The reformation and the split of the Christian Church

The reformers have an important mark on the history of Netherlands. All the reforms started at the famous propositions of Luther. On October 31, 1517 he nailed 95 theses on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Wittenberg is nowadays in Central Germany. The Castle Church was a Catholic Church. Luther was originally a Catholic monk. Later he became a priest and theologian.

As a theologian Luther has many Christian texts studied. And he fretted at the Catholic practice. He found that the Catholic Church the Bible wrong had explained. He wanted to bring to light and abuses and errors.

In the Catholic Church believed that you would end up in hell because of your sins. For example, if you had lied or stolen your soul after the death would have to burn forever. This was for no one a fine prospect. Everyone sins ever a bit and so would everyone after his death be punished.

But the Catholic Church had a solution for this. In the Catholic Church it is believed also that God on Earth acts in the person of the Pope. This actually means that the Pope is God's help on Earth. The Pope should therefore make decisions and say that God agrees. He said people had to buy indulgences. If they would do that were forgiven for their sins. The Church earned a lot of money. But it was not completely honest. Because only rich people could redeem their sins.

Luther did not believe in these indulgences. The 95 theses were theses against the indulgence. Also he believed not that God acted on Earth in the person of the Pope. Like Erasmus Luther found that people themselves should be able to think about their faith. Therefore, he translated the Bible into German. In the beginning it seems like Luther only wants the Catholic Church changed. But soon it turns out that's not the case. He's not only disagree with the Catholic practice, he is also disagree with the theory behind the Catholic faith.

In 1521 the Pope does him therefore also in the ban. He was so out of the Church community. In the middle ages this was a very severe punishment. But they lived now in another epoch. There were more and more people who own thinking went. Luther got followers. Also, there were other reformers on. Calvin and Zwingli are two other important Church reformers. The followers rebelled against the Catholic Church.

In 1529 already had many German princes converted to Lutheranism. They protested during the Reichstag against the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor wanted them not religious freedom. All monarchs had to be Catholic.

This battle between the Protestant princes and the Catholic Emperor caused much unrest in Germany, but also in the Netherlands. Because in Netherlands were meanwhile very much become Calvinist Princes. A lot of citizens followed their Princes. This led to public attacks towards Catholicism. The citizens attacked the churches to and took the images down. We call this the beeldenstorm. This iconoclastic is an important element in the epoch of the discoverers and reformers. Calvin had said that the images are not heard in the Church at home. According to him, if you worship only God and so no images.

The emperor was very angry with the Dutch Protestants. The iconoclastic had the eighty years ' war. Also this was an important moment in Dutch history.


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