Martin Luther challenged many standard practices for being a Christian in his day. He attacked indulgences and masses for the dead. He dismissed pilgrimages and veneration of the relics of the saints. He questioned whether several of the seven sacraments were truly sacraments. Soon the question arose among opponents and supporters: "If we don't do those things, how do we go about being Christians?"
Luther's answer came in several parts. He radically reinterpreted the Ten Commandments, presenting them not as a series of actions to be avoided but as clues about the positive things God wants us to do. It's not enough just to avoid killing — we're called to see that our neighbors have the things they need to live. It's not enough to avoid lying — we must put the most charitable construction on the things our neighbors do.
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