Martin Luthers Ninety-Five Theses by Martin LutherMartin Luthers 95 thesis was an outspoken opposition against the immoral activities of the Catholic Church. These were times when the Church was steeped in corruption and when innocent peoples faith was exploited for money hoarding, all in the name of religion.The corruption of the Church merits a book of itself and I suggest you do some research of your own on the subject and my recommendation would be the Vicar Of Christ by Walter F. Murphy, which is an amazing work on the history of the Catholic Church and the papacy.
In Luthers time salvation was promised to, not the penitent and devout, but to the rich and corrupt who could buy their way to heaven.The pope was the head of the canon law and exerted his dominion, not only on the living, but also reserved penitence to the dead and it was truly believed that getting pardon from the church could ensure ones salvation. Martin Luther opposes this view by stating that the dead are freed from all canonical laws and no one can enter heaven by letters of pardon, but rather, by belief in god and practicing good deeds.He urges the people to come back to the Gospels, the true word of god,and put their faith in Jesus Christ and not on the blessings and hollow pardons of the church.He cautions the people to be wary of the many corrupt practices and of the people who spread such talk and to find their strength in the word of God.
It is amazing to wonder what courage it took for Martin Luther to write these thesis in times when, even a single word against the pope or the Orthodox Church was considered blasphemous and punishable by death.This work sent shock-waves through the Church and posed a real threat to their core beliefs and practices.The Church knew that if people started following Luther, then their unquestionable belief in the Church would be challenged and this would put the Catholic Church in a very precarious position.It was to mark the beginning of a long ensuing battle between the Catholics and the Protestants.
Martin Luther and the 95 Theses
Reformation Day: Did Martin Luther really nail 95 theses on the castle door?
The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences [a] is a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in by Martin Luther , professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg , Germany. They advance Luther's positions against what he saw as the abuse of the practice of clergy selling plenary indulgences , which were certificates believed to reduce the temporal punishment in purgatory for sins committed by the purchasers or their loved ones. In the Theses , Luther claimed that the repentance required by Christ in order for sins to be forgiven involves inner spiritual repentance rather than merely external sacramental confession. He argued that indulgences led Christians to avoid true repentance and sorrow for sin, believing that they could forgo it by purchasing an indulgence. They also, according to Luther, discouraged Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, believing that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable. Though Luther claimed that his positions on indulgences accorded with those of the Pope , the Theses challenge a 14th-century papal bull stating that the pope could use the treasury of merit and the good deeds of past saints to forgive temporal punishment for sins.
By Timothy George. It was around two o'clock in the afternoon on the eve of the Day of All Saints, October 31, , when Martin Luther, hammer in hand, approached the main north door of the Schlosskirche Castle Church in Wittenberg. There he nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses protesting the abuse of indulgences in the teaching and practice of the Church of his day. In remembrance of this event, millions of Christians still celebrate this day as the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation. October 31 is not a day for the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween but a time to remember the Reformation, especially what Luther wrote in thesis sixty-two: "The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. Erwin Iserloh, a Catholic Reformation scholar, attributed the story of the theses-posting to later myth-making.
His theses challenged the authority of the Catholic Church, and sparked the historic split in Christianity known as the Protestant Reformation. The reason this is such a big deal is because the image of Luther nailing his 95 Theses to a church door is one of the main historical events people associate with the Reformation. Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. Instead, he argued that humans could only reach salvation through faith, and that the Bible, not the clergy, was the foremost religious authority. These ideas shaped a new branch of Christianity, called Protestantism. True or not, the iconic image of Luther defiantly nailing his theses to a church door continues to reverberate as a symbol of religious freedom.
On this day in , the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation. In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment, called "indulgences", for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins. Luther's frustration with this practice led him to write the 95 Theses, which were quickly snapped up, translated from Latin into German and distributed widely.