FC: The Amazing Journey of Martin Luther | Second in the Barbie Series by Fatima Nayani
1: THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF MARTIN LUTHER By Fatima Nayani Second in the Barbie Series of School Projects
2: At the age of 21 Martin Luther was caught in a thunderstorm, when lightning struck nearby, knocking him down. After his near-death experience, he decided to become a monk, a profession of which his father did not approve.
3: Luther tried his best to be the best monk he could be. He confessed every last one of his sins, fasted regularly, and slept without a blanket in the freezing cold. Despite his efforts, he always felt sinful, lost, and rejected by God.
4: Between the years 1512 and 1515 Luther was isolated in his study puzzling over the phrase from the Bible: "The just shall live by faith." Instantly, Luther thought he understood. A strong faith in God was the only way to salvation. Later he wrote "Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise."
5: In 1517, a friar named Johann Tetzel was trying to raise money to rebuild St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome by selling letters of indulgence, or pardons that released the buyer from time in Purgatory, or in basic a free "go to heaven" pass. Tetzel was overeager to get the money, and he gave people the impression that they could buy their way into heaven. Luther was offered to assist Tetzel, but refused.
6: Luther hated what Tetzel was doing. On October 31, 1517, he wrote 95 theses attacking "pardon-merchants," or people like Tetzel who sell letters of indulgence. He posted his theses on the door of the castle church. Someone eventually copied Luther's words and took them to a printer, and within six months, Luther's name was well known all over Germany. The Reform, or religious crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, had begun.
7: Luther started a huge reform based around the the idea that salvation is by faith alone (not what the church calls "good works"), the Bible is the only authority for Christian life (instead of the pope as well), and the priesthood of all believers (or that people did not need priests to interpret the Bible because everyone had a relationship with God)
8: On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X threated Luther with excommunication unless he backed off. Luther held his ground and his students gathered around a bonfire and cheered as he threw the document into the flames. Leo did not react well.
9: The pope seemed to have no authority over Luther, but the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, did. Charles summoned Luther to Worms in 1521 to stand trial. Charles promised Luther safety from arrest in Worms, but Luther did not back down.
10: Luther made a famous speech on April 18 of that year, and the next day Charles replied: "A single friar who goes counter to all Christianity for a thousand years must be wrong... I will proceed against him as a notorious heretic." On May 26, Charles issued an imperial order, the Edict of Worms, which declared Luther an outlaw. According to the edict, nobody was allowed to help Luther hide or give him food or shelter.
11: For nearly a year after the the imperial order was issued, Luther hid himself away in a castle where he spent his time translating the New Testament into German so Germans that did not know Latin could read the Bible.
12: Luther returned to the public in 1522, when he discovered that many of his ideas were being used. Town priests started dressing in ordinary clothes, calling themselves ministers instead, and they led services in German instead of Latin, and some even got married.
13: Luther and his followers had finally succeeded in their reform from the Catholic Church and had become a separate religious group: Lutherans.