Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a German of Theology whose radical ideas about the Church and papal had brought the wrath of the Pope and Church of Europe. Martin Luther was Professor of Theology in the University of Wittenberg from where he later, did his doctorate in Theology. During the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Church had greatly influenced socio-political institutions across Europe. The basic premise of Christianity was the supremacy of God and Bible as the Holy Scripture taught people to be God fearing and repent their sins through repentance. Martin’s views differed dramatically from the Church as he believed that faith should be used to save mankind and not their actions or repentance. Martin talks about ‘three walls’ erected by Pope and his Roman curia which are: temporal power has no jurisdiction over Romans. no one except Pope can interpret Holy Scripture. and no one except Pope can call council. These walls were erected mainly to maintain Church’s hold on the socio-political structure of the Roman and Christian society at large. These walls are clearly visible in Exsurge Domine when it claims that ‘Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects……If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err. still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council’. The Church had stifled the common and his opinions. Martin had thrashed the walls when he showed that all God’s children are not equal. The spiritual estate and temporal estate as formed by the Pope was discriminatory in its definition and functions. Priests, even when excommunicated enjoyed the privileges of the same. Moreover, one person cannot be the master of Holy Scripture and have the sole right to its interpretation. When all people have same faith, same gospel and same scripture, how can one person have the sole right to its interpretation? There is no justification for this type of biases which differentiates between children of God.Martin is quite emphatic that if the Pope himself acts contrary to the scripture by not treating all children of God equally, the third treatise or wall, by default falls down. He saw Church’s actions as singularly self-centered who wanted to maintain their hold on the Monarchy as well as on the common man. He believed that putting the fear of God in the common man was a way of making money. The sinners could repent their sins if they donate to good causes like Church. Indeed, indulgences were sold by catholic clergies. These actions are deliberate acts of treason against the Holy Scriptures. But these are supported by the Pope and therefore, Pope himself commits the sin of misinterpreting the Bible for vested interests. Martin’s treatises were important reforms in the Church that led to the formation of Protestant Christianity. (words: 493)