So instead of Halloween celebrate Reformation day this year. In honor of what the Holy Spirit did in 1517 through Martin Luther [and others] I'm going to post some quotes over the next couple of days in recognition of Reformation Day!
"The state of the church was terrible under the pope. Then nothing was seen or heard which could encourage a heart in such distress, except that each year the story of the Passion was taught, though quite indifferently. This faintly indicated where pardon was to be sought. Everything else led away from the promise of forgiveness towards one's own righteousness. And so in many monasteries we saw stricken and despairing people passing the entire time of their lives and in the end wearing themselves out in the conflict by their worries and griefs. Because this doctrine was unknown, the rest of the brothers did nothing more than stand near by and try to obtain the protection of saints with their idolatrous prayers...Nothing is more terrible than to be in sin and yet to be remote from, or ignorant of, the forgiveness of sin or the promise of grace. But the pope was responsible for the concealment of the forgiveness of sins, because sound doctrine and true forms fo worship were not maintained in teh church. If some in faith were saved, it was the bare reading of the Passion of Christ accepted in faith which saved them, against the will and opposition of the pope. [My emphasis]"
[pp. 238 of Evanglicalism Divided by Iain Murray (citation is from Luther's Works, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, vol. 1 (St Louis: Concordia, 1958), pp. 179-80.).]