Martin Luther (1483-1546AD)

Lutheranism and the Protestant Reformation began in 1517 with the religious revolution begun by Martin Luther in Wittenberg Germany. Martin Luther had attended an Augustinian monastery called Black Monastery in Erfurt where he was introduced to the Catholic Bishop St. Augustine of Hippo’s teachings. Luther believed that Augustine’s teachings were second to the Bible in greatness. Luther became a priest and was later excommunicated from the Catholic Church for not embracing all of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings. Luther’s followers became very numerous in Germany and Scandinavia. As people from these countries came to America, they established Lutheran churches.

Luther is responsible for popularizing Christian churches that are not Catholic. Though he no longer retained Catholic status, he and Lutheran churches retained many of the practices of the Catholic Churches.

Luther had proclaimed that scripture alone is authoritative, yet just as Catholicism, he designed writings that dictate proper beliefs and practices for Christians. Ironic?

Luther is also known for the teaching that Christ’s righteousness is transferred to those who believe. Otherwise known as ‘justification by faith.’ Yet in his and the Lutheran Church’s statements of faith, baptism is recorded as being necessary for salvation. Am I the only individual who sees the contradiction?

There are some positive results of Luther’s rebellion against his former church organization:
1) Popularization of non Catholic Christianity.
2) Due to the popularization, the ability for individual church denominations to form that could operate without being ruled by Catholicism.
3) Due to the popularization, Christian churches could hear from God themselves without having to allow the Roman Catholic Church to hear God for them.
4) Due to the popularization, Christian revivals, movements, and outpourings were able to be effective.

And so, Lutheranism proves to be the lesser of two evils in the long run.

Here are the main things they believe that you need to watch out for concerning Luther and Lutherans:
1) Baptism is necessary for salvation. Go here for proof text.
2) They retain many Catholic style practices
3) They do not believe in a coming great tribulation, one man antichrist, nor dispensationalism
4) They have been historically philosophical, dogmatic, and argumentative
5) They rely heavily on written beliefs and rulings compiled outside of the 66 book canon
6) Luther uplifted Augustinianism

I view this movement in the same light as I do Seven Day Adventist, Church of Christ, Word of Faith Movement, Catholicism, Calvinism, and Augustianism.

The original Lutheran Churches embraced five core doctrines that I embrace called the Five Solas, which continues to be the driving force in modern Christianity:
1) Scripture Alone - The Holy Bible is the only infallible written guide for doctrine and practice.

2) Christ Alone - We are saved by Christ's work only. There are no other mediators between God and man.

3) Grace Alone - Salvation is available only by God's Grace and not by earning merit.

4) Faith Alone - We are justified in the sight of God by believing in Christ only and not by church membership.

5) God Alone - Only God and His Christ deserve the respect and exaltation given to Mary, The Catholic Church, Saints, priests, and popes.

I reject the majority (but not all) of present day Lutheran Churches due to their embrace of Liberal Christianity, belief in baptismal regeneration, and their rejection/distortion of the Five Solas.

Jeremy Brown 2003-2005

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