“With Henry, England experienced a religious reformation of sorts. A selfish act, it was only on Henry’s part to take England away from Rome but for purely carnal reasons. There was no religious epiphany in the court of Henry VIII. The old ways of worship remained. The dichotomy that existed across the land had England sitting on the religious fence in many respects. Those who pined for religious reform were elated at the stance that Henry took but severely disappointed when attending religious service. All of the hallmarks of Catholicism remained. Religious confusion reigned across a land that was dearly unstable under God. Are we Protestant or are we Catholic?
“Instability came with dire consequences. In 1540 Henry executed Thomas Cromwell, one of his closest advisors but who was a strong proponent of Protestantism. Reformers such Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Gerrard were burned at the stake. In a display of religious impartiality and equanimity on Henry’s part Thomas Abell, Richard Featherstone and Edward Powell—all Roman Catholics—were hanged, drawn and quartered while the Protestants burned. All in the name of Christ. Nice! The one commonality that remained in all of this bloodshed was the brutality in the name of God. But these were the acts of men, not God. Just as most laws are man made laws and not God’s Laws. Nevertheless, the theological carnage in the name of God and Jesus Christ continued unabated.
“This English theological schizophrenia continued for many years. Finally Henry died in 1547. Young Edward VI came to the throne but died in 1553. He was replaced by Mary I – Bloody Mary, or the Marion Terror as her tenure came to be known. A devout Catholic her aim was to bring England back into the folds of Rome. She began to purge all instances of Protestantism and executed some 283 men women and children at the stake for heresy. Protestants, who could, fled England to religious sanctuary cities and refuge centres, primarily Geneva. One of my kin joined this group. Here they were comforted and safe and fell under the liturgical spell and genius of John Calvin. To say they were not reformed would be an understatement for under Calvin a new form of Protestantism would manifest itself with the English expatriates. A pure form of worship to God and to Jesus Christ would emerge with the purity of life itself and all that it meant – in work, in culture, in education, in governance, in worship and in all things being. Puritanism!
Another great song from Oasis:
Have a great Navy day.