Luther's most revolutionary ideas were expressed against the Catholic Church. For decades before Luther, the Catholic Church taught that salvation could only be achieved through a combination of God's grace and good works; Luther disagreed. He argued that no amounts of works could save a man's sinful soul and that only God's grace and Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough for salvation. Other then this one argument, the Catholic Church and Luther disputed over much more which ultimately led to Luther being excommunicated in 1520 by Pope Leo X.
Despite Luther's revolutionary actions he wasn't always an authoritarian and conservative. In his early life, Luther's vision of his father reflected a supreme God. He was powerless in the household. It is doubtful that Luther gained his leadership and authoritarian skills by learning from the atmosphere at home.
When Luther first joined a monastery, he had an overwhelming sense of guilt. He was obsessed with his own sinfulness. He hoped that becoming a friar and leading a penitential life would rid him of his guilty conscience. Once in the monastery, he pursued every possible opportunity to earn worthiness in the sight of God. Luther went beyond normal requirements of priesthood. He even went to the extent of self-flagellation, which is the act of punishing one's self, either physically or mentally. He did this with the hope to please God... [continues]
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