The Protestant Reformation

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY


This article is part of a series on the History of Christianity. This is the 29th article in that series. The previous five entries were entitled:

Christendom in the 16th Century

16th Century England

Counter Reformation

Renaissance Reformation

In previous episodes we have covered the Lutherans splitting from the Roman Catholic Church, and then the Swiss Reformers splitting from both of them. In this episode the Protestant Church continues to break into denominations.

BULLINGER
BULLINGER

BULLINGER

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575) took over the church at Zurich after the death of Zwingli in 1531. He had earned a master's degree in 1522, and began a career teaching monks. In 1529, his priest father declared himself a Protestant—all of his sons would go on to become Protestant ministers. Heinrich was a devoted pastor who was meek, wise, and patient. He welcomed the hungry, the lost, the seeker, and the persecuted into his own home. He refused any gifts, though his salary was meager. For forty years Bullinger preached, sometimes seven days a week. He corresponded with Christians and theologians from all over Europe. His writings outnumber those of Luther and Calvin combined.

There had been no controversy about the Lord's Supper during the times of the Apostolic Church. Bullinger wrote, "What our Lord and Savior instituted was a supper, not a mass. Pope Gregory the Great instituted the mass, the monstrous fountainhead of all superstitions."

Bullinger also wrote, "The law is intended for the instruction of those who have been justified by faith, to tell them what they should follow and what they should avoid. The Law made salvation conditional on perfect obedience, which is unbearable; but it bridles the desires of the flesh and provides a standard for leading godly and upright lives."

Bullinger: "By virtue of the Second Commandment images are not lawful in the churches of the Christians. I thoroughly detest the image of the crucifix."

 

MANY ANABAPTISTS WERE BURNED AT THE STAKE
MANY ANABAPTISTS WERE BURNED AT THE STAKE
CAGE AT ST LAMBERTS CATHEDRAL
CAGE AT ST LAMBERTS CATHEDRAL

ANABAPTISTS

 

The Anabaptists, led by Conrad Grebel, were a group who broke from Zwingli over infant baptism.  After all, no babies were baptized in the Bible.  The Biblical instructions were "Believe and be baptized," something only an adult could possibly do.  The Anabaptists were outlawed in 1527 by Zwingli, after which they were persecuted unmercifully by Catholics and Protestants alike.  Still, they gained a large following among the lower classes around Europe. 

Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler, a former monk, was arrested in the Black Forest in 1527 by Catholics.  His tongue was cut out, flesh torn with hot irons, and body burnt; while his wife was drowned.  Their next major leader, Jacob Hutter, was caught in 1535 by Catholics, thrown into an icy river bound and gagged, pulled out to be scourged, flaming brandy poured into his wounds, and then burned to death. 

An Anabaptist baker named Jan Matthijs overthrew the government of Munster, Germany, and forced all residents to be baptized.  They then burnt all books except the Bible, declared Communism, and instituted the death penalty for adultery. But they legalized polygamy, with Matthijs taking fifteen wives, before he was caught and butchered.  His lieutenant, Jan Beuckels, took charge but he also was caught, tortured to death, and hung in a cage still on display today at St Lamberts Cathedral. 

MENNO SIMONS
MENNO SIMONS
MENNONITE WOMEN TODAY
MENNONITE WOMEN TODAY
MENNONITES IN AMERICA TODAY
MENNONITES IN AMERICA TODAY

MENNO SIMONS

 

The next leader of the Anabaptists was the pacifist Menno Simons, who planted Mennonite churches in Germany and the Netherlands, while surviving 25 years as the most wanted man in Europe.   He traveled with his wife and children, always in danger, enduring great hardship and deprivation for his beliefs.  He was known as a man of unwavering integrity, of humble spirit, and gentle manners. 

Menno Simons (1496-1561) was a Dutchman who was educated in Catholicism, ordained a priest, but never read the Bible for the first twelve years of his priesthood.  After reading some writings of Martin Luther, he read the New Testament and accepted the Reformed faith.  Shortly thereafter, he witnessed the beheading of a man for baptizing an adult.  He studied the Bible and concluded that infant baptism was wrong. 

What was truly apostolic to the Reformers was what was actually taught by Jesus Christ and His apostles—regardless of the teachings of church doctors and other learned men.  Christ Himself had denounced the commandments of men.  Therefore the true church of Christ had been lost for a long time.   The culprit was the traditions of the Catholic Church.  From the time of the apostles the church had gradually degenerated into a reliance on outwork works, of which ceremonies were what men came to rely on, and images what blatantly manifested this idolatry. 

The name "Anabaptist" specifically means the re-baptizing of adults who had been baptized as babies.  Anabaptists considered infant baptism as "the highest and chief abomination of the pope," and of any Protestants who continued this practice.  The true apostolic church followed the command of Jesus Christ and only baptized believing adults, restricting it to those who first come to the faith through the Word of God.  Baptism was testimony to the inward "yes" of the heart. 

Menno Simon believed that all children go to heaven, baptized or not.  He denied that baptizing children had any effect whatsoever.  "In His ordinance and institution of Christian baptism Christ had prescribed the order to be followed for apostolic baptism: first the Word, then hearing, then a change of life, and only then baptism.

Anabaptists believed that sinners were to be barred from the church.  The church was in fact obliged to use shunning and exclusion, but only for grave offenses.  Excommunication was serious business because salvation was serious business. 

WILLIAM OF ORANGE
WILLIAM OF ORANGE
HANS TAUSEN STATUE AT RIBE, DENMARK
HANS TAUSEN STATUE AT RIBE, DENMARK
OLAUS PETRI STATUE AT STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
OLAUS PETRI STATUE AT STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

ELSEWHERE

The German princes defeated the emperor, winning freedom to decide their own religious affairs.

The 1555 Peace of Augsburg pretty much ended hopes that Catholics and Protestants would come back together as one.

In the Netherlands, the Protestant north gained independence and would become an extremely wealthy nation known as Holland; the south remained Catholic and would eventually become Belgium.

The Reformed movement was strong in the Netherlands and as a result, Charles V had made it the law that anyone caught reading the Bible, preaching it, hearing it preached, or even speaking of its words, was to be burned at the stake.

To pray at home, sing a hymn, or refuse to bow to Roman Church images was soon added to proscribed activities punishable by death.

Delicate women and young girls displayed unflinching courage in defying these prohibitions.

The blood of Protestant Christians was seed—persecution only increased the number of Protestants.

Under William of Orange (1533-1584) revolution brought freedom of worship to Holland.

Calvinists established a state religion in the Netherlands, the Dutch Reformed Church, in 1622. Ever since then the Reformed Church has played a central role in the country.

The Reformer of Denmark was Hans Tausen (1494-1561). The New Testament was translated into Danish and widely circulated.

The leaders of the Swedish Reformation were the brothers Olaf and Laurentius Petri, the sons of a blacksmith. Before their efforts, the people of Sweden were forbidden to read Scripture. Olaf Petri translated the Bible into Swedish and the King of Sweden, as well as the national assembly, accepted Protestantism as the religion of the country. From then on the children in the public schools of Sweden were taught the Bible.

Meanwhile, Pope Paul IV banned entertainment and dancing in Rome; created an index of banned books; and herded Jews into ghettos, forcing them to wear yellow hats. When Paul IV died in 1559, the people of Rome destroyed a statue of him.

JOHN KNOX
JOHN KNOX
JOHN KNOX HOUSE IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
JOHN KNOX HOUSE IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

JOHN KNOX

 

John Knox (1513-1572) established Calvinism as the sole religion of Scotland in 1560.  He and his followers became known as Presbyterians, well known for self-restraint and self-reliance.  Scotland still had a Catholic monarch until 1567, when Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate. 

Knox had once been a Catholic priest.  After his conversion to Protestantism, he was captured by Catholics and made a slave on a French galley.  After being freed, Knox made his way to Geneva, where he attended the Academy and studied under John Calvin, before setting out to conquer Edinburgh—spiritually. 

God used John Knox to strike the death knell of popery in Scotland.  With the fires of martyrdom blazing all around him, with the tyrant's axe poised over his neck, Knox stood his ground.  He was fearless.  Mary Queen of Scots charged him with heresy.  Knox said, "As right religion took neither original strength nor authority from worldly princes, but from eternal God alone, so are not subjects bound to frame their religion according to the appetites of their princes.  For oft it is that princes are the most ignorant of all others in God's true religion.  If all the seed of Abraham had been of the religion of Pharaoh, whose subjects they long were, I pray you madam, what religion would there have been in the world?  Or if all men in the days of the Apostles had been of the religion of the Roman emperors, what religion would there have been upon the face of the earth?  The Word of God is plain in itself." 

UNITARIANS IN AMERICA TODAY
UNITARIANS IN AMERICA TODAY
UNITARIAN CHURCH IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
UNITARIAN CHURCH IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
REMBRANDT ETCHING OF FAUSTUS SOCINUS (1652)
REMBRANDT ETCHING OF FAUSTUS SOCINUS (1652)

UNITARIANS

 

The Anabaptist theologian, Hans Denck, said:  "No one can truly know Christ unless he follows Him in his life.  And no one can follow Him except insofar as he knows Him first."  He instructed Anabaptists never to swear at all, to take no oaths, not to serve any government, or bear arms.  No one could understand Scripture unless the Holy Spirit dwelled in him.  Without the Holy Spirit, people would only find darkness, not light, in Scripture.  Denck preached that the apostolic church had fallen away under the secular influence of Constantine the Great.

His followers and his theological successors are known as Unitarians.  They started what has been termed a "war on the trinity."  The Unitarians were against the Roman Catholics and Protestants, rejecting not only the Catholic doctrines of purgatory and the cult of the saints; but also predestination as asserted by Luther and Calvin.  They did join the Reformers in the belief of "Scripture alone" and "justification by faith alone."  They specifically focused on rejecting the dogmas of the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon in regard to the Trinity.    

Faustus Socinus (1539-1604) wrote a "Refutation of the Vulgar Doctrine about the Satisfaction of Christ for Our Sins."  In it he asserted that Christ is not the price for our sins, nor did he placate the wrath of God.  Rather, Christ showed and taught the way of salvation, declared the love of God, and confirmed it by his miracles and by his death and resurrection.  Salvation rests on mercy. 

Socinus wrote: "That monstrosity of three realities, that imaginary Trinity, was tritheism.  One God and three persons was a contradiction that even the angels would have difficulty comprehendingIf this dogma was correct, Holy Scripture would certainly have taught it somewhere in a manner that is clear and obvious. Christ is not possessed by a nature but by a power that had been given and conferred upon him.  He remained subordinate to God the Father, but he received from the Father an equality of power with Him. Christ was not a preexistent being but Jesus, a man.  Trinitarian dogma was repugnant to Scripture and an invention of Satan."   This is absolute monotheism. 

Socinus warned of "the danger of idolatry among believers in Christ," defining it as "treating Christ with greater honor than is his due, namely, honor that is clearly divine, and requesting from him those things that can and should be requested from God alone."  He claimed that the command to pray, "My Father who art in heaven" revealed an exclusionary principle.  "No one should be worshiped except God the Father."   In other words, Christ is the Son of God, but he is not eternal. 

ST BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE
ST BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE
JACQUES LEFEVRE
JACQUES LEFEVRE
LOUIS DE BERQUIN
LOUIS DE BERQUIN
MARGUERITE OF NAVARRE
MARGUERITE OF NAVARRE
KING FRANCIS I
KING FRANCIS I

HUGUENOTS & ST BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE

Jacques Lefevre (1455-1536) was the forerunner to the Protestants in France.  Lefevre was a sincere and zealous papist, an extremely learned man, a professor at the University of Paris.  Because he adored the Saints he undertook a project to write a history of them.  During this operation, he studied the Bible in the hopes of gaining some insight into the cult of the saints.  After this he dropped the project and instead started to preach ideas similar to Luther's—before Luther.  Lefevre said, "If thou art a member of Christ's church, thou art a member of His body.  Oh, if men could but enter into the understanding of this privilege, how purely, chastely, and holily would they live.

The sister of King Francis I, Princess Margaret, accepted the Reformed faith.  Lefevre translated the Bible into the French language for the first time in 1530. Soon the peasants of France, laborers in the fields as well as artisans in their shops, were reading and discussing the precious truths of the Bible every day.  They assembled in homes to join in prayer and praise in such numbers, that the sale of wine produced by monks began to suffer.  

Louis de Berquin (b. 1490) was a nobleman, a brave knight with polished manners, of blameless morals, and devoted to study.  He joined the Reformers and was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church in 1529.  An immense crowd gathered to witness the event.  They were amazed, indignant, and bitter that such a man was to be executed.  They looked with wonder at Berquin's radiant, peaceful countenance as he was strangled and his body burned to ashes.  

Princess Margaret had grown to love the gospel, and extended royal protection to Protestants.  She even had Reformers preach sermons in her palace, which grew huge crowds.  Every day thousands of nobles, statesmen, lawyers, merchants, and artisans came to hear messages of purity, temperance, and industry; and condemnation of drunkenness, licentiousness, and laziness. 

King Francis (1494-1547) tried to tolerate the Protestants but they wanted more than simply to be left alone.  They initiated crude, hostile attacks on the pope and the church that could not be ignored.  One night they posted placards all over Paris condemning the Mass.  This was all the Romanists needed to convince King Francis that these heretics were a danger to civic peace and to the stability of his throne.  The King issued this edict: "We will live and die for the Catholic religion.  Let all be seized without distinction who are suspected of Lutheresy.  I will exterminate them all.

Morin, the royal detective, led a parade of priests, monks, soldiers, and informants through the streets of Paris.  They dragged families out of their homes and put them in chains.  The victims were put to death in an especially cruel fashion, as it was ordered that their flames be kept unusually low, so as to prolong their agony, when they were burnt at the stake.  The King soon banished printing in France as well. 

The Italian Queen, Catherine de' Medici became ruler of France.  In France, Calvinists were known as Huguenots.  They rose up and seized 1,000 Catholic churches.  In 1572, three thousand Huguenot leaders, who had been invited to Paris for a royal wedding, were massacred on St Bartholomew's Day.  Upon hearing the news, the King of Spain broke out into laughter and the pope sang joyous hymns of praise.  France was now in civil war that would last thirty years.  In 1598, the Edict of Nantes made France officially a Catholic nation. 

JACOB ARMINIUS
JACOB ARMINIUS

ARMINIUS

 

Jacob Arminius (1560-1609) was a Dutch professor who vigorously opposed John Calvin's ideas about predestination.  Arminians stress the doctrine of Free Will, and that Christ died for all human beings—all human beings can freely believe in Christ and be saved.  Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, and Seventh Day Adventists—to name a few—would eventually subscribe to the Arminian view. 

According to Arminius the human will is responsible for conduct.  Grace can be resisted by the human will. If it were impossible to resist grace, as John Calvin said, God's offer of reward for virtuous conduct and His threat of punishment for immorality would both be in vain.  Without free will there would be no such thing as disobedience.  Therefore God permits evil but never wills it.  If hearts are hardened, they are hardened by the sinners themselves—not by God, as Calvin had said.  God desires all men to be saved by coming to the knowledge of the truth.  Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, not just the elect. 

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Comments 78 comments

ArchDynamics profile image

ArchDynamics 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

King James:

I gotta tell ya ... the more I read about the old Catholic Church, the more it moves me away from religion and the closer it moves me to faith and non-denominational spirituality.

Doesn't it seem to you that the more we abide by/cling to doctrine and dogma, the further we get from true spirituality?

Which, of course, opens the door for even more discourse ...


SirDent 6 years ago

I love your writing as I always have, James. I didn't get to read all of this but I love how you presented it with so many details.

I like Heinrich Bullinger and how he took a stance for the Word. (this is the first time I have read anything about him)


singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 6 years ago

I totally agree ArchDynamics! I was raised Catholic but got away from it about 14 years ago. It was the same thing , no life, no straight to the heart talk. I joined a non-denominationa church and was blown away. The atmosphere is awesome!!! You can praise and worship til your hearts content. So yes James once again you have done well.

Great Hub!! Thanks!!


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

........

Amen singlemomat52!

I love non-denominational churches too.

Although a piece of my heart is still with a group called Separate Baptists; I was raised that way; we hold views similar to the Arminian one, as James described. Amen to free will and Jesus being God and not a respecter of persons! And phooey to Calvin's confused view! haha and...I hope I'm not offending any of y'all with that; if so, I apologize in advance and will apologize again.

I have a book about the particular Sep. Baptist denomination; have been aiming to elaborate on it in a hub and elsewhere, but alas I'm a horrible procrastinator and not as talented or committed as James!

Great hub as all the ones I've seen so far, James.

Thanks for the opportunity to read it, and to comment on it. Ya can't say it didn't elicit fervent interesting responses, right?

Blessings!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ArchDynamics— Thank you, my good friend, for being my first visitor. Yes, this Catholic Church is that of a long time ago. I have many Catholic friends and I have great admiration for the current pope and his immediate predecessor. I am a non-denominational man myself. One reason is that I think it divisive. Christian is the only appellation I strive for. I am not opposed to doctrine, or even dogma, if it is true. :D


ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 6 years ago from Corona, California

Another insightful hub in a long series of masterful posts. When you finish this series, you should consider collecting them in an ebook about church history. I would seriously buy it within the first hour of release. lol.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

A great piece of scholarship, James!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Another beautifully done piece, James!!!!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I think the Catholic Church lost its way a long time ago. It needs a real radical overhaul but this will never happened and the longer they cling on, the more people they loose, especially the young ones. The Vatican and all its set-up has nothing to do with the teaching and way of Jesus life.

Thank you for another great hub and fine writing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

SirDent— I am glad you appreciate my writing, brother. Bullinger is one of those guys squeezed out of most histories for lack of space. But I find him an interesting chap. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

singlmomat52— You're welcome. Thank you for coming and for your excellent comments. I enjoy the mega-churches. The atmosphere is very lively. I visit all kinds of churches, from holy rollers to the quiet, "dignified" types. I have never been to a church service of any kind, including Catholic, that I did not enjoy and that I did not feel comfortable worshiping in.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Brenda Durham— I believe Jacobus Arminius had it right. My beloved and saintly grandmother was a Baptist and I think Baptists are great. I do tease them that every time I see four Baptists I see a fifth. :D

I actually like Calvin, but no man is right about everything, being mere mortals and all. He did have some great points. But the double predestination doctrine doesn't sit right with me and I've explored it from every angle.

Thanks for your fine remarks and you are welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ecoggins— I greatly appreciate that idea. I think that might be a good idea! Heck, even if I sold a few thousand it would help me to survive. Thank you for that and for your kind compliments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Paraglider— Thank you! Thank you very much.


patricia66 6 years ago

wow ! i'm enjoying this. I will have to come back and find my way to the beginning . Wonderfully informative!


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

James, another great important hub. Thanks.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Interesting Hub, James, though to balance things out, it should be remembered that Protestants also had no problems with executing a few Catholics when they could. That's why there are so many priest's holes in old English houses. Why anyone wants to kill another human being over religion is totally beyond me - live and let live!


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Awesome hub as always! I have never seen many of the pictures you posted, including John Knox's house.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

I've stopped to get more coffee and while doing so, say things like "I just learned..." You have written so that I can understand and enjoy - straight forward and without nuance toward any 'truth'. This is the first in your series that I have read but I will be retracing for all that I missed thus far. I think ecoggins is absolutely right. You have a book that I would buy in a heartbeat. What a joy it is to find such things here on Hubpages!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

carolina muscle— Thank you for saying so, my brother!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,— You are most assuredly welcome. I think the Catholic Church—and the Protestants as well—can change. With men, this might be impossible, but all things are possible to God. At this time, I think there is a purpose to the many denominations—something for everybody. I believe that one day, all will be united as one.

Thank you so much for the visit and your thoughtful comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

patricia66— I'm glad you are enjoying it. Thank you for coming by and letting me know.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Vladimir Uhri— You are welcome, my brother. Thank you!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

CMHypno— You are absolutely correct that killing was perpetrated by all sides. Thankfully, this idea of killing people over religion is long gone among Christians. Now if we could get those Muslims on board . . .


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

GojiJuiceGoodness— Thank you very much for your kind compliments. I appreciate you taking the time to read my work.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I've read all in your series and have enjoyed every one of them. Most of what you've written about I didn't know, so it certainly has been a good learning experience.


rprcarz50 profile image

rprcarz50 6 years ago

Hi James ,

Very nice historical work on this Hub. Great informative read.Thank you for your fine work on this one !

Ron

As Always Also a2z50


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

I am learning so much. I have been a student of religion, but mostly my religion. I have heard second hand things like this, but I haven't know if it was from a skewed view point.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

It's difficult to see where Christ sat in the midst of all this mayhem and madness.

I think every culture has their own tale to tell.As for my country,Catholics suffered for centuries at the hands of protestants-land was pillaged,Catholics were not allowed practice the faith and priests were murdered by the thousands -for being priests.Catholic children were educated in 'hedge schools' ,they were not permitted to attend school-many were murdered when this was discovered.English was forced on the people,they were not allowed speak in their native tongue!Churches were ransacked and taken.

However,with all of this -we have to a large extent ovecome.but our history is a sad one!

No one could ever convince me that any of this was done in the name of Christ.It was greed and a lust for power that drove those evil-doers(who happened to be protestant-this is not a blanket judgement on protestanism!)I have no beef with any religion/faith.

For anyone who thinks Catholicism has lost the plot-go check out a Mass or Catholics in prayer.

I will state that I have never ever, at any point in my life, heard a priest condemn or speak unfavourably about any other religion /faith.I can't say the same for other 'Chrstians'.

Apropos the priest who never read the bible-it seems rather odd,if was he was actually a priest who offered Mass,so much of the Mass is actually reading from the bible!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

James,

It took a long time to read, but time well spent.The church

history is very sad, how could people kill others and voice God,s name?

That,s why i don,t belong to any organized religion. I don,t

call myself a christian, i prefer a born again believer.

I believe there are good people in all churches, as well as bad, God will judge. To my way of thinking, God is within you, a multi dollar building is just a building, money could be spent to feed the world.

God Bless You and the work you do


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

SilverGenes— I thank you for your marvelous accolades. You made my day! :-)

I greatly appreciate this visitation, your interest in the rest of the series, and you letting me know that you approve of my efforts.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

sheila b.— You've read them all!? WOW! Thank you very much. I am so glad that you've enjoyed reading them. Makes a man feel good. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

rprcarz50— Hello Ron!

You are surely welcome, my friend. Thank you for the nice things you wrote to me. I do appreciate it.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

HealthyHanna— Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to read my work and to let me know you like it.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Have never heard this term, anabaptists? You have taught me a lesson, I did not know:) Have to say anyone forcing another to do anything, is defeating their own purposes. So thankful, in this world we live in, we can still exercise free will:) By the Grace of God, I should say:) Thank you for another, good history lessons!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Excellent and detailed work as usual. Yes, a masterpiece, Polly


J D Murrah profile image

J D Murrah 6 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas

James,

Once again you did a wonderful job on this hub. Covering so many people and events on one page is a challenge. You covered the high points and presented the material, both the good and bad in a straight forward manner. I enjoyed it as I have enjoyed your other hubs.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great piece James! God is the God of all!


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I so do enjoy your hub on the history of religions.

Keep on hubbing!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

James, I hate to sound like a broken record here but ecoggins is right. This is worthy. I am eager to start at the beginning and read all of your previous hubs in the compilation of the History of Christianity Series.

Studying the old books and theological papers is mind numbing at times and you have presented all of this with such clarity using plain English.

Parts of this remind me of the catechism classes we had to take not to mention the church history in high school.

Awesome job James, I am beyond impressed.


djbraman@gmail.com 6 years ago

It is amazing looking at the history of the church and see how so many doctrines became because of men's beliefs. I would like to see a great awakening where we can just get back to the full gospel instead of half of it. Good work James!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins— Yes, I know you are right about the ravaging of Ireland by the English. I'm sure I'll get to that soon as my story progresses.

There has been historically a lot of anti-Catholic bias in the US but it has faded fast since the election of JFK. 4 of the 9 Justices on our Supreme Court are Catholics (4 others are Jews and there is about to be only one Protestant. It was once all Protestant).

The Roman Catholic Church officially does not consider Protestant churches to be churches at all, and does not consider Protestant ministers to be valid Christian leaders, and considers individual Protestants to be ignorant. Protestants are still officially considered heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. I believe the Council of Trent pronounced all Protestants were damned to hell and Vatican II in 1960s affirmed that, right (Anathema)? I could be wrong.

I am hopeful for everybody to coe back together in the future as one Church.

I meant no offense. I'm just reporting what my research uncovered. Thank you for your graciousness.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

always exploring— I'm sorry the article was so long. But I'm glad you took the time to read it. I like that term: Born again believer. I like this line that you wrote:

"I believe there are good people in all churches, as well as bad, God will judge"

Amen! And God Bless You Sister


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

heart4theword— You are most welcome. Thank you for coming by to visit and letting me know I was graced with your presence.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Pollyannalana— Thank you for the accolades! I feel better already. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

J D Murrah— I am well pleased that enjoy my work, brother. Thank you for reading my article and for your kind compliments. Godspeed.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

The Roman Catholic Church officially ....... Christian leaders, and considers individual Protestants to be ignorant'

No,this is most definitely not the case,and it's sad that this is your belief. The Catholic church very much acknowledges the communion of saints,i.e. all baptised Christians.Protestants are not regarded as ignorant by any means and in fact are very much accepted-as indeed they should be-.However,the RC church would regard the Mass as the ultimate prayer-and therefore would see the absence of the Mass as an emptiness in another faith/church.

Pope John Paul 11 wrote very eloquently on protestantism (among others) in one of his books(the name eludes me right now!)

I wasn't offended at all-but there is huge ignorance re the Catholic church.

It's an excellent hub-as always and I know you are imparting information as opposed to personal opinion.However ,I was just availing of an opportunity to give my 2cents worth:)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Micky Dee— Yes He is! Thank you brother for your support.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

eovery— I'll keep on hubbin' as long as I can. Thanks for visiting and letting me know you appreciate my work.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Joni Douglas— It is gratifying to read your laudatory remarks about my work here. I find history exciting but I know most are bored by it. I do my best to transfer some of the excitement I feel about it in these Hubs. It's nice to be recognized. Thank you very much! :D


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

You do realize that you are our very own history channel, don't you? You just write it all so perfectly and the pics enhance the writing! I love history and I think the more we know, the better people we are for it - it certainly can't hurt to try and understand where we've gone wrong along the way! Thank you for making us think!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

djbraman@gmail.com— I almost didn't recognize you out of uniform. :-)

I'm with you: a Great Awakening is needful right now. Thank you for coming by and for your compliments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins— The Vatican: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense.

I just read yesterday on three different Catholic websites (I entered into Google "Does the Catholic Church believe Protestants are saved) and all three said it is possible for Protestants to be saved because they are ignorant of the truth. If they are not ignorant—that is, if they realize the Catholic is the only Church of Christ on earth—then they cannot be saved, because instead of ignorance (which might be excusable) it would be willful disobedience.

I know individual Catholics such as you and my many Catholic friends do not believe this way. But I was searching for the official position of the Church. What I found was that the Council of Trent pronounced Anathema (cursed damnation) of Protestants and that this hasn't been repealed because to do so would go against papal infallibility.

I do appreciate your graciousness. You are quite a lady and fine soul, in my book. Thank you for the engaging conversations.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

akirchner— You are quite welcome. Thank you very much for your warm words of affirmation. I truly appreciate what you wrote to me.


TinaMarieTad profile image

TinaMarieTad 6 years ago from Michigan

James~ What a wealth of imformation on the reformers! I am thankful for Arminius, as I think he was spot on. Your series is so informative and provides a factual journey though Christian history that is so interesting and profound to read about. Thanks for wonderful journey!


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

James

Ok,at the risk of being somewhat like a dog at a bone!

This is from the 'Catechism of the Catholic church',which is for the want of a better word the 'rule book'.It was revised in recent years by none other than Cardinal Ratzinger(current pope).I think it speaks for itself.

791 The body's unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: "In the building up of Christ's Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church."222 The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: "From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice."223 Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."224

This is the Catholicism with which I am familiar:)


randslam profile image

randslam 6 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

James, this is the first hub in your series that I've read. You are absolutely astounding. I was first raised under the tutelage of the faith that Menno Simons began, as both my parents were born into Mennonitism. You mention Jacob Hutter, whose collonial communism flourishes in Canada and the U. S., both Simons and Hutter being sects of the Anabaptist movement and I thank you.

I have been studying history and religion for over 40 years but have never read as brief and comprehensive a work as this short hub--so I will be reading most, if not all of your other hubs.

You have a marvelous book with this compilation that all religious leaders, fanatics and members should read to learn from the past--quickly.

I thank you and look forward to finishing reading the rest of your hubs.

One last comment, the Early Egyptians had Horus, Ra and Isis as their trinity--do you think it a coincidence that Isis is as Mary, Horus was resurrected and Ra was the Sun God?

Thank you so much for your work--and I look forward to hearing more words from you in regards for the need for tolerance--tolerance in all religions, faiths and creeds. It is the only method that will work for people of faith.

Rand


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

TinaMarieTad— I am thankful for Arminius, too, my dear. Thank you for the laudations. I am encouraged by your words and you are most welcome.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James,

Thank you again for you history of Christianity. I can see why I could never find a church to satisfy my needs. I am a believer in Jesus but I detest all the violence perpetrated in His Holy name!!!!!!!!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins— Wow! That's great! I am relieved to read this. Thank you for the gracious correction. I appreciate tenacity. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

randslam— Wow! I am humbly grateful to read your praise of my work, Rand. Thank you very much, brother. How interesting that you were raised a Mennonite. I have not met any such person before. This is a pleasure to hear from you. I was raised with Baptists on one side and Pentecostals on the other—both hell and damnation types. :D

I am thinking of combining all of this into a book when I'm done. I appreciate your interest and you are welcome.

I don't know what to think about the Egyptians.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth— I hear you, brother. It is quite a story how we got from there to here. I enjoy researching it and telling it. You are welcome and thank you for your remarks.


vr106 profile image

vr106 6 years ago

Here is the website of church that traces their roots back to the reformers. http://www.rcus.org


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

vr106— That is a fine website. Thanks for the link. I appreciate this visitation as well.


Esrom Art profile image

Esrom Art 6 years ago from Indonesia

For me, you did write deep and conscious topic. You are the great hubber in my opinion. I did not have comment about your writing... excellent! Keep writing great topic. Thanks a lot James A Watkins.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Esrom Art— You are welcome, my friend. Thank you for coming by to visit. I appreciate your nice compliments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


rondre64 profile image

rondre64 6 years ago

Another fine piece James.

Where do you find the time to write so much? I struggle just coming up with ideas let alone then getting the time to get them written.

But keep up the great work.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

rondre64— Thank you. I work on HubPages all the time. I have five more to put out this week and I'm done until after Labor Day. I must concentrate on getting my book done this summer. I appreciate your encouragement.


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 6 years ago from South Lanarkshire

First class as always. And as ever you obey the first rule of history - Whatever your personal view, never ascribe an anachronistic paradigm to an historical epoch or character.

You tell it like it was, not like it is.

Those you write of, thought as they thought, believed as they believed and said what they said. You clearly understand that while we may offer a modern viewpoint, we must do so without straying into revisionism.

I concur with many: your series is encyclopaedic yet approachably concise. You should combine the finished opus into a book.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Allan McGregor— Thank you Brother! I may well combine these Hubs into a book when I am finished. I appreciate the encouragement. I always love to read your wise words.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is a lesion for Christian as well as non-Christian to know the historical facts of Christianity.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury— Thank you, kind sir. I appreciate your remarks and your readership.


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

A++ on this hub, James. Nothing else need be said!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

susanlang— Thank you! Thank you very much.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

James A Watkins, Brilliant commentary on the Protestant Reformation! Fascinating historical presentation of collective contributors! Sad yet true! It is amazing how one goes to such great lengths to exert much energy to impose or force religious beliefs on others to get them to conform… But does it serve the purpose of the Holy Scriptures? What is so interesting is; the Lord allows us all to choose?

“Without free will there would be no such thing as disobedience. Therefore God permits evil but never wills it. If hearts are hardened, they are hardened by the sinners themselves—not by God, as Calvin had said. God desires all men to be saved by coming to the knowledge of the truth. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, not just the elect. ” This is a true and powerful statement!

It becomes increasingly clear that from the beginning denominationalism is of man and is instrumental in bringing much continuing division to God’s Church! "TRUTH sets you FREE!" I believe to a large degree initially the intent is to refine and shed Light on the TRUTH of God’s Word! However the thirst for power, competiveness, exclusivity, control and domination serves to call one to wonder; is it your church or your church? There is only One true Church! Christianity was meant to be a daily lifestyle!

Thank you Professor! for this very informative read! Your gift is well showcased here! This brings to mind my seminary studies… I see the debates have only continued… In HIS Love, Peace, Joy & Blessings!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— How refreshing to hear your voice again.

I agree with you, of course, that forced conversion is opposed to Scripture. And yes, I agree with Arminius whom you quoted in your comments.

Man did and does bring division to the Body of Christ. My hope is that all God's children will come together as one some day. And I believe they will.

Thank you so much for the encouraging word. I appreciate your laudations and blessings. You are the best!


Joyful Pamela profile image

Joyful Pamela 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

Thanks for the interesting information in your article. Some I've studies before, others are new to me. Your research and writing are excellent.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Joyful Pamela— You are quite welcome. I greatly appreciate your accolades. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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