The Protestant Reformation
Everything you need to know
The Catholic Church, short history.
-When it started depends on who you talk to.
-It was legalised by the Roman Empire in 313 and adopted as
the official religion of the Roman Empire in 383. It split
with the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1056.
-In Western Europe, it was the only Church for about 1200
years. From 313 to 1517, anyone
living in Western Europe was
either Catholic or non-Christian.
Catholic Beliefs in 1517.
Salvation comes through following Jesus, which means
accepting the authority of the Church and Pope.
Should you sin, you must repent, a process that involves
confession and performing an act of penance, as prescribed
by as priest.
Once the priest forgives you, you are forgiven and can go on
with your life.
Catholics believe in Heaven (good), Hell (bad), and Purgatory
(somewhere in between). Purgatory is for those who died with
minor sins on their record to be purified before entering heaven.
To lessen your time (or a loved one's time) in Purgatory, you could
receive an indulgence. These were supposed to be given in return
for some service to the Church or Christianity (feeding the poor,
defending a church from attack, etc.)
The Bishop in Wittenburg, Germany, however, was selling them. A
former monk named Martin Luther had an issue with this.
Believed that salvation comes from God's grace alone, and
not anything you do or that a priest does for you. Also
believed that Catholic practices and teachings contradicted
the Bible. Challenged the Church to a debate in 1517.
The Church didn't debate him, but did give him the
opportunity to confess the sin of criticizing the Church.
So, he broke off from the Catholic Church and formed his
own, which became known as the Lutheran Church.
King Henry VIII (The Eighth) of
-Asked the Pope for permission to divorce his first wife
after the only child of hers that survived infancy was a
girl. He needed a boy to ensure the survival of his
-The Pope refused, so in 1534, Parliament made Henry the
head of the Church of England and he promptly gave
himself a divorce. This church is known as the Anglican
or Episcopal Church. In later years, a group called the
Methodists broke off from the Anglican Church.
John Calvin (1530s and 1540s)
A Swiss thinker who agreed with Luther about salvation
coming from God's grace alone. But he also believed in
"Predestination" or the idea that God's already decided
who's saved and who's not.
To find out if you were on the "good list," you had to live
a life free of sin, impurity and "earthly pleasures" and
await the “inner calling of the Holy Spirit.”
If it never came……..
From John Calvin we get...
Puritans - Church of England members who wanted to "purify" or cleanse the
Church of England of all the Catholic ceremonies and such.
Separatists - What you know as the Thanksgiving “Pilgrims”
Presbyterians - who were predominantly Scottish.
Dutch Reformed - The Netherlands.
Huguenots - France.
Baptists - who separated from the Puritans once they came to America over the
issue of free will and infant baptism.