Complete Christian Conversion / Personality Type as a Map of Christian Unity
During his early years, whenever Luther read what would become the famous "Reformation text"—Romans —his eyes were drawn not to the word faith, but to the word righteous. Who, after all, could "live by faith" but those who were already righteous? The text was clear on the matter: "the righteous shall live by faith. Luther remarked, "I hated that word, 'the righteousness of God,' by which I had been taught according to the custom and use of all teachers Meanwhile, he was ordered to take his doctorate in the Bible and become a professor at Wittenberg University.
During lectures on the Psalms in and and a study of the Book of Romans, he began to see a way through his dilemma. On the heels of this new understanding came others. To Luther the church was no longer the institution defined by apostolic succession; instead it was the community of those who had been given faith. Salvation came not by the sacraments as such but by faith. The idea that human beings had a spark of goodness enough to seek out God was not a foundation of theology but was taught only by "fools.
Faith no longer consisted of assenting to the church's teachings but of trusting the promises of God and the merits of Christ.
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It wasn't long before the revolution in Luther's heart and mind played itself out in all of Europe. It started on All Saints' Eve, , when Luther publicly objected to the way preacher Johann Tetzel was selling indulgences.
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These were documents prepared by the church and bought by individuals either for themselves or on behalf of the dead that would release them from punishment due to their sins. As Tetzel preached, "Once the coin into the coffer clings, a soul from purgatory heavenward springs! Luther questioned the church's trafficking in indulgences and called for a public debate of 95 theses he had written. Instead, his 95 Theses spread across Germany as a call to reform, and the issue quickly became not indulgences but the authority of the church: Did the pope have the right to issue indulgences?
Events quickly accelerated. At a public debate in Leipzig in , when Luther declared that "a simple layman armed with the Scriptures" was superior to both pope and councils without them, he was threatened with excommunication. In the first, he argued that all Christians were priests, and he urged rulers to take up the cause of church reform. In the second, he reduced the seven sacraments to two baptism and the Lord's Supper. In the third, he told Christians they were free from the law especially church laws but bound in love to their neighbors.
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Luther arrived prepared for another debate; he quickly discovered it was a trial at which he was asked to recant his views. Luther replied, "Unless I can be instructed and convinced with evidence from the Holy Scriptures or with open, clear, and distinct grounds of reasoning I can do no other.
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God help me! By the time an imperial edict calling Luther "a convicted heretic"was issued, he had escaped to Wartburg Castle, where he hid for ten months. In early spring of , he was able to return to Wittenberg to lead, with the help of men like Philip Melanchthon, the fledgling reform movement. Over the next years, Luther entered into more disputes, many of which divided friends and enemies.
When unrest resulted in the Peasants' War of —, he condemned the peasants and exhorted the princes to crush the revolt. He married a runaway nun, Katharina von Bora, which scandalized many. For Luther, the shock was waking up in the morning with "pigtails on the pillow next to me. He mocked fellow reformers, especially Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli, and used vulgar language in doing so. In fact, the older he became, the more cantankerous he was. In his later years, he said some nasty things about, among others, Jews and popes and theological enemies, with words that are not fit to print.
Nonetheless, his lasting accomplishments also mounted: the translation of the Bible into German which remains a literary and biblical hallmark ; the writing of the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"; and publishing his Larger and Smaller Catechism , which have guided not just Lutherans but many others since. His later years were spent often in both illness and furious activity in , though he was sick for six months and suffered from exhaustion, he preached sermons, wrote 15 tracts, worked on his Old Testament translation, and took a number of trips.
But in , he finally wore out. Luther's legacy is immense and cannot be adequately summarized. On a larger canvas, his reform unleashed forces that ended the Middle Ages and ushered in the modern era. It has been said that in most libraries, books by and about Martin Luther occupy more shelves than those concerned with any other figure except Jesus of Nazareth. Though difficult to verify, one can understand why it is likely to be true.
It functions primarily as a publishing house, churning out Identity Bible study courses, tracts and books, including foundational texts by early Identity leaders like Wesley Swift. The ministry teaches that Judgment Day will arrive in the form of a sanctified race war, a theory widely popular with Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The group's leaders, from Duke to current chief Thomas Robb, have been plagued by their own racist views, which inevitably shine through the smokescreen, and by the attacks of other Klan members who view their interest in mainstream media and politics as hypocritical and counterproductive.
In Its League of the South. Originally founded by a group that included many Southern university professors, over the years the group lost its academic luster as it became more explicitly racist. The League denounces the federal government and Northern and Coastal states as part of a materialist and anti-religious society Liberty Counsel. The Counsel bills itself as a non-profit litigation, education and policy organization that provides legal counsel and pro bono Moorish Sovereign Citizens.
Members of the Moorish sovereigns, called Moors, have come into conflict with federal and state authorities over their refusal to obey laws and government regulations. Recently, Moorish sovereign citizens have engaged in violent confrontations with law enforcement. They have also been known to Nation of Islam. Since its founding in , the Nation of Islam NOI has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, offering numerous programs and events designed to uplift African Americans.
Nonetheless, its bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites — a belief National Alliance.
Explicitly genocidal in its ideology, NA materials call for the eradication of the Jews and other races — what a principal foundational document describes as "a temporary unpleasantness" — and the creation of an all-white homeland. Founded by William Pierce in , the group produced assassins, National Coalition for Issue Reform. Its original purpose was to serve as a co-sponsor for California's Proposition , which would have denied social and medical benefits to undocumented immigrants and their children.
The initiative passed, National Liberty Alliance. Although their website claims not to be affiliated with the sovereign citizen movement, the NLA, and in its former incarnation as the New York Liberty Alliance NYLA , has propagated antigovernment conspiracy theories and other radical beliefs commonly found among sovereign citizens, such as Agenda National Socialist Movement. The group is notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric, its racist views and its policy allowing members of other racist groups to join NSM while remaining members of other groups. National Vanguard. Formed in by longtime activist Kevin Strom, National Vanguard was a breakaway group from the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the most dominant neo-Nazi group from the s until , when its founder died.
National Vanguard was increasing its membership and its prestige in white supremacist New Black Panther Party. Founded in Dallas, the group portrays itself as a militant, modern-day expression of the black power movement. Although it frequently engages in armed protests of alleged police brutality, non-racist, left wing members of the original Black Panther Party of the s and s have rejected the new Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.
Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers, which claims tens of thousands of present and former law enforcement officials and military veterans as members, is one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U. While it claims only to be defending the Constitution, the entire organization is based on a set Occidental Quarterly.
Its editors and advisory board members have constituted a "Who's Who" of the radical right, and its regular publication of extremists' articles has made it a favorite among academic racists in America. Pacific Justice Institute. Patriot Front. Patriot Front is an image-obsessed organization that rehabilitated the explicitly fascist agenda of Vanguard America with garish patriotism. Patriot Front focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country.
In its own words " Pioneer Fund. Today, it still funds studies of race and intelligence, as well as eugenics, the "science" of breeding superior human beings that was discredited by various Nazi atrocities.
The Pioneer Fund has supported many of the leading Anglo-American race scientists of the last several decades as well as anti Proud Boys.