Holiday Causes Moral Dilemma for Area Teen

– Halloween is upon us again and 13-year-old Knoxville native Martin Erasmus Hinn is in turmoil. “I always hate this time of year,” he told the Doxology Press during an interview on Sunday afternoon. “Each year, I face the same problem: how can I get through October 31 without offending at least one of my parents?” You see, Martin’s procreators are both confessing Protestants, but while Mr. Hinn adheres to Reformed doctrine, Mrs. Hinn is a staunch Arminian. “Opposites attract, alright,” Martin mused. “They attract controversy. I mean, my parents couldn’t even agree on what name to give me. The anomaly they came up with is a twisted compromise that haunts me to this day.”

Named after Desiderius Erasmus (proponent of free will) and Martin Luther (proponent of free grace), Martin Erasmus Hinn (who prefers to be called Mr. H) has been plagued with identity issues ever since he can remember. “My father wanted me to attend the local Lutheran school, while my mom preferred the more Arminian-friendly Christian school,” he recalls. “But because they couldn’t come to an agreement, they finally just threw me into a public school, where secular heathen children made fun of my name every stinking day. My schooling experience was a nightmare of purgatorial proportions.”

The present, Martin says, is no better than the past. “How can I be expected to follow in the footsteps of two men who went in opposite directions?” he said, throwing up his hands in frustration. “My desire to please both my parents in how I grow spiritually is a constant battle. One minute my father is encouraging me for growing in my understanding of the doctrines of grace and the next my mother is chiding me for using grace as an excuse to not try harder. You think the Apostle Paul was conflicted in Romans 7? Let him try writing that chapter after walking in my shoes.”

All of this leads to the controversy surrounding October 31. “Mom wants me to be culturally relevant by participating in the customs of our day. That includes Halloween. She thinks I can be a light to the world by wearing a Bibleman or VeggieTales costume. One year, she made me dress up like Jesus and had me read from a script at each door. Instead of the typical ‘Trick or treat,’ I had to say, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone gives me candy, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.’”

“My father, on the other hand, doesn’t even want to hear the word Halloween in our house. He calls it the ‘h’ word. He prefers that I celebrate Reformation Day with him. After all, October 31 is the date on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg [in 1517]. Most Christians don’t even know Reformation Day exists, but my dad says that’s because they’re a bunch of ignorant Semi-Pelagians.

“So what do I do? My mother claims I may lose my salvation if I rebel against her wishes, and my father says my eternal security is in jeopardy if the spiritual fruit in my life keeps reaping nothing but rebellion against the head of the household. I’m literally darned if I do and darned if I don’t!”

Martin’s one attempt to provide a solution to the problem resulted in disaster. “I had just turned seven,” he said, his lips quivering in pain at the memory. “I convinced my dad to let me go trick-or-treating dressed as Martin Luther. The stipulation was that I was to exchange copies of the 95 Theses for the candy I received. Well, as it turned out, the first house I visited belonged to a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic. I swear, the guy must have been bipolar, or drunk, or both. He was so infuriated that he grabbed me and nailed my hood to his front door, along with the stack of 95 Theses I had with me. I escaped by slipping out of my monk’s robe and running home in my underwear. I hate this holiday!”

No one from The Associated Press contributed to this report
© 2006, Taung En Chiek