Christianity Since Reform
Christianity Since Reform HIST 127
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Mr. Kellie Quigley
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mr. Kellie Quigley on Monday October 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 127 at California State University - Sacramento taught by George Craft in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see /class/218794/hist-127-california-state-university-sacramento in History at California State University - Sacramento.
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Date Created: 10/05/15
it Anxiety is de ned as feelings of apprehension dread or uneasiness Coon An am disorder is when these feeling are severe for a prolonged or recurring length of time According to this definition Martin Luther seems to be a dead ringer for one suffering from an anxiety disorder The question of whether his anxiety stemmed from physiological or divine origins is V M 37 something that can never really be answered What can be said is that Martin Luther su ered V and that he channeled that suffering into what became one of the most important and long reaching periods of the Catholic church and Christianity in the western world Luther s anxiety took the form of a sense of alienation from god and continuing doubts about his salvation His crisis was caused by an intense craving for certitude about his salvation Bokenkotter 211 He experienced this apprehension through a series of crises that spanned his entire life and career Luther s religious journey began because of a crisis Namely his near hit M from a bolt of lightning In a panic he vowed to join a monastic order if he was spared This 10 9 crisis was external rather than internal but it did foreshadow Luther s sensitivity and set him on arr I the path to visionary reformation and rebellion t Luther s rst internal crisis came when he was saying his first mass as a priest He experienced a great sense of terror and unworthiness like a depraved worm coming before the most holy of judges how could a pigmy stand before divine majesty Bainton 31 Luther had a continuing sense of doubt and unworthiness before god He would fast and pray but always wonder Have you fasted enough Are you poor enough Bainton 34 He would engage sometimes daily in marathon confessions lasting hours until his confessor would kick him out with no relief If comfort was to come to Luther through the means already in place Rome the seat of the Catholic Church should have been the place to do it This was not the case Luther was surprised and disheartened at the corruption he saw at the higher levels such as mindless recitations of the mass and churchmen visiting brothels Baintong l zerhaps more than that He found no comfort in the grace of relics Luther crawled up the steps of Pilate a very famous and powerful relic kissing the steps as he went and doubt assailed him even there The continuing failure of confession led Luther to truly embrace the idea of man s sinful nature To Luther confession did not work because The very nature of man is corrupt The penitential system fails because it is directed to particular lapses Bainton 41 Because of Luther s lack of con dence in the validity of confession he continued to be beset by fear and anxiety 6 One of Luther s mentors at Wittenburg Dr Staupitz was a mystic and vicar of the 13 Augustinian order He tried to help Luther with his anxiety and Luther experimented for a time gt with mystic exercises He did at times feel the intense personal connection to God that is a hallmark of mysticism but just as often felt even more separated and despondent than before 3 The experienced mystics knew of the tendency towards this downfall calling it the dark night i of the soul The standard advice was to persevere in the mystical practices and the connection with god would once again be found For Luther this advice was not su icient He wrote about feeling how panic invaded his spirit Bainton 42 Luther was later to report that at its worst his feelings of dread and alienation were so bad that if the torment had lasted the tenth part of an hour his bones would have crumbled into ashes Bokenkotter 210 b4 All of these negative experiences led Luther to have an intense personal reaction QJIIe found it almost impossible to love a god who was presented as a harsh jdge As is so often the case when intense feelings are involved love turned to hate Luther s declaration that he 241 god caused him guilt and more despair but he had come to doubt the justness of god and even viewed him as a tormentor instead of a savior Bainton Luther s personal reconciliation with god came from studying the gospels and St Paul s epistles to the Romans became the scripture he most identi ed with Luther had already accepted the depraved nature of man when he Mag realized that confession was insuf cient since it dealt with individual lapses instead of the whole of man s sinful nature Now Luther had to accept the juswre of God and that man was saved through faith Luther came to believe through his study of the gospels that man could not save himself but that God would save man by making man just This idea not only formed the core of Luther s journey of spiritual understanding but also set him on the road that was to lead to his break with the Catholic Church Luther s intense religious discomfort compelled him to embrace the various forms open to him equally as intensely Monastician confedgon sacra ents mysticism all failed him If Luther had been in less agony it is possible his religious e orts would have been less whole hearted and this would have allowed him to attribute any lack to himself instead of to the religious forms he tried His very agony and resulting dedication however made it impossible for him to attribute the lack of e icacy to himself I was a very good monk and I kept the rule of order so strictly I should have killed myself with vigils prayers readings and other work 9 Bainton IfLuther tried as hard as he was able and still felt this anxiety he could only r amp conclude that that the forms of worship had failed not he This new outlook relying on the gray of God instead of any work he could do brought Luther the comfort he so craved For perhaps the rst time Luther became comfortable in the presence of god Now that he experienced the love of God in the form of grace Luther was nally able to love God Luther s personal comfort came from sch re and it is scripture that he believed would provide the vehicle for every man s salvation not the machinations of the Catholic Church Luther rejected forms of worship that had no precedence in the bible This led to a rejection of all but two sacraments baptism and the Eucharist He also rejected the ideas of indulgences the grace of relics the extreme importance of clergy over laity and a large degree of papal authority Luther s new stance regarding the emphasis on scripture and salvation through faith placed him in con ict with several key Catholic practices of the time The practice of indulgences and visitin relics ut excessive em basis on the role of man in the work of salvation g 43M Bokenkotter wther Did not start out wanting to break with the Catholic Church but as con icts grxw between him and ranking church of cials 35 he began to distance himself and denounce the church He believed that the Catholic Church was betraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ by teaching people that heaven could be purchased by good works Bokenkotter 214 Luther s con ict with the church was exacerbated by the fact that his new views seemed to reject church and papal authority He had rejected the idea that the pope could bestow the grace of 0 W W 47L J Le is salvation and that the Catholic Church was a divinely inspired institution that was lent E infallibility by God As a human institution the church and pope were held within the same limits as any other humans and were unable to give salvation This was the province of God and only God in Luther s view Luther also lessened the importance of the clergy since the great separation and powers of the Catholic priesthood seemed to have no biblical precedent in his View His major religious views could be summed up as salvation by grace alone the priesthood i of all believers and the emphasis on scripture as the basis for the forms of worship challenged L Catholic practices and powers and put him in a position that almost inevitably led to rebellion The same revelations that nally comforted Luther in his spiritual quest were the same ones that drove him from the church he had grown up in Luther s doubts and anxiety were not fully abolished when he read the letters of St Paul His bouts of religious depression were to contim or the rest of his life Sometimes his anxiety would be worse when he considered that he was the spir39 39 a1 leader and teacher for so many and that others were dying for this new form of faith wlii mwas not Bainton Luther writes in his later years about his ways of dealing with his dark periods both in confronting the Devils inside directly and in busying himself so that he had less time to focus on them and wait them out Despite the doubts that plagued him throughout his life Luther was a sensitive intelligent man who had a great deal of energy tenacity and courage to stand up to the most power il institution in the world and to cfe te a new ligious expression that has lasted for almost ve centuries My WW r dr y A We U x yww X M W 39 W as M
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