Martin Luther

Date

Oct 21, 2017

Sermon Series

Reformation

Martin Luther protested against the Roman Catholic Church. Luther saw the clergy make themselves lord over kings and peasants, hoard money and manipulate people by guilt and violence. Historians, both Christian and non, state that Martin Luther was the spark that burned down the dictatorship of the Church. Not only did Christianity change, so did governments. Monarchs would no longer be controlled by a religious power. People would have the choice to worship, or not worship, whom they wanted. And the idea that one person on Earth would be considered God’s representative was losing its power. Ultimately, the Western world, as we know it, has been changed and shaped by Luther’s actions.

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Recently I read an article in Time Magazine that listed the 100 most influential people in history. I was not surprised to see that Jesus was first on the list. I was astonished that Napoleon was second in rank. Mohammed got the “bronze medal” in third place. Others to note:  number 7 is Adolf Hitler, Charles Darwin is twelfth and Queen Victoria is #16. Immediately after the queen is the lowly Martin Luther in seventeenth place. This son of a miner has taken a place in history over the likes of Christopher Columbus, Isaac Newton and Plato. Some literary historians claim that there is nobody in history that has had more written about him or her than Martin Luther, minus Jesus Christ.

What an impact on the world this monk must have made to require so much ink!  How did Martin Luther “change” the world? Most people think he was revolutionary in his theology:  righteousness by faith. This was transforming, yet only within the context of Christianity. People of faith now felt that salvation and eternal life was a gift from God rather than a goal to be earned. Millions of lives have been impacted by his teachings about grace. He was also the originator of Protestant Christianity. What did Luther “protest”? 

He protested against the Roman Catholic (Universal) Church. Luther saw the clergy lord over kings and peasants, hoard money and manipulate people by guilt and violence. Historians, both Christian and non, state that Martin Luther was the spark that burned down the dictatorship of the Church. Not only did Christianity change, so did governments. Monarchs would no longer be controlled by a religious power. People would have the choice to worship (or not worship) whom they wanted. And the idea that one person on Earth would be considered God’s representative (Pope:  the vicar of God) was losing its power. Ultimately, the Western world, as we know it, has felt the ripples of Luther’s actions and words until now.

Pastor Kent

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