Martin Luther’s Impact on Religious Structures
In Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, Catholicism ruled all. Even through a social and political landscape that was more like fresh lava than solid rock, the Catholic Church retained its position at the top of the social pyramid. Catholicism nurtured many of the major nations of Europe in their infantile states. These states included France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Britain. The Catholic system that had been laid down defined 3 concepts.
1: How do you get yourself saved?
2: What is the source of religious authority?
3: What is the church?
To these queries, the Catholic Church answered in the following:
1: Faith and works
2: The Bible and church traditions
3: The clergy and people that had higher status in the rankings were elevated over all other normal people
This was the established social structure until the Protestant Reformation began. A prominent figure in this movement was Martin Luther. He believed in spiritual freedom. Although many people used his teachings as rationale behind violent movements, he quickly put this to rest by pairing himself with the political structures that were in place and campaigning against rebellion. He then used his political influence to promote his idealisms of spiritual freedoms. His ideas towards the three major questions mentioned earlier are as follows:
1: By faith alone. You need not do some insane, impossible, or bankrupting feat to gain saving privileges.
2: The Bible and the individual’s interpretative conscience. The church’s traditions had no impact on how everyday people choose to believe.
3: Every Individual is important. No person or body of people can stand between a believer and God.
Martin Luther’s ideas and teachings promoted that individuals think for themselves, a concept that would prove vital in the next few hundred years when people started to come out of the dark ages and into the age of knowledge, reason, and enlightenment. Martin Luther helped launch one of them most massive and influential splits in religion that can still be witnessed in abundance today all across the globe.