According To Martin Luther's The Ninety-Five Theses

1084 Words5 Pages
“The Ninety-Five Theses” was written in response to the sale of indulgences allowed to be distributed by Pope Leo X of the Roman Catholic Church. These arguments were written through the penmanship of Martin Luther and then stationed over the doors of his local church on All Saints’ Day 1517. Luther’s judgment on the indulgences were held as nothing more than pieces of paper with by no means of significance for it was not through the representatives of God, while the pope had by no means power to remit sinners. These indulgences held no true power and were rather problematic for the salvation of Luther’s fellow Christians. Luther believed the indulgences should not have been granted permission to be sold by the pope for nothing but only through…show more content…
Through “The Ninety-Five Theses,” Luther specifies the flaws of these indulgences that had been issued by the Church. Within the first few arguments Luther mentions how the pope does not have any power to remit the guilt of a sinner directly but only through God and his representative, a priest. In Luther’s fifth argument he stated, “The pope has neither the will nor power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.” Luther then follows up with his sixth argument, “the pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God… expect for these cases, the guilt remains untouched,” followed by the seventh where he does mention how it is only through a priest that God can remit guilt upon the sinner. Luther accordingly proceeds to involve the penitential canons of Christianity to validate his thoughts of the power of indulgences to make known that dead equals dead, the church has no more power over the spirit, “death puts an end to all the claims of the church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.” The reality was these indulgences were to only make profit for the church and this was seen as the…show more content…
Luther has already mentioned the growth of greed as people acquire indulgences and now he becomes direct with his words towards the problems that are caused by these indulgences. Luther lays out how detrimental to the word of God the indulgences are, “The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word.” Luther is affirming that indulgences are becoming more powerful than the word of God due to the amount of time is devoted to them during a sermon. He also ridicules them and their “purpose” by arguing, “It is foolish to think papal indulgences have so much power that they can absolve a man even if he has done the impossible and violated the mother of God.” Luther definitely finds indulgences disgusting for how power the church has made them to be. He sees his fellow Christians go down a path of damnation as they continue their beliefs in indulgences, “All those believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letter of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.” No doubt Luther was not fond of the way indulgences were used by the Roman Catholic Church, he had seen the flaws and corruption of this practice.
Martin Luther was outraged by the practice of selling indulgences with empty promises by the church. His response was “The Ninety-Five Theses” to express
Open Document