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The term "Reformed" comes from God raising up men during the 15th-16th century, to end the absolute control and oppression of the Roman Catholic Church (visible church) and the burden of works it had placed upon those who would profess the name of Jesus Christ (true, invisible church).

These first protestors of the Papal system were motivated to revert the visible church back to its roots and thus better fulfill the purpose of the teachings of Christ, the Apostles and the earliest church fathers. They sought to "reform" the Roman Catholic doctrines that had corrupted. It was from a love of the Holy Scriptures, and the desire to rescue the Written Word of God from the burdensome edicts and confessions of mortal Magistrates, that motivated these protestors to restore and reform Christian worship back to how the Apostles and earliest church fathers worshiped.

There were major doctrinal differences between the first Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, and they developed in the minds of those who protested papal rule, due to a foundational understanding of what the Scriptural promises of Christ were to His church, and what the true functioning of the church of Jesus Christ should be.

The following gives a brief overview of one of the primary principles and confessions, upon which the reformation from the Roman Catholic Church began:

"That unto this catholic visible church . . 'Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this life to the end of the world, and doth by His own presence and Spirit make them effectual.'*

Now, the first part of this statement, that Christ has given the ministry, as well as the oracles and ordinances of God, to the church, does bear, and was intended to bear, upon an important topic . .the importance of settling the proper definition or description of the church.

Papists used to lay down this position: Where there is not a valid ministry, there is not a true church; and the Reformers answered them by laying down this counter-position: Wherever there is is a true church, there is, or may be, a valid ministry, and to this position of the Reformers, the declaration of the Confession, that Christ has given the ministry to the church, is substantially equivalent.

The Popish position virtually proceeds upon the assumption that the church is for the sake of the ministry, and the Protestant one, upon the assumption that the ministry is for the sake of the church.

The Church of Rome makes the ministry the end, and the church the means; Protestants reverse this order, and make the ministry the means, and the church the end. . .

On these grounds, the Reformers in general contended that any body of Christians who had come, from reading or hearing the Word of God, to be convinced of the sinfulness of remaining in the communion of the Church of Rome, were not only entitled but bound to leave it; that they were warranted to form themselves into a distinct society for the worship of God, and the enjoyment of His ordinances; and that if it was impracticable for them, in the circumstances in which they were in providence placed, to get a minister in the ordinary regular way; i.e., one approven and set apart by persons already in the office of the ministry; they were entitled, since they were a church, and since Christ had given the ministry to the church, to appoint a minister for themselves, if there was nay one among them possess of the scriptural qualifications, to wait upon his ministry, and to receive the sacraments at his hands, without any apprehension of invalidity. This was the doctrine of the Reformers."
Excerpts from "Historical Theology", William Cunningham (Italics, ours)

Is it no wonder the RCC opposed such views, and is it no wonder the opposition between Protestant and Roman Catholics still persists? The two views are diametrically at odds and cannot not be reconciled without serious compromise on either side.

This is the reason for the animosity on the large Christian board, that is frequented mostly by Roman Catholics. They have recently stated that they will not tolerate discussion of the Reformed views, and this is why. The Protestant, Reformed teachings regarding worship threatens their own.

But they have encouraged us to discuss these things on this board, and hopefully we can do so without argument from their side. We who might gather here, have the right to learn some church history and inform ourselves as to what the Protestant church fathers believed, without continally having to battle the attempts to silence our sharing or defend against accusations and name-calling.

But it will be, only if God is willing.

We are not broadly exposed scholars, so we know there are persons out there who are well educated and who know a whole lot more about the events and history of the Protestant Reformation than we do, and we are extremely hopeful that if you are reading, you would contribute and teach ~us~ more about the history of the Protestant Church.

Meanwhile, we will present a few basic principles, events, biographies and doctrines, as best we can, hoping to provoke good learning and discussion. If there is no response to this effort, at least we will have put out an overview of what "Reformed Theology" is about, so if or when readers opt to visit here, they may be better informed.

Jim & Ronda

*"Claude's Defense Of The Reformation", P. IV. c III.

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