In fairness, Martin Luther never billed himself as the Father of Protestantism, or the Reformation, when he nailed his Ninety Five Theses to the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenburg in 1517.
He was the pious, monk type, rather than the self-publicising kind.
And iconoclasm was the very thing he was railing against… that and the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church to ease your path from Purgatory to Heaven.
Another reason why he wouldn’t have claimed that he was launching a new, and rival, branch of the Christian church is because he must have known he wasn’t.
The First Protestants (and who can really say?) were the Bohemians.
Some 100 years previously.
I stumbled upon the First Protestants while making my way back to my hotel in Prague… I often get waylaid.
In truth, I’m always drawn to places of worship and often hang in doorways contemplating on going in.
I always do.
It was a basic prayer meeting house with no pictures to distract you from the pastor.
Who was preaching in his native tongue.
He also had his back to us at the start and was playing the organ.
Maybe it’s a thing.
Whether Jan Huis did the same in 1412 I guess we’ll never know, and to be fair, this is a pretty general sketch of what he might have been like.
What we do know though is that he challenged the authority of the Papacy by asserting that Christ was the Supreme Judge and that worshippers should appeal directly to him.
A challenge that cost Huis his life.
Thankfully times have changed and it is not at all dangerous spending an afternoon in worship with the locals in Prague.
Although many in the Czech capital swear by another religion Urquell Pilsener…
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