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October 31st is well known for the celebration of Halloween, a holiday of that finds its roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, but October 31st also marks a significant event in history and another holiday. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. Luther was not doing anything radical by nailing those 95 Theses up as the church door was the “community bulletin board” which announced topics to be discussed in the university town, and Luther was a professor there. Nonetheless, Luther’s act was pivotal and considered by many to be the historical “shot-fired-round-the-world” which began the Protestant Reformation.

Reformation Day has long been a holiday since 1567. It is a holiday which celebrates faith as opposed to legalism. Luther’s statement made with his hammer and pen was by no means the first, prior to him others had been denounced or even martyred for similar beliefs which questioned the teaching and authority of the Catholic Church, among whom are John Wycliffe and John Huss. Yet Luther’s act spawned the Protestant Reformation which got its name from the fact that it was a movement which protested the authority of the Catholic Church and endeavored to re-form Christian communities to adhere to what the Bible taught as opposed to church traditions that were administered by a corrupt clergy. The cry of the reformation movement in Latin was: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria which encapsulated the reformers’ mantra for change in churches on the basis of Scripture alone by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone for the Glory of God alone.

To find out more about this bit of history, you can read Luther’s 95 Theses at gotquestions.org/95-theses.html

And to learn more about the historical roots of what has come to be known as Halloween check out history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

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