to teach our teens in our church about Reformation Day for about 6 years now, trying to de-emphasize the Halloween traditions and emphasizing the significance of this day for Christians. I am amazed at how many people do not even know what the Reformation is.

    By the way, since you emphasize Reformation Day in your church, is Halloween as big of a deal for you or your people? Do you suggest for your folks to celebrate R-Day instead of Halloween? Just curious.

    Taigen Joos

  2. Try being a lutheran :)!

  3. I will be spending Reformations Day in Wittenberg! A friend is visiting us from the states and we decided that it was an appropriate way to spend the day.

    Sadly, here in Germany Reformationstag is nothing more than a state holiday that has lost all meaning outside of a day off of work. The churches in Wittenberg will hold ecumenical services that will include all beliefs. So much for sola anything!

  4. I never remember hearing anything about Reformation Day growing up or in college. I stumbled across it by accident, probably by surfing the web, and ever since I have tried to promote it when I am teaching SS during that time of year. This morning I will be highlighting Psalm 46, the psalm upon which Luther based his song, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. I will also bring up the 5 solas (did you forget about Solus Christus and Soli Deo Gloria?) and the renewed emphasis that the reformation put upon preaching.

    Luther on preaching:

    “I have opposed the indulgences and all the papists, but never by force. I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing…the Word did it all…For it is almighty and takes captive the hearts, and if the hearts are captured the evil work will fall of itself.”

    Oh, and welcome back.

  5. Stephen, I envy your trip to Wittenberg. Take some pictures!

    Hi, Taigen. Halloween’s really not a big deal here. Most of our people don’t want to have anything to do with it. On the other hand, I’m not really preaching against it. Anyway, no, I haven’t presented Reformation Day as an alternative, per se.

    Andy, I hadn’t heard of Reformation Day until a grad class in which we had a substitute teacher because Dr. Panosian was on a trip making church history presentations in honor of Reformation Day. I wondered “in honor of what?” I’ve appreciated it ever since, and have tried to encourage others to spend the day meditating on God’s grace. BTW, we had a great service this AM!

    And Dale, were Luther alive today, I’m confident he’d be pastoring a Bible church. ;-)

  6. Without a doubt!

  7. Chris,

    First, welcome back. You were missed.

    Second, it may be true that Luther would be pastoring a Bible church today – considering his view of purgatory that you included in your other post. :)

    Third, I appreciate your comments on Reformation Sunday. I also appreciate Reformation Sunday and posted about it on my site – Reformation Sunday,(How’s that for a shameless plug?) While I was aware of it before going to Hardingville Bible Church, Pastor Franklin usually dealt with something relating to the Reformation on Reformation Sunday and I liked the practice and took it with me when I left.

    Fourth, I agree with Andy in that you are a couple of Solas short.

    Have a good day.

    In Christ,

    Pastor Frank Sansone

  8. You’re both right. What I published was originally posted in our bulleting 3 years ago; I must have presented cliff-notes or something. Anyway, I apologize. I believe in all 5. :)

    And I’m glad to hear of your appreciation for the day.

  9. Loved what I read, and saw … that pic of you and your family was wonderful to see! May God continue to bless you, as you bless many others! Long live the truths of The Reformation and The Grace of God!! Mike P

  10. During our SS time a church member who teaches history gave a presentation on the Reformation. Our order of worship opened with a quote on justification by faith from your pal, R.C. Sproul. The headings of our order of worship were the five solas. (Our pastor commented on the irony of using latin heading in our worship, since it is thanks to the Reformation that we don’t have our services in Latin.) :) We of course sang “A Mighty Fortress.”

    As you probably know, Faith Free Pres across town devotes a whole month to the Reformation. The rest of us look like lightweights next to them.

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