AP European History Essay: Martin Luther
Luther was a revolutionary after his excommunication because of his writing: On the Babylonish Captivity of the Church. This writing caused the official break with Rome, and the creation of a new system of faith. In this document, Luther calls Rome a brothel and compares it to Babylon. His language in this document is scathing, sarcastic, and brutal. However, the people now viewed the conflict between Luther and the Church as one between Satan and God. This was Luther’s official break with Rome. With this break came the creation of a new system of faith. This system focused on liberation. Liberation from the “middlemen”, or the priests, as each individual has a personal relationship with God. Roman Catholics were supposed to believe that they had to go through the priest to receive forgiveness from God. Martin Luther states that this is absurd. People should have a personal relationship with God, and did not have to go to church to talk with God. Each Christian has a relationship with God, and this liberated Europeans and Christians: everyone could now ask for forgiveness on their own. Martin Luther also believed that each Christian was a priest.
Luther also introduced the 5 basic theological principles of the new reformed religion: Sola Fide, (by faith alone) Sola Scriptura, (by Scripture alone) Solus Christus, (through Christ alone) Sola Gratia, (by grace alone) and Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone). The main point of these 5 ideas is the sola, meaning alone. This expresses that the church was not need to have faith. The only things needed to be a good Christian are God and the bible.
This new religion was revolutionary, and appealing to the people because they did not need to be wealthy to be a good Christian, and could be close to God by themselves. This new belief system proves that Luther was a revolutionary after his excommunication.