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Martin Luther Essay

1434 words - 6 pages

Martin Luther became an outstanding religious figure in the early 16th century. Born in 1483, Luther was the son of an extremely successful Thuringian miner. While growing up with a successful father, Luther decided to continue his education and he earned his doctorate in theology from the University of Wittenberg in 1507.Luther out for pursuit began a journey that would later become the beginnings of Reformation in Europe. Luther had shown many concerns for his disappearing support for the Catholic Church. He felt that the moral state of the church was diminishing. Martin voices his concern in at letter that he had written to George Spalatin in 1516. Martin expresses to George to have faith in God and learn to trust in him by saying ?Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am thy sin; thou has taken on thyself what thou was not, and hast given to me what I was not? (Luther 571). Through this short letter, Luther had shown his weakness of the Church and through crooked opposition and practice to the doctrine of justification, he felt as though he needed to be more in touch with the church and to get others to be the same. This had set Luther off to a search for Reformation, reformation of the Catholic Church all over Europe.The uttermost important concern of Martin Luther and his reformation was indulgence, which is in ?Roman Catholic practice, the full or partial remission before God of temporal punishment for sins that have been forgiven? (Encarta). Indulgences are granted only for specific services to the church but Luther was not happy about these because they were being sold at a discounted price to increase the market. Luther truly thought that believers in Jesus Christ would be saved from their sins because of their faith not because of a Catholic sacrament. Luther had these feelings after he read St. Paul?s letters. These letters would unbind a sinner from afterlife punishment, by giving them a few good works of the saints to the one who had done the wrong. John Titzel was a preacher and a salesman for this cause. He had upset Martin when he came near to start some of his own business. With Tetzel and Luther competing, this made a balance of marketability and mistreatment of indulgences, and it became an easy goal to get over the heart of the Catholic capitalism. In Luther?s Ninety-five Theses he states, ?The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them? (567). Pope Sixtus IV created a much larger marketplace, when he allowed Indulgences to be sold for those that were sill in purgatory. For instance if you forgot to give your friend a gift for her birthday, then she passes away you can make up her birthday by purchasing a free ride to heaven for her. This was a great idea thought by some and others were skeptical because it was as if you could make up for something that you forgot to do, once it was already done.In the...

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