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Where’s OUR “Waldensian Dissent”? They let women preach in 1200 AD. Today, We PAY (private and public) Religious Groups who still won’t!

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What they did, and endured, should not be forgotten — or dismissed.

As it turns out, the Inquisition was essentially developed, in part, to attack this one group, who began with (it seems) one wealthy merchant in Lyons — having heard some of the Bible addressed to a rich man (which he was) — decided to actually do it.  At this time, perhaps only 10% of the population was literate, and the language of science and religion was Latin.  The man, how undoubtedly read his own language (being a merchant) got some translators — and the rest is history.

This group was Ahead of their Times as we are over 800 yrs later, Behind Theirs.

From 1179 AD, Who practiced what they preached – men AND women

From what I can tell, neither armies (whether of Kings or of Popes) exterminated them in their scattered and clandestine state — but apparently an ecumenical appeal to join the Reformation — quit wandering around preaching and stay put, build your own churches (which took place in 1532, by which time this group must have been exhausted, terrorized, and barely holding on, though holding on they certainly were) — and shortly AFTER that some of the worst massacres took place.

This just goes to show what can happen when a group of people makes a determine to practice what is preached, and gets its own access to the information (in this case, it happened to be primarily the Bible), and starts thinking independently about propaganda.  And, in this case, from the start it appears that women were allowed to speak, and even preach.   I am sure the literacy level improved in the process — but they took on the litterati of the era.

So what are we, in the USA doing now?  We are contributing to the church that is called the Federal Government (at least of late) and asking it for protection, social services, and our money’s worth.  We are not organizing to get the Executive Order rescinded of 2001 which helps deactivate just over HALF the population of the land (the female half) within religious orders, but allowing certain chosen figureheads (male and female) to rise to the top, in an effort to make sure more don’t have a true voice in raising their own kids, or an equal shot at survival economically — should they have children and not get or stay married.

I excerpted this from the post about “Christian Sects in the Statehouse.” I really believe as a whole, we do not accept how much of religious dogma — the negative and the positive — has saturated our culture, particularly the justice and legal systems.

Crimes committed against certain categories of people are simply real crimes.   These people are walking around, some of (us) in shock and dismay about how to plan any sort of future relating to the country we live in, let alone develop social support systems which don’t consist of institutions.

If people want to believe all kinds of fantastical things — let them.  But don’t pay them to do this unless that payment is fully-informed, and voluntary.  Right now, in far more organizations than we want to acknowledge — some are born into this, some convert into it, some unwittingly marry into it –the bottom line of their religious identity is control of females, and an exaggerated sense of gender identity.

The history of the Waldensians shows you just how far people of — allegedly — the SAME religion — will go to persecuting those who differ from ALL its stipulations.  Where this particular group really offended was preaching by the laity, and involving women in this as well.  The other issues they were known by (including the issue of poverty) were less radical.  They were chased into some valleys in the Italian alps (as I understand the history).

I hope you make it through the post; it’s fascinating, and made me think hard, again, about what I stand for — to read about this particular group.  I have mixed feelings about their having eventually — the year being about 1532 — having come out of secrecy (for sheer physical safety reasons) — and blended into Calvinism and the newly emerging Reformation groups. . . . . .which I address towards the bottom of the post, keeping it a little more chronological..    When dealing with these things, it’s good to keep one’s centuries straight.  The Waldensians (“the Poor of Lyons”) appear to have begun c. 1179.

At the end, I look a little more at Calvin (whose cousin, it turns out, interacted with the Waldensians and at their expense and under their care — after CENturiES of fierce persecution against their practices by both civil and religious forces, unbelievably cruel stuff — after some meetings between the surviving Waldensians, holed up in the foothills of the Alps (?) — and the leaders of the Reformation, which they had been hearing of, and to whom they sent messengers (only one returned alive) and received messengers, for a certain “Synod of Chanforan” — translated the Bible into French), Calvin very likely was inspired by this group, and dates some of his conversion to around this time. However, he became himself a fierce prosecutor of heretics, and responsible for at least one burning at the stake later, having betrayed the person.

I felt this was relevant, because it was also after the Waldensians came out of hiding, so to speak, in 1532ff, quit itinerant preaching, and starting building a church — that some serious massacres followed. Who knows what might have happened had they refused overtures from the leaders of the Reformation — physical extermination? Or continued preservation of their practices, although not so widespread — including having women preach!

This should be framed in terms of the use of force to establish doctrine, and in the question of which counts more — doctrine & practice? Or propagation, for which a nice ecumenical agreement is sought?

And if so, what better thing to agree upon than the subjugation and restriction of women are representatives of God, or functionaries (priests, etc.), which has a universal, if not instinctive, appeal..



PURGATORY, CANONIZATION OF SAINTS, ETC.

A brief review of the matter of Purgatory brought back to my attention an amazing religious group, started in the late 1100s — which essentially helped jump-start the Reformation.    They were called “the Poor of Lyons” and/or the “Waldensians.”  An article from Catholic Encyclopedia reminded me, and in looking up just a little documentation (as I do), was drawn into a full-day review of this group’s history.

Before anyone had translated the Bible into “English,” this group was translating it into “Provencal,” which (predates French?).  Moreover, they emphasized preaching over ecclesiastical privilege (you can imagine how well that was received) — AND they had men AND women preaching and teaching.

In the 1200s.   . . . . .   In response, after the Catholics had finished off the “Albigenses” (below), they turned to literally exterminating this one group, after it was excommunicated, and still refused to reform its adherence on scripture and “lay preaching.”

In effect, the group was so persecuted it had a diaspora, covering large segments of Europe, survived cruel and significant massacres, and betrayals.  Villages were decimated; there were bloodbaths.

They influenced John Huss, Calvin, and helped pay for an early translation of the Bible into French by Calvin’s cousin.  The persecution was fierce and spanned several hundred years.  Maybe it was timing, but it appears that the Inquisition (you’ve heard of that, right?) was formed and organized partly in response to this one group, so threatening was their individual empowerment of men (and women) to society and the status quo.  A French king sent an army against them.  It’s an absolutely amazing story.

However, I’m removing most of it to a separate post, which will probably be called something foolish, such as “Where’s Waldo” (as their name was the Waldensians).

By seeing how this group was treated (not to mention also Jews and “Saracens”), we can see the TRUE NATURE of virtually any religion once it obtains “temporal” power, and what it will do when indoctrination fails.  I also have to again ask — if women were preaching in the 1200s, why can they not so many places in the 2000s — and what does that say about our “evolved” society?

The only answer — really — is to prevent too much centralization of power.  In order to do that, I hate to say this — but the help of women is needed.  And these groups which are disenfranchising us based on religious beliefs need to be put on an equal level with any other business — and lose their tax perks AND federal grants.  I don’t care how powerful the Bush Family has been — they’re not the good guys no matter which way you look at things.  Moreover, no US President in recent decades has been that much of a “good guy.”  We need to stop being so codependent and tolerant of the massive accumulation of wealth, by people who know exactly how to hide it also (such as the Unification church, and such as certain religious groups, who do not have to expose their tax returns, are).

I know noncustodial mothers in some of these religious groups (except Unification church), and hope they will begin to understand why it’s best to make sure ALL this funding of marriage-promotion within the US federal government (especially through welfare, formally called “TANF” ) is ceased.  Is it really too late to try?

I have left the beginning of the discussion of the Waldensians, but gutted most of it to elsewhere, and will post a link here or as a comment to this post.

REGARDING PURGATORY, ETC….

(from “Catholic Encylopedia” listed at “Newadvent.org”)

Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is aplace or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

The faith of the Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed in the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence (Mansi, t. XXXI, col. 1031), and in the decree of the Council of Trent which (Sess. XXV) defined:

“Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of thefaithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synodenjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful” (Denzinger, “Enchiridon”, 983).


Now, I AM talking about issues regarding THIS life, specifically which are affecting people I know, have affected me, and have deeply affected my children, and I believe, compromised and impoverished their futures (needlessly) under promises of policies doing the exact opposite.  My position is, those policies besides coming from these types of religious backgrounds, even when they are NOT from those backgrounds overtly, are supported too tolerantly by those unwilling to take on religion in government as it comes to handling of the genders; it is Still “too hot to handle.”   The feminists have compromised it by going for “supervised visitation” and “training judges” and in general, there has been no purgatory on THIS earth for the healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood agenda, as I’d sure like to see!

from the same Catholic Encyclopedia, one can see there was much arguing on this point, i.e., how is guilt absolved (moreso than the Mormon, who’s married to whom and how can women receive full exaltation in the afterlife by being sealed to a man, without confusing the spirit world unduly….).  This line of reasoning is more relating to guilt and freedom from guilt, forgiveness of sin, etc.  But you can see how much arguing and debating about the matter of “prayers for the dead” and do they work, or not work.  Since at least the fourth century onwards, between Calvinists and Catholics, re: Luther, almost everyone.  I can see how — given how much debate and dissension on this, any cause (in our time) (where these are hardly resolved in practice, whether or not in profession) a unifying cause such as the one of marriage and restoring men to the “heads of their household” might have wide religious appeal!

Just another taste of the matter in this by now huge post:

Epiphanius(Haer., lxxv, P.G., XLII, col. 513) complains that Aërius(fourth century) taught that prayers for the dead were of no avail.

In the Middle Ages, the doctrine of purgatory was rejected by the AlbigensesWaldenses, and HussitesSt. Bernard (Serm. lxvi in Cantic., P.L. CLXXXIII, col. 1098) states that the so-called “Apostolici” denied purgatory and the utility ofprayers for the departed.

Albigenses, I gather, were a sect from the south of France from the 12th and 13th centuries; dualistic:  spirit is good, but flesh and matter was created by the evil principle; life on earth (in all its forms) is hell; there is no resurrection because to be freed from the evil material body is good, and a number of other (what read like very strange) beliefs…    “Alba” meaning white (pure, etc.) Separate sacraments to cleanse the soul after death….  Hence death is good, therefore suicide is good, and marriage/propagation in particular, bad.   Abstinence is good.  etc.  Married sex is bad, etc.  Of course reading a Catholic definition of what is a sect to Catholicism is hardly the best source of its beliefs!

The Waldenses are interesting, in that apparently a wealthy merchant from Lyons (France) hired some priests to translate the gospels, and decided to actually carry out the command of Christ, sell what he had and give to the poor.”  This he did, creating quite a stir, completing distribution of his stuff (and daughters, to a convent) in 1176 and attracting a following, particularly over the teaching that people were to obey God, not man.  It took only 8 years for him to be excommunicated:

The history of Waldes’s conversion may perhaps be reconstructed in the following manner. Desirous of acquiring a knowledge of biblical teaching, Waldes requested two priests to translate for him the four Gospels. In a similar manner he subsequently obtained translations of other Biblical books and of some writings of the Fathers.

Through the reading of these works he was attracted to the practice of Christian perfection; his fervour increased when one day he heard from an itinerant singer (ioculator) the history of St. Alexius. He now consulted a master of theology on the best and surest way to salvation.  In answer the words of Christ to the rich young man were cited to him: “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor.” (Matthew 19:21). Waldes immediately put into effect the counsel of the Divine Master. He made over part of his wealth to his wife, part to those from whom he had acquired it, left some to the nuns of Fontevrault in whose monastery he placed his two little daughters, and distributed the greatest part to the poor. On the feast of the Assumption {{of the Virgin Mary into heaven….}}, 1176, he disposed of the last of his earthly possessions and shortly after took the vow of poverty. His example created a great stir inLyons and soon found imitators, particularly among the lower and uneducated classes. A special confraternity was established for the practice of apostolic poverty.

It gets “worse” from a certain point of view, particularly as they hadn’t been properly educated into the matters of purgatory, and were in the habit of evangelism, i.e., preaching:

 Its members almost immediately began to preach in the streets and public places and gained more adherents. Their preaching, however, was not unmixed with doctrinal error {{sic}} and was consequently prohibited, according to Stephen of Bourbon, by the Archbishop of Lyons, according to Walter Map, present at the assembly, by the Third General Lateran Council (1179). The Waldenses, instead of heeding the prohibition, continued to preach on the plea that obedience is due rather to God than to man {{a phrase already in the Bible re: the early church.}}. Pope Lucius III consequently included them among the heretics against whom he issued a Bull of excommunication at Verona in 1184.

As it turns out with people engrossed with the scriptures, it apparently took more than pronouncing excommunication to exterminate the movement . . . . this group was literally among the precursors of the Reformation that ended up challenging the Roman church…. and helping change history.  They even predated Wycliffe, who translated the Bible into English from the Vulgate…. later inspiring Huss (who was burned at the stake for HIS beliefs and preaching), who inspired Martin Luther, etc. . . This is PART of the backdrop of PART of the USA, and our so-called religious tolerance (along with disenfranchisement of women, ongoing, and practices of slavery, genocide of the indigenous populations, etc.).  Right now, “the religious” is very, very interested in re-disenfranchising women, even to the point of overcoming some innate racism in the long-term strategy in my opinion — as part of this evangelism about the future life with a view to accumulating wealth in the present. …  I hope to live as long as possible, but am beginning to see, this matter is likely to outlast my lifetime . . . .

Third Lateran Council (from papalencyclicals.net)  Different background-color indicates my- ah, diversion, looking into this matter…

The particular object of this council was to put an end to the schism within the church and the quarrel between the emperor and the papacy. It was summoned by Pope Alexander in 1178… The council was held at Rome in March 1179. About three hundred fathers assembled from the provinces of Europe and some from the Latin east, and a single legate from the Greek church.. . .The bishops first heard Rufinus, bishop of Assisi, who in a highly polished address praised the Roman pontiff and the Roman church, “that church to which alone belongs the decision and power to summon a general council, to lay down new canons and cancel the old;

(This was to include excommunication and anathemas, regarding Jews, and sects such as the Cathars (Albigenses?) etc.)

Take a look at canons 26 & 27.  Again, my thesis is — ought we to have religion in government, let alone in control of it?  I might not be able to even say this in public had not some previous generations in other countries given their lives for it….this is WHAT religion does….

26. Jews and Saracens are not to be allowed to have christian servants in their houses, either under pretence of nourishing their children or for service or any other reason. Let those be excommunicated who presume to live with them.
We declare that the evidence of Christians is to be accepted against Jews in every case, since Jews employ their own witnesses against Christians, and that those who prefer Jews to Christians in this matter are to lie under anathema, since Jews ought to be subject to Christians and to be supported by them on grounds of humanity alone.
If any by the inspiration of God  {{SEE CANON 27…}}  are converted to the christian faith, they are in no way to be excluded from their possessions, since the condition of converts ought to be better than before their conversion. If this is not done, we enjoin on the princes and rulers of these places, under penalty of excommunication, the duty to restore fully to these converts the share of their inheritance and goods.
{{WHICH OBVIOUSLY MUST HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY APPROPRIATE FOR THE CRIME OF BEING JEWISH…}}

27. As St. Leo says, though the discipline of the church should be satisfied with the judgment of the priest and should not cause the shedding of blood, yet it is helped by the laws of catholic princes so that people often seek a salutary remedy when they fear that a corporal punishment will overtake them.

For this reason, since in Gascony and the regions of Albi and Toulouse and in other places the loathsome heresy of those whom some call the Cathars, others the Patarenes, others the Publicani, and others by different names, has grown so strong that they no longer practise their wickedness in secret, as others do, but proclaim their error publicly and draw the simple and weak to join them,

{{AS EVER, THE PRINCES SHOULD BE DRIVING THE FAITHFUL BACK INTO THE WAY OF THE PRIESTLY}}

we declare that they and their defenders and those who receive them are under anathema, and we forbid under pain of anathema that anyone should keep or support them in their houses or lands or should trade with them. If anyone dies in this sin, then neither under cover of our privileges granted to anyone, nor for any other reason, is mass to be offered for them or are they to receive burial among Christians.

More at wikipedia explains the political context of establishing which Pope reigned;  and notes that this council was the first to ban sodomy (and reprove the non-chaste priests who kept concubines, etc.)

WIKIPEDIA ON WALDENSIANS:

Wikipedia re: “Waldensians” mentions their persecution and influence getting the Bible translated….. as well as how they were forced underground, by ca. 1230.     Apparently they were enticed out of secrecy (joining other protestants), but persecution still followed for more than a century.

Regarding translation of the Bible:

Waldo {keeping in mind when he lived…}} had arranged for a translation of the New Testament into the Provençal language and he and his followers preached from that translation. Waldo’s followers developed a system whereby they would go from town to town and meet secretly with small groups of Waldensians. There they would confess sins and hold service. A traveling Waldensian preacher was known as a barba. The group would shelter and house the barba and help make arrangements to move on to the next town in secret.[17]

{{barba meant ‘uncle,’ as they did not call their preachers “father”}}

Because of this ongoing practice, they were formally declared schismatics by Pope Lucius III in 1184 at the Synod of Verona, and heretics during the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. The Council stated that the group’s principal error was “contempt for ecclesiastical power“, but were also accused of teaching “innumerable errors”. Waldo and his followers were excommunicated and forced from Lyon.[18][19]

In 1211, more than 80 Waldensians were burned as heretics at Strasbourg, {{eastern France}} beginning several centuries ofpersecution that nearly destroyed the movement.[20]

{{in 1349 over a hundred years later, a pogrom in the same city, immediately after the plague}}

They at some point were joining with other protestant groups:

The French Bible translated by Pierre Robert Olivétan with the help of Calvin and published at Neuchâtel in 1535 was based in part on a New Testament in the Waldensian vernacular. The cost of its publication was defrayed by the churches in Waldensia who collected the sum of 1500 gold crowns for this purpose.[23]

(Another source, below says it was 500 crowns) (this site has one page in English but is otherwise in Italian — but appears to be re: the Valdesi; I don’t know whether of this group, or of this area.

They were then enticed out of secrecy, in part by another reformer, Wm. (Guillaume) Farel.  They’d first sent messengers out, then received messengers back and at a “Synod of Chanforan” were persuaded to adopt the Reformation model, and begin worshipping openly. In 1532….

In 1532, at the synod of Chanforan, in the Waldensian valleys, the reformer Guillaume Farel was present. His influence was decisive. He made the synod take a definite stand in favour of the ideas of the Reformation.

The itinerant ministry of the preachers was stopped. Most preachers became pastors and the places they visited became centres for reformed churches.

At the same time, the synod of Chanforan decided to spend 500 gold crowns on a translation of the Bible into French, which was entrusted to Olivétan.

Apparently the Waldensians also had to be grilled into the Calvinist predestination.  Here’s a 2001 Calvinist publication about “Calvin’s mission to the Waldensians,” (exhorting Christians today to imitate his activist model) which says of the w’s, from a Calvinist viewpoint:

From the beginning the Waldensians emphasized memorization of Scripture, lay preaching, pacifism, honesty and poverty. They reacted strongly against papal authority, prayers for the dead, purgatory, oaths and sacra- ments performed by immoral priests.3

As a movement the Waldensians had always emphasized the Scriptures. This love led them into a friendship with John Hus and the Bohemian Brethren. Some of the first Bohemian priests sought ordination from a Waldensian bishop.s Waldensian confessional statements soon reflected the influence of Hus and the Bohemian Brethren.6

The Waldensians of the sixteenth century were ripe for reformation* * * and their leaders were even in regular contact with Martin Luther. Mistakenly, Luther thought they were synonymous with the Bohemian Brethren.7 Waldensian barbas also began exploring the Reformation first-hand. 9

By the 1500s — look what they had already endured in terms of massacres, executions, persecutions, etc!  Yet at the time here — AFTER this synod where they are about to be enticed out of secrecy — the worst was still yet to come, and from the same sources, and at the hands of Catholic princes, for religious reasons.  Their itinerant preaching and adherence to the scriptures, plus (etc.) were serious challenges to the status quo . . . .   In this matter, perhaps blending into the reformation saved them from complete extermination by bloodshed, but who knows what may have become of the movement had it not almost been wiped out, physically, by force, i.e., torture, murder, being sold into slavery, etc.

The Waldensians had their foot in the door of the Reformation in many ways; yet, they still held on to some vestiges of medieval Catholic doctrine and piety. However, the Waldensian love for Scripture endeared them to the Reformers. Eventually, John Calvin’s pastoral heart would be known through his ministry to them in troubled times. Calvin’s relationship with the Waldensians began indirectly when the church held a council in the valley of Angrogna. (CHANFORAN) They invited some Reformers to come and pre- sent their case.10

THE OLIVETAN BIBLE

Robert Olivetan worked diligently on his translation of the Bible into the French vernacular.20 Just as Luther had done a decade earlier for the Germans, Olivetan completed his translation in breath-taking time.21 It was dedicated February 12, 1535. Saunier and Olivetan presented the Bible to the Waldensians at the second Synod of Chanforan held on September 16, 1535.22 The preface to this new translation was written by a young convert who had recently embraced the Reformation.

The young convert’s name was John Calvin. He wrote the preface to the Bible translated by his cousin and funded by the Waldensians. While not mentioning them by name, Calvin defends them in the preface:

{{it says, a year later Calvin was in flight for HIS life….}}

Olivetan spent 3 years with the Ws working on the translation from Greek & Hebrew…. It should be noted, they weren’t a wealthy community, but provided his needs during this time (apparently), oil for lamp, printing, housing, etc.

A monument to the council was raised in 1932….four hundred years later.  Here (from another religious website) is a description of their (from the 1200s on) memorization of scripture, as recounted by an inquisitor.

HERITAGE OF THE WALDENSIANS:

A Sketch

by Judith Collins

And this while the rest of Europe was content with the Latin of scholars. Before Wycliffe thought of putting the Bible into the English of his day, the Valdese had their vernacular Bible. They memorized great portions of Scripture. One inquisitor in 1260 tells of meeting a pastor who recited the whole of Job, and of many others who memorized the whole of the New Testament. They copied other good writings; this was one of the tasks of the Valdese barbe in order to instruct their disciples. Old bibliographies tell of many ancient manuscripts of spiritual treatises, poems, sermons, confessions, catechisms and the like.17

With such a love of truth in a people, we are not surprised to learn that they founded their own little college for the barbe, who …were required to commit to memory the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, the general epistles, and a part of those of St. Paul…. During two or three successive winters [they were] trained to speak in Latin, in the Romance language, and in Italian. After this they spent some years in retirement, and then were set apart to the holy ministry by the administration of the Lord’s Supper and by imposition of hands.18

Pastors were required to take their turn as missionaries. They went out two by two, a young man and an old one. Taking to the roads as peddlers, or as artisans, or as physicians, they carried the Bible in their hearts and minds.

With all that, maybe they weren’t so ignorant as they were made out to be!

There was a massacre of 1545 in “Merindol” and a campaign of destruction; the French king (Francis I) sent an army; thousands massacred, 22 to 28 villages, etc. are described.  Again, these were for religious dissidence…..  Calvin then (per this site) actively publicized their plight and sought help for them, eventually bringing more of the W’s into the fold in Geneva as well.

This page is very hard reading (describes the massacres in detail, including how the local populace were tricked into quartering troops, after an order for the Waldensians — in wintertime — to either attend mass, or abandon their properties.}}

In January 1655 the Duke of Savoy commanded the Waldensians to attend Mass or remove to the upper valleys of their homeland, giving them twenty days in which to sell their lands. Being in the midst of winter, the order, of course, was intended to persuade the Vaudois to choose the former; however, the bulk of the populace instead chose the latter, abandoning their homes and lands in the lower valleys and removing to the upper valleys. It was written that these targets of persecution, old men, women, little children and the sick “waded through the icy waters, climbed the frozen peaks, and at length reached the homes of their impoverished brethren of the upper Valleys, where they were warmly received.”

By mid-April, when it became clear that the Duke’s efforts to force the Vaudois to conform to Catholicism had failed, he tried another approach. Under the guise of false reports of Vaudois uprisings, the Duke sent troops into the upper valleys to quell the local populace. He required that the local populace quarter the troops in their homes, which the local populace complied with. But the quartering order was a ruse to allow the troops easy access to the populace. On 24 April 1655, at 4 a.m., the signal was given for a general massacre.

It was awful . . . .and has been described in many places, and in artwork.  It so shocked that interventions were called for from afar, apparently even from Oliver Cromwell?

Flickr photo stream shows that from the time of consolidation with the reformation and beginning to build churches (versus meeting secretly, etc., and as wandering preachers), the churches were built to withstand sieges — they they endured “33 wars.” From a model of “the church at Ciabas” built in 1555, the plaque describes.  (note –this is from the North Carolina Waldensian community, I guess).

Looking up this Synod of Chanforan, which was a turning point obviously, I found a current “OM” evangelism site; this was from “OMItaly” (a one-pager)

The Waldensian Story

The Waldensians, also known as “ Christ’s poor people” were established at the end of the 12th century in Lyons, France and were the followers of a merchant called Valdo who lived one generation before St. Francis of Assisi. They committed themselves to a lifestyle of poverty for the sake of the Gospel. Since they were excommunicated by the Catholic Church, they took refuge in the Alps at the beginning of the 13th century where they became underground believers.

You cannot ignore the fact that this valley had such a high concentration of Waldensians which makes it different from other parts of Europe. The Protestant Reformation changed this situation because the Waldensians joined them in 1532 at the Synod in Chanforan in the Angrogna valley. Thus, an evangelical underground movement became an organised church with preachers (who came from French speaking areas hence encouraged the use of French in these communities) and had their own places of worship as well as their own organisation.

Hence, the Waldensian Valleys became part of the history of Protestantism in Europe but the clash between the Reformation and the Counter Reformation was particularly violent and for more than 150 years the authorities tried to get the Waldensians to return to Catholicism, resorting to force which inevitably brought devastation and suffering and made the valley one of the poorest places in Piedmont. In fact, until 1848, except for some years of freedom under Napoleon, the valley where the Waldensians lived was like a ghetto where people did not have any political or civil rights. It was only as a result of the Edict of 1848 (Open Letters) that they were given the same rights as the other citizens of Piedmont, being allowed to move freely within the State, attend school and hold public office. To celebrate the Edict of Freedom, the whole valley was lit up on the evening of February 16th and this custom continues to the present day.

In the 19th century there was a profound socio-economic transformation in the valley as the Waldensian world became established in society. The commitment of the Waldensian world and their English benefactors to the field of education by creating a network of schools was of particular significance. Cultural institutions (college, publishing house, newspaper, historical society) and charitable (hospital, orphanage, shelter) make Torre Pellice the “Italian Geneva” (expression from De Amicis.) This small capital of the Waldensian Valleys is the centre of Protestantism in Italy.

OM Italy purchased a barracks in this area for a training center….   (Inset shows History from a high school in NJ, a single man George Verwer and a trip to Mexico in 1957….)Today, OM has more than 5,400 missionaries from 90 nations who work in more than 110 countries and on board two ships. Approximately 61 percent of OM’s missionaries are from non-Western countries.  what interests me about this group — as well as the Waldensians merger with the Reformers centuries ago — is the decision to merge with other churches to “Mobilize” because the work is too larger….

What they believe (summarized — hover or click on link) is extremely traditional and mainstreamed Christian doctrine — to stray from this would be to be considered basically a Christian sect or cult.  They would not be persecuted for this at least in America (or Europe) anywhere close to how the Waldensians were persecuted in Europe.    Notice the next to last statement of ‘what they believe” and the emphasis on distribution of literature.  “The present work of the Church is the worship of God, the perfecting of the saints and the evangelisation of the world.”  {the Catholic church shares this goal as well, only differently.  The second and third item of “What we believe” is the Trinity and that Jesus is God:   

  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in the absolute deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Mirrors the programs I’ve been talking about, federally funded; but differs in content and distribution network.

… To this group, Mormons and Unification church would probably be “cult,” but they are heading to plant churches where others have not and train them up in the right way. . .  This should be interesting in their outreach to Muslims, and has already become a factor in Bible translation issues in this century.  I doubt if the Waldensians broke with tradition in that issue, but one never knows…}}

This is a religious narrative of, in essence, a tour guide of the Valleys, which mentions running across an OM meeting at one of them!  It relates some of the (massacre material); it also has some information about earlier documents obtained during the persecution by an Oliver Cromwell emissary (i.e., trying to rescue them from being burnt), and then laments that the Waldensian Church is so ecumenical it’s bordering on “apostasy.”   Notice what they cite as evidence in 1962, even worse the toleration of infant baptism and homosexuality…

By the 16th and 17th centuries, the Waldensians had become doctrinally and spiritually weakened, and they joined forces with the German and French Reformed Protestants. By then most of them had adopted infant baptism and other unscriptural Protestant practices.

They have grown increasingly weaker in modern times and TODAY THE WALDENSES ARE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF ECUMENICAL AND THEOLOGICAL APOSTASY.

In 1975, the Waldensian churches in Italy merged with the liberal Methodists. Jointly, church membership is roughly 30,000, but that includes those who have been baptized as infants and who do not practice their faith. The Waldensians are members of the radically liberal World Council of Churches (WCC). (The Sixth WCC Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1987, began with pagan sacrifices offered by North American Indians who danced around a “sacred” fire.)

The book “You Are My Witnesses: The Waldensians across 800 Years” (Torino, Italy: Claudiana Editrice, 1989), which I purchased at the Waldensian Museum in Torre Pellice, leaves no doubt about the apostasy of the present-day Waldenses. Consider the following facts:

In 1947, they formed the Agape ecumenical center, the building of which “ended definitely the church’s conservative tilt” and “created the critical mass which led the church into far more liberal, and even radical, years” (“You Are My Witnesses,” p. 277). Since the early 1980s, Agape “has been hosting ecumenical conferences for homosexuals” (p. 303). This was, in fact, “the first institutionally-sanctioned initiative of its kind in Italy.”

In 1962, the Waldensian synod voted to ordain women as pastors, and today 14% of the pastors and roughly 50% of the theological students are females (p. 298).

{{Then I guess a whole lotta female theological students don’t end up pastoring..}}

 (Apparently they missed the detail that, way back when, Waldensian women — not just men — also preached.  The ordaining sounds like more of a practice after the blending with the Reformation of 1532ff.  Anyhow that link is broken, and just for a view of whose writing this comes from, it’s an “Inc” (distributing Christian Literature) in Michigan:

Apparently he strayed from the childhood faith, got into drug abuse, then meditation and Hinduism, and converted back with a vengeance, to fundamental Baptist (note this is significant re: the role of women, see former President Jimmy Carter’s statements on the same), and quickly figured out the virtues of a publication ministry when it comes to international travel, etc.  Here’s the summary of “Brother Cloud.”

TESTIMONY AND FAMILY. Brother Cloud was born in 1949 and grew up in a Christian home. He made a profession of faith as a child, but there was no evidence of biblical repentance. During high school he stopped attending church and went very far out into the world. He lived the rock & roll lifestyle, hitchhiked across America, and spent time in jail for drug abuse and public drunkenness. By 1973 he had joined a Hindu society and was practicing meditation, but God’s mercy was great toward him and that summer the prayers of his parents and godly maternal grandmother were answered and he was converted to Jesus Christ at age 23. A year later he began his studies at Tennessee Temple Bible School. {{click for “how conservative IS it?}} Soon after arriving there he met Linda, his wife-to-be, but six weeks later she went to South Asia to be a missionary nurse. They corresponded for a year, got engaged by mail, and she returned to the States for their wedding. The Clouds have four grown children, two of whom are missionaries, and five grandchildren.

MISSIONARY WORK. The Clouds have spent 20 years in South Asia as church planting missionaries. Together with their co-laborers they have had the privilege of pioneering Baptist church planting there in the 1980s and they continue this ministry today. They make their home in South Asia.

THE FOUNDING OF WAY OF LITERATURE. Within six months after his conversion, Bro. Cloud had printed his first book, a warning about rock & roll music.

. . . THE WAY OF LIFE WEB SITE was one of the first fundamental Baptist sites on the Internet. It was launched in 1993 and has grown rapidly ever since. Today there are thousands of books and articles available for anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. The web site address ishttp://www.wayoflife.org.

In 1994 Way of Life published the first edition of the WAY OF LIFE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE & CHRISTIANITY. The latest edition contains the equivalent of 800 pages of information, over 4,700 entries and over 5,000 cross references.

(from a previous quotation, above):  Doctrine

The organization of the Waldenses was a reaction against the great splendour and outward display existing in the medieval Church; it was a practical protest against the worldly lives of some contemporary churchmen. Amid such ecclesiastical conditions the Waldenses made the profession of extreme poverty a prominent feature in their own lives, and emphasized by their practice the need for the much neglected task of preaching. As they were mainly recruited among circles not only devoid of theological training, but also lacking generally in education, it was inevitable that error should mar their teaching, and just as inevitable that, in consequence,ecclesiastical authorities should put a stop to their evangelistic work.

But course.  Doctrinal error destabilizes the status quo and is a social hazard, right? I’m so glad we are all “beyond” that mentality now, in the 20th and 21st centuries.  (right?)

Among the doctrinalerrors which they propagated was the denial of purgatory, and of indulgences and prayers for the dead. They denounced all lying as a grievous sin, refused to take oaths and considered the shedding of human blood unlawful. They consequently condemned war and the infliction of the death penalty.

Right there would be an end to politics and wars (religious or otherwise)!!  The danger to status quo of  this doctrine, in practice, is obvious….  But in practice, it still required a physical and financial support system of a nomadic, celibate, preaching class….

Among the Waldenses the perfect,** bound by the vow of poverty, wandered about from place to place preaching. Such an itinerant life was ill-suited for the married state, and to the profession of poverty they added the vow of chastity.

A single verse of the Bible thus leads to a social class, “the perfect.”  Probably not the best choice of terms..

This is starting to sound familiar to practices today.   Impoverished/vow of poverty nomads are not particularly suitable for raising and supporting offspring and providing for them.  For them, forbidding the practice of sowing one’s wild oats, then abandoning the pregnant, (which is immoral), perhaps the vow of chastity to match the vow of poverty was not a bad idea.  More psychological energy for preaching and wandering. . . .

Married persons who desired to join them were permitted to dissolve their union without the consent of their consort. Orderly government was secured by the additional vow of obedience to superiors.

How was that managed, with parallel civil ? and or religious.

The perfect were not allowed to perform manual labour,** but were to depend for their subsistence on the members of the sect known as the friends. These continued to live in the world, married, owned property, and engaged in secular pursuits. Their generosity and alms were to provide for the material needs of the perfect.

Sounds like the Levites, not allowed to own land, or full-time hired preachers, pastors (and priests) of today….  Legislating “don’t work with your hands” sets up a codependent relationship on the flock; the description goes on to detail how they set up layers of government within “the perfect,” thus pretty much copying what they abhorred, namely, the Catholics….   But as the movement gained ground, the Catholics organized to counter it in typical ways, beyond excommunication which apparently wasn’t working well enough:

The preaching of Waldes and his disciples obtained immediate success not only in France, but also in Italy and Spain. The Italian adherents at a very early date constituted themselves independently. In France the movement gained ground particularly in the South, whence it spread to Northern Spain. The Church sought to avert by persuasion the danger of numerous defections. . . .

The church also was dependent on its flock for its wealth — so this is basically competition for the same clientele…. eventually force, including with the death penalty and forbidding to shelter of give food to them, was chosen where conversion failed . . .

With the authorization of Innocent IIIthey organized themselves into the special religious order of the Poor Catholics for the conversion of Waldenses. This purpose was attained only in a very small degree; but force soon checked the heretical movement.

In 1192 Bishop Otto of Toul ordered all Waldenses to be put in chains and delivered up to the episcopal tribunal.

[1194] Two years later King Alphonso II of Aragon banished them from his dominions and forbade anyone to furnish them with shelter or food.

[1197] These provisions were renewed by Pedro II at the Council of Gerona (1197), and death by burning was decreed against the heretics.

 The most conspicuous centre of Waldensian activity in France during the later middle ages was Dauphiné and the western slope of the Cottian Alps. The sect seems to have been introduced in to this territory fromLombardy. From Dauphiné and the valleys of the Alps it carried on missionary work in all Southern France to the Atlantic seaboard.

[1403] In 1403 a determined effort was made to win back the Waldenses of the valleys of Louise, Argentière, and Freissinièeres; but the apostolic labours of even a St. Vincent Ferrer were powerless. The Inquisition was equally unsuccessful, as were also the stern measures of the local civil authorities.

[1478] The policy of repression was temporarily abandoned under King Louis XI, who, believing them to be orthodox, extended to the Waldenses of the above-mentioned valleys his royal protection in an ordinance of 1478.

[1488] This period of peace was followed in 1488 by a crusade summoned by Innocent VIII against theWaldenses. The war did not succeed in stamping them out. But, soon after, the Reformation profoundly modified the sect’s history and doctrinal development.

[1503] A deputation composed of G. Morel and P. Masson was sent in 1530 to Switzerland for information concerning the new religious ideas.[i.e. the Reformation]  On their return journey Masson was arrested at Dijon and executed; Morel alone safely accomplished his mission.

[1532] The report of this journey led to the assembling of a general convention to which Farel and other Swiss Reformers were invited. The meeting was held at Chanforans in the valley of Angrogne and the Reformed teaching substantially adopted (1532). A minority opposed this course and vainly sought to stem the tied {“tide”} of radicalism by an appeal for assistance to the Bohemian Brethren. A new convention held in the valley of St. Martin in 1533 confirmed the decisions of Chanforans. The open adoption of Protestantism soon led to the persecution in which Waldensianism disappeared from Provence (1545)

[1561]  A contrary policy was pursued by the Dukes of Savoy; but the (ITALIAN, I BELIEVE)) Waldenses at the very outset successfully resisted, and in 1561 were granted in certain districts the free exercise of their religion.

[1655] In 1655 violence was again fruitlessly resorted to. Later in the same century (1686, 1699) some of them, under stress of renewed persecutionemigratedto Switzerland and Germany. In Piedmont, civil equality was granted them in 1799 when theFrench occupied the country. They enjoyed this peace until the downfall of Napoleon I, but again lost it at the return of the house of Savoy.

Three colonies have settled in the United States: at Wolfe Ridge, Texas; Valdese, North Carolina; and Monett, Missouri . ..in Würtemberg they joined the Lutheran StateChurch in 1823. Later on, they began receiving financial support from the “American Waldensian Aid Society” founded in 1906, and from a similar organization in Great Britain.

What was so threatening about this group?  It was not the vow of poverty only….

Force was employed — excommunication, chains, death, the Inquisition, war, execution of emissaries, death of the whole lot starvation by virtue of threatening anyone who would support them, (attempts to convert, of course).  Their fortunes were somewhat tied to who was in the monarchy at the time.

When reading religious accounts of religious groups, a “grain of salt” is always needed.

This one on the Waldensians is from the PRCA (Protestant Reformed Churches of America) But it does seem that the Waldensians were precursors of the reformation, and this account notes that with their emphasis on preaching, women also could preach:

At the beginning of the movement the Waldensians did not depart from Roman Catholic teachings. They did not reject the authority of the pope, the entire sacramental system of Roman Catholicism, nor the church itself as the mother of believers. They were, in fact, very much like a religious order. They demanded vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for full membership and insisted on a novitiate before allowing adherents to become full members.

But from the outset their main emphasis was on preaching. It was preaching that got them into trouble with the church, for they preached without permission. But they continued even in the face of excommunication because they were convinced that preaching is decisive for salvation — a Reformation doctrine that stood at the heart of both the Lutheran and Calvinistic reform of the church.

Rome taught that the sacraments were essential for salvation and that preaching was subordinate to the sacraments. The Waldensians saw the error of this and insisted that the Lord had added the sacraments to the preaching and that therefore, God saved His people by the preaching of the Word. It was especially this doctrine which Rome hated with a passion, for the sacraments stood at the very heart of the entire papal-sacerdotal {{priestly}} system of which Rome was so proud.

Hate to point this out, but that’s what the Bible — by then in place — said, and still says.  See Romans 8:  faith (in Christ) cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, etc. I say this, having grown up after Gutenberg (printing press in Europe), and I say it in America — but here, we are talking the 1100s, and when a wealthy merchant had to get someone to translate the Bible for him.  As late as the 1500s, over 300 years later! men — lots of them – were still being persecuted, becoming fugitives, being hauled in front of authorities, etc. — burned at the stake for translating the Bible into the common tongue..

One thing about translating the scriptures is, people became familiar with them, through diligent exposure and reading.  I’m sure it also helped generally speaking with literacy.

The concept is indeed earthshaking….

It really ought not to surprise us, in the light of the times, that the Waldensians even went too far with their idea of preaching. They were opposed to Roman Catholic clericalism, and soon came to see the importance of what Luther later called the office of all believers. With their emphasis on the office of all believers, and failing to distinguish between the special offices in the church and the general office of believers, they gave to the laity, including women, the right to preach. All God’s people were preachers, and they were preachers not by virtue of ordination, but by virtue of a Godly and spiritual life which manifested that they were believers.

One benefit of this erroneous viewpoint, however, was the fact that they saw the need for all God’s people to possess the Scriptures. And so they translated the Scriptures into the vernacular, and even insisted on the final and absolute authority of the Scriptures for life, doctrine and preaching. Preaching had to be exposition of God’s Word.

After persecution and excommunication, their views developed. They saw inconsistencies with the position they had taken and the other teachings of Rome. And so, bit by bit, they rejected the oath, purgatory, prayers for the dead, the mass, and transubstantiation.

And for this they suffered some horrible persecution, some of which is recounted here:

Persecution

Such teachings as these attracted immense throngs to the Waldensians and the movement spread rapidly into France, Italy, Switzerland and even parts of Eastern Europe. It was exactly because of the threat to Romish power and the popularity of the movement that the fury of Rome was brought down upon the Waldensians. The full force of that cruel, unjust, and frightening institution for the suppression of heresy, the Inquisition, was brought to bear against them.

The stories of suffering and torture which these folk endured make one weep even today. Their fathers and mothers were torn apart on the rack and burned at the stake. Their children were burned with irons to force them to report evil deeds of their parents. A whole cave of men, women and children, who had fled to the mountains to escape, was suffocated by a huge fire built at its entrance and smoke being forced into the cave. As the poem at the beginning of this article points out, mothers and their infants clutched in their arms were hurled over the sides of cliffs.  Under the pressures of persecution, they fled into the Alpine valleys and high plateaus of Switzerland, and there they survived.

Also, here:   http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Waldenses

Being laymen, they were forbidden to preach. They went to Rome, where Pope Alexander III blessed their life but forbade preaching (1179) without authorization from the local clergy. They disobeyed and began to teach unorthodox doctrines; they were formally declared heretics by Pope Lucius III in 1184 and by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. In 1211 more than 80 were burned as heretics at Strasbourg, beginning several centuries of persecution.

The Waldenses proclaimed the Bible as the sole rule of life and faith. They rejected the papacy, purgatory, indulgences, and the mass, and laid great stress on gospel simplicity. Worship services consisted of readings from the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer, and sermons, which they believed could be preached by all Christians as depositaries of the Holy Spirit. Their distinctive pre-Reformation doctrines are set forth in the Waldensian Catechism (c.1489). They had contact with other similar groups, especially the Humiliati.

The Waldenses were most successful in Dauphiné and Piedmont and had permanent communities in the Cottian Alps SW of Turin.

In 1487 at the instance of Pope Innocent VIII a persecution overwhelmed the Dauphiné Waldenses, but those in Piedmont defended themselves successfully. In 1532 they met with German and Swiss Protestants and ultimately adapted their beliefs to those of the Reformed Church. In 1655 the French and Charles Emmanuel II of Savoy began a campaign against them. Oliver Cromwell sent a mission of protest; that occasion also prompted John Milton’s famous poem on the Waldenses. At the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), the Waldensian leader, Henri Arnaud, led a band into Switzerland; he later led them back to their valleys.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia® Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

 

FAST FORWARD TO THE 1500s —

It turns out that Calvin (surely you’ve heard the name; there are plenty of Calvinists around) had a religious conversion — apparently — around this same time, 1532/1533.   Plenty of theologians, pastors, or others were in flight during these years, for their doctrine.  Calvin had to flee, and was persuaded by another reformer (Farel) to settle in Geneva.

Many years later, a Michael Servetus also fled, and after much dialogue with Calvin, who eventually decided Servetus was a heretic — ended up in Geneva.  His life ended there — he was tried, found wanting, and rather than beheading (which would’ve been more merciful) burned alive on a stack of his own books.

See Servetus section in the Wikipedia article on “Calvin.

The turning point in Calvin’s fortunes occurred when Michael Servetus, a fugitive from ecclesiastical authorities, appeared in Geneva on 13 August 1553. Servetus was a Spanish physician and Protestant theologian who boldly criticised the doctrine of the Trinity and paedobaptism (infant baptism).[46] In July 1530 he disputed with Johannes Oecolampadius in Basel and was eventually expelled. He went to Strasbourg where he published a pamphlet against the Trinity. Bucer publicly refuted it and asked Servetus to leave. After returning to Basel, Servetus published Two Books of Dialogues on the Trinity (Latin: Dialogorum de Trinitate libri duo) which caused a sensation among Reformers and Catholics alike. The Inquisition in Spain ordered his arrest.[47]

Calvin and Servetus were first brought into contact in 1546 through a common acquaintance, Jean Frellon of Lyon. They exchanged letters debating doctrine signing as Michael Servetus and Charles d’ Espeville, Calvin’s pseudonym for these letters. Eventually, Calvin lost patience and refused to respond; by this time Servetus had written around thirty letters to Calvin. Calvin was particularly outraged when Servetus sent him a copy of the Institutes of the Christian Religion {{Calvin’s work}} heavily annotated with arguments pointing to errors in the book. 

When Servetus mentioned that he would come to Geneva if Calvin agreed, Calvin wrote a letter to Farel on 13 February 1546 noting that if Servetus were to come, he would not assure him safe conduct: “for if he came, as far as my authority goes, I would not let him leave alive.

That’s about as good a definition of “religion” in action as one can find.  Himself a fugitive, he was not about to harbor someone who he considered a heretic.   This being more than 100 years after John(or “Jan”) Huss of Bohemia/Prague had been burned at the stake (1415) on kindling using Wycliffe Bibles.  Wycliffe having been himself and earlier translator into English).

Apparently Calvin’s spokesperson? betrayed Servetus, who was hiding under a French name — to the French Inquisition, getting him arrested and sentenced to “death by slow burning.”  (what a nice guy Calvin was….)  For reasons I don’t know or remember — Servetus ends up in Geneva anyhow.  Maybe he didn’t have somewhere to go, maybe he misplaced trust in the spirit of open debate among theologians — but he ended up in Geneva in 1553, and was there recognized, arrested, and ended his life, like many did — by fire.

 In 1553, Calvin’s front man, Guillaume de Trie, sent letters trying to address the French Inquisition to Servetus.[49]
. . .When the inquisitor-general of France learned that Servetus was hiding in Vienne, according to Calvin under an assumed name, he contacted Cardinal François de Tournon, the secretary of the archbishop of Lyon, to take up the matter. Servetus was arrested and taken in for questioning. His letters to Calvin were presented as evidence of heresy
. . .but he denied having written them, and later said he was not sure it was his handwriting. He said, after swearing before the holy gospel, that “he was Michel De Villeneuve Doctor in Medicine about 42 years old, native of Tudela of the kingdom of Navarre, a city under the obedience to the Emperor”.[55]The following day he said: “..although he was not Servetus he assumed the person of Servet for debating with Calvin”.[56]

He managed to escape from prison, and the Catholic authorities sentenced him in absentia to death by slow burning.[57]

On his way to Italy, Servetus stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons, where he was recognized and arrested. Calvin’s secretary Nicholas de la Fontaine composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court. . . . the heretical reputation of Servetus was widespread and most of the cities in Europe were observing and awaiting the outcome of the trial. . . .This posed a dilemma for the libertines, so on 21 August the council decided to write to other Swiss cities for their opinions, thus mitigating their own responsibility for the final decision. While waiting for the responses, the council also asked Servetus if he preferred to be judged in Vienne or in Geneva. He begged to stay in Geneva. On 20 October the replies from Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Schaffhausen were read and the council condemned Servetus as a heretic.

The following day he was sentenced to burning at the stake, the same sentence as in Vienne. Calvin and other ministers asked that he be beheaded instead of burnt.[58] This plea was refused and on 27 October, Servetus was burnt alive—atop a pyre of his own books—at the Plateau of Champel at the edge of Geneva

After the death of Servetus, Calvin was acclaimed a defender of Christianity, but his ultimate triumph over the libertines was still two years away. He had always insisted that the Consistory retain the power of excommunication, despite the council’s past decision to take it away. During Servetus’s trial, Philibert Berthelier asked the [City] council for permission to take communion, as he had been excommunicated the previous year for insulting a minister. Calvin protested that the council did not have the legal authority to overturn Berthelier’s excommunication.

What a nice guy he was . . . .  In case you are wondering WHY or HOW the doctrine of the Trinity is almost synonymous with standard Christianity (Catholic or Protestant), and anyone dissenting, while they can assemble in this country without oppression, are still considered sects  . . . . this is in part why, and the history of, perhaps, why it was so universally accepted.  Not everyone wanted to be burned at the stake or had the courage to speak up about what they read and saw in the scriptures.

Calvin’s authority was practically uncontested during his final years, and he enjoyed an international reputation as a reformer distinct from Martin Luther.[62] Initially, Luther and Calvin had mutual respect for each other. However, a doctrinal conflict had developed between Luther and Zurich reformer Huldrych Zwingli on the interpretation of the eucharist. Calvin’s opinion on the issue forced Luther to place him in Zwingli’s camp. Calvin actively participated in the polemics that were exchanged between the Lutheran and Reformed branches of the Reformation movement.[63]


OK, Zwingli, equally interesting, appears to have gotten his education, incl. in Greek and Hebrew and by about 1519 begun systematically preaching his way through the gospel, Acts, epistles, etc.  NNDB source. CatholicEncyclopedia Source (“Founder of the Reformation in Zurich). Wikipedia source:

Zwingli’s time as the pastor of Glarus and Einsiedeln was characterized by inner growth and development. He perfected his Greek and he took up the study of Hebrew. His library contained over three hundred volumes from which he was able to draw upon classical, patristic, and scholastic works. He exchanged scholarly letters with a circle of Swiss humanists and began to study the writings of Erasmus. Zwingli took the opportunity to meet him while Erasmus was in Basel between August 1514 and May 1516. Zwingli’s turn to relative pacifism and his focus on preaching can be traced to the influence of Erasmus.[13]

On 1 January 1519, Zwingli gave his first sermon in Zurich. Deviating from the prevalent practice of basing a sermon on the Gospel lesson of a particular Sunday, Zwingli, using Erasmus‘ New Testament as a guide, began to read through the Gospel of Matthew, giving his interpretation during the sermon, known as the method of lectio continua.[16] He continued to read and interpret the book on subsequent Sundays until he reached the end and then proceeded in the same manner with the Acts of the Apostles, the New Testament epistles, and finally the Old Testament. His motives for doing this are not clear, but in his sermons he used exhortation to achieve moral and ecclesiastical improvement which were goals comparable with Erasmian reform.

This group pre-dates William Tyndale (considerably) but overlapped with his times.  Briefly, Tyndale had to translate as a fugitive from England — and was betrayed and captured in 1535, strangled, then burned at the stake.  (notice the timeframe).  He was exceptionally literate, and probably born to this task — and died for it.  Literacy in this book, then would be a measure, or a lens, to look at some of the characteristics of religion + state combined, and some of the groups that had him burned, are still around (and the ideas behind them) today. . .. . Plus of course, several more.

William Tyndale

(picked at random from an on-line source, this basic information is available in many places)

Educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and Cambridge, [England] William Tyndale was appalled by the ignorance of parish priests, and was persuaded by this to translate the Bible into English.

The English Bible had been William Tyndalebanned since 1480,

What kind of religious-state apparatus goes around BANNING books, like this one?

Nowadays, perhaps this is not the technique — instead, the same religious-state apparatus hogs the airwaves (that is, the internet).  Wealth is always involved…and a motive.

mostly because the Wycliffe Bible had been used by the outlawed Lollards, and Tyndale wanted to produce a better translation. Rather than translating from the Latin Vulgate, as Wycliffe had, he would work from the Greek and Hebrew of the original Old and New Testaments.

While he had hoped to have the support of the bishops in England, but they feared that an English translation would serve to spread Lutheran ideas; so fearful, in fact, that Tyndale soon found that his life was in danger.

Fleeing to Germany in 1524, he met with Martin Luther at Wittenberg, and in the following year completed his translation of the New Testament.

The printing of his translation was begun by William Royce, a reformist, but Royce was indiscreet and the project was soon being talked about. At the request of anti-Lutheran theologians, the city magistrates ordered the printing to stop.

Tyndale fled to Worms, where publication of his translation was successfully completed. Copies of his translation of the New Testament were met with a hostile reception by the Church. Archbishop Warham denounced it, as did Thomas More, who was opposed to any hint of Lutheran reform. An order went out for the arrest of Tyndale as a heretic.

William TyndaleTyndale went into hiding for a time, probably in Hamburg, and continued his work, revising his translation of the New Testament. He began a translation of the Old Testament, and wrote several other works, including The Practice of Prelates, which included criticism of King Henry VIII’s divorce, prompting the king to ask the emperor to have Tyndale seized and returned to England for prosecution.

He was arrested in Antwerp in 1535, charged with heresy the following year, convicted and condemned to be burned at the stake. He was mercifully strangled before the fire was lit.

In the year of Tyndale’s death, his translation of the New Testament was actually published in England. Tyndale’s translation of the Old Testament was completed by Miles Coverdale that same year, followed by the Matthew Bible in 1537, revised by Coverdale to become the Great Bible in 1539.

Thank you “ken anderson” (whoever you are) for that brief summary…

I can see I will have to continue this topic elsewhere; it continues to interest me in re: the future of this country.  I am no expert or scholar on theology or the history of the church, however somewhere between narrative, experience, and research — I believe there are other stories that still need telling, and perhaps other futures sought.

Some Current ‘STATEMENTS OF BELIEFS”

Today, whether it’s more traditional, or megachurches, very often it’s still one or another version of this basic doctrine, for which Calvin betrayed Michael Servetus, and on which I don’t know where the Waldensians stood:

(Found under “Calvinist Churches USA” but the URL reads “orlutheran.”).

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

Having got a list, I clicked on “our beliefs”  Most of them that aren’t touchy-feely-“we are a relational church” will go approximately like this:

  • Holy Baptism, water applied in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus’ institution (Matthew 28:19), truly saves (1 Peter 3:21), causes one to be born again (John 3:5; Titus 3:5), delivers and applies grace and the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Ephesians 5:25-26), unites the one being baptized to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:11-12), gives the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and causes one to become a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • Holy Communion, or the Holy Supper, instituted by Christ Himself, is the true body and blood of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, given under the forms of bread and wine, for Christians to eat and drink, for the forgiveness of their sins (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:23- 26).

Of course these are not the first items of belief.  The first items are: Holding to this, per the website, are these churches (I DNK if the #s refer to members, or congregations):

Statement of Our Faith

On the basis of Holy Scripture and in unity with the one holy, catholic faith, we believe, teach, and confess that:

  • The only true God is the triune God, the holy Trinity. He is three equal and eternal Persons (Matt. 28:19; 2 Co. 13:14; John 15:26) within one divine Essence (Deut. 6:4): God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This teaching was revealed most clearly by Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father (John 1:18).
  • Since the fall of Adam into sin, every person is conceived and born with original sin (Romans 5:12ff.; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3). This original sin results in both total corruption of human nature (Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-18) and condemns one before God. It renders the person spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-3; Col. 2:13) and blind (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:14) and totally unable to love, trust, or fear God above all things or to love one’s neighbor as himself (Romans 8:7-8). Because of this all people are sinners before God (Romans 3:23).
  • Jesus Christ is true God, eternally begotten of the Father, and also true man, born of virgin Mary, and is the only Savior from sin and Mediator between God and humanity (John 1:1-3; John 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:20-23; 1 Timothy 2:3-6a; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)

Again, exalting complex and footnoted statements of faith rather than expounding the scriptures and letting them say something, seems to be a hallmark of many churches, defeating a lot of sacrifice in translation and preaching centuries earlier.

It is going to affect our culture, overall, if it is filled with people who will believe anything, reciting it by rote, without reasoning it from source. For one, what happened to the process of reason?  And how can people manage their own affairs, and help maintain freedom, or stand up against corruption, if they do not exercise reason, and the process of being able to draw (personally not just by recitation) conclusions from a reference point, such as — in the case of churches — say, Bibles?  That thing for which, over the centuries, people gave their lives?  and some translations of which literally helped establish a nation’s language?

COMPARE WITH WHAT WAS IN PLACE 500 YEARS EARLIER BY REFORMER WHO SIMPLY STUDIED AND TAUGHT THE SCRIPTURES.

The habit of confetti-style-references to the Bible is not in the Reformation tradition and does not build knowledge of the scriptures; how can it build anything but rote memorization of articles of faith?    Zwingli (1484-1531) although Calvin dissented with him) as far back as the early 1500s, got up on a Sunday and systematically taught, in sequence, first Matthew, then Acts, then the Epistles.  He committed a lot to memory.  What resulted was a fairly straightforward “theology.”

He stipulated that his liberty to preach the truth should be respected. In the beginning of 1519 he began a series of discourses on the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of Paul; and with these it may be said that the Reformation was fairly begun in Zürich. He had made a copy of St. Paul’s epistles and committed them to memory, and from this arsenal of Scripture he attacked the unrighteousness of the state no less than the superstition of the Church.

Moreover, far before him, the Waldensians also committed large portions of scripture to memory — which means more than one verse in a row.

Zwingli’s, simpler version — defended in open debate for 19 days, with “Romanists” ca. 1523, went like this (intro para sets the context of debate from source “NNDB“)

 The progress of the Reformation attracted the attention of all Switzerland, but there was a strong opposition to it, especially in the five Forest Cantons: Lucerne, Zug, Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden; and the Zürichers felt it necessary to form a league in its defense. They were especially anxious to gain Bern, and Zwingli challenged the Romanists to a public disputation in that city. No less than 350 ecclesiastics came to Bern from the various cantons to hear the pleadings, which began on the 2nd of January 1523 and lasted nineteen days. Zwingli and his companions undertook to defend the following propositions:

Zwingli and his companions undertook to defend the following propositions:

(1) That the Holy Christian Church, of which Christ is the only Head, is born of the Word of God, abides therein, and does not listen to the voice of a stranger; (2) that this Church imposes no laws on the conscience of people without the sanction of the Word of God, and that the laws of the Church are binding only in so far as they agree with the Word; (3) that Christ alone is our righteousness and our salvation, and that to trust to any other merit or satisfaction is to deny Him; (4) that it cannot be proved from the Holy Scripture that the body and blood of Christ are corporeally present in the bread and in the wine of the Lord’s Supper; (5) that the mass, in which Christ is offered to God the Father for the sins of the living and of the dead, is contrary to Scripture and a gross affront to the sacrifice and death of the Saviour; (6) that we should not pray to dead mediators and intercessors, but to Jesus Christ alone; (7) that there is no trace of purgatory in Scripture; (8) that to set up pictures and to adore them is also contrary to Scripture, and that images and pictures ought to be destroyed where there is danger of giving them adoration; (9) that marriage is lawful to all, to the clergy as well as to the laity; (10) that shameful living is more disgraceful among the clergy than among the laity.


He had enunciated in his theses the far-reaching new principle that the congregation, and not the hierarchy, was the representative of the Church; and he sought henceforward to reorganize the Swiss constitution on the principles of representative democracy so as to reduce the wholly disproportionate voting power which, until then, the Forest Cantons had exercised. He argued that the administration of the Church belongs, like all administration, to the state authorities, and that if these go wrong it then lies with Christian people to depose them.

Zwingli also split with Luther over the matter of transubstantiation, (“the belief that the real flesh and blood of Christ co-exist in and with the natural elements”) insisting it was a memorial of the earlier sacrifice and not a repetition of it each time.

A brief summary from “Quartz Hill School of Theology“:

  • He learned Greek in 1513..
  • Zwingli read widely during this period of his life (1519ff). His library contained such authors as Aristotle, Athanasius, Augustine, Beroald, Billican, Chrysostom, Cicero, Siculus, Erasmus, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Josephus.
  • He was successful in reforming the Church non-violently. There was no peasants revolt as in Germany under Luther; no tract written encouraging the princes to “kill, stab, exterminate” as Luther wrote..

Eventually, there was war between the (Swiss) cantons, partly after the Protestants split — and in this war of the Forest (Roman Catholic) cantons against the others, Zwingli was killed, and his body desecrated badly, in October 1531, in fact, after he was dead, drawn & quartered, then burnt. Described in some detail in the final paragraph here:

People who believe the confessions above (portions in red)

Calvinist Churches in the USA

Reformed Churches

  • Christian Reformed Church in North America – 198,000
  • Hungarian Reformed Church in America – 6,000
  • Netherlands Reformed Congregations in North America – 9,047
  • Protestant Reformed Churches in America – 6,730
  • Reformed Church in America – 293,147
  • Reformed Church in the United States – 4,257

Presbyterian Churches

  • Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church – 40,600
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church – 86,049
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America – 15,142
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church – 63,447
  • Korea-American Presbyterian Church
  • Orthodox Presbyterian Church – 25,302
  • Presbyterian Church in America – 299,055
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 3,561,184
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America – 6,105

Christian Publishing Houses Founded by and Operated by Calvinists

  • Zondervan Publishing House
  • Kregel Publishing
  • Baker Book House

Bible Translation Done Under the Auspices of Calvinists

New International Translation
Other Churches Holding to a Modified Calvinist Position
Southern Baptist Convention – 15,851,756

Dr. Richard P. Bucher

This next is a fairly large church; I mention it because (if it’s the same group) a third-generation of a Nazarene college faculty, the Parrotts (search on this blog) are actively promoting the marriage curricula:

Which I found they are doing…

Marriage Education:Each church should take advantage of available resources to use in Sunday Services (preaching), open small group settings, and seminars to educate couples and families regarding what it takes to build lifelong marriages and healthy families.  (LINK references the Parrots curricula, i.e., the church is helping them sell stuff.  Other links are promoting “prepare/enrich” by “Life Innovations” out of MN, etc. )

About the Church of the Nazarene

The Church of the Nazarene is a Protestant Christian church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Organized in 1908, the Church is now home to more than 2 million members worshiping in over 26,000 local congregations in 159 world areas.

Our Mission

The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.

Beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene:

ARTICLES OF FAITH
I. The Triune God*

1. We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that He only is God, [creative and administrative,] holy in nature, attributes, and purpose[;]. The God who is holy love and light [that He, as God,] is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

(Genesis 1; Leviticus 19:2; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 5:16; 6:1-7; 40:18-31; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; John 14:6-27; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:4-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; 1 John 1:5; 4:8)

II. Jesus Christ

2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead; that He was eternally one with the Father; that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in one Person very God and very man, the God-man.

We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that He truly arose from the dead and took again His body, together with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven and is there engaged in intercession for us.

(Matthew 1:20-25; 16:15-16; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-18; Acts 2:22-36; Romans 8:3, 32-34; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:12-22; 1 Timothy 6:14-16; Hebrews 1:1-5; 7:22-28; 9:24-28; 1 John 1:1-3; 4:2-3, 15)

III. The Holy Spirit

3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead, that He is ever present and efficiently active in and with the Church of Christ, convincing the world of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying believers, and guiding into all truth as it is in Jesus.

(John 7:39; 14:15-18, 26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:33; 15:8-9; Romans 8:1-27; Galatians 3:1-14; 4:6;  Ephesians 3:14-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 3:24; 4:13)

Notice the format:  point of faith, pointillist reference to scriptures.  
Here’s a “Church of Christ” (Arizona):  The statements are long and complex, cover alcohol, tobacco, euthanasia and a good deal more.  One thing they aren’t is very organized….
I. DOCTRINAL POSITION
1. The Godhead
The Godhead consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the sum total of Deity. There is one Deity, but three persons (Matt. 28:19). Each share in the divine nature of the Godhead. Deity is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; creating and sustaining all things (Gen. 1-3, 26; Ps. 147:5; Jn. 1:1-5, 14; Lk. 3:21-22; Matt. 3:17; Jn. 3:16; 16:7-15; 1 Jn. 5:7).
2. The Bible
We believe the Scripture is the Word of God. It is infallible truth and sealed with divine authority. It is plenary (complete), verbal (word for word) inspiration (1 Cor. 2:6-13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Jn. 17:17). We believe and teach the following:
2.1.Scripture is plenary, verbally inspired of God (1 Cor. 2:6-13).
2.2. The New Testament alone is sufficient for our authority and faith (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Jude 3; Jas. 1:25).
2.3.The New Testament must be our only authority (standard) to live by (Gal. 1:6-8; 2 Jn. 9-10).
here’s a Megachurch that may be familiar:  “Saddleback Church/ Rick Warren (“Purpose Driven Life,” etc.)  The webpage is extremely cluttered and in motion, but at the VERY very bottom in VERY VERY faint print is a “what we believe.”  Here it is, below the logo which reads:  “One Family, Many Locations”:

WHAT WE BELIEVE

About God

God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

About Man

Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates man from God.

Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

About Eternity

Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46

About Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father.* * * Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13

About Salvation

Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

About Eternal Security

Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.

John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

About The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

About The Bible

The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

About Baptism

Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.

Learn More

Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2: 8-9; Matthew 28:19-20

About Communion

Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross.

Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

Regarding “co-equal with the Father” and the I Corinthian 15:3 — I Corinthians 15 actually states clearly that the Son is subject to the father; in fact it spells it out.  however the single-verse references aren’t their with the intention that someone will actually read them- they are to lend a look of legitimacy, while getting the reader to get involved in some church ministry. . . .. .
I Cor 15:3 (cited above) says nothing about “co-equal with the Father” and is no more legitimate than any attorney citing a precedent in a legal case — and the cite has nothing to do with the case. At all.  This is verse 3 of I Cor 15:

3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

It doesn’t say anything about Jesus or God.  It says “I told you FIRST of ALL what I received; that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” and then it’s going to launch into a discussion of the resurrection and its centrality.
Anyone who reads the entire chapter (only 58 verses, which is fewer sentences) — or book (which is only 15 chapters — ever read a book that had 15 chapters before?  Can we not do this among Christians then, ever, in one sitting? — can see that it’s addressing the matter of the resurrection, which FYI, gets very tricky to consider if one believes the standard Trinitarian doctrine. . . . except to suspend logic, reality, consistency, and a good chunk of the scriptures (plus that “One Lord” stuff from the Old Testament, i.e., the First Commandment…)
Here is the first section (about half the chapter) ending in the statement that the Son is subject to Him that put all things under him.  So far, the word “co-equal” hasn’t showed up:
1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
{{So far the only thing in this chapter that Christ DID (active tense) was to die and rise again!  everything else is a “was” — was buried, was seen . . . . the emphasis being on, who saw him resurrected }}

9For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

God raised up Christ.  Sounds to me like God is the actor here.

20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Christ is compared to Adam (not God) here — see it?

24Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

This is quoting Psalms, which was also quoted in the testimony (of the resurrection) on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2.

26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For he hath put all things under his feet.

But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Psalm 2 (anyone get that far in reading psalms?) talks about “the Lord and his anointed” and says again, “the LORD said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (so where’s the “eternal”?) or Psalm 110 which Jesus quoted about himself (Matthew 22:42 or so), and which Peter quoted (talking about the resurrection) on the day of Pentecost, which begins:

and is talking about a day of judgment and not a very nice day for the enemies….
God is the one putting things under Jesus’ feet, and when all of that is (said and) done — then the Son will still be subject to God.  I Corinthian 15 goes on — and this is the rest of the chapter which — even if it’s in “old English” (KJV here) is still in English, in complete sentences, with one following upon another, in a “reasoning” manner — and not in discrete, staccato, segmented burps of belief — followed by reference numbers of chapter & verse — added over a thousand years after the scriptures were assembled I supposed for people that had trouble remembering them or finding their way around the book through lack of exposure?:
I’m not doing this as an evangelist; I’m doing this to point out how the churches are treating their own scriptures — which is, without respect, and without reference to taking the time to read their meanings.   And if they don’t have time for that — and can’t do it honestly when referencing it, — then how will they deal with the law?  With money?  With people?  Because honesty is honesty, and sanity is moreover sanity.
Here’s the rest of it:

29Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

It is shameful if among a body of believers they don’t have the basic knowledge of God!

35But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

36Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

38But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind offlesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

However it’s expressed, for about 2,000 years ago, the writer here is giving examples in the natural world to lead up to talking about the resurrection of the dead.  He says, the sun and moon are different types of glory (which we know now, as the moon’s light is a reflection of our son’s).  He also organizes this by genus (men, “beasts,” fishes, birds) and by celestial / terrestrial.  Not bad for that long ago.

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body

re:  Resurrection of the dead:  he sets up a parallel — corrupt/incorrupt; dishonor/glory; in weakness/in power — then finally  “sown a natural body/raised a spiritual body” and repeats it — there are two types of bodies.  Then he is going to relate this to the first man Adam, the last Adam.  Guess who “the last Adam” refers to? (I included a version with the Greek showing in the hyperlinks). .

“natural” — psuchikos (the word from which comes “psychology,”)

“spiritual” — pneumatikos.  (can hover links or click through to see next section.  The word “natural” means “soulish”  or at least is “psuchikos”

45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

“the last Adam was made a quickening (lifegiving) spirit.” the Lord from heaven is that last (or, below, second) man.  Where’s the “CO-EQUAL WITH GOD?”

46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48As isthe earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, whereis thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanksbe to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Whether or not someone believes it, it’s not to disjointed or hard to understand — is it really?  It has a few basic points to make, and makes then, and then ends up — be stedfast and unmovable, your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  It may be in this life (otherwise, it’d be “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die,” right?) — but in the Lord, that labor is not in vain.


This was written and spoken by people that paid, significantly, for their faith in times it wasn’t popular (or federally funded) and some — including, as I understand it, Paul — but there is more recent documentation of others, in the 1300s, 1400s, 1500s and beyond — who paid with their lives, and sometimes DURING their lives also had to live as fugitives, ended up being betrayed by others of (allegedly) the same faith (like Michael Servetus betrayed by Calvin in Geneva, and whiel he was in France, too).
Meanwhile, after all the websites are assembled, and paid for — this is what the evangelists of our time are doing, having slapped up their statements of belief, some of them more recent, some of them simply inherited from traditions a thousand years old:  they are in sales, basically.  Here’s Saddleback:
God has also expanded the church’s ministry both nationally and internationally. Pastor Rick’s 1995 book The Purpose Driven Church put the principles that led to the church’s success in print, namely its focus on the five biblical purposes of the church: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. Now, more than 200,000 church leaders from around the world have been trained in Saddleback’s purpose-driven philosophy.** Pastor Rick’s latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, focuses on the truth that life is “not about you,” and shows how God can enable each of us to live for His purposes.
**for free — or for a fee?  Where’d the fee go?  For more outreach? (Trademarks registered to Rick Warren)
Notice the dates — HOW long has he been with this church?
PURPOSE DRIVEN —-
Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: pre-recorded audiotapes and videotapes featuring religious music and sermons. FIRST USE: 19960802. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19960802IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: printed publications and printed matter, namely, books, newsletters, pamphlets, cards and folders relating to religious subject matter. FIRST USE: 19951027. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19951027

IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: educational services, namely, providing seminars and instruction in the field of religion and ministry, and entertainment services, namely, educational radio broadcasts featuring religious subject matter. FIRST USE: 19951027. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19951027

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: ministry services. FIRST USE: 19951027. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19951027

Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75208939
Filing Date December 6, 1996
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition January 6, 1998
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 2215151
Registration Date December 29, 1998
Owner (REGISTRANT) Warren, Rick INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 29881 Santa Margarita Parkway Suite 100 Rancho Santa Margarita CALIFORNIA 92688
Attorney of Record Lori Lee Yamato
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20090117.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20090117
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
More trademarks registered to the guy:
Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 85356892 4199770 40 DAYS IN THE WORD TSDR LIVE
2 85054761 4119133 RADICALIS TSDR LIVE
3 85356877 40 DAYS IN THE WORD TSDR LIVE
7 78888320 3464343 PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE TSDR LIVE

 he even trademarked his own name….

the Ministry Toolbox is registered to Rick & Kay Warren’s Family Trust…  nice of him to include her in a few; I hope the marriage holds…
36 75763885 2437708 PASTORS.COM TSDR LIVE

That one is registered to the same, shows last owners as Saddleback church:

Mark Image
here’s the logo showing on their website with a LOT of “G&S” listed under it:

C 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Pre-recorded videotapes, audiotapes, compact discs, and DVDs in the field of religion and religious awareness and participation; pre-recorded audiotapes and videotapes and DVDs featuring religious music and sermons; downloadable audio and video recordings featuring sermons or other information in the field of religion and religious awareness and participation. FIRST USE: 19960000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19960000

  • IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Printed publications and printed matter, namely, books, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, printed cards and printed folders all in the field of religion; and printed instructional, educational and teaching materials relating to religion and increasing religious awareness and participation. FIRST USE: 19950000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19950000
  • IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Educational services, namely, providing seminars, conferences and instruction in the field of religious awareness and participation, religion and ministry; entertainment services, namely, production of an educational radio program in the field of religion and ministry via a global computer network; providing on-line publications, namely, magazines, books, newsletters, sermons and pamphlets in the fields of religious awareness and participation, religion and ministry. FIRST USE: 19950000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19950000
  • IC 045. US 100 101. G & S: Providing on-line information in the field of religion, spirituality, self-help and personal empowerment subject matters; providing on-line websites in the field of religion featuring religious information, religious awareness and participation, sermons and ministerial resources; providing an on-line computer database in the field of religion; ministry services. FIRST USE: 19950000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19950000
Registered to Pastor Rick, only….
It’s a far cry from those “Poor of Lyons” and Jesus command to the young man, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life,” right?
Saddleback made some more news regarding domestic violence too, in 2009, and fairly typical for evangelicals — it’s OK to separate, but not divorce.  However, if you married before becoming a Christian (and then abuse?) we understand . . . . .
Saddleback Pastor: Domestic Abuse Not Reason for Divorce
By Jennifer Riley , Christian Post Reporter
January 10, 2009|3:10 pm

Physical abuse by one’s spouse is not a biblical reason for divorce, says a pastor at Saddleback Church in southern California.

Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at the megachurch founded by best-selling author Rick Warren, says the Bible only gives two cases where divorce is acceptable: abandonment and a physical affair.

“I wish there were a third in Scripture having been involved as a pastor with situations of abuse,” Holladay said in an audio clip posted on Saddleback Church’s Web site. “There is something in me that wishes there were a Bible verse that says, ‘If they abuse you in this-and-such kind of way, then you have a right to leave them.'”

Physical abuse, he defined, is someone “literally” beating another person up regularly. “I don’t mean they grab you once. I mean they’ve made a habit of beating you regularly,” he clarified

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/saddleback-pastor-domestic-abuse-not-reason-for-divorce-36349/#sYCwPDRzmSflurY7.99

Well, I’m so glad someone explained that. Now, if one is being beat regularly, are their further clarifications of how hard one has to be hit, for us not to be exaggerating if we call that domestic violence (not “abuse”)? How violent is violent?

….
Does God expect us to live with this pain? No,” Holladay stated. “I think he expects us to ask him for wisdom to do the things that would cause the pain to begin to be solved. He says we’re one and as Christians, as believers, the Bible says a husband is to sacrifice for his wife and the wife is to respect her husband.”
“So if that’s not happening,” he continued, “I think you have not only the right but also the responsibility to keep pushing for that, to not just settle for the pain.”
For those who had a divorce before accepting Christ as their savior, Holladay said God does not hold them accountable because the person did not know it was wrong. And to those who divorced their spouse after becoming a believer, he said some of them will reflect that divorce seemed right at the time but now seems more of a selfish response than anything else.

…And some of them, like me, will definitely not.  As a matter of fact, my husband — who never apologized (or even admitted, to date) for his long-term behaviors, namely assaults — physical and plenty of other kinds, such as breaking property, sabotaging jobs, and basically domestic terrorism over many years — still tries to throw the “divorce” issue in my face.  One of the reason he never repented of his violence is that there isn’t an evangelical or Protestant (and like many Protestant’s he’s been taught to despise Catholics, among many other things, including apparently women, the law, work, child support, or telling the truth under oath, you name it) — is that there wasn’t a religious group around that would confront him on it, even right after a serious event they knew about.  I’ve had my teeth knocked loose, it’s not as though there was no “evidence.”

Here’s another woman weighing on this, and I agree with her.  I believe that Abuse and Domination (control, etc.) is at the heart of most religions, some more overt than others.   And what’s horrible for someone seeking help is to witness dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals who KNOW about it doing nothing, copying their leadership.

The stories I could tell….

Saddleback Church is dishing up typical evangelical fare on the subject of domestic abuse and domestic violence. In and of itself that is not surprising. But has it occurred to anyone to ask why a pastor who is on the extremely liberal end of the Southern Baptist spectrum, to the point of being denounced as heretical by many evangelicals, tows the traditional line, to the hilt, when it comes to domestic abuse and divorce?
Could the reason be that Saddleback Church also tows the traditional line in regards to the doctrine of male authority and female submission? Male authority which can still be maintained in a controlled separation but is seriously threatened when a woman is given leeway of any kind, for whatever reason, in ceasing to submit to an abusive husband by divorcing him? Is it any wonder then, that Holladay also inserted submission theology into his teaching on the subject of abuse by subtly reminding women of their duty to maintain a submissive attitude towards their husbands, although he tempers the inclusion by acceding that tolerating abuse is not a proper example of displaying an attitude of submission.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and council member of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), does the same in her book, Lies Women Believe. Her advice to women in abusive marriages is to leave if they have to, but never, under any circumstances, consider divorce. If a separation must take place, counsels DeMoss, then during the separation, an abused wife is to maintain an attitude of reverence towards her abusive husband’s God-given position of authority over her—which, according to DeMoss, is not abrogated by the abuse.
Thankfully, Holladay did not go as far as Bruce Ware did in his presentation to Denton Bible Church, last year, by suggesting that women often bring abuse upon themselves by not submitting to their husbands.
No matter who is discussing abuse, either victims or church leadership, it seems the subject of submission always manages to slip into the conversation. We just cannot seem to discuss the one without discussing the other. Many victims know that abuse is the extreme end result of the doctrine of female subordination, while supporters of the doctrine acknowledge the fact that it must be carefully controlled or disaster can and often does come of it.
In the audio entitled, “What do I do if I am miserable in my marriage?” Holladay also gives a contradictory message to wives experiencing domestic abuse. While on the one hand, he clalims to believe that women are not required to submit to abuse, on the other he defines abuse as being beaten regularly (He stated that he does not consider a husband shoving his wife once as a good reason to separate). So by his own definition, he does expect wives to submit to verbal, emotional, economic, and even a certain amount of physical violence. I would ask Mr. Holladay how many beatings would have to take place in order to qualify as regularly?

I continued to look this up and found an ex-Saddleback member describing what happened when she sought help there about her husband’s abuse.  It’s VERY illuminating.  And, while I didn’t do a mega-church, very definitely echoes my experience when I did try to talk about an assault at a fairly prominent and multi-cultural (i.e., thriving) urban church in this area.  To this date, I recognize the time frame of my having spoken out (and these pastors having done, essentially nothing) to have been the most dangerous time of our marriage, and when most “flights” happened.

Please read about Ferber (the woman in question — I have no idea why she’d continue to listen to these jerks from afar), including how she was introduced to her husband and how staff responded.  Then read some more about the Jocelyn Anderson case (see above), which is recounted in it too.  FYI, the DV support groups, when I attended, had PLENTY of Christian women in them, including those married to deacons, and/or pastors.   I know which churches in some cases too.

,

A Look at Saddleback’s Position on Domestic Violence from a Former Member

On Sunday afternoons, Sheri Ferber, a 43-year-old mother of three, listens online to Rick Warren’s sermons, streamed from the 25,000-member Saddleback Church where she was a devoted member for ten years.

Although Sheri, pictured here, now lives an hour away in Temecula, California, she hangs on the weekly sermons like a woman in exile. It’s the closest she gets to church these days.

Ferber is a petite strawberry-blonde with a pretty, round-cheeked face, and a voice that sometimes sounds hesitant. Four years ago, she approached a Saddleback pastor for protection against her husband, who’d violently attacked her while they were driving home from church. Instead of protecting her, Ferber says, the pastor called her husband to warn him that Ferber had been “gossiping about their marriage.” Ferber, it seems, had run into Saddleback’s teaching that the sanctity of marriage prohibits divorce in all but a few circumstances, and domestic violence is not one of them. Abused wives could separate from their husbands, Teaching Pastor Tom Holladay explained in audio clips once available on the church website, but only with the intent to reconcile through church counseling.

> > > . . . < < <
Saddleback styles itself as an update to the hidebound American conservative church. Warren is known for his Hawaiian print shirts and approachability. His bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, is pitched at upwardly mobile Evangelicals, and Saddleback’s “mutual submission” teachings are less authoritarian than strict fundamentalist readings. “The Holy Spirit establishes the husband as the spiritual leader of the home, yet he is not to be domineering,” the website explains. “The wife is to be respectful and submissive, but is not to be considered a doormat.” As such, Saddleback seems a vanguard of new, upwardly mobile American Evangelicals, who are wealthier, better educated and, a 2006 study proposed, more happily married than the rest of the country.

Instead, the fundamental attitudes of the church towards marriage roles can exacerbate the dynamics of abuse. Jocelyn Andersen, author of Woman Submit! Christians and Domestic Violence, was severely battered by her assistant pastor husband. She argues that submission teachings don’t create abusers, but allow violent men to justify their abuse as biblical. The real danger, though, is in how the teachings impact devout women, who may conclude they can’t leave their marriages and remain committed Christians. Nancy Nason-Clark, a sociologist at the University of New Brunswick who studies religion and violence, says that while domestic violence rates are consistent in and out of church, Christian women stay much longer, and in much more violent situations, than do non-Christians. . . .

{{I have Nason-Clark’s book.}}

Ferber was introduced to her ex-husband, Mark Bradley, by his mother, Charlotte Huntington, a Saddleback choir staffer who became Ferber’s spiritual mentor. Bradley wasn’t a Saddleback member, but attended the nearby Life Church, a Pentecostal body where he was active in the music ministry. At first, they talked late into the night, reading Scripture and composing their own Christian lyrics. Within four years they married. Right before their wedding, Bradley told Ferber to say goodbye to her choir fellows

This is a critical point, and without the pressure to marry, family, etc. (not to mention to submit) perhaps women might receive some moral support for a serious “Just say No!” to marriage if that’s how it’s going to start off.   The guy sprang it on her at the last minute (mine sprang some stuff, too) — after they were emotionally involved.

It’s an indicator.   The abuser was counting on her not wanting to be socially embarrassed….

Ten months into the marriage, they were driving along a winding road from Saddleback to Life Church. Bradley had had a conflict with a Saddleback member who’d worked on his car. Ferber had paid Bradley’s debt, and in the car she asked him about the money. Suddenly, she says, he became violent, jabbing her temple with his finger, telling her to “shut the f— up,” and then stopped the car and bashed her head against the passenger window until she threw a cup of water at him.
In the following weeks, Ferber confided the abuse to an older couple she knew from choir. Following proper protocol at Saddleback, the couple pulled in Tom Atkins, Ferber’s small group leader and a friend of Huntington’s. When Ferber began to tell Atkins what happened, she says, he raised a hand and told her, “Stop talking.” Soon after, Bradley called her, giggling, and said, “I hear from Tom you’ve been running your mouth.” He reported that Atkins had told him: “Mark, I ran into your wife the other day. I stopped her from gossiping about your marriage.”

.

>>>>>>>I hope everyone looking at this blog post simply reads the rest of this story.

And then quits buying Purpose-Driven Life material.   You will be cleaning up after this abuse one way or another, for a very long time — whether through social programs, more mothers on welfare, crime-scene cleanups, and lawsuits.

As I’m reading this — I experienced the same thing about ten years ago, and for every one of me, there are dozens more, many who I met over the years.  We had a close call involving a gun.  I was not allowed to talk about it in counseling.  It didn’t take very long (after getting free) to make a non-attender of me!

Where’s the 20th Century “WALDO” — the Waldensians, the Poor of Lyons, or anyone who has the heart and will make the time to understand enough scripture to shut up these idiots — or enough of (as I am blogging elsewhere) how they operate financially as well — to pull the plug on it.

The prospect of a baby spurred Ferber to self-defense, and, 11 months after the attack, she filed a police report. Months later, Bradley was convicted of two felony counts of assault and received 60 days of jail time, fines, three years of formal probation and a one-mile restraining order.
Ferber describes what followed at Saddleback as a slow freeze. Unlike other expectant mothers, she received little church support. Bradley, not formerly a church member, began singing at the front of the choir. Ferber reminded Bob Baker that she had a restraining order against Bradley and asked how to handle Bradley’s sudden prominence in the church, but she never got a satisfying answer. Baker told me that Saddleback policy is to divide church access between both parties of a restraining order, but give the victim priority. But Ferber claims that Saddleback barred her from Sunday morning services and the several weeknights that her ministry groups met.
For four years, Ferber pled her case with various Saddleback staffers. But “every door that would seem to open would slam shut,” she told me. Eventually, she left Orange County, but hears from former church fellows that her ex-husband is now an official worship leader. (Saddleback confirms him only as a member of the music ministry. During our discussion, Holladay did not speak specifically about Bradley but said generally that domestic violence would “obviously” be grounds for dismissal for a Saddleback ministry member.)

Buncha god-damn hypocrites!!

And that’s a political issue.

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

One Response

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  1. (just finishing up the news article at the bottom of this post. I note that the woman Ferber married a man Bradley with a history of prior domestic violence — serious, disfiguring the first wife (“Jackson”) — whose church didn’t believe it, either. This is totally outrageous.

    I don’t know if Ferber had children and Bradley was a stepfather, or whether she remarried. Either way, we need to help each other better, as women, than to be so submissive in church, or to even BE there to start with, when they condone this baloney. . . .

    I don’t particularly appreciate having had to spend so many years of my life addressing these matters, and the aftermath, and the ridiculous religious-laced family court system about the same issues they don’t want to confront! They are treating honest people like criminals, and criminals like honest people. What does that say about our government, eh?

    I think some policy where we just hit back, HARD, at the first offence might be in order — it seems that this is a language the batterers understand. Make the first response count, and then get the hell out of dodge, no chance for a second. If a child did something that violent, deliberately, you wouldn’t hit the child — but would you drive home a point? So, if you ahve an adult acting like one, then what?

    That’s talking nonsense, I know — but just FYI — churches, too many of them, are horrible places for women, and dangerous.

    Let's Get Honest

    October 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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