Martin Luther posted his thesis many years ago because he believed that the Roman church had become so corrupt that they no longer taught a form of Christianity that reflected the teachings of Jesus and his chosen representatives. Luther’s indictments against the Papacy and its various doctrines were precipitated by the practice of selling indulgences, by priests and nuns who were impious or incapable of keeping the vows forced upon them, and by the thorough lack and even illegality of Biblical scholarship. There were many, many more but these stand out, because they persist.
The Roman church espoused a brand of ‘Christianity’ that needn’t ever confront the man Christ Jesus or his commands to the general population of believers (the body). They preached a message of good works, loyalty to the organization and significant financial contribution — in exchange for which any lifestyle whatsoever, and any infidelity to Christ or one another could be excused simply by punishing oneself in response to the instructions of the priest.
Where Christ commands confess your fault, and failures to each other, the Roman church organized a system of confessing to the professional clergy, for a price, and being punished by that clergy. This lead to an apostasy so corrupt that a child molester, or professional killer could rest secure in the conceit that he was a Christian, and bound for heaven, without any significant cessation of his sinful lifestyle.
Luther sought, like many others in that period, to reform the church and to restore the essential quality of agape, tempered with Justice, that Jesus himself espoused. The Roman Church shares a trait in common with extremist cults in that they see themselves as the only one true expression of Christian faith. His response to this controlling, possessive attitude was to ‘balance’ their excesses with hyperbole of his own.
A component of Salvation that is often overlooked is the question of repentance. Repentance is a word rich in imagery but ill defined among most believers. The common understanding of the word repent is regretting what you’ve done. This is a necessary prerequisite, but it does not constitute repentance.
Let’s look at the Old Testament concept of repentance. In the Old Testament many sins were punished with the death penalty. Capital crimes included murder, rape, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, slander of God or abuse of his name and magick. Magick included but was not limited to s