In his argument that Christians should not live for

            In contrast to the Twelve Articles
of the Swabian Peasants, Martin Luther wrote “The Freedom of a Christian” in response to Pope Leo X’s criticism
towards his teaching and to help Christians live a faithful life with God.
Luther’s argument is based on two basic principles that contradict each other:
“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a
perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Luther, 53). In addition,
Luther uses passages from the bible to explain to his readers that
righteousness and freedom have nothing to do with the flesh, but it is about
having faith and accepting the Word of God. Also, attempting to have faith in
Christ while putting trust with one’s own works is not possible because it is
like having two different opinions (Luther, 55). With the help of the scripture
and creating several analogies, Luther is able to teach Christians the Word of
God and prove his argument that Christians should not live for themselves but
for Christ and one’s neighbor. For instance, Luther uses a story from Matthew
17, when Jesus was asked to pay taxes and did so freely even though the sons of
the kings are exempted (Luther, 77). This shows that Christians must help out
his neighbor, just as Christ sacrificed his life for humankind. The Freedom of
a Christian is an important and revolutionary document that laid long lasting
implications and teachings for the Catholic Church. It inspired millions of
people to question the rigid social and religious hierarchies of the sixteenth
century.            Although both Luther and the Swabian
peasants used the Word of God in their articles as the basis for Christian
faith, the way that they interpret and apply it to real-life situations are
different.  It is without doubt that the
peasants used some of Luther’s teachings, from the Freedom of a Christian, to
support their Twelve Articles. For example, the peasants agree with Luther’s
ideas that works are necessary to help one’s neighbor, just as Christ helps
man. This is evident in the one of the articles where the peasants stated that
they do not want to be completely free or have no authority over them since God
did not teach that. Instead, they want to be able to elect their own pastors
and be released from serfdom (Twelve Articles, 234). Moreover, it is as if the
peasants are challenging the lordships when they said that “without a doubt, as
true and just Christians, you will gladly release us from serfdom” (Twelve
Articles, 234). This example shows how the peasants use the scripture to
support their irrefutable socio-economic demands. Based
on the Freedom of a Christian and what Luther says a Christian should and
should not do, it is arguable that the teachings of Luther go against the
actions of the Swabian peasants because the way they approached the problem was
unethical and wrong. The peasants were too concerned with temporal matters that
they have abandoned their obedience to God and even used the Word of God as a
means of spreading violence and anger. With the hope of proving his arguments,
Luther makes several salient points to warn his readers not to abuse freedom.
For example, Luther accepts the fact that as human beings, everyone is
“subjected to all, suffer and even die (Luther, 63). Christian freedom does not
permit one to follow one’s material desires, or use it for rebellion, just like
what the peasants did. The peasants claimed that they are following divine law,
however, they are going against it because they reject authority and want a new
society based on scriptural principles. The interpretation and actions of the
peasants contradict with what Luther describes and teaches in his letter.              Despite the fact that Luther and the
Swabian Peasants agree that the most important thing a Christian should have is
faith in God, the way both groups interpret the Word of God is different. The
peasants appealed to the scripture to justify their rebellion, while Luther
used the scripture to help other Christians strengthen their faith in God. The
peasant’s desire to change their relations with their lords is revealed through
their demands of things such as, having more freedom and rights, new laws, and
even hunting and fishing privileges. This led to an economic and political
uprising against authority, solely based on biblical foundations. In contrast,
Luther’s theology and teachings created tension that brought change and
development in the Catholic Church, even though the peasants might have used
and misinterpreted his arguments to help justify their rebellion. All in all,
Luther’s Freedom of a Christian and the Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants
are two revolutionary documents that changed the development of the Catholic
Church and the world.

 

            In contrast to the Twelve Articles
of the Swabian Peasants, Martin Luther wrote “The Freedom of a Christian” in response to Pope Leo X’s criticism
towards his teaching and to help Christians live a faithful life with God.
Luther’s argument is based on two basic principles that contradict each other:
“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a
perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Luther, 53). In addition,
Luther uses passages from the bible to explain to his readers that
righteousness and freedom have nothing to do with the flesh, but it is about
having faith and accepting the Word of God. Also, attempting to have faith in
Christ while putting trust with one’s own works is not possible because it is
like having two different opinions (Luther, 55). With the help of the scripture
and creating several analogies, Luther is able to teach Christians the Word of
God and prove his argument that Christians should not live for themselves but
for Christ and one’s neighbor. For instance, Luther uses a story from Matthew
17, when Jesus was asked to pay taxes and did so freely even though the sons of
the kings are exempted (Luther, 77). This shows that Christians must help out
his neighbor, just as Christ sacrificed his life for humankind. The Freedom of
a Christian is an important and revolutionary document that laid long lasting
implications and teachings for the Catholic Church. It inspired millions of
people to question the rigid social and religious hierarchies of the sixteenth
century.            Although both Luther and the Swabian
peasants used the Word of God in their articles as the basis for Christian
faith, the way that they interpret and apply it to real-life situations are
different.  It is without doubt that the
peasants used some of Luther’s teachings, from the Freedom of a Christian, to
support their Twelve Articles. For example, the peasants agree with Luther’s
ideas that works are necessary to help one’s neighbor, just as Christ helps
man. This is evident in the one of the articles where the peasants stated that
they do not want to be completely free or have no authority over them since God
did not teach that. Instead, they want to be able to elect their own pastors
and be released from serfdom (Twelve Articles, 234). Moreover, it is as if the
peasants are challenging the lordships when they said that “without a doubt, as
true and just Christians, you will gladly release us from serfdom” (Twelve
Articles, 234). This example shows how the peasants use the scripture to
support their irrefutable socio-economic demands. Based
on the Freedom of a Christian and what Luther says a Christian should and
should not do, it is arguable that the teachings of Luther go against the
actions of the Swabian peasants because the way they approached the problem was
unethical and wrong. The peasants were too concerned with temporal matters that
they have abandoned their obedience to God and even used the Word of God as a
means of spreading violence and anger. With the hope of proving his arguments,
Luther makes several salient points to warn his readers not to abuse freedom.
For example, Luther accepts the fact that as human beings, everyone is
“subjected to all, suffer and even die (Luther, 63). Christian freedom does not
permit one to follow one’s material desires, or use it for rebellion, just like
what the peasants did. The peasants claimed that they are following divine law,
however, they are going against it because they reject authority and want a new
society based on scriptural principles. The interpretation and actions of the
peasants contradict with what Luther describes and teaches in his letter.              Despite the fact that Luther and the
Swabian Peasants agree that the most important thing a Christian should have is
faith in God, the way both groups interpret the Word of God is different. The
peasants appealed to the scripture to justify their rebellion, while Luther
used the scripture to help other Christians strengthen their faith in God. The
peasant’s desire to change their relations with their lords is revealed through
their demands of things such as, having more freedom and rights, new laws, and
even hunting and fishing privileges. This led to an economic and political
uprising against authority, solely based on biblical foundations. In contrast,
Luther’s theology and teachings created tension that brought change and
development in the Catholic Church, even though the peasants might have used
and misinterpreted his arguments to help justify their rebellion. All in all,
Luther’s Freedom of a Christian and the Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants
are two revolutionary documents that changed the development of the Catholic
Church and the world.

 

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