The movie Luther shows the harsh stance Martin Luther took against the Catholic Church. His actions motivated by purity and an attempt to eradicate the corruption in the Church changed the ideology of the church and allowed for the religious branch of Lutheranism to commence.
As Luther performed his first mass there was there a negative reaction to his clumsiness because the priest was viewed as the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and better than the common people as they had been enlightened by the word of God. This stumble demonstrated Luther’s incompetence as a religious leader, especially in front of his family. When Luther travels to Rome he discovers how corrupt the church has become, essentially the church has become a circus plagued with indulgences, relics, and impure actions of some of the church leaders. The saints, relics, and indulgences were viewed as holy tickets to salvation. People were more focused obtaining the physical object than they were on living a righteous life. The worship of the saints and the purchases of indulgences lead followers further away from God, as the people put their faith and trust in a physical paper or object instead of trusting in God. These indulgences provided answers and solutions to the earthly problems, like sickness, debt, and salvation from an eternity in hell.
Luther was a rebellious student who went against the normal teachings of the church. Indulgences were pieces of paper with promises to save loved ones from the torments of hell, while the indulgences profited the Catholic church. He was especially against the sale of indulgences as tickets from the damnation of hell. He wrote books against the church and was threatened with the worst punishment the church could think of: excommunication. However, his message of salvation greatly impacted the lives of the people at the time. He inspired people to stand up against the church. He changed the public’s mind about suicide. He viewed suicide as an uncontrollable action, like that of a road accident. Before suicides were viewed as an outcast to society as they were considered acts of the devil, however, Luther changed this ideology, allowing those who committed suicides to receive the same burial and respect as any other person. As Luther travels throughout the nation, he realizes a merciful, forgiving God. He continues to spread the word of God to the common people by translating the new Testamate, giving the common people access to the holy scripture. This was frowned upon by the catholic church as they thought the common people did not have the mental capacity to interpret the bible.
It was important for Luther to revoke his writing so the church could continue its malpractices of selling indulgence, which had great economic benefits on the Church. His ideology of orthopraxy, salvation through correct practice or conduct, contradicted the classic teachings of the Catholic Church. His protest was against the wrongful and corrupt actions of the Church, not the Church. Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the church for everyone to see, hoping to change the corrupt practices of the church. Thanks to Luther, the Church accepted its wrongdoings and proved the sale of indulgences unbiblical.
I like this movie, as it helped me understand the difficulties Luther faced when opposing the church and showed that through hard work and dedication, anything is possible, even it undermines large institutions like the Catholic Church.