Essay: Martin Luther King

Born in Germany in 1483, Martin Luther became one of the most influential individuals in Christian history when he began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He questioned some of the tendencies of Roman Catholicism.
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in the town of Eisleben, into a peasant family. He was the son of Hans Luther, a copper man, and his wife Margarette. His father Hans had big dreams and aspirations for him; he wanted Luther to become a lawyer and bring honor to his family. Despite being a peasant, Martin was well educated. In 1501, at the age of 19, Martin studied at the University of Erfurt to become a lawyer to fulfill his fathers wishes, but yet he still felt as if he wasn’t good enough for him. After receiving his masters degree in 1505, Luther continued his studies and became a lawyer. Until the day he was on his way back home from the university.
One day in the summer of 1505, while returning back home from the university, Martin was trapped in a life-threatening thunderstorm. After being stranded and stuck by lightning, Martin feared for his life. Luther urged for help and cried out to St. Anne and swore to her that he would become a monk if he was spared. The decision to become a monk heavily disappointed his father, but he felt as if he had to keep his promise. After being saved from the storm, Luther kept his promise and became a monk. He later lived in a monastery because he thought it would bring him closer to God and help him find salvation. As a monk, Martin Luther out monked all others, to please this all-powered, all-knowing, all-vengeful God. The harder he tried the harder it got.
Martin Luther was a man of compassion, conviction, and courage but most importantly Martin was a man of conscience. Courage is the ability to act regardless of the potential consequences. Courage is following your heart when everything is against you and your beliefs; it’s the willingness to face risk, knowing that you are going to cause someone harm or pain but still going through with it because it will be best for them in the long term. Basically to put others before yourself. Martin Luther’s courage was shown and put to the test every time he opposed something he knew was wrong, even when no one believed him. He was courageous enough to denounce the pope himself.
Compassion is the act of going out of your way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another. It’s being aware of the suffering of another person accompanied by the wish to relieve it. Martin Luther was a very compassionate servant to the people, taking in orphans and needy students. He even intervened during times of social unrest and confusion to bring understanding between the peasants and ‘nobles’.
Conviction is the declaration of someones sins. Martin was convicted by both God and the Roman Catholic Church for many things. One of Luther’s most strongly held convictions was that in the Bible, God had the answers to his problems. Luther was convicted by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy. He replied to this conviction saying,’Since then your imperial majesty and your lordships demand a simple answer, I will give you one without teeth and without horns. Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or by manifest evidence…I cannot and will not retract, for we must never act contrary to our conscience’. Here I stand.’
Conscience is an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior. It’s a feeling you get about an action you’ve taken or plan to take. Luther knew that his conscience was captive and bound to the Word of God, he knew he couldn’t go against it. ‘I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God’ Amen’.This famous quote from Martin Luther came from the Diet of Worms.
On April 17, 1521, the trial of Martin Luther began, on this day Martin was very insecure and hesitant. Due to the lack of confidence shown he was granted another day to appeal the court. The next day, April 18, 1521, Martin entered the courtroom with confidence and conviction. Luther was asked again whether he would recant his writings, and his response was ‘Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen’. His manner was free from all anger, his expression was modest, gentle, and humble while giving his speech. These were some of the most memorable moments of Martin Luther.
Although his wise words led to many consequences including the loss of loved ones and those who were innocent, he was courageous enough to stand up to the Roman Catholic Church and although many turned their backs on him he never backed down, and due to his dedication many no longer suffer from the irrational tendencies of the Roman Catholic Church.

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