(Photo courtesy of blog.ricksteves.com)
Martin Luther Anniversary – Wait, Martin Who?
By Selma Komisky
This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s famous 95 Theses, which helped spark the founding of the 16th Century Reformation and the division of Christianity into Protestantism and Catholicism.
Some of you may say who is Martin Luther and what’s The Reformation?
In 1517 a German monk named Martin Luther saw the injustice and the way the church was taking advantage of the people. At the time, the church was powerful and rich. People believed if they did not give, they would not go to heaven when they died. Luther felt the church was corrupt and saw that the people were literally starving while the church was getting richer. So Luther began a protest and risked his life to speak out and make something better by changing it. Thus, on October 31st, 1517 he wrote a 95 theses (Luther collected a list of 95 different points of doctrine where he felt the church was faulty) and nailed it to the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The people copied this and sent it throughout Germany resulting in the church losing out on money.
Luther saw that the people thought they could buy their forgiveness. Luther believed that the people could not buy their sins away, and that only God could forgive sins, not the church. He also believed that priests should be subject to the law, just like everyone else. Many people agreed with him and adopted his ideas. His followers were called Protestants and started the Lutheran Church. Many other people remained loyal to the Catholic Church and this led to a split. He then called on his followers to wage war if necessary to force change which was called The Reformation.
The Reformation was a term used to describe a series of events that happened in the 16th century in the Christian Church. Because of corruption in the Catholic Church, some people saw a need to change the way it worked. This ignited over a hundred years of war in Europe, with fighting between Catholics and Protestants as both sides thought they were right. The result was two major groups in Christianity known as the Protestants and Catholics who had their own set of beliefs.
Martin Luther’s legacy is still celebrated today and recognized for being a church reformer. He was instrumental in translating the Bible into German so more could read it and spreading the message of the grace of God to others. Luther knew it was all about Jesus not traditions, customs, and works of the church.
To know more on Martin Luther and The celebration of the 500 years of The Reformation, go to: lutheranreformation.org
Take a viritual history lessong at: https://lutheranreformation.org/#modala