Foundational Knowledge: Protestant

Religious revolution celebrates 500th anniversary



A monument to Martin Luther stands outside of the Church of Our Lady in Dresden, Germany. The statue, sculpted in 1885, survived the bombing of the church. It has since been restored and stands in front of the reconstructed church today. Luther began the Protestant revolution by publishing his 95 Theses against the Catholic Church.

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

In 1517, Martin Luther began the Protestant Revolution by writing the 95 Theses, which declared some traditions of the Roman Catholic Church un-Biblical. (The Protestants got their name by “protesting” against the church.) Because of his actions, many churches were formed outside of Catholicism, the most notable of which are the Lutheran Church and the Presbyterian Church.
Today, protestants are considered any division of Christianity that isn’t within the Catholic or Orthodox Christian Churches. (Orthodox churches are those who seek “divinization” through direct connections to the original apostles and their efforts to become like Jesus. They doubt the salvation of Protestants and Catholics.)
One major distinction between the Protestants and Catholics is the lack of adherence to the rules of the pope. Instead, these new churches would be governed solely by the Bible. Their religion wouldn’t be one of obedience to human leaders, but of obedience to God alone.
Another key difference is that they believe that their faith paves the way to heaven, not their actions. Catholicism expects sacraments to be upheld as a part of one’s salvation.
Set apart by its focus on the roots of faith, not the rules of officials, Protestantism has grown and still has an active following 500 years later.

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