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Historical
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Title: History and Beliefs of the Waldensians
Source: [None]
URL Source: [None]
Published: Jan 12, 2024
Author: Mary Fairchilds
Post Date: 2024-01-12 23:12:00 by A K A Stone
Keywords: None
Views: 337
Comments: 7

The history of the Waldensians is a story of persecution, perseverance, and devotion to the teachings of the Bible. This nearly 800-year-old evangelical Christian movement was known in its earliest days as simply “The Poor.” Originating in the 12th-century Italian Alps, the Waldensians came into existence through the actions of Peter Waldo of Lyons.

The Waldensian movement was one of the first Christian efforts to translate the Bible into a local dialect and engage in public preaching of the gospel. The commitment of the group can be summarized in these three activities: making the gospel known and understood in the native language of the people, identifying with the poor by becoming poor, and pursuing closer obedience to a life of faith by following the teachings of Jesus Christ and the example of his disciples.

Other similar evangelical movements were common during medieval times, but none endured like the Waldensians. Pre-dating the Protestant Reformation by 300 years, the beginning of the Waldensian movement is sometimes referred to as the “First Reformation.” The group has also been called the “Oldest Evangelical Church” and “Israel of the Alps.”

Although the Waldensians did not set out to oppose the Roman Catholic Church, they were branded heretics, excommunicated by Pope Lucius III in 1184, and targeted for extermination in several campaigns. In truth, they were a small, scattered but close-knit group that professed orthodox beliefs and generally remained faithful to the Catholic Church until the time of the Reformation.

Waldo of Lyons (c. 1140–1217) The founder of the Waldensians was Waldo (Valdes in French) of Lyons, a wealthy and influential young merchant from Lyons, France. After the sudden death of a close friend, Waldo began to search for deeper meaning in life. Around A.D. 1173, Waldo was profoundly moved by the words of Jesus Christ to the rich young man in the Gospel of Mark 10:21:

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (NLT) Voluntary Poverty Between 1173–1176, Waldo’s life changed radically. Deciding to follow the Lord’s words literally, he gave away his wealth to the poor and started a life of intentional poverty. Later, his disciples would become known as “The Poor Men of Lyons,” or simply “The Poor.” The name they claimed for themselves was “The Poor of Spirit” from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3.

Preaching the Gospel Believing that all people ought to have the opportunity to hear and understand the Word of God, Waldo employed Bernard Ydros and Stephen of Ansa to translate several books of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into his local French-Provencal dialect. When the translation was presented in Rome, it received words of approval from the pope. Encouraged by the positive response, Waldo had hoped his efforts would begin a renewal in the whole church.

From this translation, Waldo began preaching and teaching the Bible in public. Copying his example, Waldo’s followers (traveling in twos) took the gospel to surrounding towns and villages. This activity of public preaching was particularly offensive to Catholic authorities and instigated the conflict and persecution that Waldensians would endure for centuries.

'Peter' Waldo In the spring of 1179, Waldo and his followers were forbidden by the church to preach unless explicitly invited by a priest. But Waldo was convinced the body of Christ should base its experiences on those of the apostles and not on the human constructs of his day. He continued to preach openly. Several years later, around 1183, Waldo was banned from the city by the archbishop of Lyons.

When he was warned to stop preaching, Waldo responded with the words of the Apostle Peter in Acts 4:19: “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?” Some historians believe this episode was the catalyst for Waldo being referred to as “Peter Waldo” by future Waldensians.

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#1. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

Although the Waldensians did not set out to oppose the Roman Catholic Church, they were branded heretics, excommunicated by Pope Lucius III in 1184, and targeted for extermination in several campaigns.

Do you think Pope Lucius III is in hell for ordering the extermination of people? I see no evidence he ever repented of his sin.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-01-18   11:57:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: A K A Stone (#1)

If judgment work s the way you think it does, obviously yes.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-01-18   18:03:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: A K A Stone (#1) (Edited)

Actually, let me double back on that, because I don't actually know what you believe.

I know you are a Protestant, but there are at least two kinds of Protestant.

One kind says "Once saved, always saved", and it makes Salvation based on the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God Incarnate, and Lord and Savior.

And what is more, there are at least two flavors of this belief. One is that those beliefs are all that is required. If one has them, even if one believes in various errors, such as faith AND works - a clear error from a faith-alone perspective - that nevertheless, the belief that Jesus is Lord and Savior is enough; the errors are forgiven. IF this is your belief system, then the errors of Pope Lucius, while grave, would not land him in Hell, because he almost certainly believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. So, he'd be rebuked for his sins and errors, but he would nevertheless not be in Hell, because he believed.

The other flavor insists that REAL belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior MEANS believing exactly what their denomination believes. So simply believing in Jesus "is not REAL belief", and the fact that Lucius was a Catholic, believing in faith and works, means that he wasn't REALLY a believer, and therefore is certainly in Hell - the killing of the Waldensians is irrelevant - what matters is that he did not believe in faith alone, and that is the only REAL belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you hold this belief system, then Lucius is in Hell, and would be in Hell even if he were a peaceful prince who lauded the Waldensians. He believed in faith and works, and that belief in Jesus isn't REALLY belief in Jesus, so he's doomed to Hell. Period.

Other Protestants believe that professing a belief in Jesus Christ means you're saved - with some thinking that professing that belief is enough, while others think that you have to profess a belief in exactly what their denomination believes, otherwise it's not TRUE belief (see above) - BUT that, once you are saved, you can still lose your salvation through sins, and killing the Waldensians is a grievous sin worthy of Hell. So Lucius is in Hell.

What do I myself believe? What difference does that make, really?

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-01-27   19:28:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

I know you are a Protestant, but there are at least two kinds of Protestant.

One kind says "Once saved, always saved", and it makes Salvation based on the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God Incarnate, and Lord and Savior.

I'm not positive to be truthful. But I would lean to once saved always saved.

Jesus did say this though. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So I understand how some people would think that you can lose your salvation.

Here are some of my thoughts. Jesus also says something about "ye knew me not. So I think that some people may say they are saved or even think they are saved but are not really saved.

I believe it is not of works lest any man should boast. There doesn't seem to be any works of the thief on the cross next to Jesus and yet Jesus basically said he would be saved, paraphrasing.

Jesus also said if you love him you will keep his commandments. So i'm not positive but it seems that if you are really saved that you will probably have at least a few works. Especially if you live for a long time after you become saved unlike the thief on the cross who didn't have much time to live. I don't think you are saved by those works but that is something that will happen if you are truly saved and truly believe that Jesus is the Saviour. I don't think there has to be some magical number of works to be saved. It does say if you are saved that you are a new creature. So I think with being a new creature there would be some changes in your life.

I'm not a Biblical scholar but that is pretty much what I believe.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-01-28   0:16:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

Pope Lucius, while grave, would not land him in Hell, because he almost certainly believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. So, he'd be rebuked for his sins and errors, but he would nevertheless not be in Hell, because he believed.

Ok.

Maybe I shouldn't have asked you that question as I believe the Bible says we are not supposed to judge who goes to Heaven and hell.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-01-28   0:31:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

what matters is that he did not believe in faith alone, and that is the only REAL belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I don't believe that if (for the sake of the argument) you believe in being saved by faith alone means you are not saved if you believe in faith and works. I'm positive none of us gets it all right concerning Gods word.

As I've said before I believe in a literal Genesis and a young earth. But I don't believe that if you err in my view that you are no longer saved because you don't agree with what I believe. I do believe that it will undermine some other peoples faith though.

You are an intelligent debater. Even when I disagree with you.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-01-28   0:35:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: A K A Stone (#6)

As I said to somebody on one of these threads, I am not looking to debate, I'm just looking to understand. There is a world of different beliefs out there among Christians. I have my own, of course, and I know that others would not agree were I to espouse them. I am simply interesting in knowing how the lines fall with any particular person.

Perhaps you saw that on the recent Genesis thread. You're clearly a literalist. Ok.

The other fellow, interpreter, is a literalist to a certain extent, he believes that the days are successive, not stacked. Ok. But there is a problem with that, because then the plants came before the sun. He says that the sun was made on the first day, but the text literally says the fourth day. I find this very confusing, because it's not what the text literally says. I can see that "yom" can mean a period of time - ok. As in "in those days", does not literally refer to a day. Fine.

But it is also true that, grammatically, all of the verbs in Genesis 1's creation stories are imperfect - God began to create - not perfect - God created. If you are going to take the view he takes, then that should be acknowledged.

I am not looking for a fight, jTo tell me that the sun was created on the first yom though...the text literally says the fourth yom. Now, if the periods overlap, then sure, first and fourth can be simultaneous, or nearly. But he doesn't believe that.

It looks as though I'm trying to trip him up and play gotcha. I'm really not. Your young earth, 6 literal days of creation - I don't really believe that, but I allow the logic that, yes, that is what it appears to say, and the problem of the trees on the third day and the sun on the fourth is really in the text, and is not a joke. So there is a consistency to it.

With the "long yom" view, if the yom are successive, the logic doesn't work. And the verbs don't allow it.

Anyway, my questions are penetrating, and are designed to show what I think are the vices in an argument, and what would be required for me to accept it as a logical argument.

I suppose people don't care whether I find it logical or not. Well they SHOULD, because it makes their arguments better if they are logical. Otherwise, they're just emoting, and that never really convinces anybody.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-01-28   19:08:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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