Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boo vs. Reformation

Happy Halloween.  Happy Reformation Day.  So much to celebrate!

Is that an invitation?
As I sit here waiting for the first trick-or-treaters to scare up the sidewalk, I have a few moments to ponder the occasion.  We celebrate All Hallows' Eve with scary mischief.  The tradition comes from the notion that all the saints would pray
for people on Nov. 1, All Saints Day.  Why waste all those prayers?  Give those saints something to pray about.  Get crazy!

OK, so I have lots of problems with the theology here.  First, saints are all those who trust in Christ, not just those who got lots of attention for being holy.  Second, I don't believe that I need the prayers of dead people.  Jesus is interceding for me.  Third, sinning for the purpose of being forgiven is really twisted.  Finally, good fun, real fun, doesn't need forgiveness.  Well, unless someone can't take a joke...

But this year I have noticed some Christians playing up the Reformation history of October 31.  In the year 1517 Martin Luther nailed a notice on the Wittenburg church door.  His notice contained 95 questions about standard Roman Catholic Church practice.  As Luther was himself a priest, his questions about church practice got a lot of attention.  His questions resonated with many other Christians, and a movement began to reform the Church.  We call that movement the Reformation.

I wonder if Martin Luther knew that he was causing trouble on Halloween? 

Oh yes, here come the trick-or-treaters!