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Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 6 - August/September 2005 > A History of the Christian Church - Part Four

A History of the Christian Church

Part Four, by Denis Jenkins

compiled by Denis Jenkins

Title      A History of the Christian Church
Part       Four
Theme     The beginning of the Christian Church

This is Part 4 in the series. Parts 1, 2 and 3 can be found at the following links -->  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


In the first article we looked at God's perfect creation of this world, and how it was spoiled when the battle between God and Satan was moved to this earth.  In the second we recognised that once the Christian church was set up Satan attacked it in various ways.  In part three we looked at the Middle Ages down to the English reformer Wycliffe.  To read the earlier articles see the previous issues of the on-line magazine.

John Huss

Despite this onslaught, God had another individual prepared for the task.  John Huss, influenced by Wycliffe's work, was led to renounce the errors of the Roman church.

John Huss was from a poor family in bohemia.  His father died, leaving his mother to care for the boy.  She was a God-fearing lady who wished John to have the same experience and goal for his life.  She also viewed education as being important, and sought a charity scholarship for their son at Prague University.

John Huss worked hard and grew up to be a model student and a very spiritual person.  On graduating, Huss entered the priesthood and very quickly gained importance.  As a priest his name became renowned throughout Europe.

Huss began to notice how people generally were ignorant of the Bible, and that the worst vices existed amongst the people.  From the Scriptures that had been translated into his native tongue, he denounced such practices, challenging the people to turn to godliness.

Jerome, an eventual friend of Huss, returned from England bringing Wycliffe's writings to Bohemia.  Huss read these works with interest and regarded this reformer to be a man of God, so Huss accepted most of the reforms that were recommended.  While Huss did not realise it at the time, he had embarked on a path that would eventually lead him far from Rome.

As Huss studied the Scriptures, he could see that the Roman church was not following God's will.  As a result he denounced the pride, ambition and corruption of the heirarchy.

Huss lectured about the Gospel in Prague University.  This meant that many German students began to take their new-found faith back to the fatherland.

The Pope summoned Huss to appear before him.  Well-respected in Bohemia, the King and Queen interceded on his behalf, knowing that if he went to Rome Huss would certainly face the certain death at the stake.  As a result the Pope proceeded with Huss's trial in his absence, but at the same time placed Prague, the capital of Bohemia, under interdict (a sentence that created widespread alarm as the people believed the Pope to have the keys of heaven and hell.  This ceremony doomed the people of Prague to hell, leaving closed the gates of heaven.)

This caused a large group in Prague to denounce Huss out of personal fear.  The people wished to quieten the vengeance of Rome by sacrificing Huss, even though he was a national and respected identity.  Huss retired from Prague so that the people would not suffer, but he preached in the surrounding countryside.

When the excitement subsided, Huss returned to Prague and continued his work of preaching the Gospel.  He was supported by the Queen and many nobles, as they compared the pure elevating teachings and holy life with the degrading dogmas which the Roman church preached, together with the greed for money and debauchery practised by the priests.

At this point Jerome decided to join Huss in his work of supporting the Gospel in its purity.

With both men working together, the reform rapidly extended.  God permitted great light of truth to spread.

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 6 - August/September 2005 > A History of the Christian Church - Part Four