Halloween And Martin Luther

Are you a Christian looking for something to redeem the approaching Halloween tradition?  Did anything ever happen on Halloween that Christian’s can celebrate?  There is one event that is worth remembering this Halloween.

Researching the history of Halloween, I discovered a wonderful story I simply had to share. It is about a recklessly brave action performed almost 500 years ago by one man who’s actions redirected Christian history.

His name was Martin Luther.

It happened on October 31, 1517.  He was one man outraged and stirred to react to the Catholic Churches practice of ‘indulgences’ for the construction a basilica. An indulgence was a payment to the Catholic Church that purchased an exemption from punishment (penance) for some types of sins.

Imagine that. The Church leaders were taking bribes and not in secret but openly.  I am sure this worked for the rich man, but what of the poor man who could not purchase and ‘indulgence’ for his sin?

Luther wrote a letter to the Archbishop Albrecht objecting to the selling of indulgences; his intention being to merely question the nature of the church practices at the time rather than confronting the entire institution.

Receiving no response to this, Martin Luther posted his ‘Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences‘  on the front door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  This bold proclamation  is widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

Of particular interest is Number 86 (of the 95) in which Luther poses the question “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?’ Luther suggested that forgiveness could not be bought through monetary assets but had to be asked for from God Himself.

The Church reacted by excommunicating Martin Luther, labeling him a heretic.

I find this an invigorating story. On the day when the whole world ignores the danger of the occult, participating and dabbling in traditions and rituals, this one man gave the world the best Halloween treat by standing for Christ. He was excommunicated and labeled a heretic fulfilling what Jesus promised all Christians.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.”–John 15:18

Reading over 500-year-old story, I am encouraged and inspired. So, dear Christian, when you are ridiculed for not participating in Halloween, remember this story and take courage.

Additional Resources:
A Milestone in History:  A Halloween Tale by Chuck Missler
Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses
Concerning Christian Liberty
by Martin Luther (free kindle book)
Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther by Martin Luther (free kindle book)

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