1517 – FAITH, PROTEST AND FREEDOM – HUMAN RIGHTS ARE FROM GOD NOT MEN OR GOVERNMENTS: MARTIN LUTHER POSTS HIS 95 THESES ON THE CHURCH DOOR OF WITTENBERG, GERMANY SPARKING THE TINDER OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION. OTHER REFORMERS SUCH AS JOHN WYCLIFFE OF ENGLAND HAD BEGUN THE REFORMATION OVER A CENTURY BEFORE, BUT LUTHER’S ACTION SET THE THEOLOGICAL-SOCIAL-POLITICAL REFORMS ABLAZE THAT SWEPT EUROPE.
I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
Today In World History October 31, 1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
Martin Luther; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in 16th century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in hell. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther’s wider teachings, are called Lutherans.
On 31 October 1517, Luther wrote to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” which came to be known as The Ninety-Five Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly “searching, rather than doctrinaire.” More…
“The Morning Star of the Reformation”
John Wycliffe, also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, Wickliffe; c. 1320 – December 1384) was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England, who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. The Lollard movement was a precursor to the Protestant Reformation (for this reason, Wycliffe is sometimes called “The Morning Star of the Reformation”). He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority influencing secular power. More …
The Protestant Reformation and the Founding of the United States – Our Rights are from God, not Kings, Prelates or Politicians
The Protestant Reformation, not the Enlightenment, is responsible for the world’s political liberty and promoting human rights. The Social Contract of the Protestant Reformation versus that of the Enlightenment: “the social covenant (to distinguish) has resisted tyranny, totalitarianism, and authoritarianism with consistent and irrepressible force; the other has led to oppression, large-scale loss of life, and the general diminution of liberty, both economic and personal.”
…Republicanism; that the people are above the king, is theology derived from the above mentioned verse in Proverbs (Proverbs 14:28), “In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.” The Reformation also brought the world, “consent of the governed” as the people, next to God, are supreme in the State. Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison understood limited government and consent of the governed directly from Reformation writers. These framers, including Thomas Jefferson, stole “resistance to tyrants” theology from John Calvin, otherwise known as interposition. More …