I know what you’re wondering. You’re wondering, “Lars, what’s the appropriate way for a Christian to celebrate Halloween?”
I am happy to provide the authoritative answer to that question. You should become a Lutheran.
See, wasn’t that easy?
October 31 is Reformation Day, the anniversary of the date in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church (this was not an act of vandalism, by the way. The church door in those days was the regular place to post public notices, like your Facebook Wall).
Below is a short clip from the 1953 movie, Martin Luther. It depicts a dramatic moment in Luther’s story, when he stood before the Diet of Worms (“Diet” means “Council” and Worms is a city. Stifle that giggle) in 1521, and refused to recant his writings. The “Here I stand, I can do no other” line is now thought by scholars to be an addition made by a later writer with a gift for rhetoric, but the dramatic tension is accurate enough. Although he’d been given a safe conduct to the Diet, Luther was well aware of the fate of the proto-Reformer John Hus. Hus had attended the Council of Constance in 1415 under a similar promise of safety. Once he’d been condemned as a heretic, he was arrested and executed anyway, on the grounds that promises to heretics didn’t count. Luther was putting his head in the lion’s mouth, and he knew it.
There is no truth to the rumor that he wore a Batman mask and yelled, “Trick or Treat!”
And that’s that.