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GCTS Church History 2 Dr Fortson

Terms in this set (15)

The monarch of the time sought a religious middle ground. Elizabeth did not espouse Catholic or Puritan ideas but tolerated them while sticking with the status quo of Anglicanism. For the Puritans this was not good enough as they wished to continue reforming the Anglican Church of "popacy." They desired a more fully reformed church, more on the lines of Calvin's Geneva. Thus those who worked to purify the church beyond what the government had established were called Puritans. The Elizabethan Puritans worked from within the Church of England to abolish religious ceremonies thought to be remnants from Catholicism- the use of the cross in baptism, the surplice, kneeling at communion and concerns about Church government and the use of bishops.
In the early years of Elizabeths reign the Puritans had more support in Parliament and hope for coming reform. Their leaders were Thomas Cartwright and William Perkins. But Elizabeth was unwilling to allow changes along Puritan lines and King James was equally unwilling to reform. Without reform some Puritans remained in the Anglican Church and only marginally conformed to Anglicanism whereas a smaller movement of Puritans emerged who became known as Separatists. In 1581, lead by Robert Browne, a group of Separatists, called Brownists, no longer viewed the Anglican Church as legitimate and formed their own church. This marked the beginning of the English Independent or Congregationalist movement. Many were persecuted by the Anglican leaders and fled to Holland and some eventually immigrated to America.
Spener saw himself as completing Luther's reformation. Against what he saw in the German Lutheran Church of the late 17th Century (a "dead orthodoxy"), Spener emphasized house meetings for prayer, personal Bible study and the sharing of Christian experience. In 1670 Spener began to bring together small groups of believers who, like himself, were not satisfied with a lifeless religion. They met for the purpose of Bible study, prayer and for the watching over of one another. "Before long these meetings were being conducted throughout the city. Persons of like interests in spiritual edification gravitated together to form cells that promoted Christian piety and earnest devotion." Spener did not consider these meetings as a new church but as an extension of the Reformation within the reformation churches. They encouraged the formation of "cell groups," that is little churches, within the Church. "Pietists in the Netherlands were the first to use the term `huis Kerk' or house church for their renewal meetings." In these meetings Spener found expression for the burdens of his heart. With great zeal he preached repentance, declaring the apostasy of the Bride of Christ from her first love. "He consistently heralded a message that emphasized the Biblical command for holy character and holy living." He published his Pia Desideria in 1675, a "manifesto of Pietism," to remedy the spiritual decay within the church. He objected to the rigidity of ecclesiastical structures and the lack of moral discipline among the clergy.
Wesley traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and preached some 40,000 sermons. He and his brother Charles were convinced that at all costs Britain must hear the good news of salvation. Wesley's call was to travel from place to place. He had enormous organizational skill. Wesley stressed "prevenient grace" -God's grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God's invitation to be in relationship with God. God's grace enables us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to choose good....- a special grace that God gives to everyone. Be active and involved, said Wesley, and strive for perfection through an "entire sanctification." -Justifying grace of God. They point to reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ our sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. According to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, the image of God — which has been distorted by sin — is renewed within us through Christ's death. -Sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God. As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our communities, we strengthen our capacity to love neighbor. Our inner thoughts and motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God's will and testify to our union with God.