Lead: In 1525 the peasants of Germany revolted against what they considered to be intolerable economic misery. The expected the support of another rebel against authority, theologian Martin Luther. They would be disappointed.
Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts
Content: At first Luther was sympathetic with the peasant’s cause. In his tract An Admonition to Peace (1525) he condemned aristocrats with stinging words, “…you do nothing but flay and rob your subjects in order that you many lead a life of splendor, until the poor common folk can bear it no longer,” but, when massive riots broke out across Germany, Luther was horrified. He felt his writings on Christian freedom had been misinterpreted. He meant spiritual freedom and warned the peasants that armed rebellion was contrary to God’s word. “The fact that rulers are unjust and wicked does not excuse tumult and rebellion.”