Territorial Principle: stated the ruler in each region could decide the faith of his subjects, Lutheran or Catholic.Edict of Nantes: issued on 13 April 1598, by Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. In the Edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity. The Edict separated civil from religious unity, treated some Protestants for the first time as more than mere schismatic's and heretics, and opened a path for secularism and tolerance. In offering general freedom of conscience to individuals, the Edict offered many specific concessions to the Protestants, such as amnesty and the reinstatement of their civil rights, including the right to work in any field or for the State and to bring grievances directly to the king. It marks the end of the religious wars that had afflicted France during the second half of the 16th century.
In the final years of the conflict both sides at a stalemate religion faded to insignificance for the most part France and Spain both nominally Catholic struggled for political advantages in the Rhineland. When the swords fell silent Ferdinand’s dream of imperial authority was dashed and 300 independent states were left. The territorial idea was now being questioned and Denominationalism was an alternative. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) gave Calvinism, Lutheranism, and Catholicism the same playing field as Christian expressions of faith.
Unwilling to die for an old idea church history 2 lesson 1
UNWILLING TO DIE FOR AN OLD IDEA DENOMINATIONLISM 1
DENOMINATIONS• Denominations have been called, “a blight, factionalism, a caste system” but they remain the hallmark of modern Christianity.• Why? Denominations divide Christians of our day into small religious groups, that enter a united world with a divided Christ. The reason why they will never disappear is because it give Christians the freedom to differ in their opinions. The cost to remove them is greater than most Christians want to pay.• The Age of the Reformation (1517-1648) did not suddenly end and the Age of Reason and Revivals (1648-1789) began, it took time, and the tragedy and bloodshed that the church suffered was enough to keep denominations around until Christ returns. 2
SUPPRESSION OF THE NONCORFORMIST• Reformers were eager as Catholics to suppress nonconformity. That was because both camps believed that Christian truth held societies together.• In 1540s and 1550s Lutheran princes fought Catholic Imperials forces to a stalemate in Germany. In the Peace of Augsburg (1555) both sides agreed to stop fighting only after adopting the territorial principle.• In 1562 to 1598 France suffered a series of civil wars between Roman Catholics and French Calvinists (Huguenots). When both sides were exhausted they reached a territorial compromise in the royal Edict of Nantes (1598.) 3
FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE• The principle of territorialism was the herald of the approaching death of Christendom. If one Christian prince with a small territory can lay down the law of one religion for his subjects, and another miles away of another religion, division is eminent.• In the Netherlands (1560-1618) the Calvinistic Dutch fought a war of independence from Catholic Spain and won. Belgium remained Catholic and did not gain their independence until much later. 4
THE THIRTY YEARS WAR• The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) this conflict began primarily as a religious struggle with political overtones and ended as a barbarous political power struggle with religious overtones.• One of the glaring weaknesses of the Peace of Augsburg was it completely ignored the Calvinists. Preparations for war were laid early in the seventeenth century when Protestants formed a league of German princes and Catholics created the same Catholic League. Fighting started in 1618. 5
THE THIRTY YEARS WAR CONT.• Ferdinand II was named king of Bohemia, and he attempted to uproot Protestantism from Bohemia and impose Catholicism upon his subjects.• Bohemian nobles mostly Protestants rose in revolt and offered their crown to Frederick V. in 1620 near Prague the Catholic Imperial forces surge forward to the cry “For the Virgin Mary.” crushed the Bohemians and confiscated most of the estates of the insurgents.• King Christian entered the fight but was routed in 1626. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden entered the fight and won victories that carried him as far south as Munich. He died in Lutzen in (1632). 6
THE NEW WAY IN AMERICA• In the seventeenth century both England and France had sent courageous explorers to North America searching in vain for the Northwest Passage to China. The London Company landed it first colonist in Jamestown Virginia in 1607, and ten years later the Massachusetts Bay Company began to gather thousands of frustrated Puritans.• Quakers came to Pennsylvania, Catholics to Maryland, Dutch reformed to New York, Swedish Lutherans and French Huguenots, English Baptist, Scottish Presbyterians. They came because of the general policy of religious toleration.• In New England the Puritans ruled by a policy of religious conformity. Failure to attend church services, denial of Christ’s resurrection, or infant baptism, and irreverence for the Bible could bring severe punishment. 7
THE IDEA OF DENOMINATIONS• Denominationalism is the opposite of sectarianism. A sect claims authority of Christ for itself alone. It believes that it is the true body of Christ, all truth belongs to it and to no other religion.• Denominationalism- denomination is an inclusive term. It implied that the Christian group called or denominated by a particular name was but one member of a larger group the church to which all denominations belong. The true church cannot be identified with any single ecclesiastical structure. No denomination claims to represent the whole church of Christ. The true succession is not of bishops but of believers. 8
DENOMINATIONAL THEORY• The real architects of the denominational theory of the church were the seventeenth century Independents (Congregationalists). These Dissenting Brethren of Westminster articulated the denominational theory:• 1. man’s inability to always see the truth clearly, differences of opinion about the outward form of church are inevitable.• 2. differences do not involve fundamentals of the faith, they are not matters of indifference. Every Christians is obligated to practice what he believes the Bible teaches.• 3. no church has a final and full grasp of divine truth. The true church cannot be defined by a single ecclesiastical structure.• 4. the mere fact of separation does not of itself constitute schism. It is possible to be divided on points and still be united in Christ. 9