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500th Anniversary of Reformation — Documentary on Martin Luther

An outsider to the center of power saw more clearly how the powerful were corrupted and used theology to serve their own ends.

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In his time of the 1500s, Martin Luther lived in Germany, which was a peripheral area to the center of power of the Holy Roman Empire located in Rome, Italy. Maybe, because he was an outsider living on the borderlands of the empire, this monk began to see more clearly than the insiders in the center the corruption in the Europe and how it had distorted Christian life. In 1517, he nailed "95 Theses" on his church's door attacking the corruption in the church and linked it to a corruption in theology. His preaching said that an individual person didn't need to pay the church to gain access to Jesus. Rather, each person could gain access to Jesus by reading the Bible, praying his confession directly to God, and depend upon God's love to give forgiveness.

His preaching cut out the intermediaries between God and the individual, so it was a direct threat to powerful hierarchies that depended upon subservience and payments. In many ways, the ideas of individualism, democracy, and freedom to explore the world for one's slef came out of the preaching of Martin Luther. The powerful forces of modernization were unleashed.

More about the documentary and where to watch it!

Read about the NYC Lutheran pastor who became an influential Catholic priest.

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