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Religious Studies: the Protestant Reformation Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Mar 17th, 2020

Introduction

Protestant Reformation was an overhaul of Catholicism, which occurred in the 1500s. The Roman Catholic church was embroiled in a conflict with the protestants over church doctrines.

Purists from the West objected to the running of the Catholic church. In fact, the purists were against issues like the sale of indulgence and divine priesthood, among others. Other issue included access to the Holy Bible. This paper will explore religious occurrences in the 1500s. In addition, the paper will provide four main reasons for choosing protestant in the 1500’s Europe (Wilson 1).

Discussion

Firstly, Catholicism considered priests as divine in their ministry. This belief did not resonate well with the protestants. The latter wanted priests to be considered ordinary and liable to mistakes. However, based on the pope’s argument, the priesthood was a reserve of a few.

Further regulations that the priests could not marry made it difficult for protestants to join the priesthood. Priesthood infringed on people’s right to marry. Moreover, Catholic priests wanted rich lifestyles; this made it difficult for them to focus on evangelism. Therefore, protestants could be considered superior in this regard (Hodges 1).

Secondly, protestants allowed worshippers to access Bible for spiritual gain. By enhancing access to the Bible, protestants promoted understanding of this book through religious study. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic doctrines did not permit people to read the Bible or get a copy of it.

The pope wanted the Bible to be in one language only (Latin). In this regard, Catholicism wanted to control people, as well as dictate their religious groupings. This was quite damaging to the spread of the gospel, which aimed at reaching every nation and language as directed by Jesus Christ before his ascension (Hodges 1).

Thirdly, the forgiveness of sins also became controversial in the Roman Catholic church. People’s sins could be forgiven by paying money or donating to the church. Moreover, the Catholic Church believed that forgiveness of sins could also be achieved through prayers. This belief was wrong since it encouraged people to commit sins and compensate it through donations to the churches.

Additionally, people would just confess their sins to the priests and believe that they would be forgiven. According to protestants, sins could only be forgiven by God or Jesus. Protestants’ argument resonated well with the scriptures. In essence, the sale of indulgence was improper in Catholicism (Zucker and Beth 1).

Finally, Catholic church members assumed that one had to go through a priest to meet God. This action restricted worshipers from reaching God. Additionally, this technique was also used to deny worshippers the right to read the Bible.

However, protestants’ insistence on God as omnipresent enabled worshippers to meet God at a personal level. Catholicism’s assertion that only the priest could find God was wrong. In essence, reaching God at a personal level enabled people to worship him whenever necessary (Zucker and Beth 1).

Conclusion

Protestant Reformation in the 1500s ushered in a blood bath between Catholics members and Protestants. Sale of indulgence was of great significance to Catholicism while the protestants remained strong in pursuing what they considered pure.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that the sale of indulgences, the role of priests, the definition of God and his ability to be omnipresent, as well as access to the Bible, among others, was unacceptable in the true body of Christ. In this regard, Protestant was a better choice than Catholicism in 1500’s Europe.

Works cited

Hodges, Miles. THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION (Early 1500s to Mid 1600s). 2002. Web. 6 Jul. 2014. <http://www.prolades.com/documents/The%20Protestant%20Reformation%20%28Early%201500s%20to%20Mid%201600s%29.htm>.

Wilson, John. The Reformation in Europe (1500-1700). 6 Jul. 2014. Web. 6 Jul. 2014. <http://elane.stanford.edu/wilson/html/chap3/chap3-sect3.html>.

Zucker, Steven and Harris Beth. 1500-1600- End of the Renaissance and the Reformation. 6 Jul. 2014. Web. 6 Jul. 2014. <http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/1500-1600-End-of-the-Renaissance-and-the-Reformation.html>.

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