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Reformed Theology Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

There were various theologies of the sacrament of Holy Communion that were being debated during the Reformation. Among reformers there were conflicting views on transubstantiation, consubstantiation, infant baptism and Christ’s importance of being in communion overall. Some reformers and reformation events that appealed believers more than others were Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and the Council of Trent.
Martin Luther was a German priest who rebelled against authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and initiated the start of the reformation. He rejected some of the traditional practices although he believed that the church was essential to the Christian doctrine. He was very big on communion with God. He believed that people of God were a part of a community of belief and being honest and just in that community made you equally seen to God. Through and in the church we receive sacraments that give us the Word of God. Luther felt that for a sacrament to be true, it had to come from Christ and be a sign of the promise of the gospel. He concluded that baptism and communion were the only two sacraments (Gonzalez, pg. 53)
For Luther, baptism was a sign of one’s death and resurrection with Christ. To complete this act one has to possess the gift of faith from God. With this faith you are a believer and baptized to become a member of the body of Christ. This baptism begins a person’s life as a Christian and lasts a life time. A person could be possibly more able to resist the devil because of the strength of God in the baptism. Luther disagreed with infant baptism because he that you couldn’t just be born into a religion.
Luther’s belief of the bread and the wine involved in the receiving of communion was seen as consubstantiation in which he stated, “The body and the blood of the Lord are also with them, and the believer is nourished by that body and that blood through the very act of eating the bread and drinking the wine.” (Gonzalez, pg. 54) He felt the church was misusing and misinterpreting communion. Luther rejected the idea of transubstantiation which he saw as pagan and contrary to justification by faith (Gonzalez, pg. 54). He did not believe in the rewarding of members attending mass for the reenactment of Calvary’s sacrifice. Luther believed that Christ existed in sacraments and that the efficacy of them brought you closer to Christ. Not everyone agreed with these views and conflicts arose among Reformation leaders.
After Luther’s attempt at reformation in the Catholic Church believers are introduced to humanist Ulrich Zwingli who had similar views to Luther but had better positive reasons as to why he believed what he believed. Zwingli was more secure to religious aspects or practices being simpler for the believer opposed to being too much. Zwingli felt sacraments limited the freedom of the spirit. For him, “the material elements, and the physical actions that accompany them, can be no more than signs or symbols of...

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