Twelfth Century - and So Called 'Heresy' in

    And so True Believers in small fractured groups, still maligned and branded as heretics merely because they attempted to walk more closely to Apostolic teachings, made their way through Europe and continued to spread the shreds of God's Truth they still possessed and had faithfully preserved for more then eleven hundred years.    

    Stewart Easton in his book, "The Western Heritage" tells us that: 

    "The common element of all 12th century heresy was the belief that true Christianity consisted in leading a life more consistent with the life of Christ as it had been portrayed in the Gospels"   (page 234)
    The Bogomil's evangelistic zeal had spread their Paulician teachings throughout the Alpine regions of France and Italy, as well as Germany and Servia, where many so called "heretical" Christian sects flourished during this time period. 
    In Germany we find references to "The Friends of God".   
    In Servia there were "The Paterenes".   
    Others were called Passagi, Bulgarians, Cathari, Publicani and were sometimes referred to collectively by their adversaries as Albigenses.   
    It would be incorrect to assume that all these different groups believed the same things, let alone preserved and faithfully followed all the Paulician beliefs of their ancestry.   
    As the Encyclopedia Britanica makes clear in an article on the Bogomils: 
    "It is a complicated task to determine the true character and the tenets of any ancient sect, considering that almost all the information that has reached us has come from opponents"   (vol 4, pg 119)
    Some of them such as "The Cathari", who had been influenced by Manichaeism (a Persian cult), did in fact hold many heretical beliefs.   
    But Christ's Church, as God had promised (Mt 16:18), would  survive.     
    Near the turn of the 12th century, the Roman Church became concerned about the "Heresies" that were over running the Valley Louise in Duaphiny, France.   
    Around 1104, a man from this valley, Peter of Bruys and later, one Peter Waldo were both said to have preached a Gospel of repentance.   
    Waldo, a business man, brought the same skills that had made him successful in business to his organization of the church.   
    He and his followers dedicated their lives to preaching the Gospel and gave up all they owned to be used by the church as was needed; believing that Christ who Himself owned no possessions, had set this example.       
    According to Stewart C. Easton, Waldensians based the creed of their Church: 
    "... on the ideal of the early Christian church as far as they understood it."  Easton, The Western Heritage, pg 234
    Waldensianism was condemned by a council of the Roman church and in later years even pursued by the Inquisition. 
    However the movement was never totally stamped out. 
    In the early thirteen hundreds, Waldensian sects in the Netherlands were called Lollards. 
    And by 1315 a Waldensian minister "Walter the Lollard", brought the Gospel of Christ and the seventh day sabbath to England, where it remained for centuries in relative obscurity.
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The Great Falling Away by Joseph Santora --- ©1998-2002 True Christian Ministries