Today is Halloween, a 10 billion dollar industry according to Forbes. Today is also Reformation Day and many Christians will remember Luther’s hammer strike that fixed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation.
A lot of wasted time and effort is expended on the extravagance of many Halloween celebrations. However, the truths recovered during the Reformation are worth more than all the gold and silver in the world, for they reflect a return to the Bible and its authority and sufficiency. The Bible is true and the Bible can be trusted.
Halloween for some churches means setting up a Judgement House or Hell’s Gate event to try and scare visitors out of Hell. Such is a waste of time, a waste of money and, though the motives of those who schedule such evangelistic enterprises may be sincere, such events demonstrate a rejection of the sufficiency of Scripture and of the true message of the church.
In 1878 an article appeared in The Times of London and it was reprinted in Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s The Sword and the Trowel (ST). The ST titled it, “Too True.” It is about wasted effort and the sufficiency of Scripture
“It is to be feared that an immense amount of time and money is wasted in these days upon mere schemes. The clergy are ready to rely upon everything rather than upon the substantial claims of their message. One party takes to new dresses, banners, and processions; another to penny readings, political lectures, and concerts. They change from one thing to another day by day, and the result is only a weary waste of their own time and the creation of a certain amount of social feeling, which might equally be produced without the supernatural influence of the church and religion.
Religious truths, if they are what they are believed to be, cannot need all this trivial machinery to recommend them; and religious convictions, which are to be of any value, must be produced and maintained by more simple and permanent means. If we may judge the history of the church, both in early and modern times, a man of true religious feeling needs nothing but a room and a Bible, in order to produce the greatest results. The one thing essential is not new plans, new experiments, and daily changes, but a belief in the power of the permanent truths of the Christian religion, and a devotion to these, and to these alone.”
The Protestant Reformation with its emphasis on Sola Scripture (Scripture Alone) is an apt study for serious minded Christians who want to obey Christ and His calling for His Church. The Reformation was a corrective to a corrupt church and its mistakes, errors, and heresies. Spurgeon wrote, “The mistakes of former days should minister to the wisdom of the present generation for history is a nations’s education; it is, therefore, to the last degree unfortunate when the people relapse into their acknowledged errors, and repeat the blunders of their sires.”
Don’t repeat the errors of the past. Turn away from superstition and unbiblical means and trust again the Bible. Your study of and faith in the sufficiency of Scripture will not be a waste of time or faith.
Ray Rhodes is author of Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon and Yours, till Heaven; the Untold Love Story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon. He is presently working on a biography of Charles Spurgeon for B&H Academic Publishers. Ray is a conference/retreat/events speaker and pastor of Grace Community Church (SBC) Dawsonville, GA.