The Lutheran Religion

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The Lutheran Religion
by Cynthia Mead
Instructor: Natalie Eades HUM 130

The core beliefs and practices of Lutheranism can be traced back to a German monk named Martin Luther. He is known as the “Father of Reformation”. Martin Luther was born November tenth 1493, and died February eighteenth 1546 at the age of sixty three. He was a Christian theologian and an Augustinian monk. His teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation. He influenced the belief of Protestant and other Christian religions. He was born to Hans and Margaretha Luder in Eisleben, Germany.

He was baptized on the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, after who he was named. Luther’s call to the church to return to the teachings of the Bible ended in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, culminating at the Council of Trent.

His translation of the Bible led to developing a standard version of the German language. His hymns helped the development of congregational singing in Christianity. He married Katrina von Bora, a former nun on June thirteenth 1525. This began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian religions.

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of history. He nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg church. He accused the Roman Catholic Church of heresy upon heresy. Many people believe that this act was the starting point of the Protestant Reformation. Although others had already put their life’s work and their lives at stake for the same cause of truth. John Wycliffe, John Huss, Thomas Linacre, and John Colet had already begun the construction of Reform that Luther built upon. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican Priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe (Unknown, 1997-2008). Luther spread his teachings even after being excommunicated and threats to his life. The name Lutheran began as a derogatory term used against Luther by Johann Eck during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519. Eck and other Roman Catholics followed the traditional practice of naming a heresy after its leader, thus labeling all who identified with the theology of Martin Luther as a Lutherans.

The split between Lutherans and the Roman Catholics began with the Edict of Worms in 1521, which officially excommunicated Luther and all of his followers. The divide centered over the doctrine of Justification. This went against the Roman view of faith formed by love or faith and works. The Edict of Worms was a decree issued by The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V banning the writings of Martin Luther and labeling him a heretic and enemy of the state. The Edict, issued on May 25, 1521, in the city of Worms in southwest Germany, was the culmination of an ongoing struggle between Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church over reform, especially in the sale of indulgences. However, there were other deeper issues that revolved around both political and theological concerns. On a political level, Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the pope over the Church by maintaining that the sale of indulgences, authorized and promoted by the pope, was wrong. On a theological level, Luther maintained that salvation was by faith alone (sola fide) not through the legal mechanisms of the church or by what people did to earn it. He had also challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmas of the church should be accountable to the teachings of Scripture Luther left the Roman Catholic Church and based his beliefs on the following: * Baptism – He believed that Baptism was necessary for spiritual regeneration....
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