The Three Treatises of 1520 that Split the Church – Mark 10: 35-45
In 1517 Martin Luther nails the 95 theses to the church door. And in 1520 he writes three treatises that blow up the medieval church. In the first Martin Luther writes his address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. It’s an all-out attack on all that the pope and the church hold dear. They hide from reform behind three symbolic walls. The next treatise that Luther writes is the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. It’s polemic, insulting and designed to make his enemies mad. Luther puts the sacramental practices of the church on trial. The trinity of the treatises is completed by the “Freedom of the Christian”. Luther writes that humans are in bondage to sin and need to be liberated by God through Christ. As long as humans are bound by sin they use and abuse each other. But through the freedom that Christ brings they are enabled to serve each other in love. Luther writes: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”
Rev. Olaf Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.
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