According to Martin Luther, peasants had three charges: violation of loyalty oaths, subjecting them to secular punishment; committed blasphemy, and engaged in crimes that contradicted their faith. These peasants had taken an oath to be faithful and true, to be obedient and submissive to their leaders and now meriting death by breaking the oath. From Luther’s perspective, they have burdened themselves with three wrongs against man and God. The peasants have begun a revolt, and are plundering and robbing castles and monasteries which do not belong to them (Blickle 47). This makes them deserve death just like the murderers. The peasants fix the terrible sin into the gospel and hence make them God’s blasphemers and defamers of his righteous name.
Furthermore, Luther goes ahead to validate the prince’s action in opposition to the peasants, whether violence actions are involved. Martin Luther believes that the peasants are punishable by their lords in that they are faithless, rebellious, blasphemers, perjured, robbers, disobedient and murderers. Under this circumstance, even a good ruler is always forced to punish. Luther idolizes the people fight peasants because those who die on the rulers’ side are true martyr before God. Luther then finishes off with a condition that to those who take it to be harsh, should have in mind that revolting cannot be tolerated and that earth’s destruction is anticipated every hour. Luther bases his argument on crushing peasants’ rebellion by authorities on the teaching of St Paul. The teaching states that God appoints all authorities; thus, they should be obeyed and not resisted.
According to Luther king, it was not his wish that the gospel is defended by bloodshed and force. The word conquered the world, and the word maintains the church, and it will present the church with one of its own, making antichrist who got his own minus violence, will fall by the same. Approximately at that time, when Luther was advocating for peaceful resistance, Thomas Müntzer viewed priesthood in terms of violent sermons. He catalyzed the peasants to rise in arms (Blickle 67). For his perception to be justified, he quoted biblical references to people. For instance, he quoted Christ to say that he did not come to preach peace but to send a sword. Therefore, Thomas Müntzer misinterpreted this by asking what the sword was meant for (Blickle 77). He said that it was used on those who stood on the way of the gospel as those who serve God, destroy and drive out evil. As Martin Luther’s reforms idea inclined amongst the population, Thomas Müntzer ideal seemed to be politically dangerous and agitating. Thomas Müntzer said that the scriptures were not definite and infallible. He further said that the Holy Ghost never communicated directly but via the gift of reasoning.
Both Martin Luther and Thomas Müntzer arrive at these conclusions due to their varied perspectives on this issue. Martin Luther King is a reformist who believes for peace to exist, there must not be any bloodshed or any form of rebellion. He also believes that people should not engage in evils such as robbing and destruction while fighting for reforms. Every action should be justified. On the other hand, Thomas Müntzer makes his conclusion based on the use of force for those who come in the way of the gospel. He says that Christ provided a method to be used in defending his word.
Blickle, Peter. The Revolution of 1525: The German Peasants’ War from a New Perspective.
Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1981. Print