Christianity and The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was a religious and political split from the Catholic Church and its influence on governments in Europe. It began on October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther, a German monk, nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This writing criticized the Catholic Church for its corrupt practices. Luther demanded that the Church be reformed, so it wasn't just for the rich and educated. He wanted it to be fairer and easier for all people, the poor and uneducated. This angered the church leaders. When Martin Luther wrote the Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation, Emperor Charles V sent for him and made this statement:

I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, I cannot and will not retract.... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God. Amen.

Luther gained more support because more people were upset they could not read the Catholic Bible written in Latin. His demand for reform was more successful than the protests in England during the 14th century. The Catholic Church held much money and owned much land. Forgiveness of sins was based upon how much money a person had. Probably the most important reform Luther sought was how salvation was gained. He felt that salvation was based only on faith, and not upon good work taught by the Catholic Church or by the amount of property a person had.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

Romans 3:23-25

Luther was successful in his demands for reform and joined by the efforts of John Calvin Bibles were printed in many languages and the doctrine of salvation by faith became the underlying tenant of most Protestant churches.








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