Martin Luther And The Protestant Reformation

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The Protestant Reformation affected religious life in the early 15th century. It was a movement that reformed the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. At the time, the church was viewed as a wealthy and powerful institution that was practicing many corrupt ideas such as selling indulgences. Indulgences were letters of forgiveness for one’s sin. This sparked anger causing priests to revolt by calling for reforms to take place. A German priest and monk, Martin Luther became a leader throughout the Protestant Reformation. Luther among his followers known as Protestants protested against the church. Acting on his belief, Luther wrote his “95 theses” to express his questions and concerns against the church. He posted his list on the door of the Wittenberg church, the catholic church reacted by telling him to take his theses back, and recant. But, he refused and his ideas were spread throughout the printing press. He wanted Christians to believe the truth found within the bible. Luther believed that Christians could reach salvation by having faith in God. He disagreed with the thought that the pope or other priests had any special powers, including the forgiveness of sins. Everyone began to acknowledge the truth; no longer did they have to believe in corrupt ideas. Individuals gained a voice in society and could now reject any corrupt moral. As stated by Alec Ryrie “Protestantism has given us not a paradise of free speech, but an open-ended, undisciplined argument. It has continuously generated new ideas, revived old ones and questioned its own orthodoxies.” The Protestant Reformation lead individuals to question the Catholic church and seek for information. They were no longer blindfolded; the bible became available to ordinary people to read in their own language. However, Martin Luther wasn’t the only reformer. John Calvin became a reformer that believed and promoted the idea of predestination. Predestination is seen as the belief that certain people were chosen by God for salvation. As the reformation proceeded, his followers believed they were predestined for heaven. According to Ryrie, “To take the iconic example: slavery, which for centuries Christians had assumed was a necessary evil or
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