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Martin Luther’s Revolution

A REFORMATION DAY LESSON ON DEMOCRACY By Larry Marchant || Last weekend many protestent churches celebrated the Reformation of the Catholic Church. But I believe people of all faiths should stop and pause, because Martin Luther’s actions have a much larger, ripple affect – extending far beyond church doctrine. In…

A REFORMATION DAY LESSON ON DEMOCRACY

By Larry Marchant || Last weekend many protestent churches celebrated the Reformation of the Catholic Church. But I believe people of all faiths should stop and pause, because Martin Luther’s actions have a much larger, ripple affect – extending far beyond church doctrine.

In Europe during the 16th Century, several key events inspired Martin Luther’s revolutionary action:

  • Pope Leo X wanted to reconstruct Saint Peter’s Basilica – the crown jewel of the Vatican. But there was one small problem: The Church was broke.
  • When the Pope approached Venetian bankers to finance his vision, they balked at the Church’s credit.
  • The Papacy devised a plan to satisfy the Church’s debt to the bankers. Indulgences—payments to the Church so that parishioners could buy a loved one’s ticket into heaven.
  • St. Peter’s Basilica becomes the first building to be built on credit.

A priest and professor of theology, Luther’s frustration reached a boil – and he proposed ninety-five changes to the Catholic Church. But rather than dropping his “suggestions” in the employee suggestion box, he nailed them to the church door at Wittenberg, Germany.

Among other issues Luther protested indulgences as well as the broader notion that parishioners must make payments to secure a deceased loved one’s place in heaven.  He also questioned the church’s ban against married priests. Further, Luther believed that the Church placed far too much importance on worshiping Mary, the mother of Jesus.

After receiving Luther’s “nasty-gram,” the Pope went ballistic and called for an immediate inquiry into the audacity of this brazen professor, referred to as the “Diet of Worms.”

Luther was deemed a heretic, excommunicated from the Church, and a bounty was placed on his head. Luther ran, locking himself in a room for over a year and transcribing the Bible into German.  This did not sit well with the Church, as they insisted that the only way to know the Bible was through the teaching of Rome.

Around the time Luther finished his translation, Johannes Guttenberg invented the modern-day ink stamped printing press.  Flyers announcing the new publication were dispersed through the land, and the ability to read and interpret holy text for oneself spread like wildfire.

Disavowing the Church’s doctrine on marriage, Luther married Katherina Bora – a former nun.  Not long after, war erupted in Germany over the division of the Church and continued for several years.  Finally, the fighting stopped.  My feeling is the German royal family told the Vatican that if it refused to back off – Germany would no longer supply it gold, so the Vatican’s army retreated to Rome. But again, that’s just my take on it.

Luther insists the new church shall be named the “Reformed Catholic Church.”  Several years later upon Luther’s death, the churchwas renamed the “Lutheran Church”

After Luther’s death, the Black Plague engulfs large cities throughout Europe, and Luther’s widow Katherine – poor and living off parishioners’ kindness – flees to the countryside to escape the plague. Severely injured in a cart accident, she died not long thereafter.

So if you hear someone talking about the Reformation, remember its importance for each of us, not just Lutherans. You see, Luther’s belief in the individual has been credited with commencing the modern democratic form of government that the Western world enjoys today.

Luther’s fundamental, revolutionary belief – that people should have the right to read and interpret the Bible for themselves – was unheard of at the time.  Two hundred years later, though, democracy is born under the same theory of the common people’s God-given rights – including free speech and freedom of the press.

So regardless of your faith or particular denomination, let us all be thankful for Luther’s sacrifice, something we too often take for granted today: the right to make our own decisions and have our own thoughts.

God bless Martin Luther, and God bless us all.

***

Larry Marchant is a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

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30 comments

Nikki Haley's Vagina October 29, 2012 at 5:15 am

Larry, I Miss YOU.

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? October 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

LMAO!

Thought bubble in Larry’s head: “Sssshhhhhh!!!! I have preaching/Jesus’s work to do. Then I’ll bed you heathen.”

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Joe October 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

WTF!

Martin Luther also had a significant influence on German antisemitism as seen in his harsh anti-Jewish statements and writings.

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Logical disconnect October 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

Oh yeah, Hitler was a real card carrying Lutheran. Good work Joe. Way to connect those dots.

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? October 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

Where’s 9″/Balsak/Shlomo/Grammar Coach when you need him?

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Raspy October 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

Martin Luther called BS on the Catholic Church’s scams and games, only to have a denomination named after him that would also run scams and games on people.

“If you don’t believe as we do, you’re going to HELL!” “If you don’t convince your family and friends that they need to believe as we do, they will burn in hell and so will you.” Organized religion has always been and always will be about power, control, and money. Those gullible enough to buy into it will always be sheep, there for the fleecing by the almighty church.

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Smirks October 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

Faith-based salvation is a curious thing. Eternal damnation in the fires of Hell is something you’d expect a rapist or a murderer to get (and even then, that’s rather harsh), not some guy or girl who lived a fairly good life but didn’t “repent” for that one time they got a bit tipsy at the bar and had a one night stand. We all sin, but last time I checked, they don’t throw you in a furnace for speeding.

That’s the whole mentality, though. You’re a terrible person because you stole a cookie from the cookie jar as a kid, and rather than give you a spanking or put you in time out, you should just be set on fire for the rest of eternity. Oh, unless you join the Jesus club, then you can do whatever the fuck you want.

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Logical disconnect October 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

I missed Jesus’ parables about the rapist and the cookie jar and the fleecing of the sheep.

However, a little known fact: Jesus actually did condemn cookie theifs to hell and died a rich man after successfully turning the early church into a multi-level marketing scheme.

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? October 29, 2012 at 9:39 am

“Luther’s belief in the individual has been credited with commencing the modern democratic form of government that the Western world enjoys today.”

LMAO! You know, you were doing fine up until the above tripe. Way to demonstrate a complete inability to understand the much larger history of “democracy” or put Luther’s “contributions” to it in context.

I’ll bet if you even bothered to reference the above statement the sources would all be Lutheren academics.

Carry on.

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Okay October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

Good read and conversation. Thanks for the write-up.

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Bonhoeffer October 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

Reading Marchant’s piece and the ensuing comments, it might be a good idea if everyone just kept to politics. However, the effort to review the Catholic-Protestant controversy is refreshing and of some interest. I mean, who wants to hear about Mormans and Sikhs?

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Shame Cock October 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm

This is hilarious. First Sanford resurfaces on Fox, and now we have Larry “The Affidavit” Marchant lecturing us about Martin Luther. How about that thou shalt not bang thy neighbor’s wife or covet her ass thing? What a tool!(“that’s what Nikki said…)

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? October 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

LOL! Great name and great comment.

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Bill October 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Lutherans are not Baptist, Methodist or any other so called: Protestant Religions. Lutherans “Are,” the Protestant Religion. We do not condemn, nor say people will burn in hell, that’s Baptist and other religions. We have gay and Lesbian preachers. Supposedly, no Deacons, or church monarchy. Lutherans are the most Liberal of all main stream Christians. So, don’t confuse your ignorance with fact.

The fun thing to see is if the Pope ever lifted the X-communication of Martin Luther. If done, instantly nearly all main stream Protestant Religions would then become Catholics again. Because, their entire existence is based upon Martin Luther being X-communicated.

Besides, the only true Christian Church is the Orthodox Greek, Russian, etc. The Pope is just the Bishop of Rome left by Constantine to watch over Rome while he moved the Capital of Christian Faith to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul (The City). Sorry, people, all the others are just pretenders, not followers of the one true original Christian Church. If there ever was such a thing in the first place after the Nicene Convention. Where a Palestinian, and great Biblical historian, working for Constantine, actually wrote the first Holy Bible we use today.

That does give you a funny take on the USA’s position against Palestinians who are Christians and actually wrote the Bible, in favor of the Israeli Government (note separation from the great Jewish Religion). Something to think about!

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Andrew October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Missouri Synod Lutherans, as would man Lutherans in Third World nations, disagree greatly with you.

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CoolAireHeights October 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Sorry Bill, as a (Lutheran) Christian, I can tell you that we’re both so close and yet so far away. In other words, your form of “Lutheranism” – which you’ve apparently co-opted to speak for all “us” (Lutherans) – is like that crazy uncle at Christmas. Sure, we’re family, but we’re nothing alike. In fact and ironically, I likely have more in common now with the Catholic Church than your version of Lutheranism (and particularly so since the Catholic Church’s Vatican II of the 1960’s). As a result of all of these recent denominational changes, I now rightly define myself as a Christian whose method of worship/beliefs comes from my Germanic Lutheran background. Had I been born Italian, French, or Irish, I’d likely be Catholic; Scottish?, Presbyterian; or English?, Episcopalian or Methodist. Again, though I am proud of my heritage and have the greatest respect for Martin Luther and his efforts to accomplish the Reformation, I’m proud also to not be associated with your form of Lutheranism. Regardless, peace in Christ be with you!

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Raspy October 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Andrew is right. Those are the ones who really try to convince everyone who is not one of them that they are all going to burn in HELL.

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Andrew October 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Basic Christian doctrine is Believe in Christ and live, don’t believe and die in your sins. Martin Luther believed that. He believed that when he was an Augustinian monk / scholar and later when he was a Protestant.

All the streams of Orthodoxy, all the streams of Roman Catholicism, all the streams of Protestantism say this.

Folks act like it is some kind of minor sect, or even worse, “those people I don’t like” who say that.

It isn’t.

It is Christianity 101.

Now some folks are obnoxious about it. Some are milquetoast and mild about it, but it is still out there.

What I mostly hear from many non – Christians is “Those folks who say people who don’t believe in Jesus are going to hell, I don’t like that, but I like XXXX denomination that doesn’t make a big deal about it.”

Ok – if spineless, squishy sorts – who say that the most important thing in their life isn’t THAT big of a deal, then go for it.

Now if what you are saying is, “I don’t like obnoxious people.” Well, ok, good, but being obnoxious isn’t a basic Christian doctrine, anywhere.

So you’re good there.

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CUvinny October 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

“So if you hear someone talking about the Reformation, remember its importance for each of us, not just Lutherans. You see, Luther’s belief in the individual has been credited with commencing the modern democratic form of government that the Western world enjoys today”

Want a source on that

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9" October 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I was trying not to fuck anything today/night,but seeing “Larry Marchant” and thinking about the last Lutheran I dated(are they all queer?),has given me an ungodly erection.Jesus Fucking Christ.How ’bout some pics of Mr Marchant,please?! That’s one hot silverdaddy.

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Judy Chop October 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm

This is so weird. Two men allegedly have sex with the same married woman and then they form some sort of club where they publicly espouse similar doctrine both religiously and politically.

Does this make them Usher Bros?

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Sloppy Sikhs October 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Wonder if they made her scream “Oh God?” Or “Oh Waheguru?”

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StupidShouldHurtMore October 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Robert A. Heinlein put it best when he said:

“The most preposterous notion that Homo sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.”

– SSHM

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Agnus Dei October 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

God bless you my son.

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? October 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

They did do a decent job of running hospitals for a while before they were pushed out of that industry.

I would also say that I would take people worshipping God/Jesus any day over those worshipping govt-even though I disagree with both.

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Freaky trikki October 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Gotta wonder if Nikki even felt it… I’d guess no

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LogcabinSC October 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Trust me… She didn’t.

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Morticia November 20, 2012 at 9:06 am

I sat through daily religion classes at a Missouri Synod Lutheran school and can recite pages of Luther’s Small Catechism at the drop of a hat. Still trying to get it out of my head.

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eric April 19, 2013 at 6:11 am

Fuck martin luther, he was nothing more than a treacherous decadent peasant, fuck christianity, and above all else, fuck democracy! why dont all you modern, so called protestant, joel osteen christians exercise a little honesty and praise your one true god:money! which provides you with your favorite past time, namely eating fatty foods sitting on your ass and watching reality tv….think for yourself…HA

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eric April 19, 2013 at 6:11 am

Fuck martin luther, he was nothing more than a treacherous decadent peasant, fuck christianity, and above all else, fuck democracy! why dont all you modern, so called protestant, joel osteen christians exercise a little honesty and praise your one true god:money! which provides you with your favorite past time, namely eating fatty foods sitting on your ass and watching reality tv….think for yourself…HA

Reply

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