Discover the Lives & Teachings of the Protestant Reformers

Protestant Reformers

Throughout the Dark Ages, the Roman Catholic church ruled with an iron fist. The office of the papacy ruled from Rome as did the ancient Roman emperors. The pope would raise up kings and depose them as he saw fit. His word was the authority of God and absolute power led to absolute corruption.

The Catholic church became an apostate version of the 1st century church. Many false doctrines were adopted and people were kept in darkness to the truth. Evening owning a Bible became a crime, so that the common people could not see for themselves the truths contained within the scriptures.

In its lust for power and wealth, the Catholic church resorted to many horrendous abuses of their ecclesiastical power. This culminated with the introduction and sale of indulgences. This sham concocted by John Tetzel and approved by Pope Leo X, swindled untold millions from duped villagers. Tetzel’s grace-for-money scheme became famous for saying, “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings a soul from purgatory springs”.

It was these injustices along with a recognition that many of the teachings of the Catholic church did not conform to the Scriptures, that led Martin Luther to post his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany.

This is widely considered to be the event that triggered the Protestant Reformation and soon other men like John Calvin, John Knox and Huldrych Zwingli were leading the “protest” against the Catholic church.

However, the roots of the Protestant Reformation go back even further.

John Wycliffe

As early as the mid-14th century, John Wycliffe began sowing the seeds of a reformation that would not take full effect for 200 years. Wycliffe’s greatest contribution was in translating the Latin Bible into English. Wycliffe believed strongly that the Scriptures should be in the language of the common people. The Catholic church posthumously declared John Wycliffe a heretic and his writings to be burned.

John Huss

Beginning in 1408, John Huss began exposing some of the doctrinal fallacies of the Catholic church. Despite threat of excommunication and death, Huss refused to recant his beliefs. In 1415, John Huss was burned at the stake by order of the Catholic church. However, his influence lived on and effected further Protestant reformers (particularly Martin Luther).

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