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The Protestant Reformation

 

The Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation were
two very important events in European history. They are a
vital part of the Renaissance. They signify the point at
which the power of the church diminishes and the power of
the monarchs increases.
 
The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther. Martin
Luther had once been a monk for the Church, but, after
leaning about the way indulgences were practiced in the
Church (particularly practiced by Tetzel), he wrote 95
statements about indulgences and posted them at a local
church. He had assumed that the Church would accept these
statements. Unfortunately for the Church, the statements
were not accepted.
 
By not accepting Luther's teachings, the Church had
inadvertently encouraged its own decline. Since they did
not kill Luther immediately, he was able to spread his
"heresy," and, by the time the Church realized how large a
threat he was, it was too late. Luther had, in the 1520's
started the religion of Lutheranism.
 
Lutheranism conflicted directly with the Church. It said
that only two sacraments were necessary: baptism and
communion. This reduced would reduce the power of Lutheran
ministers and also save peasants money. This encouraged
peasant converts. This also encouraged lords and princes to
convert. They would convert to seize the holdings of the
Church in their lands and also to gain power over the new
religion. Instead of the Church controlling the officials,
the officials controlled the (Lutheran) Church.
 
Lutheranism also stressed intent. He said that, for God to
forgive a person, the person would have to feel real
regret, instead of just paying a fine. Luther also stated
that, for a person to have good credited to his/her soul,
they would have to have a good intent, not just a fear of
Hell. I believe that these facts were unimportant to
converts compared to the facts that Luther had defined
Lutheranism much better than the Church had defined
Christianity.
 



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