Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Faith (part 3) - Halloween 500 years ago

Halloween, 500 years ago...

Legend has it that on the Eve of All Saint's Day in 1517 AD, a German theologian, friar, professor, priest came knocking at the door.

Trick or Treat?

More like nailing his 95 theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

That legendary figure? Martin Luther, of course.

And that story is shown in the clip below.

That Halloween is considered the start of the Protestant Reformation. And today, some choose to celebrate Reformation Day. (Instead of, or in addition to, the traditional "Trick or Treat")

Yet in the 16th century, Martin Luther stood on the shoulders of many reformers before him. Such as,  John Wycliffe in the 14th century.  John Huss in the 15th century.

But one my favorites is Peter Waldo of the 12th century. And his story is told below.

(reference: https://youtu.be/DBVwKYn8AnY )

The Waldensians, a movement that took its name from Peter Waldo, were largely absorbed by Protestants when they came along. But the Waldensians still exist as a denomination to this day - e.g. the American Waldensian Society. As I so witnessed in a recent trip back East, I saw a sign for the Waldensian Church in Pennsylvania.

And as the video above said, Peter Waldo had Martin Luther's shtick down three centuries before Martin Luther.

Regardless of denomination or religious affiliation, St. Paul gave this warning 20 centuries ago...

Take a good look at yourselves
to see if you are really believers.
Test yourselves.
Don’t you realize that
Christ Jesus is in you?
Unless, of course, you fail the test!

II Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Reformation is an ongoing process, a never ending test.

So if a monk comes knocking at your door this October 31st, wish them a ...

 Blessed Reformation Day!


Other posts in the series:

Faith (part 1) - Star Trek and Christianity (2016)