Luther’s version of Protestantism claimed that people would receive salvation based on scripture, grace and faith alone. This went directly against the Catholic Church’s many rituals and selling of indulgences, which Luther was vehemently against.
He also believed that Purgatory was a concept contrived by the Catholic Church in order to get people to buy indulgences. Indulgences from the Pope or the Church’s many branches would shorten a person’s time in Purgatory, so they’d be able to get to Heaven faster instead of suffering for, say, 10,000 years before moving on.
Also, both Protestants and Calvinists believed in the concept of predestination, which means that God chose who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell from birth. To me, this seems lazy, as it looks as if people would be able to do whatever they wanted and still end up in Heaven.
Personally, I strongly dislike Luther’s view on religion. Relying on faith and scripture alone just seems lazy to me. The Bible is a book already filled with plotholes and contradictions. Referencing it word for word just seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Also, people like events. They want days where they can eat together, or even just meet up. Thus, Catholicism’s many rituals sate the masses and give them something to do. In addition, it takes money to run an organization. Even non-profit organizations need to get funding from somewhere, which is usually out of pocket, from the government, or from donations. Thus, selling indulgences, to me, seems like a rational choice for the Catholic Church.
I mentioned above that the Bible is full of plotholes. This alone is bad enough, but Luther was not a logical man. Even Prof. Stuart, who seems to adore Luther, admits that he contradicted himself on many occasions. Later, Calvin would do his best to fix these contradictions (leading to the Calvinist branch of Protestantism), but I still don’t agree with their sect’s ideals.
Calvin’s crusade resulted in iconoclasm: the destruction of holy icons. In addition, Calvinist churches were blank. All of the fancy stained-glass windows? The beautiful paintings and other works of art? Broken. Burned. As a designer, it’s emotionally painful that people destroyed such weighted art. But my feelings are beside the point here.
People need stimulation if they’re going to be interested in anything for an extended period of time. Blank churches with no imagery whatsoever are the complete opposite of what people would find interesting. Burning and throwing away all “indulgent” items (as Luther wanted) leaves people plain and lowly, which is exactly what Luther wanted. However, I don’t believe that people can stay that way for long. People will seek out their pleasures elsewhere.
These reasons are why Protestantism, especially as how it was presented in lecture, doesn’t sit well with me.