Work and vocation

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Luther and Calvin's equation of work and vocation is a concept of work as a divine vocation. By having these views, it helped them to cut through the two-tiered spirituality of the medieval world. Sending common laborers to different sections in the Kingdom of God from those that choose the monastic way of life would not happen. They believed that special dedication to God by a select group would not receive any special treatment in His Kingdom. Goodness of spirit is the essence of Christian piety. Moral conduct, or good work, is required of the Christian, but justification, or salvation, would come by faith alone.

Luther and Calvin believed that it is God's grace that saves us. The type of work we do does not. Everyone has their own station in life, and anyone can serve God by going through their daily tasks. Our vocation comes to us through our station in life.

When we deliver our vocations, we serve our neighbors and those that serve others do God's will. We are God's representatives on this earth and by cultivating it with our talents, we benefit our neighbors.

Calvin also accepted the theological doctrine that salvation is by faith alone, and regarded contemplation as mere laziness. Punishment for sin is poverty. Evidence that one did not have God's grace also manifests itself in poverty. Calvin believed that his way of life would lead to worldly prosperity. A sign from God is prosperity. Goodness came to be associated with wealth, and poverty with evil; not to succeed in one's calling seemed to be clear indication that God did not approve. I believe this is extreme. There are times when people cannot help if they are out of work. Places of employment may close forcing us to abandon our work. Negative...