The Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation were two very
important events in European history. They are a vital part of the
Renaissance. They signify the point at which the power of the church
dimineshes and the power of the monarchs increases.
The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther. Martin Luther had
once been a monk for the Church, but, after leanring about the way
indulgences were practiced in the Church (particularly practiced by Tetzel),
he wrote 95 statements about indulgences and posted them at a local church.
He had assumed that the Church would accept these statements. Unfortunatly
for the Church, the statements were not accepted.
By not accepting Luther’s teachings, the Church had inadvertantly
encouraged its own decline. Since they did not kill Luther immediatly, he
was able to spread his “heresy,” and, by the time the Church realized how
large a threat he was, it was too late. Luther had, in the 1520’s started
Lutherinism conflicted directly with the Church. It said that only two
sacraments were necessary: baptism and communion. This reduced would reduce
the power of Lutheran ministers and also save peasants money. This
encouraged peasant converts. This also encouraged lords and princes to
convert. They would convert to sieze the holdings of the Church in their
lands and also to gian power over the new religion. Instead of the Church
controlling the officials, the officials controlled the (Lutheran) Church.
Lutherinism also stressed intent. He said that, for God to forgive a
person, the person would have to feel real regret, instead of iust paying a
fine. Luther also stated that, for a person to have good credited to their
soul, they would have to have a good intent, not just a fear of Hell. I
believe that these facts were unimportant to converts compared to the facts
that Luther had defined Lutherinsim much better that the Church had


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