Luther, he said, preaches a sweet Christ – the Christ of forgiveness. But we must, he said, also preach the bitter Christ, namely the Christ who says that we must take His cross upon ourselves. The cross is, so we can say, the extreme, the boundary situation. It is internal and external. And Muenzer, in an astonishing way, expresses that in modern existentialist categories. It is the human finiteness which, if he realizes it, produces in him a disgust about the whole world. Then he really becomes poor in spirit. Then the anxiety of creaturely existence grasps him. Then he finds that courage is possible. But then it happens that God appears to him and that he is transformed. And if this has happened to him, then he can have very special revelations. He can have individual visions, not only about theology as a whole, but also about matter of the daily life.
These groups felt on this basis that they are the real fulfillment of the Reformation, that Luther remained half-Catholic, that they are elected; while the Roman church has no certainty for any individual with respect to justification; while Luther has the certainty of justification but not of election; while Calvin had the certainty not only of justification but at least to a great extent also of being elected – Muenzer and his followers had the certainty of being elected within a group of elected, namely the sectarian group.
From this point of view of the inner Spirit, all sacraments fall down. And the immediacy of the procession of the Spirit makes even what is left of the office of the minister unnecessary in the sectarian groups. Instead of that, they have another impetus, namely the transformation of society either by suffering, if they cannot change it, and abstinence from arms and oaths and public office and all those things involving you in state existence; or if they are radical, then by political measures, by the sword overcoming the evil society in which one lives; and then one becomes a religious socialist. These two movements we have in that period, and these movements and the whole attitude have influenced this country very much.
Paul Tillich, A History Of Christian Thought – Table of Contents