Examples Of Counter Reformation

1128 Words5 Pages
Reformation and Counter Reformation Views of the Church Martin Luther, though vital in bringing reform to the Church, created a divided within the Catholic Church based on his radical understanding and interpretation of what “church” was. Luther believed that the Catholic Church was the “historical church”, which existed in time but not necessarily always with the presence of God. This church, according to Luther, was filled with corrupt clergy, especially the pope, and man-made hierarchical positions who claim divine authority over others. For Luther then, God rested in the “true church”, which arose out of the mess of the godless “historical church”. The church with God is a Christian community, rather than an institutional church, “defined…show more content…
Luther cites were main three aspects of the Catholic Church he believe were in error. First, the Catholic Church should submit to civil authorities, who were superior in authority. “Since secular authorities are ordained by God to punish evil-doers and to protect the law-abiding, we ought to leave them free to do their work without let or hindrance…and without partiality” (The Three Walls, 410). In a way, Luther was arguing for a theocracy to govern the Catholic Church in citing Romans 13, “Let every soul (I hold that includes the pope’s) be subject to the higher powers, for they bear not the sword in vain. They serve God alone, punishing the evil and praising the good”. The government to him was an extension of the Church that acted in secular ways but was spiritual in status. While the abuses were Catholic Church, Luther was out of touch with reality and history. The Catholic Church, having lived under civil authorities for many years throughout its history, knew through wisdom and experience that secular officials would use it as a political tool, not one of…show more content…
Luther misunderstood the notion of infallibility on matters of faith. He believed the office of the pope was of man’s making, rather than apostolic succession. Also, the Holy Spirit was not present with the pope through infallibility because all humans are subject to error. This diminishes the power and transcendence of the Holy Spirit to work through fallible humans. Luther argued that since all baptisms were the same, each Christian was equal to one another both in knowledge and authority. With this equality came the ability for each to interpret the Scriptures as he or she understood them. The people should lead the church and return to the witness model of functions operating from the ground level up rather than top down. Finally, Luther refuted the Catholic Church’s notion that only the pope can summon a council. In doing so, the pope is the authoritative figure controlling and manipulating what comes out of the council, quenching the movement of the Spirit. The laity is muted through not having a seat at the table, and those who are bestowed the luck of being a part of the council are muzzled by the pope’s power and

More about Examples Of Counter Reformation

Open Document