"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Huguenots

Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


Acts 6:57-60

"Ours is the seed-time; God alone Beholds the end of what is sown;Beyond our vision, weak and dim,The harvest time is his with Him." --Whittier.

"What sought they thus afar?Bright jewels of the mine?The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?They sought at faith's pure shrine.Aye! call it holy ground,The soil where first they trod,They've left unstained what there they found--Freedom to worship God."

The corruption of the established church was rampant in France. There were those who opposed these teachings. Man had a right to read God's word himself instead of taking the priest's word. He did not need a priest to intercede for him for forgiveness of sins.The church was also corrupted by power and money. Taking upon them the pre-forgiveness of sins. Paying a sum of money for forgiveness before committing the sin. That was the final straw. Those opposed to these teachings were labeled heretics. They came to be called Huguenots.

They were French Protestants most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The new "Reformed religion" practiced by many members of the French nobility and social middle-class, based on a belief in salvation through individual faith without the need for the intercession of a church hierarchy and on the belief in an individual's right to interpret scriptures for themselves, placed these French Protestants in direct theological conflict with both the Catholic Church and the King of France in the theocratic system which prevailed at that time. Followers of this new Protestantism were soon accused of heresy against the Catholic government and the established religion of France, and a General Edict urging extermination of these heretics (Huguenots) was issued in 1536.

Since the Huguenots of France were in large part artisans, craftsmen, and professional people, they were usually well-received in the countries to which they fled for refuge when religious discrimination or overt persecution caused them to leave France. Most of them went initially to Germany, the Netherlands, and England among other countries, although some found their way eventually to places as remote as South Africa. Considerable numbers of Huguenots migrated to British North America, especially to the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Their character and talents in the arts, sciences, and industry were such that they are generally felt to have been a substantial loss to the French society from which they had been forced to withdraw, and a corresponding gain to the communities and nations into which they settled.
The exact origin of the word Huguenot is unknown, but many consider it to be a combination of Flemish and German. Protestants who met to study the Bible in secret were called Huis Genooten, meaning "house fellows." They were also referred to as Eid Genossen, or "oath fellows" meaning persons bound by an oath.

The First Martyr
It is impossible to even refer to the many struggles of the Huguenots through the dark centuries embraced in their history. We can only in a general way point out some of the leading events. Jean Le Clerk, one of the earliest reformers of Meaux, permitting his zeal to exceed his discretion, entered several Catholic churches, broke images and posted placards denouncing the corruptions of the Pope and church. For this he was apprehended, condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake in the city of Metz in 1525. He was the first conspicuous martyr of the Huguenots. Notwithstanding the great persecutions which were now instituted the Protestants continued to increase in numbers and influence.

So large was the numbers of those martyred it equaled in the thousands. My ancestors Matthiew Garrigues and his wife were among those that fled France. One version was later to be changed to my families spelling of Gargus. My other family members stood among those who were martyred and knew friends who refused to renounce their faith at the cost of their lives.
Making their way eventually to America to enjoy religious freedom. This ancestry makes me appreciate the freedom that I have to worship God. But it also makes me think would I have the courage to stand up in the face of death and speak. To speak out against corruption by money and greed infecting the church. To hold fast to my faith even till death. My soul searches for an answer and none comes. May the God who strenghtened my ancestors in their dark history strengthen me.

by
Lance Gargus
Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,
Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven


8 comments:

Karl said...

We may yet find out if we can hold up under persecution.

I believe that fear of being tested is what has so many "Christians" hoping that the pre-trib rapture scenario will be true. But everything I read in the NT tells me that I must suffer as Christ suffered and that I should prepare myself for times of testing.

Sermon Alive said...

It's alway good to come back visiting this blog.
Sometime, God allows us to be suffered then we climb to the next level of faith.
Keep preaching, my friend.
God bless you!

Enemy of the Republic said...

It was horrible about the Huguenots. I've studied it--may I offer another opinion? Much of the persecution of Prostentants was political, as France was so close to the Netherlands, who had unabashedly embraced Calvinism as had Scotland, which had ties to France through many royal marriages. Catholics too, faced persecution in England--not on the same level as Protestants, but enough that Elizabeth barely avoided a civil war. To the individual, faith is personal but to the state, it is political. Eventually France got a Huguenot king after the death of the Valois/DeMedici house.

I am not making light of this, but Jews were persecuted for 2000 years; in the 1st Crusade alone, they were killed as the masses following Peter the Hermit went to Constantinople. They were also blamed for the Black Death and thrown out of England. And I'm not even mentioning the pograms in Poland and Russia. I cannot think of one religious faith that hasn't faced persecution--yes, I am a Christian, but we do not own the cornerstone of persecution. Hate is everywhere. And it often kills the innocents.

Vanessa said...

Very interesting post. A good reminder to take a stand for holiness in the midst of today's corruption.

FishHawk said...

Is not history repeating itself in regards unto the corruption of money and greed (amongst many other abominable things) being readily accepted in what is generally considered as being the Christian church in the eyes of this world now???

Given55 said...

I have, also, asked that question of myself. We live in a time where that question could be tested.

Enjoyed learning more about you. So, lets learn more. You have been tagged over at my place.

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