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Lessons From Church History

Lessons From Church History

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Lessons From Church History

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  1. Lessons From Church History Early Church to Reformation Reformation Era Reformation to Present

  2. Why Study Church History? • See God is a God of Purpose • See our great heritage • Keeps our walk in perspective • See it is actually “His Story” • See there is nothing new under the sun “One thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history”

  3. Features in Every Move of God • Lord Jesus is the practical/living Head • The Holy Spirit is given His rightful place • The Word of God is the sole authority • Functioning of priesthood of all believers • Love of the brethren manifest • Cross is working daily in believers’ lives • Testimony to & separation from world

  4. Birth of the Church • Predetermined before foundation of world • Adam & Eve: picture of Christ & the Church • A product of Christ’s travail on the cross • Church on earth begins in the book of Acts • 120 individuals baptized into one Body Acts 1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach

  5. The Early Church • Church had a healthy birth • Grows in spite of problems • Spread to the Gentiles • Christians considered a “sect of Judaism” • AD 64: Nero burns Rome & blames Christians • AD 70: Temple destroyed (no earthly center) Now: Christian: illegal; Jew: legal Spread through Roman empire. Why?

  6. Spread of Christianity Practical Reasons • Roman road system & control of sea • Safe movement along trade routes 3. Common language-Greek Primary Reasons • Gospel offered unbiased hope to all • Lives of the believers were a living testimony • Testimony of the martyrs

  7. Church Problems 100-312 External • Persecution by Roman Empire • Pagan Intellectuals Internal • Heresy: Either wrong concept of man or God • Disputes over church government • Disputes over Lord’s Supper & Baptism

  8. Roman Persecutions

  9. Constantine 312 Conversion • Going into battle had a vision • Inscription ofaCross "By This Sign Conquer" • Wins & made Emperor Of Western Empire Edict of Milan: freedom of religion proclaimed • Restores all church buildings/property • Sends funds to each city to pay clergy • Clergy exempted from local laws • Soldiers get clothes and money for conversion

  10. Impact of Constantine • Christianity became the State religion • Emperor becomes head of visible church • Church becomes open by all; popular, accepted • Now many unbelievers within the church What the enemy couldn’t do through persecution, he did by corruption within

  11. Impact of Unholy Alliance 4th Century Political capital moves to Constantinople Roman church assumes power in Western world 5th Century “No salvation outside the Roman church" Worship of Mary begins (Mother of God) Leo the Great claims Rome's bishop is Pope

  12. Faithful Witnesses 1. Ulfilas(c.310-380) Apostle of the Goths a. Invented alphabet & translated scripture to Gothic b. His earnest faith & life won the people to Christ. 2. Priscillian(c.350-385)Spain, Portugal & France. a. Taught the reality of Christ should effect your life b. First christian martyred by Roman church in 385 3. Ninian(c.360-432) Scotland to the Celts & Picts a. Simply preached Word of God and many saved b. Ministered among druids & many came to the Lord

  13. Faithful Witnesses (cont.) 3. Patrick (c.389-461) Apostle to Ireland, born in Scotland a.. Captured/enslaved as a youth in Ireland b. Escaped back to Scotland; Returned to Ireland in 432 c. Many came to the Lord in Ireland 4. Columba (c.521-597)From Ireland went to Hebrides a. Iona: a community with plurality of leadership b. Brethren went out by 12’s to Britain & Europe 5. Nestorius (c.400-451)Born in Syria a. Emphasized humanity of Christ b. Mary not "mother of God“ b. Exiled he/his followers went to Persia, India & China

  14. The Dark Ages • The period from about 500 to 1500 • The Roman Church gains world power • Rise of Monasticism (Franciscans, Dominicans) • The Crusades: 1096-1248 (all failed) • The Inquisitions • The birth and rise of Islam • Bible restricted to the clergy

  15. “A Silver Thread in Dark Times” • In spite of dark times God had His Testimony • Suffered great persecution & martyrdom • Called “heretics” by Roman church • Bible was the authority-not the pope • Church is from God not man • Lived simple lives, free from the world • Only called themselves “Christians”

  16. Montanists • Prominent from about 156 for 400 years • Mainly in Turkey & North Africa • Saw declension of Roman church starting • Called for a return to Biblical way • Charismatic in nature • Rejected the growing power of bishops • Rejected unbelievers into church membership • Key brethren: Tertullian

  17. Novations • Prominent from the 4th to 6th centuries • Mainly in Italy • Came out of Roman church • Emphasized inner character, not merely taking the sacraments • Greatly influenced Donatists of North Africa • Key men martyred: Cornelius, Novation

  18. Paulicians 1. Prominent from 7th to 9th centuries 2. Mainly: Armenia, Asia minor & Mesopotamia 3. Key brethren: Silvanus, Titus, and Timothy 4. Key writings: “The Key of Truth“ 5. Spiritual unity found in Christ; not teaching 6. Under persecution many fled to the Balkans 7. Others allied with Muslims & were defeated

  19. Bogomils 1. Prominent from the 8th to 14th centuries 2. Mainly: Balkans, esp. Croatia, Bosnia, & Serbia 3. Key brethren: Basil the physician. 4. Practiced priesthood of all believers, Lord’s Table, plurality of leadership 5. Greatly persecuted by Pope's crusades 6. Finally in 1463 allied with the Muslim Turks

  20. Cathars or Puritans 1. Prominent from the 9th to 12th centuries 2. Mainly in northern Italy and southern France 3. Key brethren: Claudius, Peter de Brueys & Henri of Cluny (all martyred) 4. Word of God led many from superstitions into believers baptism, Lord’s Table & life 5. Attacked by Bernard of Clairvaux

  21. Waldenses & Albigenses 1. Prominent from the 10thto 17th centuries 2. Mainly in northern Italy and southern France 3. Key brethren: Peter Waldo 4. Never part of Roman church 5. Endured great persecution/many martyred 6. In 16thcentury joined the reformation

  22. Key Dates of Waldenses 1160 Peter Waldo-saved-translated scripture Sends preachers 2x2-"poor men of Lyons” 1163 Pope forbids any contact with them • Crusade/Inquisition against the region “Who do we kill? Kill them all” (50K) • In 100s of villages every inhabitant massacred 1400 Many flee over mountain to Switzerland 1686 Edict of Nantes revoked: renewed persecution 1689 Return in brave march over mountains

  23. Friends of God 1. Lived during the 14th century 2. Mainly in Strasburg, Cologne & Basel 3. Key brethren: Eckhart, John Tauler, Nicholas & Henry Suso 4. Key writings: "TheologiaGermanica" 5. Mystics: emphasized communion w/God 6. Met in hidden places for prayer/Lord’s supper

  24. Brethren of Common Life 1. Lived during the 15th century 2. Mainly in the Netherlands, esp. Deventer 3. Key brethren: John Ruysbroeck/Gerard Groote/Thomas A’ Kempis 4. Key writings: "The Imitation of Christ“ 5. Laymen who lived under a rule of community and devoted their lives to teaching and other practical services 6. Emphasized Christian based education

  25. Forerunners of Reformation • John Wycliffe c. 1329-1384 • John Huss c. 1373-1415 • John of Wessel c. 1420-1489 • GirolamoSavanarola c. 1452-1498 • Desiderius Erasmus c. 1466-1538

  26. John Wycliffe • “Morning Star of the Reformation” • Emphasized authority of Bible • Translated most of bible in English • Denied Transubstantiation & Indulgences • Lollards: lay preachers went out 2x2 • Many imprisoned & martyred • Wycliffe condemed; saved by earthquake

  27. John Huss • Jerome heard Wycliffe in Oxford • Returned to Prague & Huss awakened • Great awakening: Bohemia & Central Europe • Emphasized Bible & believers baptism • All believers can take cup & loaf • Burned at the stake 1415 • United Brethren came out of Hussites

  28. Conditions Preceding Reformation 1. 1453: Capture of Constantinople by the Turks -Many learned Greeks to the West -Renaissance: "new birth" 2. 1455: Printing press 3. Enlargement of men’s minds/activities -Discovery of America by Columbus -Discovery of the solar system by Copernicus 4. Nationalism increased vs. Empires of the past 5. Rise of a middle class of merchants

  29. William Tyndale • Lived from c.1494-1536 • Fled England & lived in exile in Germany • Translated New Testament into English • NT smuggled into England • Has great impact upon ordinary people • 1536:Brussels; caught, tortured & martyred • Prayer: “Oh Lord, open the eyes of the King”

  30. Major Reformers • Martin Luther (1453-1546) Germany • 1517 Posted 95 Theses • Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) Switzerland • Killed in battle against Catholics • John Calvin (1509-1564) France/Switzerland • 1536 Persuaded by Farel to help in Geneva • John Knox (1514-1572) Scotland • 1559 Led reformation in Scotland

  31. Impact of Reformation • Restored authority of the Word of God • Recovered truth of justification by faith • Recovered believers access directly to God through Jesus Christ • Saw the truth of priesthood of all believers, but did not practice it • Fell short of fully returning to simplicity of church life as seen in scriptures

  32. Radical Reformation • Saw the reformers did not go far enough • Rejected Church-State alliances • Rejected infant baptism • Church only those born again • Practiced church discipline • Maintained principle of holy living • Only called themselves Christians • Persecuted by both Catholics & Protestants

  33. Anabaptists • First came together in Zurich, Switzerland • 1525-1st baptism • 1525-Council orders all children to be baptized • 1525-1st Anabaptist martyr-burned at the stake • 1526-Any who are baptized whouldbe drowned • 1526-Grebel-close to Zwingli-died of plague • 1526-Manz was arrested and drowned • 1st martyr at hands of Protestants • 1529-Blaurock caught and martyred

  34. Anabaptists (cont.) • 1525-Micael Sattler saved/forced to leave native village Served in Germany preaching & teaching • 1527 Conference held to determine nature of faith Meeting discovered by authorities Sattler: tortured publicly & burned His wife was drowned 8 days later • Tremendous slaughter and persecution continued • Hated by both Catholics & Protestants • PTL: Could not be stopped by the power of this world

  35. THE SCHLEITHEIM CONFESSION l. Only baptize ones who have been saved by the work of Christ. 2. The local expression of the church is a company of regenerate people whose daily lives are lived by the faith they profess. Their fellowship is symbolized in their partaking of the Lord's supper. 3. Discipline must be exercised within the churches. 4. These should live a life of separate from the sin of the world and from subservience to the flesh or anything that would compromise their faith. This included a separation from the rites of the Roman, Lutheran and Zwinglian parties. 5. Officers of a local church are set apart by the church, and are to edify the believers by the teaching and preaching of the Word. 6. Believers should not resort to force for themselves or the State

  36. Anabaptists (cont.) Enemy tries to destroy/discredit from within 1534 The Munster tragedy Great excess by false prophets Much immorality and abuse within city 1535: Catholics surround city and destroy 1536 Menno Simmons saved in Netherlands Devoted to strengthening ones scattered & hurt because of Munster tragedy 1543Had to flee to Germany--death penalty on his head Ministered & wrote until death in 1559

  37. Huguenots 1555Calvinism comes to France & 1000’s saved 1559 First Huguenot synod held in Paris 1562 Massacre at Vassybegins religious wars 1572Catherine de Medici orders death of Coligny Aug 1572 St. Bartholomew’s day massacre. 100K 1585Huguenot/Protestants expelled 1598Edict of Nantes gives religious liberty 1685 Edict of Nantes revoked; 400K fleeThose remained called: “church of the desert”

  38. Protestant Reaction Roman Catholic Church__ 1787 Methodist _ 1534 Anglican ___________ _Presbyterian Ca.1560 _Independents/Congregational 1612 Baptist _1517 Lutheran _1520 Reformed _1525 Anabaptist Catholics separated man from God; Protestants separated man from man

  39. God’s Reaction • Soon the Protestant churches formalized • Had an orthodox outward form but little life • Gathered around a man or form of authority God in His faithfulness continues on • Two major movements • Puritans: focus on truth & character • Pietism: focus on inner life & experience

  40. Puritan Influence c.1560-1680 Congregational/Independent --Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679) --John Owen (1616-1683) Presbyterian --Richard Baxter (1615-1691) --Matthew Henry (1662-1714) Puritans Scottish covenanters --Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) --Richard Cameron (1648-1680) Baptist --John Smyth (1554-1612) --John Robinson (1575-1625) --John Bunyan (1628-1688)

  41. English Puritans 1531 Anglican church separates from Rome King is now head of the church All dissent severely persecuted 1603 Many flee to other countries for religious freedom 1662 Act of Uniformity to Church of England All ministers had to sign Over 2,000 left the Church (Non-Conformists) Weaknesses noted Accepted partial truth to exclusion of others Limited freedom to gain fuller understanding

  42. Puritan Quotes 1620: John Robinson's charge to the Speedwell “I charge you before God that you follow me no further than you have seen me follow Jesus. If God reveals anything to you by another instrument of His, be ready to receive it as you were any truth by my ministry. I am persuaded the Lord has much more truth to break forth from His Holy Word.”