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Following the “Hussite Wars” and the Utraquists compact with the Roman Church the remainder of John Huss and John Wycliffe followers formed a church independent of the Roman Church known as the Moravian church or the Unity of Brethren officially in 1457. By the time the Protestant Reformation as we know it launched in 1517 by Martin Luther with the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door, this group had been fighting for freedom and reformation in the church for nearly 100 years. Martin Luther was the fulfillment of John Hus’ prophecy given right before he was burned at the stake. Martin Luther came on the scene and only catapulted and encouraged what the Unity of Brethren had been saying the whole time. The majority of the Moravians had the Bible translated in their language (Czech) helping them understand the cause and to lay the foundation of independence from the Roman Church.
The brethren had a lot of noble support behind them and saw tremendous growth in the regions. The Roman Church was too weak to gain control through the battlefield at the time so they retaliated back in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s by way of cultural, political, and ecclesiastical power shifts. To cut to the short another revolt broke out in 1620 by the Protestant Czechs to protect their liberties and a coalition of armies (Those in relationship and rule with the Roman Church) ended up wiping them out. This resulted in the Counter Reformation by the Roman church and the 30-year war (Which was a mass war for religious and political power all through out the regions). One third of the Czech population was lost do to plague and war during this time period; it went from 3 million to 800,000! This was a time of much upheaval and blood spilling in the name of religion. For the brethren that were not martyred, many of them were dispersed through out the regions or forced to remain highly underground and secretive. This turmoil became pretty much wide spread in Germany at the time. The Jesuits who were a big part of the “Counter Reformation” regarded anything Czech as heresy! The entire countryside was literally ravaged and destroyed for these 30 years.
This is a prayer that was written by Reverend Martin Rinkert during that time.
Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
In the midst of much suffering, tormenting, death, and injustice the few and faithful weathered the dark times. Surprisingly a contingent of brethren stayed strong and secretive in Moravia. They remained hidden from 1620 to 1722 and were able to pass on their love for Jesus and His Word from generation to generation. in 1722 the Unity of Brethren were referred to Count Zinzendorf of Saxony for protection. Zinzendorf had a heart for the poor and persecuted and wanted to use his large estate to establish a Christian community. It is here that the Moravian Revival broke out! But I would like to stop for now and follow up next time with more on Count Zinzendorf.
* Next Count Zinzendorf
•••Let us be forever thankful that we have not had to witness this kind of religious chaos in the United States. This encourages me that in the hard times it is still worth it all to hold on to what is true and to pass it on, even when everything else is shaking. Are you willing to fight for the Truth? I’m not saying attacking physically is the way to do it…but are you willing to fight spiritually for the Truth in America? It seems like the enemy has not been able to straight on attack the Church in America but he has made some huge power shifts in our culture and spheres of influence which in turn has been brought into the Church by our own free will and compromise. I believe that the LORD is calling us to a higher level of spiritual warfare and it starts with you and me! Let’s get back to intimacy with Jesus and from there we can go out and take back spiritual ground.