Archive for the ‘john calvin’ tag
Or, at least for some.
Here is an interesting tidbit related to Halloween that I thought I would bring to light before the month turns over in about an hour.
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther pinned his famous 95 theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany, to protest, among other Catholic practices, the sale of indulgences, which allowed believers to be absolved of their sins via payment. Of course, in Luther’s day, there was nothing quite like the modern Halloween, but elements of it, including costumes and bonfires, were probably already part of the national conscious in parts of Europe.
The roots of Halloween as we know it likely began with the Celtic festival known as Samhain, which finds its origin in the Old Irish word meaning the end of summer. As lore goes, the Celts believed that on Samhain, which was presumably held between Oct. 31-Nov. 1, the border that separates the physical world from the “otherworld” — I take this to mean “spiritual world” — became permeable, thus spirits could more readily slip into this one. Apparently, the wearing of costumes fended off the “bad” spirits from bleeding through and affecting things in this world or the costumes made people appear to be bad spirits, as if the spirits couldn’t see through the guise.
Regardless, “Halloween” was thought to have been used first in the 16th century as a variation of All Hallows Eve, which was the day before All Hallows Day or All Saints Day, which, in contrast to the lore behind Halloween, was meant to be a celebration of all saints, both living and not. And it’s here that we come back to Luther.
It’s probably no accident that Luther chose All Hallows Eve to post his treatise on the door of All Saints Church, and we can outline the rest of the story. Luther’s actions laid the foundation for what came to be known as the Protestant Reformation, which, of course, paved the way for the Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Baptists, Quakers, Calvinists and all the rest to found their own separate doctrines. Looking back, it’s quite necessary to note that in Protestant circles today, from Methodists to Baptists to Presbyterians, almost all of those believers now seem to assume that Protestantism was the original and major religion that took root following the supposed proselytizing recounted in Acts.
Catholicism, however, was the church that eventually evolved and legalized in 313 A.D., and it’s only because of Luther, and John Calvin, that Protestantism came to be. Carried to the end, it’s no stretch to suggest that without figures like Luther, Calvin or similar figures, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and others might now be Catholic Christians because that’s really the only Christian establishment that existed prior to the 16th century. Current Protestant thinking is peculiar indeed, since many of the more fervent evangelicals today suggest, and even teach, that Catholicism is misguided or outright in error and that Protestantism is the true and right religion, when in fact, for about 1,280 years, Catholicism was the only path to Christianity.