Martin Luther

by Andrea Elizabeth

Martin Luther has been on my mind since I saw a documentary on him a few weeks ago. Some scholars may not agree with the portrayal, but the analysis was basically that he was the first freedom fighter. I am ambivalent, as usual, about this. Hierarchicalism can seem like the minds of the few powerful ones can overly dominate the masses. Do not we educate our children to think for themselves? Do we trace this back to Martin Luther? Did domination exist in the first millennium pre-schism? And if not, did it spread to the east despite their differences? I like the idea of people coming to the Church of their own free will without psychological or physical coercion. I like the model of the Church as hospital and the Sacraments as medicine. I also recognize that we in our immaturity and waywardness need some fear of God to keep us in line. But there is a difference between guidance and domination and exploitation, and that seems to me what uprisings tend to be about. Sadly, opposite extremes usually flow from them with anarchy, secularism, and chaotic individualism replacing order and unity. I think we can have both worlds that would incorporate voluntary, informed unified worship.