Fundamental Problems with the Catholic Church in 15th Century and...

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Fundamental Problems with the Catholic Church in 15th Century and How Martin Luther Faced Them

By | March 2010
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Question: What was Luther’s fundamental religious problem with the Catholic Church? Trace the development of this problem and why Luther solved it. Among the many problems Luther pointed out in the Catholic Church in his 95 theses, the one he had the most problem with was the issue of salvation and the selling of indulgencies. At the time, the doctrine of the church stated that those who did not receive a baptism would spend time in purgatory for their sins. The Church said that acceptance of Jesus took away the blame of the sin but did not clear the sins completely because of the fact that the people were sinners. This was significant because the church was selling indulgences. The Catholic Church once sold indulgences to people who would fight in the Holy Wars to be forgiven of their sins. However, this time, the Church sold indulgences to followers at a certain price so that buyers would be forgiven of past and future sins. According to Luther, this was nowhere to be found in the Holy Bible. Luther preached self morals and on the acceptance of Jesus and complete obedience as the true way to reach heaven as stated in the Bible. This influx of indulgence buying and selling by the people around Luther irritated him to no end. In his sermons he emphasized the true scriptures in the Bible and not doctrine according to the so called “Holy Church”. The Catholic Church was selling indulgences in an effort to raise money for St. Peters Basilica, which was under construction in the Vatican during this period. It would be a very costly project and therefore the Church needed a means to pay for it and their answer was to sell indulgences at a monetary price. This infuriated Luther because it advocated that people could literally buy their way into heaven without truly accepting Jesus as it states in the Bible. A man by the name of Johann Tetzel was selling the indulgences in Germany at Luther’s time and Luther pleaded to his followers not to buy them but to simply...

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