After reading the assigned history book: The German Peasant’s Revolt (1524-1525), and then reading Martin Luther’s biography on the Catholic Encyclopedia, the New Advent, it appears to me that the question of Luther’s mental health was an issue.
It could be surmised that the German princes found their man in Luther as a front for the upcoming split with the Pope.
From what I had read of the 95 Theses, indulgences did not appear to me to be the major point of reform with the church, in fact I was struck with how weak and flimsy an argument those 95 Theses contained in criticizing the church.
That is why I am reminded of how a Tea tax was used as a pretense for protest by Boston patriots in 1774 against their lawful government, England; and it seems analagous that indulgences were used as a similar pretense for a split back in 1517.
I don’t doubt that Martin Luther had great faith, but I am curious as to the state of his mental health at the time. Some one suggested he had Bi-Polar Mood Disorder to more serious mental health problems (insanity).
[quote=Axion]Luther started with objections to the abuse of Indulgences, but his deeper problem was a sense of never gaining forgiveness for sin. He had a neurotic sense of his own pollution by sin, and so developed his theory of salvation by Faith Alone. This enabled him to feel “saved” while still being a sinner.
The problem with Luther IMO is that he grew arrogant and began to believe that he was a tool of God’s grace (as great as any man since the Apostles, he claimed), and that he had authority to reform the Church in line with his thinking, setting up a new church of his own. He used violent words against all who opposed him, and started claiming the Catholic Church was anti-christ. He even started stripping books from the bible.
To do this, he made a cynical bargain with the German princes. They would protect him, and hand over Catholic church property to him and his followers, and Luther would back them, giving them monastic lands and a big share of the wealth of the Church. He also backed the princes against the German Peasants, causing much hatred when he urged the Princes to massacre the peasants without mercy. He also urged the persecution of Jews, and their expulsion from Saxony.