I’d like suggestions on how I should respond to my friend’s email on Luther.
Here is his email:
When Luther changed everything he literally freed the people from a Catholic church that had its hands tied to political power and the
quest for power over people. Now, of course times have changed but atthe time, historically, the catholic church in Europe was moving inthe wrong direction. Luther’s brilliant and God ordained mission tobring scripture to everyone was a major liberating factor in thegrowth of Christ’s message in his era. If he would not have done it,someone would have eventually because it was againstscripture to keeppeople in the dark, in bondage…however Luther was bold enough tostep up and say hey…I think we’ve really got this wrong. What Ithink needs to be clear at this point is this: Luther never meant to
start a new church! This point is huge! Luther did not want to totallybreak off from his tradition…he simply wanted to change its
direction by admitting things were off. When Catholics view Luther asa rebel who broke off and changed everything they have got theirhistory all wrong. Luther tried to remain and bring change from withinbut when he was silenced and threatened from within the church herealized that the change that needed to happen was not going to happenfrom within from some time.
I feel that this is honestly somewhat of a microcosm for what still
goes on today. The papacy is wildly threatened by anyone who wouldspeak out and take the church as a whole in a new direction…even ifits the right direction. Example: Liberation theology. This is abeautiful view of the poor (which I believe Jesus brought) which wasactually started by Catholics and then frowned upon and discontinuedbecause it gave way too much power and freedom to the lay person.Liberation Theology asserts that Christ brought an intellectualmessage of salvation but he also brought a message of actual, literalfreedom from the bondage of poverty, slavery and other sinfulentaglements. Anyway, you can go down the list of movements that havebeen snuffed or quieted by the hiearchy within the Catholic churchwhen those movements become to powerful or grant too much decision
making to the local leaders.