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Martin Luther: the power of his individual charisma

Posted by: | February 14, 2016 | No Comment |
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Credit: http://whythe95thesesareimportant.weebly.com/short-term-and-long-term-impacts.html

Martin Luther was born on Nov. 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Germany. Hans Luther had envisioned a future for his son as a lawyer. Luther had a troubling childhood while growing up as portrayed in the PBS documentary Martin Luther. Luther went to the University of Erfurt but in 1505 there was a strike of the plague and three of his friends were killed. He was caught in a thunderstorm that became a life changing experience when he was close to death. Something sparked in the mind of Luther and he devoted himself to God and became a monk despite having been so close to becoming a lawyer fulfilling his father’s wish.

As a monk Luther feared hell and the wrath of God while trying to find salvation day and night at the monastery. He was always in choir, wore uncomfortable robes, ate the most basic of food types, and harmed himself to imitate the suffering that Christ had once endured. He took all his duties to the extreme and became a black robed monk but he remained troubled despite all his efforts. Luther still suffered from a great deal of spiritual anguish and still remained seeking the enlightenment he was looking for at the monastery.

In 1510 Luther went to Rome however he was greatly disillusioned because it was the complete opposite of everything he was expecting. He was disgusted at what he saw and the advertisement jingle. His order sent him to Vittenberg to teach where which in theory would help him become more at ease freeing him from the isolation of the life in the monastery. However while he was there he came to the revelation that one only needed to simply accept salvation from God.

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Credit: http://amuseorbemused.com/glossary-of-vocabularia-obscura/definition-diet-of-worms/

Pope Leo X in 1517 advocated and supported the sale of indulgences to people to fund the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. Luther wrote his iconic 95 Theses and nailed them to the door of the university chapel. With the help of the printing press copies of the 95 Theses spread throughout Germany and Europe. Luther would not recant and would be excommunicated from the Church. The Diet of Worms in 1521 released the Edict of Worms banning Luther’s writings and labeled him as a heretic.

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Credit: http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2012/10/31/what-was-luther-doing-when-he-nailed-his-95-theses-to-the-wittenberg-door/

Luther was the spark for the Reformation. He perceived the importance of the printing press and the way sin which it greatly aided the spread of ideas. Luther is a prime example demonstrating that you cannot kill something that has been published. Through his single-minded pursuit of an idea he was able to unleash a hurricane leaving his mark in history. Luther recognized that for movement to spread, idea also need to spread and that is exactly what he did portraying the power of individual charisma.

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