Luther’s first step was to attempt reform within the Catholic church was posting “The 95 Theses on the Power of Indulgences” on the door of the church of Wittenberg to directly protest the selling of indulgences. Condemning indulgences was, in fact, condemning the pope, and his authority to grant pardons to the Catholics. Opposing indulgences was not the end of opposing the pope, however, when the pope sent Luther a letter telling him to take back his words or be excommunicated, Luther burned the letter publicly. Eventually when Luther was excommunicated, he continued to spread his heretical ideas especially through his writings, some of which included “On Christian Liberty” which led the peasant class to believe Lutheranism would lift their oppression and “An Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation” which invited Christian princes to take over the wealth of the German monasteries. Luther needed the support of the masses to bring about his reform.
He believed that the Catholic church was corrupt for selling indulgences as penance for sins in that the sale was a way for the Church to exploit the unfortunate and poor (Reformation 5). The final push for the need to change was the English reformation. During King Henry VIII’s rule in the sixteenth century, the Church of England was formed. He established the church because the Pope of the Catholic Church would not grant him a divorce from his wife, Catherine of Aragon. The Anglican church had many similarities to the Catholic church: similar rituals and a bible titled the Book of Common Prayere (Reformation 9).
The Puritans wanted to remove all practice and rituals of Catholicism from Europe. John Winthrop and fellow Puritans were frustrated with religious activities in England, “All other Churches of Europe are brought to desolation and or sinnes”. He believed that the Church was corrupted and that the lord “Frowned upon us, doe threatens us fearfully”. Winthrop believed that England was invaded by evil and ran by a corrupted Government, and that the roots for religious learning were being disturbed. They feared to live in such sinful society, because they believed that God predestined people to salvation and others were damned for the rest of time.
We can also discern the true Shepherd's through their teachings about the incarnation of Christ and deity of our Lord Jesus. Our Saviour advised us "by their fruit you will recognize them. "(Matthew 7:20). If someone is not providing teaching based on Jesus Christ's theology then he is proving himself false. Satan and his minions have corrupted the minds of those people who listen to his deceptive ideas so as to continue their hell-based schemes.
Reformation of the Church Despite the similarities of scripture and the beliefs of followers during the Lutheran and Catholic reformation their differences kept the two sides apart as enemies. During the start of the sixteenth century, people were displeased with the corruption and specials favors the church offered to few individuals which started a great Reformation. People from all social classes began to resent the power behind the church and question their authority to decide who gets into heaven. While the starting point of the Lutheran Reformation was when Martin Luther posted his theses, that caused the beginning of a long needed Reformation across Europe. The ideas of the Reforms came from the side of Martin Luther and the common people of the Catholic church who had started to question the clergy of the Catholic Church such as the pope.
With this going on, it is no wonder why others believe that Evangelicals are motivated by hate. It has struck fear into many. There are groups that even feel that they are being persecuted by Evangelicals. Philip Yancey finally realizes at the end of the article where Evangelicals have gone wrong. “A person must court a virgin differently than a divorcee (Yancey, 2005).” Yancey realizes that the first words a non-believer should hear should not be of death but of love.
In regards, politics go, the Puritans had some interesting views. As John Winthrop, in “a modell of Christian charity” said, the Puritans believed their moral and divine cause, i.e. creating a community of righteous Christians gave them justification to defeat violent “heathens” often times without fair treaty, negotiation, or any other semblance of normal politic. Indeed, they truly believed themselves to be a model for Christianity that the whole world would watching, as is exemplified in the “modell of a Christian charity”. Leaders of the Church were given excessive power.
He was shocked by the unbiblical behavior of church officials and the sale of indulgences. In Catholic theology, an indulgence is the remission of the physical and temporal punishment for sins that is endured in Purgatory after death, even though the legal guilt has been pardoned by absolution. The Pope, according to his discretion from the "treasury of merits from the saints," sold religious merits in exchange for refurbishing the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Those who purchased these indulgence documents were promised a reduced punishment for their sins, for the sins of departed loved ones, and in some cases, total forgiveness from all sin. The slogan attributed to the Dominican friar Johann Tetzel epitomized the sale of indulgences: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs."
These writings began a movement which was called the protestant Reformation when people who believed in Luther’s writings protested asking the church to change. Luther was later excomunicated from the church by Pope Leo X he was put on trail at the diet of worms where he was declared imperial outlaw. But his excommunication did
Their effectiveness is due to how the examples display our, America’s, usage of Christian beliefs compared to what the actual beliefs say. His most effective example would have to be when he describes how America breaks one of the Ten Commandments themselves. It is true we are a nation that still permits the death penalty. However, the irony he displays sets it apart from the others because the sixth commandment itself says “Thou Shall Not Kill.” Not only that, his perspective of how we say we are Christian is also good for his argument. One negative aspect to his essay would have to be his bias toward conservatives and the rich.