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95 Theses - Essay Example

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Martin Luther a theology professor and a priest of Wittenberg wrote his doctrine of “Disputation on power and efficacy of indulges/95 theses” in 1514 to denote the debatable actions of the Catholic Church and its practices. He wrote 95 theses to proclaim erroneous practice…
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95 Theses
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Number] How do the issues Luther present for debate illustrate to the problems in the Church of his day?
Martin Luther a theology professor and a priest of Wittenberg wrote his doctrine of “Disputation on power and efficacy of indulges/95 theses” in 1514 to denote the debatable actions of the Catholic Church and its practices. He wrote 95 theses to proclaim erroneous practice of selling indulges to sinners to purchase their salvation. Luther observed that Wittenberg community instead of confessing in the Church was heading to Anhalt or Brandenberg to buy salvation tickets (partial or full) and mainly the Peter’s indulgence to become guilt free. This wrong practice gave entirely businesslike meaning to the Christian Faith. The corrupt practice of selling indulgences meant that salvation is in the hands of religious figure, which Luther completely defied in 95 these.
He believed that the core idea of Christianity was to follow God’s commands so to gain his grace and this qusai practice enabled the poor or rich sinners to purchase salvation through Church issued bonds instead of seeking repentance from God (Iclnet.org, 2014). 95 theses contained a list of question for the religious authorities in a humble and academic manner, which does not contain direct criticism, but a recap of preaching of the religion itself. Luther focused on the fact that God seeks obedience from his creation if faith is not shown through the action of believer; he is not obedient at all and neither faithful to his creator. Thus, faith and deeds go hand in hand for the sake of salvation, which is only granted by God and none other authority of the world (6). In the middle ages, Catholic Church practiced the idea that through good deeds salvation can be traded, but this also required God’s will and grace. In 1517, the construction of Basilica of St. Peter inaugurated the trade of indulge purchasing practice. The aim was to raise funds for the construction, but the method adopted for it was highly controversial and faith twisting. Thus, Luther urged the Pope to invest his personal money in the construction instead of issuing these illegal and meaningless bonds to fool innocent believers.
In the theses 20, he elaborates that the pope has no power or authority to eradicate any penalty imposed by the God, but the only penalty he can wave off is either imposed by him or the Church. Hereafter by no means is in his hands or in the power of any other mortal authority as the final judgment rests in God’s hands. Selling of indulgences meant that there is no liability of wrong actions on the person himself instead he can buy the indulgence bond from Church and get rid of the regret of his wrong action. This practice if persisted would have eliminated the distinction of remorse or regret completely from the believers and these believers would have been left without faith and grace of God at all.
God’s mercy is by no means a purchasable commodity one has to invest obedient actions, sacrifice his will/needs/wishes and to comply with his commands so to earn his mercy. This process develops man’s faith in the existence of a power, which is unseen but observes all the right and wrong done by humans. In the last summit, he emphasized on the meaning of this life as a ‘test’ for the admission in heaven or hell. Thus, according to him innocent believers should be given a chance to fulfill their obligations by correct means (obedience) instead of purchasing scam entry tickets to heaven.
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Iclnet.org,. (2014). 95 Theses - Luther. Retrieved 4 October 2014, from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/ninetyfive.html Read More
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