Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, 497 years ago today, Oct. 31. These were 95 short statements protesting abuses in the Roman Catholic Church, of which he was a priest and professor of theology.
This simple act turned out to be an epoch event that changed the course of church and world history. The particular abuse of the church that moved him to write these 95 theses of protest was the sale of indulgences whereby one could purchase with money forgiveness of sins and time out of purgatory.
Luther never wanted to leave the Roman Catholic Church but wanted to see it return to Scripture as its primary guide and source of authority, rather than the pope and church tradition. Because his protest was not received by the powers-that-be, i.e., the pope and the Roman curia, another division occurred within Christendom with many new Protestant churches being formed.
In many parts of the world, Lutherans and Protestants are already making plans for celebrations of the 500-year anniversary of this epoch event in 2017. They are also inviting Roman Catholics to join in the celebrations, which some Catholics find challenging because Luther was excommunicated and declared a heretic by the Roman church.
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SOURCE: Charisma News