Reformation summary

Would I be right in thinking no Reformation leader or successor would disagree or take exception with the following comments relative to the Reformation? I would like to share this with a friend but want to be sure it is accurate first.:shrug:

Protestant Reformation

In the word reformation one can find the smaller word reform. I think Reformation leaders probably had initially reform as their primary purpose and rightfully so. The church was in much needed reform. Reform was needed because of the human element failures within the Church, an element that caused much scandal. But one can’t let abuse or scandal by any source be the justification for nullifying over 15 centuries of unchanging doctrinal teachings dealing with a visible governing Church, the priesthood of the Church and the sacred sacraments of the Church, especially the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.

Even Jesus experienced scandal with Judas betraying Him and also with Peter denying Him three times. Within the early Church one can find within the Book of Acts other details of more scandals.

But reform was not the end result of the Reformation. Abandonment appears to be a more accurate word that describes the results. What eventually happen is that number of traditional Catholic understandings of Scripture dealing primarily with what is necessary to gain eternal life were replaced with alternative understandings of those same Scriptural teachings by the reformers. The result was that the reformers and their successor no longer believed in the necessity of a central Church authority, priests and many of the sacraments. A much bigger result though was a great divide that still exist today between a number of Catholic and Reformation faith positions.

As an ex-protestant, this has my stamp of approval :thumbsup:

It is not exactly an unbiased summary, but I don’t see anything that will necessarily offend your friend.

Actually, the end result of the reformation **was **reform, though, and reform from within the Catholic church too. The breakaway finally woke up the sleeping church and forced it to clean house, triggering the counter-reformation, which led them to eventually abandon many of the horrible traditions that corrupt priests were trying to say brought salvation – including but not limited to the sale of indulgences, the venerations of the alleged remains of saints, and meaningless invocation of repetitive prayers. It also brought the Bible to the common people by translating it into the natural tongue, allowing people to actually understand what it was saying for the first time in centuries. It forced people to reread the words they had imbibed from childhood and actually try to *understand *what they said for once, leading to a revival in Christian thought in both the Catholic and Protestant churches.

Many Catholics dislike the Protestants, but, with all due respect, the Reformation was for the Catholics both a blessing and a curse. If you were to go back in time and expunge it from history I doubt many Catholics would like the results – mostly because a faithful Catholic and faithful Protestant church, despite their differences, are much closer to God than the corrupt church that had arisen. So rejoice, even if you mourn! For, regardless of the correct theological position, as the Bible says: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20.

I respectfully disagree. Christianity was dying spiritually from several centuries of abuse, as you made clear. The reformation acted as a flame that finally awoke the sleeping giant, resulting in the revivification of theology and a new fervor for God. Confidence was renewed, not lost.

Somehow, the “scandals in the church” seem to include the problems between the Eastern and Western churches centuries before the Reformation, who fighting seemed to have distracted the church from confronting the rise of Islam. Why was the Church slow to confront Islam?

To begin with, Islam’s holy book incorporates the Arian heresy, that Jesus was only a man and not divine.

Jesus said that there would be wars until the end of time, and the rise of Islam, if nothing else, would seem to fulfill that prophecy.

Not even close my friend

protestantism was a political thing. the majority did not want it. in England 40,000 yeomen troops went on their way to London to prevent this new religion, they were met along the way by the entire Royal army, all 6000 of them. The Kings representative promised the yeomen the crown would do as the yeomen wished. he told them to go home happy in the knowledge that they had succeeded in their aim. When they had returned to their home places the King had the leaders of the yeomen rounded up and executed. there is no need to say that the king did not keep his word, protestantism became the new forced religion in england against the wishes of the majority.


Oversimplification is always a risk when you’re trying to cram several centuries of history into a few sentences. Remember, for example, the Wars of Religion in France, with the famous siege of La Rochelle. We were taught in school that it was a war between Catholics and Protestants. They didn’t tell us that some of the Lutheran princes in Germany sent troops to support the French army – that is, the Catholics – against the Huguenots, who were Calvinists.

Lumping the Lutherans and Calvinists together as “Protestants,” minimizing the differences between them, can give you a distorted view of the historical reality of the Reformation.

Many Catholics do NOT dislike Protestants, I have many protestant friends, but we do dislike the lies they tell about us such as those nasty tracts some put out that are blatant lies and they know it. We have tried to tell them for so many years. Why they will not believe us, is anybody’s guess. Those that “put others down” usually have a very low opinion of themselves and do that to try to make themselves look better than others. God knows the TRUTH even if they don’t! God Bless, Memaw

Chick tracts and similar stuff are thankfully only published by a small minority of non-Catholic Christian groups and to be honest most Protestants find many of these kind of tracts quite crazy as well.

The institution became corrupt over time, but that is true of all institutions with minimal accountability. Most evolve through a resolution of their corruption, or at least limiting it to an acceptable level while the main purpose of the institution is largely accomplished.

In that respect, I think the Catholic Church could have cleaned up its act without large groups leaving en mass except for one thning, namely the buildling of St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome. The Germans bank Fuggers held the church hostage and forced the Pope in to authorising all sorts of nonsensical indulgences to sell to the public, marketed town by town by what we’re little more than film flam men. A Fugger’s representative was there to take the money earned to put towards the hideously expensive structure.

I recommend Mary Jackson’s “Daughter of the Reformation” for a good read on those times.



While I lack time to go deeper, let me just say that to treat the Reformation as a singular event, as if the reformers were all of one mind and one process, usually leads to lots of mistakes.


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