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Martin Luther King - Essay Example

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Martin Luther was an amazingly forward thinking person who was brave enough to challenge some of the fundamental precepts of the Catholic Church. His 95 Theses were a document he nailed to his church’s door in order to spark public debate, mostly surrounding the sale of indulgences and the Church’s ability to free people from purgatory…
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Martin Luther King
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Download file to see previous pages The fundamental thing Luther addressed in his Theses was the sale of indulgences, something that posed a significant amount of theological problems. Indulgences were essentially a fundraising tool used by the Church in times of financial need, forgiving people for past (or in some cases future) minor sins in return for their coin. Religious leaders made it very clear that these only affected minor sins, and thus would shorten someone’s time in purgatory (a very painful realm between heaven and hell that people entered to purge them of their sins, according to Catholic thinking of the time) but not save them from serious sins that would put them in hell. Many people had a problem with the sale of indulgences, and they were widely unpopular in parts of Northern Europe among the laity. As Luther points out in his Theses, there are a wide array of theological problems with the sale of indulgences. One of the biggest problems that Luther had with indulgences is that they pervert the worshiper’s relationship with god and with the church. ...
use of money than giving money to the already overly rich Church, and that indulgences inhibited people from giving to those in need, which they saw as only possibly granting salvation, as opposed to giving money to the Church to buy indulgences, which would definitely grant them a reprieve from a particular sin. Essentially, Luther wants to address a wide array of problems caused by the sale of indulgences. The first thing he makes sure is that people know that they need to support those around them before spending money on indulgences, and that mercy towards those around them is more holy than helping the Church build a new basilica. This solves the problem of people neglecting charity in order to support the opulent church. Furthermore, Luther insists that people must financially care for themselves and their family before even thinking of buying indulgences. The fact that he includes this provision in his Theses seems to indicate that some people were neglecting their family and their wellbeing, possibly putting indulgences before essentials like food and housing in order to supposedly ensure a shorter time in purgatory. These two provisions are meant to address real-world, practical problems with the sale of indulgences that Luther seems to be facing on a day to day basis in his church. In addition to tackling these practical real world problems, Luther makes some significant challenges to classical Churchly authority in the field of theology. Probably his most inflammatory statement is that people are their own priests. In saying this, Luther, a priest himself, does not mean to underestimate the amazing benefit having a priest, with their specialized knowledge and training (and ability to perform sacraments), but rather to emphasize the personal relationship with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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