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History of the Church History (page 6)

at the point of a sword or spear. Their mission was to reclaim the Holy Lands, (Jerusalem, Antioch, Tyre), from the Moslems. Their first Crusade started in 1096. The seventh Crusade ended in 1291. Weak attempts were made in the 1300s and 1400s. No where have I found where the Gospel is to be spread by any means except preaching. Nations began to hate the new religion that the Crusaders were teaching. The molesting of their women and pillaging of their cities were being done in the name of teaching the Gospel to the heathen.

Moravian Church was organized in 1457 by followers of the martyr John Huss (Jan Hus) some 42 years after his death. Huss was a Roman Catholic priest and professor at the University of Prague. For his beliefs and teachings he was burned at the stake as an heretic at the Council of Constance in 1415.

REFORMATION was a religious movement of the 1500s that gave birth to Protestantism. It had a tremendous impact on man's social, political and economic life.

Martin Luther continued what Huss had began about 100 years before. They were trying to repair a broken system that had lost all spiritual and Godly teaching. It had become a money making political system after being taken over by the various governments. The secular rulers were growing in power. In 1309, a French pope, Clement V moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon France. Pope Gregory moved the papacy back to Rome about 70 years later.

The popes and higher clergy lived like secular princes. They built lavish palaces and indulged in corrupt financial practices. The religious life of the church suffered. The sacraments were often celebrated meaninglessly and the church's spiritual message of God's mercy was weakened by emphasis on man's good works, especially the giving of money to the various church charities.

Serious abuses also had appeared in the church. The large administrative structure of the church required a great deal of money to finance it. To obtain this money, the church used many devises that hurt its spiritual nature. These devices included selling important positions in the church. The sale of indulgences caused Martin Luther to attack the church by posting 96 theses on doors of the Catholic churches in 1517. The pope would advertise the sale by posting the authorization by hanging the notice on a cross!! These indulgences were for forgiveness of sin. The rich could buy forgiveness, called indulgences; however, the poor began to resent the church because they did not have money to buy their forgiveness from the pope. (Source World Book Encyclopedia, Reformation).

God begins to shine a light through the fog. With the printing press being invented, a great revival of learning began. The Renaissance helped the common people get an education. They began to study the Holy Scriptures and saw how far the state run church had drifted from the principles that the Apostles had laid as it's foundation, with Christ being the Chief Corner Stone. Martin Luther led this Reformation. Luther saw that men could be saved only through faith in Jesus Christ. His view of religion placed man directly before God, trusting Him and relying on His forgiving grace. Luther begin teaching that God justifies men by faith and not by works of pertinence or by having to buy your forgiveness from some man.

The Emperor Charles V and Pope Leo X ordered Luther excommunicated and declared him a heretic. They ordered his trial before the diet in Worms, Germany. Luther was ordered to recant. Luther replied, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the