The Pilgrim Church speaks out…
The history of the church of Jesus Christ for the past 2000 years has been one of great successes and great failures and to speak out against the corruptions and abuses of the church has a long, painful history. The book The Pilgrim Church by E.H. Broadbent documents the pathway of the forgotten saints from Pentecost to the Twentieth Century and is truly a remarkable story! It traces the story of the pilgrim church, the true church, the wheat church, that has always existed and will always exist.
“The silver-stream of believers” as one historian puts it.
One of the first “pilgrim churches” that comes into church history (1150s in France) were the Waldenses, “a reaction against the great splendor and outward display existing in the medieval Church; it was a practical protest against the worldly lives of some contemporary churchmen.” (Cath. Encyclopedia.)
Two hundred years later came John Wycliffe (1350s), sometimes called “The Morning Star of the Reformation”. He wrote The 18 Theses, opposing the rule of the Catholic Church. He believed that a great contrast existed between “what the Church was and what it ought to be”, and he saw the necessity for reform.
The Lollards, followers of John Wycliffe, posted their “The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards” on the doors of Westminster Hall in February 1395. This document contained statements protesting, amongst others things, against the state of The Church, the Priesthood, and Clerical Celibacy.
This was followed later by Luther’s famous Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Luther was outraged that church members had “paid money for what was theirs by right as a free gift from God…. Within two weeks, copies of the Theses had spread throughout Germany; within two months throughout Europe.” (Wikipedia)
A common theme is that a pilgrim church movement often crystallizes their beliefs by writing Theses or, as with the Lollards, their Conclusions.
I offer this blog today for the world-wide church of pilgrims to present their theses and conclusions of misuses and abuses against the church so that we can keep the faith pure, spotless and without wrinkle.