Church History: The Reformation, Part 1
The Western church was a mess.
The papacy was staggering under the weight of political machinations and avarice.
The bishops and clergy were the instigators and profiteers of corruption, both financial and moral.
Church offices were purchased with the expectation of future profits…the practice of simony.
The people in the pews were feeling disconnected from the church…and used and abused by its leaders.
The feudal system was collapsing, the masses feeling crushed economically, and the poor no longer believed the church was there for them.
Theologically, the last century had seen the birth of “humanism” a call back to the original sources both in the church and in philosophy.
In the providence of God, publishing was making Greek manuscripts available from the East that challenged the integrity of the Vulgate and the printed works of Augustine were bringing the greatest father of the West back to prominence.
The Waldensians and the Hussites,the followers of Wycliffe and Tyndale , the erudition of Erasmus…all these proto Reformation ideas and martyrs were suddenly brought to new light and influence.
A perfect storm was brewing that would explode into the Protestant Reformation.
It was Martin Luther that would come first, bearing the thunder.
It is with him that we will begin our study in our next article.
Well, gosh. Times haven’t changed much, now, have they? Danged sinners…. all of ’em/us/me.
We may need to do another Reformation…we’re due. 🙂
I wonder if the Catholic Church would have, could have turned itself around. Probably not.
In Ortholandia, we sometimes have terrible bishops and it looks like the gates of hell are about to prevail but then something always happens to set the ship aright. We’ve never had a Reformation but every time a corrupt bishop dies (or is thrown out of office) and is replaced by a genuine man of God, reformation has taken place.
The EO church is self-correcting, largely I think, because we are decentralized. Things can sour in one geographic area w/o affecting the whole Church.
Good observation…you’re probably right about that.
Along that thought, Xenia and Michael, does not the Protestant church simply segment into 500 different creatures? Whether that be theologically, geographically…..
I’ve thought about that quite a little bit.
The Roman Catholic Church is so big, but there are many “subgroups” within.
The Protestant church, in America at least, spins off into a gazillion little niches….
Thank God for His providence…..
Thank God for His providence referring to Luther and what he did in his time….
We will document all those splits as we go.
There is a some difficulty from giving everyone their own Bible… 🙂
I completely agree that we need a reformation in Modern Christianity.Yet I can only imagine what a blood letting it would be.The spiritaul country side is full of groups who think they are the only ones that are right and everybody else is just plain apostasy.
A teaser if I’ve ever seen one 🙂
This thread (and this part of history) is not about Orthodoxy, so forgive me.
JTK, all Eastern Orthodox Churches are self-ruled yet are united in doctrine. For example, the Greeks have their own hierarchy (patriarch, archbishops, bishops) and the Russians have theirs. However, the theology, Tradition, and Liturgy is the same and the Russians and the Greeks recognize each other as genuine Orthodox Churches. So we are decentralized in government and united in Tradition. I am a member of a Russian parish but I can receive communion at a Serbian, Bulgarian, American, Arab, Greek, etc. parish. So it’s not the same as the Protestants who have divided over doctrine or the same as the Catholics who all have the same doctrine and are united under one ruler, their Pope.
Despite this decentralization, Orthodox churches are quite uniform across the world. Same vestments, hymns, calendar,* feast days, fasts, Saints, etc. The difference between a Greek parish and a Russian parish is mostly language and the food served at coffee hour. There is a lot more diversity among Catholic Churches, even with their centralized leadership.
*The calendar is the same for everyone except part of Orthodoxy (mostly Greek) has adopted the Gregorian Calendar (secular calendar) and the rest (mostly Slavic) has retained the Julian (old style) calender. This situation causes endless debates among the Orthodox.
An honest question, am I way off base if I was to say that Luther may have struggled with some type of mental illness do to extreme physical issues and childhood experiences? This is not meant to demean him as a person, priest, Pastor, or theologian? Thank You.
Xenia, you’re welcome to comment on any thread at any time…it adds a richness and depth that myself and the readers will otherwise be denied.
Yes, you’re off base.
I’ll address that at the end of the Luther series…there is no evidence of either a bad childhood or mental illness.
We have to look elsewhere to understand some of his behavior and outrageous statements.
I was looking at my left hand, two brown scars. I could care less if people believe me but, when I blocked that fork it went near the bone. She did manage to take out one eye but she could still see. I never knew what to do with that, what do you do with a woman that sticks foreign objects in to private parts, rips her scalps down to near the bone or digs in other private parts to when the person bleeds. Look folks I dont know what to do with what I saw, I am still trying to process what my father saw to try to come to some type of resolution. Granted this is emotionalism, thus useless but it effects me. I mean this women tried to take out her eye and it was just a back handed block that prevented it.
I dont parade this tripe around to look at me, if God sent me to hell, He would be doing me a favor, I get that. But it bothers me, I struggle with it. No game, no apologetic, I just struggle with it. Shame on me for that and I get that as well. Offered for what it is worth. I would appreciate prayer to find some peace in all this. Thanks.
Michael I tend to agree with you, but Luther lived in a time of magic, and it effected him. He was a man of his time, actually he rose above his time in some ways but lowered his time as well. My take on it, he did the best with what he had at the time, he effected eternity in the temporal. I E God met us where are need was, like an artist. Another reason I am an universalist. Because it will restore those I have worked with into the kingdom. I mean this I could care less if it saves me, I dont deserve saving, but I have been to so many mountain tops and have seen such bravery, those souls deserve, by grace to be saved. Does that make sense to anyone?
I WANT to know your perspective.
I literally have never met another Eastern Orthodox person in my life.
And I am the most outgoing person I’ve ever met.
I talk to strangers nearly every day, almost everywhere I go.
Thank you, JTK!