"Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by stan the man, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution
    Disclaimer and statement of intent: Unfortunately, the religious "scandal score" needs to be evened up now and then, and the lesser-known "skeletons in the closet" need to be rescued from obscurity, surveyed, and exposed. I take no pleasure in "dredging up" these unsavory occurrences, but it is necessary for honest, fair historical appraisal. Nor does this at all mean that I have forsaken ecumenism, nor that I wish to bash Protestants, nor that I deny corresponding Catholic shortcomings. Historical fact is historical fact, and most Protestants (and Catholics) are unaware of the following historical events and beliefs (while, on the other hand, one always hears about the embarrassing and scandalous Catholic stuff—and not often very accurately or fairly at that). If (as I suspect might often be the case) you were shocked or surprised by the very title of this post, this would be a case in point, and justification enough for my purposes of education.


    PROTESTANT INTOLERANCE
    Views of Catholic and Protestant Historians

    Johann von Dollinger
    Historically nothing is more incorrect than the assertion that the Reformation was a movement in favour of intellectual freedom. The exact contary is the truth. For themselves, it is true, Lutherans and Calvinists claimed liberty of conscience . . . but to grant it to others never occurred to them so long as they were the stronger side. The complete extirpation of the Catholic Church, and in fact of everything that stood in their way, was regarded by the reformers as something entirely natural. (Grisar, VI, 268-269; Dollinger: Kirche und Kirchen, 1861, 68)

    Preserved Smith (Secularist)
    If any one still harbors the traditional prejudice that the early Protestants were more liberal, he must be undeceived. Save for a few splendid sayings of Luther, confined to the early years when he was powerless, there is hardly anything to be found among the leading reformers in favor of freedom of conscience. As soon as they had the power to persecute they did. (Smith, 177)

    Hartmann Grisar
    At Zurich, Zwingli's State-Church grew up much as Luther's did . . . Oecolampadius at Basle and Zwingli's successor, Bullinger, were strong compulsionists. Calvin's name is even more closely bound up with the idea of religious absolutism, while the task of handing down to posterity his harsh doctrine of religious compulsion was undertaken by Beza in his notorious work, On the Duty of Civil Magistrates to Punish Heretics. The annals of the Established Church of England were likewise at the outset written in blood. (Grisar, VI, 278)

    Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
    (Protestant)
    The Reformers themselves . . . e.g., Luther, Beza, and especially Calvin, were as intolerant to dissentients as the Roman Catholic Church. (Cross, 1383)

    The Double Standard of Protestant "Inquisition Polemics" (John Stoddard)
    Religious persecution usually continues till one of two causes rises to repress it. One is the sceptical notion that all religions are equally good or equally worthless; the other is an enlightened spirit of tolerance, exercised towards all varieties of sincere opinion . . . inspired by the conviction that it is useless to endeavor to compel belief in any form of religion whatsoever. Unhappily this enlightened, tolerant spirit is of slow growth, and never has been conspicuous in history, but if it be asserted that very few Catholics in the past have been inspired by it, the same thing can be said of Protestants.

    This fact is forgotten by Protestants. They read blood-curdling stories of the Inquisition and of atrocities committed by Catholics, but what does the average Protestant know of Protestant atrocities in the centuries succeeding the Reformation? Nothing, unless he makes a special study of the subject . . . Yet they are perfectly well known to every scholar . . . If I do not enumerate here the persecutions carried on by Catholics in the past, it is because it is not necessary in this post to do so. This post is addressed especially to Protestants, and Catholic persecutions are to them sufficiently well known . . .

    Protestants have no right to denounce Catholics as if such deeds were characteristic of Catholics only. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones . . .

    It is unquestionable . . . that the champions of Protestantism—Luther, Calvin, Beza, Knox, Cranmer and Ridley—advocated the right of the civil authorities to punish the ‘crime’ of heresy . .

    Rousseau says truly: The Reformation was intolerant from its cradle, and its authors were universal persecutors . . .

    Auguste Comte also writes: The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached. (Philosophie Positive, vol. 4, p. 51)

    What makes, however, Protestant persecutions specially revolting is the fact that they were absolutely inconsistent with the primary doctrine of Protestantism—the right of private judgment in matters of religious belief! Nothing can be more illogical than at one moment to assert that one may interpret the Bible to suit himself, and at the next to torture and kill him for having done so!

    Nor should we ever forget that . . . the Protestants were the aggressors, the Catholics were the defenders. The Protestants were attempting to destroy the old, established Christian Church, which had existed 1500 years, and to replace it by something new, untried and revolutionary. The Catholics were upholding a Faith, hallowed by centuries of pious associations and sublime achievements; the Protestants, on the contrary, were fighting for a creed . . . which already was beginning to disintegrate into hostile sects, each of which, if it gained the upper hand, commenced to persecute the rest! . . . All religious persecution is bad; but in this case, of the two parties guilty of it, the Catholics certainly had the more defensible motives for their conduct.

    At all events, the argument that the persecutions for heresy, perpetrated by the Catholics, constitute a reason why one should not enter the Catholic Church, has not a particle more force than a similar argument would have against one's entering the Protestant Church. In both there have been those deserving of blame in this respect, and what applies to one applies also to the other. (Stoddard, 204-205, 209-210)

    (to be continued)
     
  2. stan the man

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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

    Martin Luther
    Hartmann Grisar
    Luther's intolerance is very much at variance with the Protestant view still current to some extent in erudite circles, but more particularly in popular literature. Luther, for all the harshness of his disposition, is yet regarded as having in principle advocated leniency, as having been a champion of personal religious freedom . . . Below I shall, however, quote a series of statements from Protestant writers who have risen superior to such party prejudice:

    Walther Kohler
    (Protestant)
    In Luther's case it is impossible to speak of liberty of conscience or religious freedom . . . The death-penalty for heresy rested on the highest Lutheran authority . . . The views of the other reformers on the persecution and bringing to justice of heretics were merely the outgrowth of Luther's plan; they contributed nothing fresh. (Reformation und Ketzerprozess, 1901, 29 ff.)

    Karl Wappler
    (Protestant)
    Even contempt of the outward Word, carelessness about going to church and contempt of Scripture - in this in-stance . . . the Bible as interpreted by Luther - was now regarded as `rank blasphemy,' which it was the duty of the authorities to punish as such. To such lengths had the vaunted freedom of the Gospel now gone. (Die Inquisition, 1908, 69 ff.)

    Johann Neander
    (Protestant)
    [Luther's views] would justify all sorts of oppression on the part of the State, and all kinds of intellectual tyranny, and were in fact the same as those on which the Roman Emperors acted when they persecuted Christianity. (Grisar, VI, 266-268)

    Adolf von Harnack
    (Protestant)
    It is an altogether one-sided view, one, indeed, which willfully disregards the facts, to hail in Luther the man of the new age, the hero of enlightenment and the creator of the modern spirit. If we wish to contemplate such heroes we must turn to Erasmus [a Catholic] and his associates . . . In the periphery of his existence Luther was an Old Catholic, a medieval phenomenon. (Conway, 193; Rumscheidt, Martin, editor, Adolf von Harnack: Liberal Theology at its Height, London: Collins, 1989, 251; from Harnack's History of Dogma, 1890)

    Dean William Inge
    (Protestant)
    The Anglican Dean Inge, of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, did not hesitate to say . .

    If we wish to find a scapegoat on whose shoulders we may lay the miseries which Germany has brought on the world, I am more and more convinced that the worst evil genius of that country, is not Hitler or Bismarck or Frederick the Great, but Martin Luther.

    And he gave as his reason that in Lutheranism: the Law of Nature, which ought to be the court of appeal against unjust authority, is identified with the existing order of society, to which absolute obedience is due. (Rumble & Carty [2], 382)

    John Calvin

    Will Durant
    (Secularist)
    Calvin was as thorough as any pope in rejecting individualism of belief; this greatest legislator of Protestantism completely repudiated that principle of private judgment with which the new religion had begun. He had seen the fragmentation of the Reformation into a hundred sects, and foresaw more; in Geneva he would have none of them. (Durant, 473)

    Georgia Harkness
    (Protestant)
    There was little political liberty in Geneva under Calvin's regime, and still less of religious liberty. His practical influence was on the side of an autocratic state and complete conformity of the individual to the established powers. (Harkness, 222)

    Heinrich Bullinger: Most Tolerant of the Intolerant
    (Will Durant)
    Bullinger was undoubtedly the most tolerant Protestant Founder: [He] avoided politics . . . sheltered fugitive Protestants, and dispensed charity to the needy of any creed . . . he approached a theory of general religious freedom. (Durant, 413)

    But even Bullinger favored Calvin's execution of Servetus and the burning of witches, as we shall see later.

    The 17th Century: Rutherford, Milton, Locke
    The tradition of intolerance among Protestants did not soon die out. According to Protestant historian Owen Chadwick: The ablest defence of persecution during the 17th century came from the Scottish Presbyterian Samuel Rutherford (A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty Of Conscience, 1649). (Chadwick, 403)

    John Milton and John Locke, otherwise relatively "enlightened" Protestants, argued for tolerance, but excluded Catholics - the former in his Areopagitica (1644), and the latter in his first Letter Concerning Toleration (1689). (Cross, 1384)

    (TBC)
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Hi Stan,
    An interest assortment of statements on history and the 'reformers.' I was just wondering if you have any numbers available as to the extent of the Catholic persecution of Christians as compared to the Christian persecution of Catholics and those they denoted as heretics, witches aside. Were they any where close to each other in the total numbers or extent of those persecuted to death? Just wondering.
     
  4. genesis12

    genesis12
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    Stan, are you casting the first stone? What are we supposed to do with this information? Go into mourning? Woe is us, ain't it awful? :flower:
     
  5. Eric B

    Eric B
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    As I had said on the recent thread on John Calvin, all of those Reformers, while restoring some essential truth the RCC had buried, still had a lot of the old Catholic (corrupt institutional state Church) darkness, that it would take some more time for later Protestants to gradually clean up. Calvin himself was led into the ministry by threats of hellfire from Farel. So we see what kind of mindset did all of these people have. It was not good at all, and thankfully; God has led the Christian world back into more truth than that.

    Still, the question is where did the Reformers get all of this intolerance from? It WAS the way the RCC had operated for centuries, so like Mother, like daughters, and trying to throw this charge back at Protestants will do no good. All of Christiendom was corrupt, and the RCC started the tide of blood flowing, even if you insist it was "defensive". But what they were defending was unbiblical dominationand tyranny, rather than "a faith hallowed by centuries of pious associations and sublime achievements". As I said, the Reformers started a long slow process back to Christian virtues.

    From what I have seen, Erasmus did seem to be the lone voice of sanity and reason during Luther's day, however too bad he did not have the edge over Luther's typical contumely rhetoric in their "bondage of the will" debate.
     
  6. drfuss

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    According to the history channel (It is sometimes anti-christian), more christians were killed under Constantine than under Nero. Apparently, the biships close to Constantine had their opponents killed claiming they were heritics. Note that I have no other verification of this.

    This history channel also said that the muslims had no reformation as Christianity had, so they persecute all others religions and think they have the right to kill us infidels.
     
  7. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

    The Persecuted Become the Persecutors!
    One of the many tragi-comic ironies of the Protestant Revolution is the fact that even persecuted Protestants failed to see the light: Often the resistance to tyranny and the demand for religious freedom are combined, as in the Puritan revolution in England; and the victors, having achieved supremacy, then set up a new tyranny and a fresh intolerance. (Harkness, 222)

    Multitudes of Non-Conformists fled from Ireland and England to America; . . . What is amazing is the fact that, after such experiences, those fugitives did not learn the lesson of toleration, and did not grant to those who differed . . . freedom . . . When they found themselves in a position to persecute, they tried to outdo what they had endured . . . Among those whom they attacked was . . . the Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers. (Stoddard, 207)

    In Massachusetts, for successive convictions, a Quaker would suffer the loss of one ear and then the other, the boring of the tongue with a hot iron, and sometimes eventually death. In Boston three Quaker men and one woman were hanged. Baptist Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts in 1635 and founded tolerant Rhode Island (Stoddard, 208). To his credit, he remained tolerant, an exception to the rule, as was William Penn, who was persecuted by Protestants in England and founded the tolerant colony of Pennsylvania. Quakerism (Penn's faith) has an honorable record of tolerance since, like its predecessor Anabaptism, it is one of the most subjective and individualistic of Protestant sects, and eschews association with the "world" (governments, the military, etc.), whence lies the power necessary to persecute. Thus, Quakers were in the forefront of the abolition movement in America in the first half of the 19th century.

    Catholic Maryland: The First Tolerant American Colony

    Martin Marty
    (Protestant)
    Baltimore . . . welcomed, among other English people, even the Catholic-hating Puritans . . . In January of 1691 . . . the new regime brought hard times for Catholics as the Protestants closed their church, forbade them to teach in public . . . but . . . the little outpost of practical Catholic tolerance had left its mark of promise on the land. (Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America, New York: Penguin, 1984, 83, 85-86)

    Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
    (Protestant)
    In the 17th century the most notable instances of practical toleration were the colonies of Maryland, founded by Lord Baltimore in 1632 for persecuted Catholics, which offered asylum also to Protestants, and of Rhode Island, founded by Roger Williams. (Cross, 1383)

    Stories of Protestant intolerance in America prior to 1789 could be multiplied indefinitely. Jefferson and Madison, in pushing for complete religious freedom, were reacting primarily to these inter-Protestant wars for dominance, not the squabbles of post-Reformation Europe.

    (Will Durant)
    The principle which the Reformation had upheld in the youth of its rebellion—the right of private judgment—was as completely rejected by the Protestant leaders as by the Catholics . . . Toleration was now definitely less after the Reformation than before it. (Durant, 456; referring to the year 1555)

    (tbc)
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: You have me questioning you motives now Stan. You are long on showing ‘intolerance’ of the protestants, but short on illuminating the ‘blood bath’ of Catholicism in any light where the average reader can see for himself a fair comparison of the facts, that rightfully, in many cases, led to such intolerance of such a cruel and bloodthirsty power.

    Is it not true that the Catholics, and the governments they controlled, were responsible for the death and torture of millions, yes I said ‘millions’ of Christians and those unwilling to accept the Pope as the only true representative of God on the earth and submit to her teachings? There has never been a more corrupt, cruel, or bloodthirsty power since the foundations of the world than Catholicism, now has there? There is no comparison whatsoever in the total number of deaths and tortures between the Catholics and that of the Protestants, is there Stan?

    I would recommend “Foxes Book of Martyrs” for any and all to read for the grisly facts of the tortures and murders committed by the powers yielded by Rome.

    Are you aware that even in our generation we saw the murder of millions of Jews in Europe, that were carried out by Hitler, a Roman Catholic, and the Nazis, that were led by Catholics, using their own religious thoughts and history to justify that atrocity?

    The import of this discussion is the fact that those same powers exist still today in Rome and her tentacles across the globe, and it is still within the distinct realm of possibilities, if not probabilities, that she will once again rise up with the aide of puppet regimes and unleash such atrocities upon the Christian world. The very notions and ideas that Catholicism does not limit herself to be bound to Scripture alone to guide her actions, but that Catholic tradition is another pillar of truth that can wield and guide its influence upon her actions. Due to the fact that Catholicism is the sole judge of her traditions and the placing of those traditions within the pillars of truth she upholds when a conflict arrives, Catholicism is under no influence to yield to any power higher than her own judgments, opening the door wide for yet future atrocities to happen.

    Reader beware. Although it is true that the Protestants indeed have skeletons in their closets, as we have seen in the examination of the killing of Servetus and others, the brutality and murders committed by Rome herself and the governments she held absolute sway over, make the atrocities of the reformation movement pale in comparison to the wholesale slaughter and torture of millions of Christians, Jews and those unwilling to submit to her yoke, over the past centuries.

    Stan, you owe a debt to this list to be balanced in accordance to the facts of this loop sided conflict.
     
  9. stan the man

    stan the man
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    Here is the "work sited page".
    The following is how to look up the items in the parenthesis.
    EX: (Cross, 1383)
    Look up Cross from the list provided below, and this is the author and book where I got the information from. (Cross, F.L. & E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983.) The number is the page number that the information is on. (Pg. 1383)

    [P = Protestant work / S = secular work]
    WA = Weimar Ausgabe edition of Luther's Works (Werke) in German, 1883. "Br." = correspondence.
    EA = Erlangen Ausgabe edition of Luther's Works (Werke) in German, 1868, 67 volumes.
    HA= Werke, Halle edition, 1753, (J.G. Walch, editor).
    LL = Luther's Letters (German), edited by M. De Wette, Berlin: 1828
    EN = Enders, L., Dr. Martin Luther's Correspondence, Frankfurt, 1862
    BR = Bretschneider, editor, Corpus Reformation, Halle, 1846.

    Adam, Karl, The Roots of the Reformation, tr. Cecily Hastings, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1951 [portion of One and Holy, 1948].

    Bainton, Roland H. (P), Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (P), New York: Mentor Books, 1950.

    Belloc, Hilaire, Characters of the Reformation, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1958.

    Bossuet, James (Bishop of Meaux, France), History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches, 2 volumes, translated from French, New York: D. & J. Sadler, 1885 (orig. 1688).

    Chadwick, Owen (P), The Reformation, New York: Penguin, revised edition, 1972.

    Conway, Bertrand L., The Question Box, New York: Paulist Press, 1929.

    Cross, F.L. & E.A. Livingstone, eds. (P), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983.

    Daniel-Rops, Henri, The Protestant Reformation, vol. 2, translated by Audrey Butler, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1961.

    Dawson, Christopher, The Dividing of Christendom, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1965.

    Dickens, A.G. (P), Reformation and Society in 16th-Century Europe, London: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966.

    Dillenberger, John, ed. (P), John Calvin: Selections From His Writings, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1971.

    Durant, Will (S), The Reformation, (volume 6 of 10-volume The Story of Civilization, 1967), New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957.

    Erasmus, Desiderius, Christian Humanism and the Reformation, (selections from Erasmus), edited and translated by John C. Olin, New York: Harper & Row, 1965 (orig. 1515-34).

    Grisar, Hartmann, Luther, translated by E.M. Lamond, ed. Luigi Cappadelta, 6 volumes, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1917.

    Harkness, Georgia (P), John Calvin: The Man and His Ethics, New York: Abingdon Press, 1931.

    Hughes, Philip, A Popular History of the Reformation, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1957.

    Huizinga, Johan (P), Erasmus and the Age of Reformation, tr. F. Hopman, New York: Harper & Bros., 1957 (orig. 1924).

    Janssen, Johannes, History of the German People From the Close of the Middle Ages, 16 volumess, translated by A.M. Christie, St. Louis: B. Herder, 1910 (orig. 1891).

    Latourette, Kenneth Scott (P), A History of Christianity, 2 volumes, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1953.

    Lucas, Henry S. (P), The Renaissance and the Reformation, New York: Harper & Bros., 1934.

    O'Connor, Henry, Luther's Own Statements, New York: Benziger Bros., 3rd ed., 1884.

    Rumble, Leslie & Charles M. Carty, Radio Replies, 3 vols., St. Paul, MN: Radio Replies Press, 1940.

    Rumble, Leslie & Charles M. Carty [2], That Catholic Church, St. Paul, MN: Radio Replies Press, 1954.

    Smith, Preserved (S), The Social Background of the Reformation, New York: Collier Books, 1962 (2nd part of author's The Age of the Reformation, New York: 1920).

    Spalding, Martin J. The History of the Protestant Reformation, 2 vols., Baltimore: John Murphy, 1876

    Stoddard, John L., Rebuilding a Lost Faith, New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1922.
     
  10. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

    PROTESTANT DIVISIONS AND MUTUAL ANIMOSITIES

    General Observations

    Dissensions plagued Protestantism from the start, even though one would think that a religion stressing individualism and conscience would be free from such shortcomings and would promote mutual respect. The myth of Protestant magnanimity and peaceful coexistence (especially in its infancy) dies an unequivocal death as the facts are brought out.

    Luther and Lutherans on Zwingli and His Followers
    I will not read the works of these people, because they are out of the Church, and are not only damned themselves, but draw many miserable creatures after them. (Spalding;v.1:466)

    Zwingli was an offspring of hell, an associate of Arius (Arius: a 4th century heretic who denied that Christ was fully God, saying He was created), a man who did not deserve to be prayed for . . . (Spalding;v.1:466)

    Zwingli was greedy of honour . . . he had learnt nothing from me . . . Oecolampadius thought himself too learned to listen to me or to learn from me. (Grisar, IV, 309; in Table Talk, 1540)

    Zwinglians . . . are fighting against God and the sacraments as the most inveterate enemies of the Divine Word. (Janssen, V, 220-221; LL, III, 454-456)

    It would be better to announce eternal damnation than salvation after the style of Zwingli or Oecolampadius. (Daniel-Rops, 85)

    Luther rejoiced at the news of Zwingli's death on the battlefield in 1531, and said that he had met "an assassin's end" (Daniel-Rops:86). And when Zwingli's associate Oecolampadius shortly followed him to the grave, Luther concluded that "the devil's blows have killed him." (Daniel-Rops:86)

    It is well that Zwingli . . . lies dead on the battlefield . . . Oh, what a triumph this is . . . How well God knows his business. (Hughes:139)

    Zwingli is dead and damned, having desired like a thief and a rebel, to compel others to follow his error. (Spalding; v.1:466)

    The Lutherans proclaimed in full synod: The Zwinglians . . . we do not even grant to them a place in the church, far from recognizing as brethren, a set of people, whom we see agitated by the spirit of lying, and uttering blasphemies against the Son of Man. (Spalding;v.1:466)

    The Zwinglians believed that the Eucharist was wholly symbolic (probably the majority position of Protestants today). Hence, whoever believes the same would have had the foregoing said about them by Dr. Luther, who firmly held to Consubstantiation, i.e., the actual Body and Blood of Christ is present in the communion along with the bread and wine.

    Zwingli and His Cohorts on Luther
    Zwingli, not to be outdone, returned the compliment: The devil has made himself master of Luther, to such a degree, as to make one believe he wishes to gain entire possession of him. (Spalding;v.1:463)

    To see him in the midst of his followers, you would believe him to be possessed by a phalanx of devils. (Spalding;v.1:464)

    Oecolampadius was also not without a retort: He is puffed up with pride and arrogance, and seduced by Satan. (Spalding;v.1:463)

    Zwingli's Church of Zurich wrote of Luther: He will not and can not associate himself with those who confess Christ . . . He wrote all his works by the impulse and the dictation of the devil. (Spalding;v.1:464)

    At least the insults exhibit some vehemence, perhaps revealing the felt importance of their object. Today, on the other hand, many Protestants are utterly indifferent towards Luther, as if their faith was a product solely of their own invention and ingenuity; oftentimes, such self-professed generic "Christians" eschew even the title of "Protestant."

    Luther on Bucer
    They think much of themselves, which, indeed, is the cause and wellspring of all heresies . . . Thus Zwingli and Bucer now put forward a new doctrine . . . So dangerous a thing is pride in the clergy. (Grisar, VI, 283; WA, vol. 38, 177 ff.)

    A gossip . . . a miscreant through and through . . . I trust him not at all, for Paul says ‘A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid.' (Grisar, VI, 289; Table Talk, ed. Mathesius / Kroker, 154, 253)

    Luther on Calvin and Oecolampadius
    Oecolampadius, Calvin . . . and the other heretics have in-deviled, through-deviled, over-deviled, corrupt hearts and lying mouths. (Durant:448)

    Calvin on Luther and Lutherans
    What to think of Luther I know not . . . with his firmness there is mixed up a good deal of obstinacy . . . Nothing can be safe as long as that rage for contention shall agitate us . . . Luther . . . will never be able to join along with us in . . . the pure truth of God. For he has sinned against it not only from vainglory . . . but also from ignorance and the grossest extravagance. For what absurdities he pawned upon us . . . when he said the bread is the very body! . . . a very foul error. What can I say of the partisans of that cause? Do they not romance more wildly than Marcion respecting the body of Christ? . . . Wherefore if you have an influence or authority over Martin, use it . . . that he himself submit to the truth which he is now manifestly attacking . . . Contrive that Luther . . . cease to bear himself so imperiously. (Dillenberger, 46-48; letter to Martin Bucer, January 12, 1538)

    Luther had done nothing to any purpose . . . people ought not to let themselves be duped by following his steps and being half-papist; it is much better to build a church entirely afresh. (Spalding;v.1:465)

    I am carefully on the watch that Lutheranism gain no ground, nor be introduced into France. The best means . . . for checking the evil would be that the confession written by me . . . should be published. (Dillenberger, 76; letter to Heinrich Bullinger, July 2, 1563)

    Calvin on Zwingli
    Historian Philip Hughes tells us that Calvin "abhorred" Zwingli also. (Hughes:229)

    Calvin on Melanchthon
    Calvin had some sort of friendship with Melanchthon (rare among differing Protestant leaders), but wrote harshly of him in letters to others: He openly opposes sound doctrine; or . . . cunningly, or at least, with but little manliness, disguises his own opinion . . . The inconstancy of Philip moves both my anger and detestation. (Dillenberger:52,65)

    Melanchthon on Zwingli
    The timid Melanchthon was "manly" enough, however, to launch at least one salvo against Zwingli: Zwingli says almost nothing about Christian sanctity. He simply follows the Pelagians, the Papists and the philosophers. (Daniel-Rops, 261)

    Bucer on Calvin
    Despite theological affinities, Bucer had quite a low opinion of Calvin: Calvin is a true mad dog. The man is wicked, and he judges of people according as he loves or hates them. (Spalding;v.1:467)

    Luther on Protestant "Heretics"
    Heresiarchs . . . remain obdurate in their own conceit. They allow none to find fault with them and brook no opposition. This is the sin against the Holy Ghost for which there is no forgiveness. (Grisar, VI, 282; WA, vol. 19, 609 ff.)

    Those are heretics and apostates who follow their own ideas rather than the common tradition of Christendom, who . . . out of pure wantonness, invent new ways and methods. (Grisar, VI, 282-283; WA, VII, 394)

    Grisar adds: In his frame of mind it became at last an impossibility for him to realise that his hostility and intolerance towards `heretics' within his fold could redound on himself. (Grisar, VI, 283)

    We must needs decry the fanatics as damned . . . They actually dare to pick holes in our doctrine; ah, the scoundrelly rabble do a great injury to our Evangel. (Grisar, VI, 289; EA, vol. 61, 8 ff.)

    I am on the heels of the Sacramentaries and the Anabaptists; . . . I shall challenge them to fight; and I shall trample them all underfoot. (Daniel-Rops, 86)

    "Sacramentarians" or "Sacramentaries " were those who denied the Real Presence in the Eucharist (e.g., Zwingli).

    Needless to say, Scripture condemns conceit: Romans 12:16: . . . "condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." (See also Prov 3:7, Rom 11:20, 12:3, 1 Cor 3:18, 8:2, Eph 2:9).

    (tbc)
     
  11. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Once again, all of this stuff did not come out of nowhere. All of that hostility and conceit was in their hearts when they were Catholics. It was not created in a vacuum. I think one should look at that church to see how and why so-much unchristlikeness would be bred.
     
  12. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution


    PLUNDER AS AN AGENT OF RELIGIOUS REVOLUTION
    General Observations

    Hilaire Belloc
    There came - round about 1536-40 - a change . . . The temptation to loot Church property and the habit of doing so had appeared and was growing; and this rapidly created a vested interest in promoting the change of religion. Those who attacked Catholic doctrine, as, for instance, in the matters of celibacy in the monastic orders . . . opened the door for the seizure of the enormous clerical endowments . . . by the Princes . . . The property of convents and monasteries passed wholesale to the looters over great areas of Christendom: Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Northern Netherlands, much of the Germanies and many of the Swiss Cantons. The endowments of hospitals, colleges, schools, guilds, were largely though not wholly seized . . . Such an economic change in so short a time our civilization had never seen . . . The new adventurers and the older gentry who had so suddenly enriched themselves, saw, in the return of Catholicism, peril to their immense new fortunes. (Belloc, 9-l0)

    Will Durant
    The cities found Protestantism profitable . . . for a slight alteration in their theological garb they escaped from episcopal taxes and courts, and could appropriate pleasant parcels of ecclesiastical property . . . The princes . . . could be spiritual as well as temporal lords, and all the wealth of the Church could be theirs . . . The Lutheran princes suppressed all monasteries in their territory except a few whose inmates had embraced the Protestant faith. (Durant, 438-439)

    Henri Daniel-Rops
    Right from the beginning, Luther's spiritual revolt had let loose material greed. The German rulers, the Scandinavian monarchs and Henry VIII of England had all taken advantage of the break from papal tutelage to appropriate both the wealth and the control of their respective Churches. (Daniel-Rops, 309-310)

    Melanchthon on the Princes
    They do not care in the least about religion; they are only anxious to get dominion into their hands, to be free from the control of bishops . . . Under cover of the Gospel, the princes were only intent on the plunder of the Churches. (Durant, 438, 440)

    A Precedent: The "Hussites" (Will Durant)
    The Protestants had learned from the "Hussites", Bohemians who claimed to follow the heretic John Hus, whom Luther hailed as one of his forerunners. After Hus's execution in 1415, zealous ragtag armies: . . . passed up and down Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia . . . pillaging monasterles, massacring monks, and compelling the population to accept the Four Articles of Prague . . . (Durant, 169)

    Sweden: Gustavus Vasa (A.G. Dickens {Protestant})
    In Sweden Gustavus Vasa deprived the Church of all its landed properties . . . The proportion of land held by the crown increased during his reign from 5.5% to 28%: that of the Church from 21% to nil. (Dickens, 191)

    Scotland and England (Hilaire Belloc)
    The great Scottish nobles . . . supported the religious revolution because it gave them the power to loot the Church and the monarchy wholesale. (Belloc, 112)

    Likewise, the English "Reformation" was perpetrated primarily by means of plunder at the highest levels of government.

    Erasmus' Disdain of Protestant Plunder
    The greatest scholar and man of letters in Europe at this time, Erasmus, who looked with some favor upon the "Reformation" initially, but came to despise it as he saw its fruits, wrote on May 10, 1521, just a few weeks after the Diet of Worms, about those who "covet the wealth of the churchmen." He goes on to say:

    This certainly is a fine turn of affairs, if property is wickedly taken away from priests so that soldiers may make use of it in worse fashion; and the latter squander their own wealth, and sometimes that of others, so that no one benefits. (Erasmus, 157)
     
  13. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

    SYSTEMATIC SUPPRESSION OF CATHOLICISM
    General Observations

    Janssen tells us the views of some leading "reformers" on this score: Luther was content with the expulsion of the Catholics. Melanchthon was in favour of proceeding against them with corporal penalties . . . Zwingli held that, in case of need, the massacre of bishops and priests was a work commanded by God. (Janssen, V, 290)

    Zwingli (Zurich)
    Zwingli's Zurich was definitely not a haven of Christian freedom: The presence at sermons . . . was enjoined under pain of punishment; all teaching and church worship that deviated from the prescribed regulations was punishable. Even outside the district of Zurich the clergy were not allowed to read Mass or the laity to attend. And it was actually forbidden, 'under pain of severe punishment, to keep pictures and images even in private houses' . . . The example of Zurich was followed by other Swiss Cantons. (Janssen, V, 134-135)

    The Mass was abolished in Zurich in 1525 (Dickens, 117). How did Zwingli's ideas spread?: Their progress was marked by the destruction of churches and the burning of monasteries. The bishops of Constance, Basle, Lausanne and Geneva were forced to abandon their sees. (Daniel-Rops, 81-82)

    Farel (Geneva)
    William Farel, who preceded Calvin in Geneva, helped to abolish the Mass in August,1535, seize all the churches, and close its four monasteries and nunnery. (Harkness, 8)

    His sermons in St. Peter's were the occasion of riots; statues were smashed, pictures destroyed, and the treasures of the church, to the amount of 10,000 crowns, disappeared. (Hughes, 226-227)

    Bucer (Augsburg / Ulm / Strassburg)
    Martin Bucer . . . though anxious to be regarded as considerate and peaceable . . . advocated quite openly 'the power of the authorities over consciences' .He never rested until, in 1537 . . . he brought about the entire suppression of the Mass at Augsburg. At his instigation, many fine paintings, monuments and ancient works of art in the churches were wantonly torn, broken and smashed. Whoever refused to submit and attend public worship was obliged within eight days to quit the city boundaries. Catholic citizens were forbidden under severe penalties to attend Catholic worship elsewhere . . . In other . . . cities Bucer acted with no less violence and intolerance, for instance, at Ulm, where he supported Oecolampadius . . . in 1531, and at Strasburg . . . Here, in 1529, after the Town-Council had prohibited Catholic worship, the Councillors were requested by the preachers to help fill the empty churches by issuing regulations prescribing attendance at the sermons. (Grisar, VI, 277-278)

    Various Protestant Cities and Areas
    In 1529 the Council of Strassburg also ordered the breaking in pieces of all remaining altars, images and crosses, and several churches and convents were destroyed (Janssen, V, 143-144). Similar events transpired also in Frankfurt-am-Main (Durant, 424). At a religious convention at Hamburg in April, 1535 the Lutheran towns of Lubeck, Bremen, Hamburg, Luneburg, Stralsund, Rostock and Wismar all voted to hang Anabaptists and flog Catholics and Zwinglians before banishing them (Janssen, V, 481). Luther's home territory of Saxony had instituted banishment for Catholics in 1527 (Grisar, VI, 241-242).

    In 1522 a rabble forced its way into the church at Wittenberg, on the doors of which Luther had nailed his theses, destroyed all its altars and statues, and . . . drove out the clergy. In Rotenburg also, in 1525, the figure of Christ was decapitated . . . On the 9th of February, 1529, everything previously revered in the fine old cathedral of Basle, Switzerland, was destroyed . . . Such instances of brutality and fanaticism could be cited by scores. (Stoddard, 94)

    [In] Constance, on March 10, 1528, the Catholic faith was altogether interdicted . . . by the Council . . . 'There are no rights whatever beyond those laid down in the Gospel as it is now understood' . . . Altars were smashed . . . organs were removed as being works of idolatry . . . church treasures were to be sent to the mint. (Janssen, V, 146)

    Scotland: John Knox
    In Scotland, John Knox and his ilk passed legislation in which: It was . . . forbidden to say Mass or to be present at Mass, with the punishment for a first offence of loss of all goods and a flogging; for the second offence, banishment; for the third, death. (Hughes, 300)

    Knox, like virtually all the Protestant Founders, was persuaded "that all which our adversaries do is diabolical." He rejoiced in that "perfect hatred which the Holy Ghost engenders in the hearts of God's elect against the condemners of His holy statutes" (John Knox, History of the Reformation in Scotland, New York: 1950, Introduction, 73). In conflict with these damned opponents (i.e., Catholics) all means were justified - lies, treachery (Ibid., I, 194 and note 2), flexible contradictions of policy. (Durant, 610; Knox, ibid., Introduction, 44. See also Edwin Muir, John Knox, London: 1920, 67, 300)

    Luther
    Luther was at the forefront of this remarkable inquisition against Catholic practice: It is the duty of the authorities to resist and punish such public blasphemy. (Grisar, VI, 240)

    If the preacher does not make men pious, the goods are no longer his. (Grisar;v.6:244)

    Not only the spiritual but also the secular power must yield to the Evangel, whether cheerfully or otherwise. (Grisar, VI, 245)

    In his self-proclaimed righteous infallibility, Luther had decided by 1527 that: Men despise the Evangel and insist on being compelled by the law and the sword. (Grisar, VI, 262; EA, III, 39; letter to Georg Spalatin)

    Even though they do not believe, they must nevertheless . . . be driven to the preaching, so that they may at least learn the outward work of obedience. (Grisar, VI, 262; in 1529)

    Although we neither can nor should force anyone into the faith, yet the masses must be held and driven to it in order that they may know what is right or wrong. (Grisar, VI, 263; WA, XXX, 1, 349; Preface to Smaller Catechism, 1531)

    It is our custom to affright those who . . . fail to attend the preaching; and to threaten them with banishment and the law . . . In the event of their still proving contumacious, to excommunicate them . . . as if they were heathen. (Grisar, VI, 263; EN, IX, 365; letter to Leonard Beyer, 1533)

    Although excommunication in popedom has been shamefully abused . . . yet we must not suffer it to fall, but make right use of it, as Christ commanded. (Durant, 424-425)

    If I may be excused an irresistible pun at this point: "The Catholic Masses were forced out, while the Catholic masses were forced in" (to Protestant services)!

    Melanchthon and Calvin
    Melanchthon asked the state to compel the people to attend Protestant services (Durant, 424). Later on, in Saxony (1623), even auricular confession and the Eucharist were made strictly obligatory by law, punishable by banishment. (Grisar, VI, 264) Calvin, in Geneva, also pushed religious compulsion to an absurd degree.

    Owen Chadwick (Protestant)
    The Protestant states did not question that teachers of disapproved doctrines should be prevented from preaching. Nor did they question that the state should use laws to encourage churchgoing. In Anglican England and Lutheran Germany, Reformed Holland . . . the citizens were alike liable to penalties if they failed for no good reason to attend the worship of their parish churches. (Chadwick, 398)

    (tbc)
     
  14. stan the man

    stan the man
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    "Reformation" Intolerance and Persecution

    VIOLENT RADICALISM AND THE PROTESTANT REVOLUTION
    Luther: Revolutionary Invective / The Peasants' Revolt
    The Pope and the Cardinals . . . since they are blasphemers, their tongues ought to be torn out through the back of their necks, and nailed to the gallows! (Stoddard:94; Against the Papacy of Rome, Founded by the Devil (1545). One of Luther's most vile and colorful tracts. )

    It were better that every bishop were murdered . . . than that one soul should be destroyed . . . If they will not hear God's Word . . . what do they better deserve than a strong uprising which will sweep them from the earth? And we would smile did it happen. All who contribute body, goods . . . that the rule of the bishops may be destroyed are God's dear children and true Christians. (Durant:377)

    Will Durant asserts: "Luther . . . emitted an angry roar that was almost a tocsin of revolution" (Durant:377). These roars were numerous: If you understand the Gospel rightly, I beseech you not to believe that it can be carried on without tumult, scandal, sedition . . . The word of God is a sword, is war, is ruin, is scandal . . . (O'Connor:41)

    If we punish thieves with the gallows . . . why do we not still more attack with every kind of weapon . . . these Cardinals, these Popes, and that whole abomination of the Romish Sodom . . . why do we not wash our hands in their blood? (O'Connor:41)

    If I had all the Franciscan friars in one house, I would set fire to it . . . To the fire with them! (Grisar, VI, 247; Table Talk [edited by Mathesius], 180; summer 1540)

    It is a duty to suppress the Pope by force. (Grisar, VI, 245)

    Some . . . will not treat our gospel rightly; but have we not gibbets, wheels, swords, and knives? Those who are obdurate can be brought to reason. (Janssen;v.3:266)

    The spiritual powers . . . also the temporal ones, will have to succumb to the Gospel, either through love or through force, as is clearly proved by all Biblical history. (Janssen, III, 267; letter to Frederick, Elector of Saxony, 1522)

    Luther's friend, the minor "reformer" Wolfgang Capito, warned Luther on December 4, 1520 about his bone-chilling invective: You are frightening away from you your supporters by your constant reference to troops and arms. We can easily enough throw everything into confusion, but it will not be in our power, believe me, to restore things to peace and order. (Janssen;v.3:136)

    Capito was in this instance wise, almost a prophet, but unsuccessful at persuasion. After the Peasants' Revolt broke out, Luther advised the princes to kill the peasants in any fashion necessary, en masse, and many historians estimate that 100,000 deaths resulted. This episode is widely acknowledged as a blot on Luther's career. Durant maintains: The peasants had a case against him. He had not only predicted social revolution, he had said he would not be displeased by it . . . even if men washed their hands in episcopal blood . . . He had made no protest against the secular appropriation of ecclesiastical property . . . The peasants felt that the new religion had sanctified their cause, had aroused them to hope and action, and had deserted them in the hour of decision . . . Many of them, or their children . . . returned to the Catholic fold. (Durant:394-395)

    Zwingli
    Zwingli, too, had marked militaristic tendencies: Zwingli had gone the length of declaring that the massacre of the bishops was necessary for the establishment of the pure Gospel . . . He wrote on May 4, 1528:The bishops will not desist from their fraud . . . until a second Elijah appears to rain swords upon them . . . It is wiser to pluck out a blind eye than to let the whole body suffer corruption. (Janssen, V, 180; Zwingli's Works, VII, 174-184)

    Zwingli was killed, along with 24 Zwinglian preachers, at the battle of Kappel, a few miles south of Zurich, on October 11, 1531, at which news Luther reacted with glee. This event, no doubt, helped to make Zwingli's successor, Bullinger, the most mild and moderate of all the founders of Protestantism.

    Luther and Melanchthon Condone Slavery
    Luther, hardened by the bitter pill of the Peasants' Revolt and his hand in it, sanctioned slavery, quoting the Old Testament: Sheep, cattle, men-servants were all possessions to be sold as it pleased their masters. It were a good thing were it still so. For else no man may compel nor tame the servile folk. (Janssen, V, 180; Zwingli's Works, VII, 174-184)

    Luther's successor Melanchthon followed him in upholding serfdom (Durant, 457; Janssen, IV, 362-363). .

    (tbc)
     
  15. JFox1

    JFox1
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    Oh yes there is! Communism has killed more people than the Catholic Church ever has! Joseph Stalin killed an estimated 20 million people. Mao Tse Tung killed an estimated 60 million or 80 million people during his Cultural Revolution. Pol Pot of Cambodia killed approximately one fourth of his country's population. It has been estimated that Communists have killed 100 million people! Torquemada would have turned green with envy!
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    HP: I should have qualified my comment that said “There has never been a more corrupt, cruel, or bloodthirsty power since the foundations of the world than Catholicism, now has there?’ in this way. “There has never been a more corrupt, cruel, or bloodthirsty power laying claim as part of the Church, than Catholicism has proven itself to be.” Is that better?

    It is sad to think that we would have to reach into the barrel of the likes of Mao Tse Yung or Joseph Stalin to find a more bloodthirsty regime or power. Thanks anyway for the correction.
     

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