The 95 Times

News for the week of Friday, October 5th

The Wealthy and Luther: Matchmates in Heaven? (Eliza Steele)

Recently, there has been an increasing number of highly ranked and wealthy members of society that have converted from Catholicism to Lutheranism. The two main, recently publicized reasons why so many rich people are converting are centered around power and money. But many people in our society have been wondering, “why are rich people beginning to follow Luther?” and “what makes Lutheranism better and more popular than Christianity?” We here, have the information to answer these thought-provoking questions.
Different religions have different standards for social hierarchy, but how could that possibly encourage people to switch religions? “In other words, popes and bishops were acting more like kings and princes than they were the spiritual guides of European men and women.” Many people believe that this quote is a reference to the belief that bishops have equal standing with priests. Although Catholics pay indulgences to the priests and listen to their every word because they are believed to be straight from God, Lutheranism preaches otherwise. To many of royal ranking, this growing religion is seen as a gateway to earn their rightful power back. That same power was supposedly stolen by religious authority figures in The Catholic Church, keeping bishops from earning the respect of the people they rule over.
Additionally, princes opinions are highly valued in society, so if they switch to Lutheranism, many other people will follow. A major part of Martin Luther’s mission is to expose popes and priests of their bad deeds: one of which is the act of forcing indulgences. Basically, those authority figures are telling the poor that by paying money to them, they can relieve themselves of sins and assure themselves salvation. Luther is telling those same people that the Catholic Church has been greedily tricking them into paying them the little money they have. Now that they don’t have to pay, they can regularly pay royalty the small fee they did previously. In the eyes of royalty, this is a win-win situation: their new religion can flourish and they can earn their money and power back.
Different positions on the social ladder represent different importances in our community, but how does that relate to people’s opinions about which religion to practice? “It follows, then, that between laymen and priests, princes and bishops, or, as they call it, between 'spiritual' and 'temporal' persons, the only real difference is one of office and function, and not of estate . . . “ In other words, the only difference between a bishop and a priest is their job. They are of the same rank, earn the same amount of respect of the people, money, and power. The biggest difference separating the two is that without their titles, the bishop is still of importance, while the priest is not (he becomes a regular human, an average peasant). It seems that in the Catholic religion, the priest is far more important than a bishop, therefore earns more power, respect and money. But what Luther has uncovered is that The Church is teaching that for wrongful reasons, in the most selfish way possible.
In the 1530’s, King Henry VIII began the English Reformation because he wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, to be with Anne Boleyn. Although this may seem like an easy process, it was far from it: “Normally, church authorities might have been willing to grant the king an annulment of his marriage, but Pope Clement VII was dependent on the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, who happened to be Catherine’s nephew. Impatient with the pope’s inaction, Henry sought to obtain an annulment of his marriage in England’s own ecclesiastical courts.” The Archbishop of Canterbury who helped Henry separate from his wife, had no choice but to grant his king’s wishes. His boss, the Pope, was infuriated, and because of his decision to help the King, he was removed from his position in the Catholic Church. King Henry then appointed himself the head of the new, Church of England, which was Protestant. After this transition, the country of England, under Henry’s command, made the switch as well to Protestantism.
Represented by several different examples, it is clear that it is an easy decision for wealthy and royal members of society to switch from practicing Catholicism to Lutheranism.

Martin Luther's REAL Relationship With Peasants (Harry Copeland)

As the Peasants’ war has just ended it leaves some 100,000 dead. Throughout the peasants war we see Luther stand against the peasants uprising and take the seat next to the princes and rulers who were trying to oppress the peasants even though the peasants are one of the biggest followers of Lutheranism. We think that Luther would endorse the peasants and their want to reform just like Luther. But instead we see Luther write a statement to princes and rulers that tell them of the peasants wrongful acts and explains how to stop the revolution from happening. Luther has all the reasons to side with the peasants, but rather he shuts down the peasants from revolting.

Luther and his new found beliefs in Lutheranism appealed mostly to the peasants. These peasants for hundreds of years were looked upon as dirty animals by the church and state. Now with Luther around who believed in priesthood of all believers where it would allow all peasants to read and interpret the bible for themselves and not looked down upon when it came to church business. While Luther can also help save the peasants money for indulgences when they would usually have to “remissions of the penalties for sin.” Along with indulgences Lutheranism promotes justification by faith, stating that you will be accepted by G-d if you just believe in him. Finally Luther cut down the seven original sacraments down to two; baptism and Lord’s supper. These last two reasons cut down on the church’s involvement which as well as the no selling of indulgences allows the peasants to save their money for things other than the church. All of these signs point to peasants following and believing in Luther, but when the peasants began their own revolt and needed Luther the most to look up to as a guide, he wasn’t there, but instead next to the princes and rulers suppressing the peasants attempts of reformation.

About a year ago today Martin Luther wrote to princes and rulers explaining the peasants wrong doings against the leaders in the peasants acts of revolt. In his statement he wrote about a few major sins against G-d and man that the peasants had violated and because of these violations they should pay the price of death in body and soul. The first offense is that have sworn to be true and faithful, submissive and obedient, to their rulers just as Christ commands. “Let everyone be subject unto the higher powers, and those setting themselves against the higher powers using violence have forfeited body and soul, as faithless, perjured, lying, disobedient knaves and scoundrels are wont to do.” Luther knows he himself doesn’t have enough support and power to stand up against princes and rulers who are the ones reeking in the benefits from Lutheranism, but also protecting Luther from the Catholic Church. So Luther sees this rebellion as a chance to gain more support of princes and rulers to one day expand the spread of Lutheranism to worldwide by siding with them and crushing the weak peasants. Secondly Luther views rebellion as “a great fire that attacks and lays waste a whole land.” Mean that once a rebellion hits it destroys everything around it condemning it to rubble. The rebel peasants plunder villages including monasteries and castles which are crimes also punishable by death in body and soul. Luther is so opposed to rebellion and rebels that he goes as far to write that “rebellion turns everything upside down, nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel.” Luther’s choice of siding with the princes and rulers is a selfish one, but because of it he gains more power and support from higher officials.

In conclusion although the peasants war was something that Luther was expected to support he did not and sided with the more powerful princes and rulers. With all of the peasants converting to Lutheranism they expected their leader to step up in front of them and lead the way, instead of going against them and getting 100,000 of them killed. Luther was too weak to support his own peasant followers and their rebellion against the princes and rulers that gave him the power and protection he so desperately needed.

Challenging Luther?! Changing of Society?! (Kasey Provost)

In 1529, not only did Zwingli challenge Luther’s beliefs, but got into a debate with him over the Lord’s Supper. The debate shows a defying moment in a change from the medieval to modern world because there are different opinions on religion being mentioned. This debate between Luther and Zwingli has a great significance to the reformation era. The outcome on the debate was not agreed on which displays how medieval views on one religion is now modern where there are many views on religion.

It all started when there were hopes of reconciling the two different reformed churches, the Swiss and German. There was an alliance that was wanted to be made between these churches to make Protestantism stronger. Luther and Zwingli met at Marburg in 1529 to debate about the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Although having some similar traits, the two men’s differences are what were most focused on in Marburg. Zwingli believed that Christ is not present in the Lord’s Supper. Luther, on the other hand, sees Christ as present in the Lord’s Supper. Zwingli argues by stating something cannot be in two different places at one time. Luther’s belief on being in two places is God is so powerful that people endure to what God says. Luther states “Prove that Christ’s body is not there where the Scripture says, ‘This is my body!’…”. This shows scriptural proof of Luther’s belief of Christ’s presence. Both of the men had different thoughts on Rome’s main error. Luther thought the main error was the Eucharist sacrifice. Zwingli liked the Eucharist sacrifice unlike Luther. The main error of Rome in Zwingli’s eyes was transubstantiation which is the belief that the bread and wine change into the body and blood of Christ. During debating these different thoughts, Luther was not in any way changing his mind on his views. Zwingli and Luther had no shot to agreeing on something in the end of the debate. It was a failed agreement on the Lord’s Supper.

During the medieval times, people believed in one religion, Christian. Christian in the beginning of the sixteenth century was everyone’s belief. Everyone believed in the same ideas and followed the same faith and teachings. It was a simple concept that everyone followed. This simple belief of just Christian worked toward a more cohesive society that presented little arguments and differences in people. Religion was very unified and held the communities together. Leaders did not have to concern themselves with dissention, freethinkers or new direction. There was a general obedience toward one concept.

People were reluctant to break away from the Christian faith until the rebirth of interests in humanist culture and outlook of ancient Greece and Rome during 1517. The new belief was introduced when Pico della Mirandola stated “our destiny is not determined by anything outside us.” There is free will and ability to decide one’s own fate. Many followed this statement and began developing different faiths where people began to explore different versions and interpretations of writings and beliefs. Suddenly, people having different beliefs were a part of society. Religious faith entered the modern error. Diversification of thought and principals began to formulate the development in new religious followings. This created different arguments and corruption in the Christian churches. Also, various individuals questioned the writings of the Christian following which led to the branching off to many different religions. The modern view on religion has much contrast from what it used to be. Luther and Zwingli are the perfect people that represent how different beliefs are present.

Luther and Zwingli argumentative concept of thinking broke a new direction. Luther and Zwingli did not agree over the Lord’s Supper. Their debate portrays modern culture where people have different views and different ideas. The disagreement represents the beginning of the modern day religious thinking. As new views are developed people join the new ideas by forming new groups. These groups are the new religions. This idea is the modern day. Not everyone is going to agree to the same beliefs anymore. Luther was not going to give into something he did not agree with and it is clear when he states “ …I have no intention of changing my mind…”. Both men in the debate were firm on their concepts.

Police Log (Eliza Steele)

This week:
Tuesday- John Smith was accused of heresy (of Catholicism) and was “racked” until he confessed, but by then all of his limbs were dislocated and contorted.
Wednesday- Molly Stone was accused of disagreeing with her husband, and therefore punished by “the branks” and locked to The Wallace Mart, where she was publicly ridiculed.
Friday- Paul Wolf was proven guilty of heresy (of Catholicism) and sentenced to “The Wheel” where his joints were slowly smashed to cause a long and painful death for the heretic.

Puffs, Slashes, and Sales, OH MY! (Kasey Provost)

We just got a new shipment in of everything you can possibly desire. We have all the most extravagant things that can highlight your jewels, silver, and gold. You can get slashes and puffs to make your outfit pop! Don’t worry it doesn’t stop there we have type of shoe you can possibly imagine. Shoes vary from the in style men’s escaffignins, which are slashed and puffed, to the women’s chopine! Black is the new color which we have with various different styles of clothing that come in black. There are small touches of stuffing and wooden hoops in the clothing. The elegance of the silk is memorizing and you can spice up your outfit with a nice velvet hat trimmed with fur. Girls come get your farthingales to go with those beautiful dresses and skirts that just went on sale. We only make the best quality of products for our customers! So come buy your new attire today!