Despite this church levy being optional, at the behest of German Bishops and with the approval of the Pope, Germans who do not pay will be refused the right to be members of a congregation, take communion, become God-parents or even to have a religious funeral.
Bizarre!!! Wasn't it this kind of conduct that caused the Reformation in the first place???
Martin Luther and his 95 Theses
A German monk by the name of Martin Luther was particularly bothered by the selling of indulgences. An indulgence, a religious pardon that released a sinner from performing specific penalties, could be bought from a church official for various fees. Martin Luther was especially troubled because some church officials gave people the impression that they could buy their way into heaven. To express his growing concern of church corruption, Martin Luther wrote his famous 95 Theses, which called for a full reform of the Christian Church. In it, he stressed the following points:
- People could only win salvation by faith in God's forgiveness. The Church taught that faith, along with good works was needed for salvation.
- The Pope is a false authority. The bible was the one true authority.
- All people with faith in Christ were equal. People did not need priest and bishops to interpret the bible for them. They could read it themselves and make up their own minds.
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edit on 24-9-2012 by christina-66 because: (no reason given)