If Halloween is a celebration, then what are we celebrating? Judging by the cute skeletons, goblins, ghosts and grave-yard symbols on our doors, windows and walls, it’s death. Maybe it’s our attempt to taunt death. I have a better idea!
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther changed human history. He nailed a list of 95 propositions to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He was a university professor giving notice for public disputations on the matter of indulgences (the church’s remission of punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven) and other matters. Luther was prepared to challenge some teachings of the Roman Catholic Church—even one that made it a lot of money. Luther loved the church enough seek constructive reform.
Luther’s posting caught fire and transformed the world. On that 31st of October, he began a process that did more to influence history (in my opinion) than any other deed or event since Jesus’ resurrection. The Protestant Reformation triggered a rise in independent thinking by common people in matters of faith which eventually led also to the Enlightenment, to the rise of science and technology and to other ideologies of freedom. I dare say there might not be an America today had there been no Protestant Reformation.
The road to reform was bumpy, but the big picture gives us much for which to joyfully celebrate every October 31st! So, don’t let all those witches, spooks and cavities distract you from a celebration of the life-enhancing rise of intellectual and spiritual freedom, launched in large part by Luther in 1517. What a difference can be made when a man of moral courage cares about the truth and calls his culture back to its biblical roots.
Please teach your children to remember what happened on October 31, 1517, and someday they may give our culture a similar courageous call.
The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.