10/31/1517: The Anniversary of Reformation: Article and Poem

Filed in Gather News Channel by on October 31, 2007 0 Comments

10/31/1517: The Anniversary of Reformation

On October 31, 1517 Dr. Martin Luther nailed a paper of Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, a common practice of the time for any scholar who wished to debate or defend any law or doctrine. This was not the first time Martin Luther had done so, but this theses would signal the end of the medieval Church.

In Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, he argued that man was justified (saved) by faith alone, disputing a current practice of the Pope and the Church of Rome of selling indulgences. Indulgences were documents offering commutation of penance for money payments. Buy and indulgence and your sins are forgiven.

Martin Luther wanted the assurance of being acceptable to God, but found in himself and his works the promise of death for his sins. In his search for divine mercy, he launched the following argument:

The righteousness of God (iustitia Dei), meant not God’s anger at sin, but His willingness to make the sinner just (free of sin) by the power of His love bestowed freely on the true believer.

Luther held that man was justified (saved) by faith alone: the words sola fide would come to be the watchword and touchstone of the Reformation movement. Man could do nothing by his own works. But if he believed, God would give a believer the gifts of the Holy Spirit- salvation and eternal life. The way to grace is Jesus Christ, and faith in Him is found in abandoning oneself to the message of the Gospel, or the Word, as Luther called it.

Luther’s actions launched a movement later known as Reformation, which attacked not only indulgences, but also spread to the many other abuses the Church, many of which being against the central truth of religion. Man in that time would not have the knowledge that would show them the wrongfulness of these practices. It was believed that man in his ignorance of God, needed clergy to teach him what they needed to known. Having and reading a Bible was a practice reserved to the clergy. Martin Luther and others like him made it possible for each of us to own and read a Bible, and for the teachings that we can approach God, in our own right, and ask for the forgiveness of sins.


Martin Luther Time Line:

Life: 1483-1546

1505- Luther entered the order of the Austin Friars at Erfurt

1507-Luther ordained a Catholic priest

1508- Luther was appointed Professor at Wittenberg

1510- Luther visits Rome and is shocked by what he sees of the papal Curia practices

1517-Pope Leo X permitted the new archbishop of Mainz, Albert of Hohenzollern to sell indulgences to raise money for the heavy outlay incurred on entering his dignity. The sale is called the jubilee.

1517- Martin Luther posts Ninety-five Theses on church door.

1519-Erasmus refuses to support Luther

1520-Rome hurls Exsurge Domine at Luther. He publishes Adel deutscher Nation. The pope excommunicated him. Aleandro’s witch hunt of Erasmus begins, but Erasmus becomes Europe‘s most popular author.

1521- Diet of Worms; Luther becomes a fugitive. Germany rises in support of him.

1524- Peasants‘ revolt in Germany

1525-Tyndales traslation of New Testament

1533-Henry VIII divorces Katherine of Aragon and marries pregnant Anne Boleyn, she gives birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I- the marriage in direct defiance of the Church/Pope.

1534-Luther translated Bible into German

1536-Queen Anne Boleyn beheaded for adultery claims.

-Tyndale burned at the stake.

-death of Eramus; his book is banned

-Calvin: Christianae religionis institutio

1546- Martin Luther dies



My Poem: A Tribute to Martin Luther

Who is Martin Luther?

In Medieval times

Forgiveness was sold

No mention of Jesus

Less penance for gold


Buy God’s indulgence

For the Pope’s reward?

Luther questioned it

His basis, the Word


Though mired in sin,

And a state of despair

This young friar knew

Jesus paid the fare.


So this miner’s son

With no wealth, no land

Started a movement

With the Word in hand


With his endless faith

His zeal, and his work

His message poured forth

In pamphlets and books


He was punished, shunned,

And plagued with doubt

But Luther prevailed

His message was out


The Church wrote a Bull

That said: Luther, get out!

You’ve divided our ranks

We’re weakened throughout


In Wartburg he sat

An outlaw in hiding

Tempted by doubt

The devil beside him


God said, “Work six days”

And , You are not done,

More people must hear

Of Me and My Son


Again God gifted

A use for his skills

Translate into German

My Word, the Gospel


Then each man can have

A Bible to read

Let the Gospel be shared

Let mankind hear Me


Luther used his Gifts

From God once again

That we all may know

Salvation from sin


-Michelle Krieger 2005

Blessed to Be Lutheran,

Michelle Krieger 


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