Religious Beliefs of Martin Luther
On October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther posted his theses on the entrance of the church which outlined issues that were going on within the church that he felt required resolution. He believed it was the will of god that allowed someone into the gates of heaven, that it was not up to the church to allow someone to purchase their salvation.
Luther wanted an open discussion with a Church panel, who can answer regarding the thought process and functioning of Church in particular indulgence corresponded by acts or sin performed. Luther wanted to address and reform the idea that the pope or the church had any jurisdiction over purgatory. He believed that Jesus would save and redeem individuals regardless of monetary contributions given to the church. Luther uses Biblical quotes not only to challenge the Pope and Catholics actions, but also for a foundation and backing to his claims. God’s grace is what promises salvation and ultimately our faith leads to eternal life in heaven. He would also go on to emphasize the notion that good deeds do not mean a gateway to heaven. Luther addressed many issues in his theses, but the main issue was the church giving false assurances in the name of Christ. Luther believed it was the duty of the pope to be give money to the poor, to take care of people in need; particularly those being prayed on by people who were trying to sell everlasting life in paradise. In leu of his actions the church’s response was to order him to Augsburg in 1518 to report before Cardinal Thomas Cajeton. This led to a debate with the Cardinal which lasted three days. The Cardinal ordered Luther to retract his accusations which he refused. Luther escaped to evade imprisonment in Rome.
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Luther stood by his beliefs through years of scrutiny and persecution. The power of holding the key to heaven was far too great for the papacy to give up easily. Luther was condemned for heresy on June 15th, 1520, excommunicated on January 3rd, 1521, and was placed under an imperial ban on May 26th, 1521. At the Diet of Worms in April of 1521, Luther declared that recanting his statements would be to go against Scripture, reason, and his conscience.