October 31, 2013 – The iPhone forecast for Indianapolis is 100% chance of rain all day except for a mid-afternoon dip to only 90%, but back to 100% for the evening Trick or Treat hours. So here in central Indiana, Trick or Treat night has been officially postponed for 24 hours, expecting more favorable conditions tomorrow night.
October 31, 1517 — I don’t know about Wittenberg weather 496 years ago, but conditions were ripe if not favorable for challenge to a corrupt church, and even worse a heretical church. Martin Luther had no tricks up his sleeve when he posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door and lit the spark for the Reformation. But what he did was certainly threatening to the established church, not used to being challenged. And it wasn’t just the Selling of Indulgences, selling salvation for money. That was the main focus in Luther’s first public challenge, but issues of eternally greater importance weighed on Luther’s mind.
David Mathis of Desiring God reminds us of the primary issues that should lead us to celebrate this holiday.
Reformation Day is ripe for remembering an array of biblical truths — that the Scriptures are our only final authority (sola Scriptura); that God accepts us by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Christ alone (justification); that God often uses the unlikeliest of people to turn the world upside down; that God doesn’t just raise up great individuals, but collections of people, veritable teams, each with his lot, and his own local cohort, to bring about widespread change; and all these conspiring to the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria).
For a larger perspective, read the entire article, The Reformation: Trick or Treat?
2 thoughts on “Martin Luther’s Trick or Treat”
I have allways seen Halloween in light of Collosians 3:16 (I understand the reference is to Jewish ceremonies) but I all ways thought the principle applied. When it comes to engaging culture there are always going to be tensions. When clear Biblical prohibitions are absent we respect individual parent choice, and encourage them to have no partnership with Belial while being in the world but not of the world. I have a brother-in-law who chose not to have his family participate in Halloween in order to recognize the reality and danger of necromancy and to declare his holiness. I never felt demeaned or pressured to respond the same way.
Julie and I always felt like we could have fun with our kids, engage our neighbors and be a witness for what is holy in tbe midst of evil. We did feel it was important to make sure that the things we did gave the devil no opportunity. Yet I fully respected and supported my brother-in-law, who is a pastor.
Good thoughts. I think you meant Colossians 2:16.