Insights: What should you celebrate on October 31?

Yesterday I posted an article to the question, “Should a Christian celebrate Halloween”? The key is to disciple your children for biblical discernment and to help them understand context. Please read that post to understand context.

What should Christians celebrate on October 31 from now on? That is the day in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-five Theses” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. That event triggered the movement known as the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was a celebration of the Doctrine of Justification and that salvation is offered to all people (sinners) by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The church needed this Reformation, because the Catholic Church continued to propagate false doctrines and corruption among the leadership. People were not allowed to have the Bible, so they depended on the clergy who abused their leadership positions and oppressed people under false doctrines of purgatory, indulgences and salvation by good works. Martin Luther stood his ground and proclaimed that salvation was not based on what we do, but on what He (Jesus Christ) has done. This was the cornerstone doctrine of the Protestants.

Luther was no renegade.  He meticulously followed the strict rules of monastic life and outward piety.  In his inability to find peace in what he was doing, that is, his good works, God revealed to him that salvation was through faith alone in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and based on God’s grace. The Catholic Church had accumulated monumental treasuries and religious abuse from Indulgences. Indulgences were certificates sold by the Catholic Church that promised people release from works of penance in life and purgatory. Luther saw the indulgences as blasphemy against Christ. If Christ paid for all of men’s sins, then how can paying for an indulgence and remission from temporal punishment of sin and reduction of punishment in purgatory be true? (I wonder if we could twist grace giving in some way to include indulgences to fill the church treasury?  Ha!   NO!)

The church door, on which Luther posted his ninety-five theses, was like a public bulletin board of a sort just as a web site might be used today. Luther wanted the literate people to read the theses before they worshipped the next day, which would have been a Thursday.  Is it worth celebrating the day when the church was informed that salvation was by grace through faith in Christ and not by works? I might not celebrate going door to door asking for candy, because I’m not a candy fan, however, I’m not going to condemn people who do and I’m going to tell people what great news happened on this day!  You just read the good news of October 31!

You are armed for next year, if you so choose.

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