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From the Sanders blog vault on All Hallow’s Eve:

Let’s take back Halloween:

I have had enough.  In my pre-blogger days, I wrote a monthly column for a Christian newspaper in Richmond called Believe Magazine and one of my columns was on Halloween.  Here it is:


Copyright 2003 Elwood Earl Sanders, Jr.

I write on this topic since apologetics is not just for a few believers, but all of us have a Biblical mandate to defend the faith. Peter says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” I Peter 3;15 (KJV).

I have long been distressed about the popular themes surrounding Halloween (31 October) – the horror, the occult and Satanic overtones and related pranks (some with deadly consequences), they all sit heavy on my spirit. I am not concerned about harmless trick-or treating although some children ought to be exhorted to wear costumes that glorify God and His Kingdom. But what should we do as believers in Christ?

We could take a negative approach – ban this and that. But that will just beget more negativity for an already negative event. We can rail about “Satan’s holiday” but one day I realized: We should not concede this day or any other to the Enemy. The Lord commanded us to redeem the time for the days are evil (Eph 5:16) and to resist the evil one (James 4:7) so we cannot just sit back and do nothing. Here is my modest proposal – inspired in part by the powerful PBS special on Luther televised in October of this year. For there is a blessed and glorious alternative to Halloween: Reformation Day.

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther pinned the 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg in Germany. He intended to initiate an academic discussion. What occurred was a mighty work of God. The church needed reform and revival. Due to Luther’s revelation that “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17) thus each person can come to salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he felt a need to speak out for His Truth. The Theses were the dawn of the Reformation Era.

So much of what we believe in and practice as believers is based on Luther and other reformers: Personal salvation, the priesthood of the believer, justification by faith in Christ‘s sacrifice, Scripture as an infallible source of wisdom, the translation of the Scripture in the languages of the people, and the dignity of the individual are largely due to the revival, renewal and reform of the church by the Reformers. At Worms in 1521, Luther made a brave stand in the face of probable martyrdom for freedom of conscience. “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

Francis Schaeffer suggests that the Reformation was the ideological basis for the idea that individuals had rights – rights derived from God. Of course that is the basis for our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Our Catholic brethren can rejoice that Luther stood up to the abuses and corruption of the medieval church. The 16th Century Council of Trent abolished the sale of indulgences.

All this started on 31 October 1517. Lutheran Christians have long celebrated Reformation Day. The works of God through Luther and other reformers are a blessed contrast to the evil of Halloween.

So let us as Christians take a stand! Let us in deed take back Halloween! 31 October is our holiday! We can – by using it in a positive celebration of what we believe in. Teach our kids, share our faith – perhaps a day of prayer and fasting. Churches could use Reformation Day to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. Perhaps dramatic presentations (with candy for the kids, of course) and public media attention to the true meaning of all Hallow‘s Eve. If we ring the bell of liberty – for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty – (II Cor. 3:17) we can and will shed light – His Light – on a lost and dying world.

BE encouraged today!  (For more about knowing Jesus and eternal life, go here!)


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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