500 years ago, today, Martin Luther wrote a letter in protest to Johann Tetzel’s business venture. Tetzel had been sent by Pope Leo 10 to raise money for St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tetzel creatively began selling what he called “indulgences.” Tetzel assured the poor that if they paid an “indulgence” to the church, their loved one’s souls would immediately be released from purgatory into heaven.
To Martin Luther this money-raising scheme was unbiblical and reprehensible. His letter became known as the “95 Theses” and began the Protestant Reformation.
Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
Sometimes we can rationalize our business practices, thinking the end justifies the means. When starting a new venture, question carefully your motives.
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