All Saints Day, which is tomorrow, is an important yet seemingly forgotten holiday among evangelical Christians. Now this is my personal opinion. While I am writing this for SEA, I am not writing this as an opinion of SEA. Rather I write this simply as my own belief. But I think this is important for evangelicals and especially for those of us concerned with Christian history.
To put it bluntly it, All Saints Day can be thought of as the church’s Memorial Day. It is the day that we remember the saints of old. In some traditions, it can celebrate anyone who has passed away and gone to the Lord, such as a grandfather or a grandmother. In other traditions, it focuses in specifically on martyrs. This is more where my mind goes.
But in all traditions, it celebrates the church’s history. We are a theological society. We study past Arminian theologians such as Arminius, Episcopius, Wesley, Luther, Augustine, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others. As such, we need to firmly ground ourselves in the history of thought within the church, and not simply rely on our own culture’s perspective on Christ. We learn for the saints that come before us, and are inspired by their courage and faith. We should teach our children their names so that they have heroes of the faith that they can look up to. And we allow their teaching to serve as a bulwark against the winds of false teaching which the church must always endure.
So I pray that we remember the saints of old, and that today, we don’t celebrate death, but sacrifice. I pray we don’t tell ghost stories, but history stories of heroes. I pray that the church can let go the ween, and celebrate the hallowed.