Self Reliance to Misunderstanding “To be great is to be misunderstood. ” Martin Luther was a great and misunderstood man. He caused a great change in history, and made many turn their backs on the Roman Catholic Church and toward something new. Luther was raised as a peasant and his father was determined to having his son bring honor to the family. In 1501 at the age of seventeen he entered the University of Erfurt. He earned a Bachelor degree in one year and then in three years he received a Masters Degree. But in the summer of 1505 as Luther was walking home from school, a lightning bold struck near him.
He was terrified and cried out, “Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk! ” He didn’t get struck, but regretting his words he dropped out of school and entered a monastery. Against his fathers wishes Luther dedicated himself to the life of a monk; beginning his life of self-reliance. He only put effort toward serving God with good works and to serve others with prayer. But was never was able to gain peace with God. The more he looked in himself, the more he saw his sinning nature. Luther’s superior concluded that Luther needed more work to distract him from pondering himself.
In 1507 Luther was ordained to the priesthood, and in 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg the same year he earned his Bachelors in Biblical Studies and a Bachelors in Sentences by Peter Lombard. Luther studied the scriptures in depth, and was convinced that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. In 1517, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg due to the selling of indulgences, and accused the Roman Catholic Church of corruption and heresy. Luther was summoned to the Diet of Worms and was shown all his writings, and asked if he still believed in what his words taught.
He asked for time to make his decision. They granted him time and he consulted friends, prayed, and meditated. When asked the same question the next day he said he could not reject the teachings in them because he would not go against his conscience. The emperor then declared Luther an outlaw. Luther had many powerful friends in Germany. One of those friends, a prince, Frederick the Wise, arranged for Luther to be seized on his way back from the Diet of Worms and brought him to his castle of Wartburg. Luther wrote many books, but in 1520 he completed three works in which he stated his views.
In his Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, he invited German princes to take the reform of the church into their own hands. In A Prelude Concerning the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, he attacked the papacy and the current sacraments. And in On the Freedom of a Christian Man, he stated his position on the justification of good works. Because he stood up for what he believed and wrote these books and writings he was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church on January 3rd, 1521. Martin Luther wrote many books and hymns. Many of Luther’s statements readers would consider crude.
Luther advised certain people that they should “Tell the Devil he may kiss my ass. ” Luther was often bold and preached in the blunt truth. He was open and often times frustrated by scriptures. Questioning certain scriptures canonicity. Martin Luther saw problems in the church that no one else did. He saw things he believed as not ordained of God. Exercising self-reliance, he stood up for what he believed in, and what his conscience told him. He was the first to translate the bible into German, and he influenced the King James Version of the bible. Martin Luther started with self-reliance and then became a great and misunderstood man.