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Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nations

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Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nations

Christianity at this period in time was not something that was very reliable. When thinking of religion, one should trust the members that dedicate their lives to it; they shouldn't question their authority, right? That should be the case, but Martin Luther thought otherwise. At this time there some disputes about how trusting the members of the Christian faith, and it took a man named Martin Luther to call them out. Luther brought attention to this problem, and broadcasted it into the public in order to make a change. He wrote the, Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,which informed the people of the Roman Catholic faith what a corrupt system they were falling for. The attitude that is portrayed in this address is concern. Luther seems generally concerned not only for the well being of other individuals, but for the well being of his country too.

Luther describes in the introduction of his address that what the church is doing is "throwing the kings into confusion." (520). This confusion Luther is talking about must be referring to confusion Kings have about the authority they have as ruler. If the church authority talks about what is wrong and right according to God, this confuses the King on what he should or should not do, and whether he can or cannot do it.

Luther organizes these thoughts into three "walls" that all deal with different issues within the corrupt church system. He titles them as The Three Walls of the Romanists. These walls describe how the church has, "...drawn three walls round themselves, with which they have hitherto protected themselves, so that no one could reform them, whereby all Christendom has fallen terribly." (520). Martin Luther sternly believes that the Catholic church is evil, and is antichrist. He states that they must, "set free our Christian rods for the chastisement of sin, and expose the craft and deceit of the devil, so that we may amend ourselves by punishment and again obtain God's favour." (521). His attacks on each wall are filled with quotes from the Pope, God, and other religious references.

The First Wall-That the Temporal Power Has No Jurisdiction over the Spirituality, clearly attacks what is called the "spiritual estates," and their relationship with what is called the "temporal estates." (521). It is said that the spiritual estate consists of the Pope, bishops, priests, and monks, while the temporal estates consist of princes, lords, artificers, and peasants. Luther finds this a hypocritical lie and believes that since everyone receives similar baptisms, and all share the same faith, Gospel, so they should be considered the same, especially since St. Paul states that "we are all one body". (521). Although the belief is that they all should be the same, the priests think differently and pretend that they are different from a simple man. Luther states that if they should sin, whether a bishop, priest, or even the Pope, they should all get the same punishments as a peasant. The first wall was primarily just Martin Luther demonstrating why

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