Martin Luther Changed How We See the Spiritual World
the weekend before the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, our local newspaper ran this article written by two of our members.
by Kris and Gene Kuch
Brattleboro - Martin Luther (1483-1546) was one of the two or three most important men of the millennium. He changed the way we see the spiritual world just as Isaac Newton changed the way we see the physical world..
This change began in about October of 1516, 500 years ago. He taught that individuals could "interface" directly with God, without the intervention of a trained professional or an institution. He taught that a loving God gave salvation through faith; people did not have to earn His love by works nor buy it by giving to the church or charities. Dr. Luther's ideas didn't appeal to those in power. His objection to indulgences, a system where one contributed to the church to buy favor with God, among others, threatened the continued power and wealth of the establishment. by 1521 he was expelled from the church by the pope and declared an outlaw (wanted, dead or alive) by the Holy Roman Emperor.
Kidnaped by a sympathetic German Prince, Luther translated the Bible into German while in an early form of witness protection as a knight in Wartburg castle. He eventually returned to the University of Wittenberg, teaching, writing and preaching. Dr Luther moved worship from a spectator event performed in a largely unknown language to "the work of the people" in their native language.
When he translated the Bible from Latin to German he created a model for written German language. With the relatively new printing press to spread ideas, Luther's spiritual thoughts led or bled into other disciplines, sparking new ways of approaching science and the arts.
His writing are referred to even today as brilliant; inspiring ideas about the relationship between humans and God and relationships between humans and their neighbors.