Pages

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Pilgrim Church by E. H. Broadbent

Candy has at long last found a chronological history of the REAL Christian Church, which is written in accordance to her preferred version of history.

I've read of the Waldnses, the Vaudois, and a bit of the Anabaptists, but I want to read all the way back to Christ's time Himself, up until the present day. Thanks to many of the wonderful readers of this blog, and their suggesting some great books to me, I've settled on one that I think will be quite accurate.

Note: The Waldenses and Vaudois are the same group of people. Vaudois is the French version. Waldo/Vaudo to Waldensian/Vaudois.

Like any good revised history, this one is difficult to find, not because it is inaccurate, but because certain religions (i.e. the Catholic Church) want to keep it hidden:

Why was/is this book so hard to obtain? I did a bit of research on this, and have found that this book - which seems to teach the true history of Christ's church, has been squelched and pushed down by certain large religions that don't like what the book has to say.

Other people have similar accusations for the unpopularity of the book. For example:

How is that Broadbent’s account differs from many others then? He travelled extensively gathering what he could from various sources and directly from those who were descendants of ‘the pilgrim church’. He reads between the lines of the accounts given by ‘their enemies’, which of course would not paint them in any favourable light. There were some preserved, written records, which clearly expose the tyrannical behaviour of much of the ‘official’ Church. Interestingly, I recall reading somewhere that many of these have since ‘disappeared’ since Broadbent’s days. The recently (1999) reissued edition of The Pilgrim Church has an excellent foreword by Dave Hunt. He also makes mention there of records no longer being in circulation. What makes this account so valuable is that it drew upon sources that were available in the Author’s day (he lived from 1861 – 1945), much of which does not seem to be now in circulation.

I added the bold to highlight the vague nature of Broadbent's sources. His evidence is apparently drawn from creatively editing sources and non-existent manuscripts. At least, that is my "reading between the lines" of this review.

According to this review, the true faithful Christians include the following groups:

I’ve learnt through this that many of the ‘unknowns’ not included in ‘popular’ Church histories were actually the true and faithful ones in Christ. As I understand, these people such as, the Waldenses, Albigenses, Lollards and Bogomils (some of their names were given to them by their oppressors) and numerous others are often either overlooked in many Church history books or are painted in a bad light.

The Elusive Vaudois are not an early Christian group, as Candy believes, because by their own history, they only date back to the 1100's. I do not know if Broadbent shares her view or not.

The Albigensians are clearly a group which would appeal to Candy. I believe that Ellen White also asserted that they were true believers. From Raynaldus' On the Accusations Against the Albigensians:

They said that almost all the Church of Rome was a den of thieves; and that it was the harlot of which we read in the Apocalypse. They so far annulled the sacraments of the Church, as publicly to teach that the water of holy Baptism was just the same as river water, and that the Host of the most holy body of Christ did not differ from common bread; instilling into the ears of the simple this blasphemy, that the body of Christ, even though it had been as great as the Alps, would have been long ago consumed, and annihilated by those who had eaten of it. Confirmation and Confession, they considered as altogether vain and frivolous.

Well, if you believe that, then surely you must be part of Christ's true Church! Only, that wasn't all that they believed:

First it is to be known that the heretics held that there are two Creators; viz. one of invisible things, whom they called the benevolent God, and another of visible things, whom they named the malevolent God. The New Testament they attributed to the benevolent God; but the Old Testament to the malevolent God, and rejected it altogether, except certain authorities which are inserted in the New Testament from the Old; which, out of reverence to the New Testament, they esteemed worthy of reception. They charged the author of the Old Testament with falsehood, because the Creator said, "In the day that ye eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall die;" nor (as they say) after eating did they die; when, in fact, after the eating the forbidden fruit they were subjected to the misery of death. They also call him a homicide, as well because he burned up Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed the world by the waters of the deluge, as because he overwhelmed Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, in the sea. They affirmed also, that all the fathers of the Old Testament were damned; that John the Baptist was one of the greater demons. They said also, in their secret doctrine, (in secreto suo) that that Christ who was born in the visible, and terrestrial Bethlehem, and crucified in Jerusalem, was a bad man, and that Mary Magdalene was his concubine; and that she was the woman taken in adultery, of whom we read in the gospel. For the good Christ, as they said, never ate, nor drank, nor took upon him true flesh, nor ever was in this world, except spiritually in the body of Paul....

This document dates from the 13th century. How would Broadbent have access to a more accurate version in the 1940's? How can he read through the lines to know that the first paragraph I quoted is all the truth, and everything in the second paragraph is a lie constructed by the Catholic Church in order to kill all of the Albigensians (also known as Cathars) as heretics? He couldn't. He can only guess, and edit to make things fit what he believed was history.

The Lollards are a group of people who were influenced by Wycliffe, and date from the late 1300's. Candy would agree with many of their doctrines, although some still held to the sacraments, and they felt that the virtue of the priest could effect the validity of the sacrament.

The Bogomils are also a later group, dating from the 10th century. While they did reject much of the Orthodox church, including the sacraments, they believed in a dualism similar to the Cathars. Everything created was evil, created by Satan. They rejected the Incarnation because God would never stoop to take part in the evil that was the material world.

So while I agree with Broadbent and Candy that there have always been groups of people who called themselves Christian but broke away from the established church, I do not feel that you can in any way make the argument that these groups were born again Christians, because they did not share the same theology. Broadbent asserts that groups of people have followed the pattern of the church as recorded in the Book of Acts, but these groups are all completely different, and some are not in keeping with the most generally held Christian beliefs (i.e. that God created the world).

In a comment posted on Candy's article, a reader asks Candy why she doesn't read some of the Early Church Fathers if she is interested in church history. Candy's reply, "because I am not interested in man's church, I'm interested in God's church. . . I'm not so much interested in mainstream historicy teachings of the beginnings of the Roman Catholic church, I'm looking for the history of the New Testament Christian church."

First, the translators of the King James Version had the utmost respect for the Fathers of the Church. Many of the early creeds of the Reformers mention the doctrines held by the Fathers of the Church. Calvin's Confession of Faith of 1559 states "And we confess that which has been established by the ancient councils, and we detest all sects and heresies which were rejected by the holy doctors, such as St. Hilary, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose and St. Cyril." Many respected non-Catholics do not see the writings of the Early Church Fathers as reflecting only the Roman Catholic church.

Secondly, where does she think that Broadbent found his information on the early Christians? I suppose from these secret sources which are now destroyed. But while Broadbent may hesitate to accept an account of beliefs of these groups from the Catholic Church, which persecuted them, it is still his source of information. By comparing the account of Raynaldus with what Broadbent writes, Candy can critically compare the two and draw her own conclusions.



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

34 comments:

Jennie said...

Kelly,
here again is the review I found and posted:http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/11/pilgrim-church-by-eh-broadbent-reviewed.html

I am going to read the book as soon as I get it, and hopefully review it myself and give some of the footnotes on the sources Broadbent used. What do you think about reading it yourself also, Kelly, and seeing for yourself what he has to say? Or have you read it? I didn't get that impression.

Why should you have to deny the existence of legitimate bodies of believers outside the Roman Catholic Church? If there are such, why deny it, except because it contradicts the RC claim to be the only true church? It is true that the descriptions of some of these groups were given by the RCC who persecuted them (the Bible doesn't tell us to harm people for denying the faith, but to expose them and not associate with them if they don't repent), and may not be accurate but is an attempt to discredit them. Certainly there were heretical groups, but not all were.

Kelly said...

I do not plan to purchase the book, but if you would like to send me your copy after you are done, I will read and return it. I would certainly prefer to review the book based on having read it, but I tried to be as accurate as I could from the positive reviews that I found.

I believe I have said before, that I don't deny there were groups of Christians outside the church, some of which probably even resemble the born again Christianity of today. What I repudiate is that there was a continuous group of Christians who held similar beliefs throughout the history of Christianity.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I can send you the book when I finish; I'll let you know and we can arrange it then.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Piggybacking on what Kelly said, I add that it's extremely unlikely that today's Born-again Christians would have much in common with pre-Reformation "breakaway" Christian sects. If they did, don't you think there would be a "proper" Catholic name for them? Ideas that seem new and modern are often exposed as merely the latest appearances of Arianism, Donatism, etc--but there is nothing quite resembling "Born-again-ism" in the records of a Church meticulous to a fault in detailing every heresy it comes across. This is something new.

Of course, this doesn't mean that there weren't "legitimate bodies of believers" who weren't Catholic. It's just that someone looking for particulars of Born-again theology that are over 500 years old is looking for something that didn't exist.

Jennie said...

Enbrethiliel,
A wide range of beliefs on peripheral issues developed early in the church, as evidenced by the Church Fathers who did not agree on everything but were still considered orthodox, mostly; this is similar to the protestant churches, who disagree on some things but agree on the essentials. Don't forget the many disagreements that happened over the centuries, some of which were attempts to explain things that can't really be explained more than scripture reveals. (Of course, there were also many disagreements about essential issues, which made those on the wrong side into heretics.)
This book we are discussing is not saying that all these bodies are identical to modern evangelicals, but that they had a biblical foundation, and were born again, and are the spiritual brothers and sisters of those today who are born again and believe that scripture is our final authority. So, in that case I would say that there were many all along, including the church fathers, who are born again believers who revered scripture as our final authority and did not believe many things that the Roman Catholic church taught and teaches.

Dewayne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Jennie, all baptised Catholics have been born again and are your spiritual brothers and sisters, too.

Elena said...

but agree on the essentials.


What are the essentials ya'll agree on and who decided what they were?

Jennie said...

Enbrethiliel,
If you look back at your last comment, you used the term 'born again' and 'born-again-ism' for evangelicals, so I assumed you don't call yourself 'born again' and I used the term in the same way you did.
Also, as to being spiritual brothers and sisters, I can't tell if an individual on the internet is my spiritual brother or sister except by finding out if we believe the same things; since the Roman Catholic gospel is different than the protestant gospel it seems to me that we don't believe the same things, and so may not be spiritual brothers and sisters. This is basically what I've been trying to understand for this past year on my blog. It all depends on who we are trusting in and if we are regenerate and are obedient to the gospel of His word.

Kelly said...

So you're fine classifying yourself in a group with people who believe Satan created the world, or reject the Incarnation, but Catholics, they have a different gospel.

Couldn't it be possible that you are misunderstanding Catholicism the way that you feel the Albigensians or the Bogomils are? Especially when you rely on the Berean Beacon to accurately define our doctrines, but not the Catholic Church to define Albigensianism?

Sometimes, I find you truly confusing, Jennie.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I don't classify myself with people who believe unscriptural things. Since the accounts given by the Roman Catholics of these groups differs from the accounts given by others as to what they believed, I don't know for sure what they were like, but I would like to read the other accounts and see what they say.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Essential things would be the biblical understanding of the gospel: by grace through faith apart from works.
It would mean depending on and worshipping God alone, and understanding what worship means and that we worship according to the Spirit and the Truth of God's word. It would mean believing and trusting in the triune God alone for salvation and all our needs, among other things.
An example of non-essentials would be understanding what predestination means, or other issues that don't effect salvation or worship of God alone. That's a quick answer off the top of my head. I'll have to take some time later to go into detail if you want, but I have to get going.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
the comment I just left disappeared; so I'll try to redo it. There seems to be a problem with blogger.
I don't classify myself with people who believe unbiblical things, but I want to get more than one side of th story and then make up my mind which accounts to believe. I have no reason to just accept the RC accounts of these things if there are conflicting stories.

Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elena said...

But you didn't answer the question Jennie- who decided what was essential and what wasn't?

Elena said...

Kelly, jennie is not that hard to understand. She is coming with her ideas and opinions already well-formed and basically if it's Catholic, she is going to find it flawed and go for the other argument.

It's pretty straightforward.

Kelly said...

Jennie, your comments all appear when I view the page.

Elena, how about if I say Jennie is contradictory, instead? ;)

I am not aware of any groups of people claiming to be Christian apart from the Catholic Church which we would not BOTH agree are heretical in the first 1000 years after Christ. Many times the only documents relating to the early heresies are those written from the Catholic side, so you have two alternatives:

1. Trust the Catholic historical account and agree that they are heretical.

2. Be skeptical of the Catholic account, and feel that they are being misrepresented.

However, even in the case of #2, you cannot know for sure that you would agree with their theology if you have NO other documents to go on.

This whole idea which Trail of Tears and The Pilgrim Church puts forth is that there is a tradition of sola scripture/born again Christians dating from the time of Christ. Trail of Tears says that they were Baptists, and Broadbent says that they were unaffiliated groups with commonalities that all would agree upon. But the entire theory still falls apart if the earliest group you can point to which kind-of-sort-of seems in keeping with your theology doesn't date until 1000 years after Christ.

So, at the same time that you keep insisting that these groups are misrepresented by the Catholic accounts, you insist that Catholics worship Mary and do not believe we are saved by God's grace, despite the many times Elena and myself (and all of our other Catholic commenters) tell you otherwise and point you to the Catechism. Because you put the account of those who do not believe Catholics are Christian as more reliable than that of our own statement of faith. It's a double standard.

And I do agree with Elena that it is because you are looking in order to come to the conclusion which you have already reached.

A. Catholics hold to a false gospel.
B. The true gospel holds that we are saved by God's grace.
C. Therefore, Catholics cannot be believed when they say that they believe B.

Saved Sinner said...

I really should read some more church history - most of what I have read has just been about the history of the church in Britain. I'm sure all these groups had some things right and some things wrong and whether they were true Christians or not is not really for me to judge but I never would have thought of them as being in continuity with each other.

At least now that Candy is claiming not to be a Protestant either I don't feel it necessary to point out that her views are not representative of Protestantism in general.

I'll be interested to read both Jennie's and Kelly's comments once they have read this book.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Scripture tells us what is essential, not in so many words, but the clear and repeated message is there. As we abide in God's word, the Holy Spirit teaches us what is essential. As we fellowship with other believers in the church body who are also abiding in Christ, they remind us of what is essential.

Kelly,
Remember that I said I consider the early church, represented by the church fathers, which covers several centuries, as being in close agreement with sola scriptura christianity. And there have always been those who stood for truth at different times and places against error. Maybe we are judged by how we obey the light that we are given, like Lot who was judged righteous in Sodom, even though he didn't hate the evil enough to leave it until he was forced by God's judgment. Maybe even though I see errors when I compare RC doctrine to scripture, those within it who are regenerate, even though in some error (forgive me for the offense; I know I have my own errors and blind spots) are lights to the others around them, just like my husband and I hope to be lights to those in our denomination which is in error, having left it's biblical foundations. This is speculation on my part. But we have to obey the light of scripture that we are given and not resist even though it contradicts other beliefs we hold dear. God wants us to come to Him on His terms, not our own, and not those of any religion. Remember Revelation 2 and 3 in which Jesus calls all the churches out of their various errors and back to the truth and love for Him and each other; we all, if we love Him, have to heed this and compare ourselve to His word. If we are brothers and sisters, then this is my word of love added to His. I know my own sin, and the sins of my church as well.

Barbara C. said...

Jennie,

I love how you hold up the points of your "Protestant Gospel", saying that they are different from the Catholic Gospel, when they are in fact NOT different. And if you STILL do not understand or accept this after all of the articles and arguments on this blog then the problem must be with you rather than with Catholicism.

Your comments tonight show one of three things about you:

1. You are willfully obtuse when given FACTS (i.e. the teachings of the Catholic Church) that contradict what you want to believe.
---OR---
2. You are INCAPABLE of understanding said facts when they are explained to you repeatedly.
---OR---
3. You are calling all of us liars even though we have documented proof of what our Church teaches.

Frankly, when you make remarks like that it takes away any intellectual credibility you may have had left.

Elena said...

Well it seems to me that for most Protestant and Protestant break- aways the only essential is that they aren't Catholic. Other than that there is a lot of confusion as witnessed by the huge number of denominations and independents breaking up the body of Christ.

Elena said...

Barbara C -


BRAVA!!!! and well said!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Just when I think I'm the most intolerant Christian in the world, I find myself surprised to see how inclusive and ecumenical I actually am!

Jennie, I considered you my sister in Christ--albeit one I disagree with, sibling-style--the moment it became clear that you believe in and love Jesus, too. That you don't return the sentiment is a little off-putting, as I hope you can imagine.

Jennie said...

Ok, Barbara, Elena, and Enbrethiliel,

Why don't you go ask Aimee Cooper over at historicalchristian.com if we have the same gospel, and then come back and we can talk. The idea that we have the same gospel is only used for ecumenical purposes to push the differences aside and come up with a common denominator for all Christianity. However, there are differences that 'make all the difference' in whether the gospel taught is the biblical gospel or not.

There are some that have found the true gospel even with all the additions in both the Catholic church and the protestant denominations. So I can't consider all Roman Catholics as my brothers and sisters in Christ any more than you can consider all baptists as your brothers and sisters in Christ, if you are a saved catholic. They aren't all saved. And only those who know the true gospel are.
There are things in Catholicism that are idolatry when looked at in the light of God's word, and if you are not worshipping God alone in Spirit and truth then you are lost or in danger of being lost.

Jennie said...

And what you all said to me shows that you didn't try to understand one word of the comment I left last night. There is not 'one true church' as in a denomination or man-made division. The church is in all denominations and countries and is only a remnant compared with the numbers in churches. Jesus spoke to 'the churches' and each has it's own errors to repent of. If you continue to consider your church as 'it' then you will not see the errors and will not repent and will be judged, as I will if I don't do the same. Revelation 2 and 3 is written for all believers; we all have things to repent of as individuals and a church bodies.

Kelly said...

Oh no, not idolatry again!!

Elena said...

There are things in Catholicism that are idolatry when looked at in the light of God's word, and if you are not worshipping God alone in Spirit and truth then you are lost or in danger of being lost.

Yawn... Okay Jennie I think you've had your say on this thread. Let's wrap it up. Perhaps Kelly can re-open and bump to the top when she has a chance to read the book.

Barbara C. said...

Jennie,
I don't know exactly what that blog you offered up is supposed to prove. It's not exactly like, say, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Every week at Mass Catholics declare the Nicene creed. It is an extended version of the Apostles Creed. 95% of Christians (Catholic and non-Catholic) in the world would affirm everything in it. It is the Gospel message in a nutshell, and I would really like to know which parts of you think are wrong.

Yes, there are some important differences between denominations but there are also many more important similarities.

Oh, wait, I forgot. According to you 95% of Christians are just completely wrong. Only you, Jennie, are lucky and wise enough to have seen through all of the conspiracies of history to see the "real truth" and be part of the elite 5%. It must be nice to be so special.

Either way it does not negate the fact that YOU continually accuse Catholics of believing things that we DO NOT and willfully ignore the things that Catholics do believe that do agree with what YOU profess to believe.

You know what. I'm beginning to think you may be right, Jennie, about us adhering to different Gospels. I follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ passed down and preserved through His apostles and the Church which He established; whereas it seems like you follow the Gospel according to Jennie and fringe organizations like Berean Beacon. Because in the end, the Gospel is about Truth and you continue to ignore truth and pass on lies. But it is not my place to determine whether this behavior is in keeping with the Gospel message...that's between you and God.

Barbara C. said...

Elena, it really wouldn't matter if Kelly found original documents refuting every word in that book. You and I both know that Jennie only believes what she wants to believe.

Jennie said...

Here are two posts from Aimee Cooper's blog that talk about her view of the Catholic gospel vs. the protestant gospel:
register-article-effectively-sharing-the-catholic-gospel.html

http://www.historicalchristian.com/my_weblog/2009/04/new-distance-education-class-at-archdiocese-of-denver-understanding-the-catholic-gospel.html

Jennie said...

Barbara,
believing a creed and trusting in Christ alone for salvation by the grace of God are two different things.

Jennie said...

The first link isn't working so I'm trying it again:
http://www.historicalchristian.com/my_weblog/2009/05/denver-catholic-register-article-effectively-sharing-the-catholic-gospel.html

Jennie said...

I should say that Aimee gets protestant theology totally wrong, but she is right that the catholic gospel she describes is not the same as the protestant understanding.

Kelly said...

Jennie, I'm not sure what you are trying to prove by bringing in Aimee and her views. How funny that she gets protestant theology all wrong. But she was raised a protestant! Surely, that makes her an expert!

There is not one unified "protestant theology." Perhaps what she describes does not match your theology. I know nothing about Aimee, what her previous beliefs are, nor have I ever been to her blog.

Surely, it can come as no surprise to you that some Catholics do not consider non-Catholics to be Christians anymore than others do not consider us to be Christians.

Aimee highlights that we do have a different understanding of grace and justification. We all agree that we are saved by grace, but yes, we might define grace differently.

I understand you to be saying that some are saved and not saved in the Catholic Church, just as some are saved and not saved in any Christian church. I would agree with you there. However, you generally come across as having a guilty until proven innocent view about Catholics and salvation.

With that being said, I agree with Elena that we have exhausted the subject of discussing the book which none of us has read for the moment. I'll close down comments here. If you let me borrow the book later, then we can discuss it more at that time.