This coming Thursday, while most Americans will be dressing up for a Halloween party or going out to trick-or-treat, one of the most important events in the history of Christianity will be largely overlooked. On October 31, 1517, a German theology professor named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Church of All Saints in Wittenberg, Germany. This event rocked the world. It sparked the Protestant Reformation which brought about the end of the practice of indulgences-the claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money. Luther's theology challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. He opposed the idea that only a certain order of priests could make sacrifices for the peoples' sin. Luther considered all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood and taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Within weeks his Ninety-Five Theses was translated from Latin into German, and with the aid of the newly invented printing press, it was copied and distributed throughout Europe. Isn't it sad that Reformation Day, arguably one of the greatest days in the history of the Church, has been overshadowed by a pagan holiday? The enemy is subtle like that. Now don't hear what I am not saying. My intention is not to judge anyone who goes to a Halloween party, gives out candy, or takes their children trick-or-treating. Please, receive no condemnation from me. I just feel it is necessary that everyone is aware of the significance of October 31st to Christendom. In the future consider referring to October 31st as Reformation Day, and when asked what Reformation Day is, you'll have good news to share. Happy Reformation Day!
"For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all." 1Timothy 2:5,6 NRSV
Pastor Frank Dodson