Martin Luther King
which he shed for me in obedience to your holy will. This is the basis on which I stand before you. In this faith I will live and die, fight, and do everything else. Dear Lord God the Father, preserve and strengthen this faith in me by your Spirit. Amen” (Luther and Schultz 135-136).
It should be understood, however, that Luther never sanctioned war, which he believed was a definite indication of mankind’s depravity. Yet, a Christian soldier may possibly be saved by God’s Grace just as any other Christian may be so blessed. One of the most important differences between the Roman Church and Luther’s conception of Christianity is the personal relationship between God and the Christian. In Catholicism, the Church is an intermediary between God and the individual. However, no intermediary is needed at all in Luther’s theological approach. This is one of Protestantism’s most significant qualities. Another very important characteristic of Luther’s reforms is the final authority of the Bible with respect to theological matters. This is also completely different from York-12 the Roman Catholic view, which holds that the Church is the final authority with regard to theological concerns. In fact, when speaking excathedra, the pope is considered by Catholicism to be infalliable concerning faith and morals. Luther could not accept a human being with Holy Orders as the means through which a Christian reaches God. These are the teachings that caused Luther to be excommunicated by the Roman Church and helped to create the Protestant form of Christianity.
... Luther's pamphlets were well-read throughout Germany. Since Protestant countries were no longer bound to the powerful Roman Catholic Church ... Little did he know that, that simple Christian and that simple stand for what is ... condemned the church's greed and worldliness as an abuse and asked for theological debate. Soon ... realized that the phrase "righteousness of God" in Roman 1: 17 did not mean active ...
When Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms, he was asked by Eck, an official of the Archbishop of Trier: “I ask you, Martin–answer candidly and without horns– do you or do you not repudiate your books and the errors which they contain?” Luther replied, “Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other–my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for us to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen” (Bainton 144).
Essentially, Luther provided the Christian with a degree of freedom not at all present in Catholicism. Luther dared to defy the might and authority of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Reformation was born. York-13 WORKS CITED Bainton, Roland H. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: Mentor, 1950. Dillenberger, John. Martin Luther: Selection From His Writings. New York: Anchor Books, 1962. Russell, Bertrand. A History of Western Philosophy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945. Schultz, Robert C. and Helmut T. Lehmann. Luther’s Works, Volume 46, The Christianity in Society, III. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967. Tillich, Paul. A History of Christian Thought From Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968. The Holy Bible. King James Version. New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1972.