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5 Ironies About Celebrating “Reformation Day” Today

Today, for most of us, is Halloween. But a lot of Christians are disturbed by the way that Halloween seems to celebrate evil, and many Protestants choose to celebrate Reformation Day instead. While I respect the desire to have fun without celebrating evil, I find Reformation Day to be unwittingly ironic. Let’s look at five reasons why.


This made me grin: To celebrate Reformation Day, Calvinists are commemorating with John Calvin Jack O’Lanterns. I wonder if the (quite-skilled) artist recognized the absurdity of making a Calvinist graven image.

What about Calvin’s fatuous interpretation of the First/Second Commandment, that it prohibits all religious imagery? After all, this is the same Calvin who was such a fierce iconoclast that he denounced as idolatry any images of God or His Saints.

In Book I, Chapter 11 of Institutes of Christian Religionhe wrote, “It is therefore mere infatuation to attempt to defend images of God and the saints by the example of the Cherubim [Exodus 25:17-22].” And this same Calvin oversaw the burning of the religious paintings in Geneva, and the destruction of the religious statues.

Nor is this graven image alone. The Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland (depicted on the left) is an enormous stone monument with engraved figures of the Calvinist Reformers. Four figures: Calvin, Beza, Farel, and Knox, tower over their mortal counterparts, and form the centerpiece of the wall.

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