Ulrich Zwingli – Protestant Reformer Essay

Reformers: Ulrich Zwingli Born in 1484 in Wildhaus, Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli soon moved to Zurich, and greatly influenced by Erasmus became one of the great reformers of the 15th -16th centuries. He, like Martin Luther, disliked many of the practices of the Catholic Church. (reformationtours. com) He wrote The 67 Articles, which were adapted by Zurich as the official doctrine of the city. (Trueman) Although he agreed with Luther in many aspects, his attempt to join with the Lutherans was failed because of a disagreement over the concept of the Last Supper.

Where Luther defended the belief of the consubstantiation where as the bread and wine are believed to undergo a spiritual change because Christ is present, Zwingli believed that it is all symbolic and there is no change in the bread and the wine. (McKay 463) All that is in the Bible is truth, and if it is not in the bible, it is not truth. (reformationtours. com) The Catholic Church believes that everything the pope, just a mortal man, says is truth in addition to what it says in the Bible, which is condescending to G-d, Jesus, and the Bible.

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The Catholic Church has added its own practices such as indulgences, mass, clerical celibacy, monasticism, icons, music, and pilgrimages. They church has added these practices outside the Bible, so we shouldn’t have to follow them. (Trueman) Throughout Christian history, if a person sinned there were several steps he would have to take to ameliorate his sin. He would first have to confess his sin to a priest, and then receive absolution, or forgiveness, for the sin. Then he would have to do penance, which could be a variety of things from physical affliction to saying certain prayers.

The Catholic Church instated indulgences, which could be used in place of penance. Not only is this not a practice stated in the Bible, but also over the years it has been greatly abused to the point where if you are rich, you are above the law because you can just buy indulgences instead of doing any kind of work. Eventually indulgences became so abused that they were forged and money from them was used not only for godly charities, but also to fund building projects. (historydocter. net) Mass has become a very complicated affair with man unnecessary additions and elaborations.

The practice of priests being celibate has no mention inBible and therefore has no reason to be a Christian practice. It is utterly ridiculous to say that a priest can not marry and have children, especially when over the years the priests have become so corrupt that they have been doing so I secret. (Trueman) The practice of monks and nuns is corrupt too. Inflicting punishment on oneself, devoting one’s life solely to G-d, and marrying oneself to G-d are practices that are not proscribed in the Bible, so they should have no place in our Christian practice. Trueman) The Catholic Church has added many unnecessary elements into its worship. The use of icons in the church is not only not mentioned in the Bible as something we shouldn’t do, but also it’s specifically mentioned as something we shouldn’t do. The use of icons is equivalent to idol worship. (historydocter. net) Music is also unnecessary, it is not mentioned in the Bible either, and it is again demeaning to the Bible and G-d and Jesus themselves to be incorporating these elements. Additionally, we should not be worshiping saints.

That is truly idol worship, which is a direct violation of the second commandment. (historydocter. net) I have stated these beliefs in the Zurich Reformation when I was Common Preacher at the Great Minster in Zurich. (reformationtours. com) We need to go back to the simpler, purer ways of the church. Indulgences need to be abolished. We should allow our clergy to marry and have children. The Monasteries should be shut down and we should use that money instead for education and to help the poor. Trueman) Icons and statues should be removed from churches so as to stop idol worship. Music, too, should be taken out of the services so we could go back to a purer, simpler worship. (historydocter. net) I plan to fight for these changes in a debate against the Roman Catholic Church before the Swiss Magistrate. (reformationtours. com) There were many changes brought about by Zwingli’s debates. Lent was abandoned, cleric were no longer required to be celibate, mass was replaced, and churches left the papacy.

Although Zwingli’s reforms were popular in Switzerland, they were very unpopular amongst the Roman Church, to the point where Rome declared war against the Swiss. Zwingli, being a soldier fought and was killed in this war. Although he died, Zwingli’s teachings live on through his son-in-law. (reformationtours. com) McKay, John P. , Bennett D. Hill, and John Buckler. A History of Western Society. 7th ed. Vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. 461+. Print. Trueman, Chris, BA. “Ulrich Zwingli. ” Ulrich Zwingli. N. p. , 2000.

Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/ulrich_zwingli. htm>. “Ulrich Zwingli and the Reformation in Switzerland. ” Ulrich Zwingli and the Reformation in Switzerland. N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www. reformationtours. com/site/490868/page/629552>. “Zwingli, Anabaptism and Calvinism. ” Zwingli. Ed. Larry E. Gates, JR. N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www. historydoctor. net/Advanced%20Placement%20European%20History/Notes/zwingli_Anabaptism_and_Calvinism. htm>.