2 Christian Holidays to Celebrate Instead of Halloween
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things
– Philippians 4:8.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for 2020.
Rather than expose your children to fear and demonic influences on Halloween, why not introduce them to two wonderful Christian holidays that occur at the same time – All Saints Day and Reformation Day?
All Saints Day takes place on Nov. 1. Historically speaking, it has become primarily a day to honor Christian martyrs or “witnesses” who gave their lives peacefully to serve their Divine Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the true definition of a Christian martyr, not someone who murders other people as radical Muslims have been doing for nearly 1500 years. Theologically speaking, of course, every Christian is a saint set apart by God by being born again through the power of the Holy Spirit, as predicted by the Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 31 of Jeremiah.
All Saints Day on Nov. 1 presents a great opportunity to watch movies and television programs about Christian martyrs, such as THE ROBE, QUO VADIS, BONHOEFFER: AGENT OF GRACE, SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS, A.D. (the miniseries about Jesus Christ’s apostles), THE LEAST OF THESE: THE GRAHAM STAINES STORY, A HIDDEN LIFE, and PAUL, THE APOSTLE, among others, and to watch movies about people who were extraordinary Christians, such as CHARIOTS OF FIRE and ON WINGS OF EAGLES about Eric Liddell, UNBROKEN and UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION about Louis Zamperini, PRAY: THE STORY OF PATRICK PEYTON, and I AM PATRICK: PATRON SAINT OF IRELAND.
Oct. 31, the day before All Saints Day, is a very important day for Protestant Christians, known as Reformation Day. Reformation Day celebrates the anniversary of the day Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany (Oct. 31, 1517), marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation which helped inspire the founders of the United States of America, that “shining city on a hill” that brings great light to the world.
History tells us Martin Luther picked that day to protest the heretical use of indulgences because everyone would be in church that night to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve, the night before All Saints Day, and would then be in church the next day to celebrate All Saints Day. Because of that, Oct. 31 presented a great opportunity to alert people about the church’s improper use of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This year, 2020, Protestants will be celebrating the 503rd Anniversary of the Protestant reformation started by Martin Luther.
Thus, Oct. 31 also presents a great opportunity to watch movies that celebrate the Protestant Reformation and all the good it has brought into the lives of the faithful.
Here, movies like LUTHER, LADY JANE and SQUANTO: A WARRIOR’S TALE offer an enlightening time for historical reflection, although LADY JANE is for more mature audiences. Screenings of these movies can be followed up by other great historical movies about important Christians and examples of their faith, such as THE HIDING PLACE, RETURN TO THE HIDING PLACE, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A MAN CALLED PETER, SERGEANT YORK, WEAPONS OF THE SPIRIT, AMAZING GRACE, EL CID, I’M NOT ASHAMED, HACKSAW RIDGE, and Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s wonderful THE BIBLE miniseries and A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES, which are even better. There are also faith-based and faith-friendly movies like I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, BREAKTHROUGH, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, DOLLY PARTON’S COAT OF MANY COLORS, I STILL BELIEVE, DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS, AMISH GRACE, CAPTIVE, UNPLANNED, THE BLIND SIDE, SOUL SURFER, THE 33, WORLD TRADE CENTER, ELENI, and SECRETARIAT.
Then, of course, there are major fictional classics demonstrating the power of faith, such as BEN-HUR, DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, STARS IN MY CROWN, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. More recent titles could include such fine movies as GOD’S NOT DEAD and GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, RISEN, THE YOUNG MESSIAH, GRACE UNPLUGGED, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, WAR ROOM, OVERCOMER, and THE PROMISE.
There’s also the 13-part PBS TV program PROTESTANT REFORMATION @500 YEARS: QUO VADIS, which follows historians as they discuss the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. The first episode sets the stage by looking at the practices of the Roman Catholic Church at that time and discussing the beginning of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg on Halloween in 1517.
Christian faith in God and His miracles, including the miracle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is the centerpiece of all these movies, in one way or another. Now, isn’t that a better message to touch the hearts and minds of your children than the dark visions of goblins, ghosts, witches, ghouls, demons, serial killers, and monsters?