TLW's Christian Sectscope™ (Christian Sect Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Mar. 8, 2017. Last Update: Oct. 22, 2017.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Christian sect (denomination) history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
In 1531 freethinking Spanish physician Michael Servetus (1511-53) pub. On the Errors of the Trinity, containing the soundbytes: "In the Bible there is no mention of the Trinity... We get to know God, not through our proud philosophical concepts, but through Christ"; "How much this tradition of Trinity has alas, alas! been the laughing stock of Mohammedans only God knows. The Jews also shrink from giving adherence to this fancy of ours, and laugh at our foolishness about the Trinity, and on account of its blasphemies, they do not believe that this is the Messiah promised in their Law. And not only the Mohammedans and the Hebrews, but the very beasts of the field, would make fun of us, did they grasp our fantastic notion, for all the workers of the Lord bless the One God. This most burning plague, therefore, was added and superimposed, as it were, on the new gods which have recently come, which our fathers did not worship. And this plague of philosophy was brought upon us by the Greeks, for they above all men are most given to philosophy; and we, hanging upon their lips, have become philosophers, and they never understood the passages of the Scriptures which they adduced with regard to this matter"; too bad, he makes himself a target for the Catholic Inquisition and Protestants both. In 1540 after being forced to flee to Paris and change his name to Villanovus, Servetus discovers the Pulmonary Circulation of the Blood. On Oct. 27, 1553 Swiss Protestant leader John Calvin (1509-64) burns his theological enemy, Unitarian (non-Trinitarian) Catalan scholar Michael Servetus (b. 1511) (who was captured while fleeing to his protection after escaping a prison of the Spanish Inquisition) in Geneva, executioner Guillaume Farel warning the audience: "(Servetus) is a wise man who doubtless thought he was teaching the truth, but he fell into the hands of the Devil... Be careful the same thing doesn't happen to you"; liberals lose their illusions about Bible-thumpers ever lightening up anything but a faggot, and a corner is turned in the fight for freedom of conscience? at his trial Servetus is ridiculed for describing Palestine as a sparse, sterile land when the Bible says it's the land of milk and honey; noted noble Paris-educated French Protestant ex-humanist poet Theodore Beza (1519-1605) backs Calvin up, as does #1 learned scholar of the age Sebastian Castellion (Catellio) (Chateillon) (Chataillon) (Castello) (1515-63), who in May 1554 pub. the pamphlet "Should Heretics Be Persecuted?" under the alias Martinus Bellius, containing the soundbyte: "When Servetus fought with reasons and writings, he should have been repulsed by reasons and writings", and throws Calvin's words back at him when he was being persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church: ""It is unchristian to use arms against those who have been expelled from the Church, and to deny them rights common to all mankind", ending with an argument for separation of church and state, with the soundbyte: "We can live together peacefully only when we control our intolerance. Even though there will always be differences of opinion from time to time, we can at any rate come to general understandings, can love one another, and can enter the bonds of peace, pending the day when we shall attain unity of faith" - I look bad, feel bad, which is most important?
In 1611 C.E. English King (1603-25) James I (1566-1625) (ed.) pub. the King James (Authorized) Version of the Holy Bible (66 books), commissioned in 1604 (lucky that the 1605 Guy Fawkes Plot to replace the govt. with Roman Catholics didn't succeed), with the work divided between 47 translators (47 Anglicans, 0 Puritans, 0 Roman Catholics, 0 Separatists) in six committees with 15 rules to follow, using ancient mss. for reliability, and deliberately preserving ambiguities, e.g. Romans 5:12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (can mean that all men die because of sin, and/or that all men sin because they are under God's judgment of death); most of the language is William Tyndale's, but without the pesky marginal notes challenging the divine right of kings; James I's planned royal authorization of the final work never happens?; the intent is to make "of many good translations one principal good one", according to translator Miles Smith (1554-1624) in Preface to the Translation; it takes its place beside the Bishops' Bible (official vers. for use in Anglican churches, original ed. 1568, revised ed. 1602) (basic source for the King James Bible?), the Geneva Bible (1575) (known for Calvinist-slanted footnotes dissing the divine right of kings, always translating the word king as tyrant), and the 1582 Rheims trans. of the 5th cent. Roman Catholic Vulgate; too bad, the King James Bible is initially universally panned, and the Puritans continue to use the Geneva Bible, causing Charles I to ban it in 1644, leading to the Puritans taking over the govt. and beheading him in 1649, later realizing the superiority of the KJV; translator Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), master of Pembroke College, Cambridge U. is appointed bishop of Winchester in 1619, becoming the mentor of Reformed Roman Catholicism in the post-Reformation Anglican Church, and the translator of the 23rd Psalm; Thomas Bilson (1547-1616), bishop of Winchester oversees the final edit and printing; the notes on the trans. process are stored in Whitehall, and are destroyed in the 1598 Whitehall Fire; in modern times the Ruckmanists (Ruckmanites), founded by Am. Baptist pastor Peter Sturges Ruckman (1921-2016) claim special divine inspiration for the translators, even though they were govt. employees told what to do by the hardly saintly king, and explicitly deny special inspiration; a case of disguised Am. WASP racism?; Psalm 46 features word 46 from the beginning "shake" and word 46 from the end "spear", and of course William Shakespeare (b. 1564) is 46 the first part of this year; a tribute, or did he translate it? - it's a pajama people special?
In 1647 after having a vision on rainy Pendle Hill in Lancashire, claiming that "the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered", leaving his hometown of Drayton-in-the-Clay in Sept. 1643 to travel through civil war-filled England, learning to listen to his "inner light" and reject rituals, church buildings, and age-sex qualifications for the religious ministry (giving the right to women and children), Leicestershire, England-born Puritan George Fox (1624-91) begins to speak publicly, founding the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who believe it possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the need for clergy, making fans of William Penn and Oliver Cromwell. In Oct. 1650 defiant English preacher (Leicestershire cobbler) George Fox (1624-91) from Fenny Drayton in the Midlands, who got fed up with all the religious hypocrisy and began wandering and preaching, only to be arrested for it, thunders from the dock in court on a charge of illegal preaching that it was not he but the judge Gervase Bennett (1612-) who should "tremble at the word of the Lord"; the latter replies that the only "quaker" in court is Fox himself, and the name Quakers sticks; by 1680 membership in England and Wales reaches 60K (1.5% of the pop.).
In 1730 Scottish clergyman John Glas (1695-1773) founds the Glasite (Glassite) (Sandemanian) Sect, which is spread by his son-in-law Robert Sanderman (1718-71) in England and Am.; "The bare death of Jesus Christ without a thought or deed on the part of man, is sufficient to present the chief of sinners spotless before God", i.e., all one has to do is assent to the divine testimony concerning Jesus to be saved - are we clear? Crystal?
About 1730 Bible-thumping brothers John Wesley (1703-91) (of Lincoln College) and Charles Wesley (1707-88) (of Christ Church) found the Protestant sect of Methodism at Oxford U. in England, turning the taunts of fellow students into their name; their views are soon taken up by "Calvinistic Methodist" George Whitefield, and spreads to the U.S. and other countries via outdoor preaching, reaching 80M followers by modern times; their theology focuses on sanctification and the effect of faith on character (people are dead in sin by nature, hence children of wrath, and are justified by faith alone, with the love of God reigning supreme in their hearts, giving them outward holiness and allowing them to experience Jesus Christ personally), with the main doctrines incl. the primacy of Scripture, assurance of salvation, imparted righteusness, the possibility of perfection in love, and works of piety, clinging to the Arminian doctrine that salvation is available to all and rejecting the Calvinist doctrine that God has pre-ordained a select group of people to be saved, becoming popular with the worknng class and black Am. slaves; Methodists go on to engage in charitable work for the sick and poor, and to get deep into music and hymns.
In 1735 Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704-92) of Herrnhut, Germany founds the Moravian Church in the North Am. colony of Georgia on the estate of George Whitefield, then after they refuse to fight against the Spanish and get evicted in 1739 make like gone with the wind and move to Philadelphia, Penn. on Whitefield's sloop; meanwhile in Ga. the sale of alcoholic spirits is prohibited (until 1742), and slavery is abolished until 1749 when rice cultivation arrives; meanwhile Count Nikolaus (Nicolaus) Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf (1700-60) attempts to stay in Saxony, being ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1734, but the orthodox Lutherans get him banished in 1736 (until 1748), causing him to travel founding new congregations in the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Germany, Estonia, Livonia, and Penn.
In 1735 Scottish-born Presbyterian Church of Ireland revivalist William Tennent (1673-1746) sets up the Log College in Neshaminy, Penn., which turns out more of the same, incl. his son Gilbert, who becomes the leader of the New Light Schism (1741), and eventually helps raise funds for the College of New Jersey (Princeton).
In 1735 Jonathan Edwards discovers religious brainwashing techniques during a religious crusade in Northampton, Mass.; "Our people do not so much need to have their heads stored as to have their hearts touched."
In 1736 tall handsome cross-eyed Oxford-educated English Methodist preacher George Whitefield (1714-70) (pr. WHIT-field) begins preaching in England at age 22, wowing huge crowds with a booming voice that doesn't need to be raised even in front of a crowd of 30K; actor David Garrick ("the George Whitefield of the stage") claims he'd pay a thousand pounds to be able to say the word "oh" as good as him; his mere pronouncing of the word "Mesopotamia" causes women to weep?; his sermons are all based on the text "be born again" (John 3:3). Some things you just can't copy, except your own birth? Born once, die twice, born twice, die once? In spring 1738 Oxford-educated itinerant evangelist George Whitefield (1714-70) (pr. WHIT-field) visits British Am., starting in Ga., where he converts Anglican priests John Wesley and Charles Wesley, both of whom have religious experiences on May 24; in Dec. Whitefield launches the First Great Awakening in Mass. (ends 1755), reaching 10M listeners via 18K sermons after becoming the first speaker to speak in all 13 Am. colonies; his disciple Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) stages a mini spiritual awakening in Northampton, Mass. this year and next.
On hot-hot-hot July 8, 1741 the Great Awakening reaches a peak as Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) delivers his Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God speech in Enfield, Mass., featuring lurid word pictures of Da Judge Bible God Jehovah, who "holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked... He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire"; the Great Awakening splits New England Puritanism into the "Old Lights" and the "New Lights", who go over to the Baptists, Presbyterians, or Methodists; the Am. colonies are prepared for rev. by the Great Awakening?
In 1770 after adopting the teachings of Welsh minister James Relly and getting excommunicated from George Whitefield's congregation, Alton, Hampshire-born John Murray (1741-1815) emigrates from England to Lacey Township, N.J. and begins preaching his Universalist doctrines, serving as a chaplain in the Am. Rev. army and becoming known as "the Father of Am. Universalism".
About 1790 the Second Great Awakening begins in the U.S., ramping up about 1800 and peaking in the 1820s, increasing membership in Baptist and Methodist congregations by millions before fizzling by 1840; in 1817-25 the burned-over district of W. N.Y. between the Erie Canal and the Finger Lakes incl. Palmyra, N.Y. area hosts several camp revival meetings, and 12-y.-o. Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-44) gets religion, attending church classes and reading the Bible, getting interested in Methodism and engaging in religious folk magic with family members incl. parents and maternal grandfather, who report visions and dreams from God; Smith's education never incl. history, philosophy, lit., or science, just the Bible and popular historical moose hockey?; the burned-over district goes on to spawn religious nonconformist sects. incl. Latter Day Saints, Millerites, Adventists, Internat. Bible Students (Jehovah's Witnesses), the table-rapping Fox Sisters, Shakers, and Oneida Society, and social radicals incl. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the Fourierist utopian Socialist movement, the Skaneateles Community, and Walter Rauschenbusch, leader of the Social Gospel.
In 1801 the Cane Ridge Revival in Cane Ridge (near Paris), Bourbon County, Ky. (named by Daniel Boone after seeing bamboo growing there) in the Camp Ridge Meeting House (built 1791) (largest 1-room log cabin in North Am.) and attended by 20K is led by 18 Presbyterian ministers and several Methodist and Baptist preachers, esp. Port Tobacco, Md.-born Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844), who in 1804 leaves the Presbyterian Church and founds the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (New Lights) (Stoneites) back-to-the-1st-century movement, growing to 12K members by 1830 and forming the backbone of the Restoration Movement.
On Feb. 15, 1805 George (Johann George) Rapp (1757-1847) and his Rappists (Rappites) (Harmonists) (Harmonites) of Iptingen, Germany found the Harmony Society in Butler County, Penn., which soon grows to a pop. of 800 and becomes highly profitable, allowing them to sell it at a 10x profit in 1814 when they move to Indiana - lame white rapper jokes here?
On Sept. 7, 1809 after being infused with the Enlightenment of John Locke at the U. of Glasgow, seeing his Presbyterian credentials suspended before emigrating to the U.S. in 1807, County Down, Ireland-born Scottish Presbyterian minister Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) pub. The Declaration and Address of the Christian Assoc. of Washington in Washington, Penn., which becomes the founding document of the Christian Assoc. of Washington, which seeks to simplify Christianity to a common form that everybody can agree on, based on the Bible alone, with the motto: "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; and where they are silent, we are silent"; on May 4, 1811 after trying to avoid becoming a church, then being refused fellowship with the Pittsburgh Synod of the Presbyterian Church, it goes congregational, founding the Brush Run Church in Brush Run, Penn., soon going Baptist and joining the Redstone Baptist Association in 1815-24, switching to the Mahoning Baptist Association in 1824; on Jan. 1, 1830 after rejecting the name "Christian Baptist", his County Antrim, Ireland-born son Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) founds The Millennial Harbinger mag. in Bethany, W. Va. (until 1870), claiming to help readers handle the approaching Millenium, founding the Restoration Movement (Campbellism), which seeks "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament"; on Mar. 2, 1840 the Va. legislature charters Bethany College in Bethany, Va. (modern-day W. Va.), with Alexander Campbell as pres. #1, becoming the oldest higher ed. institution in W. Va., becoming the birthplace of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity; meanwhile in 1832 the Campbellites (and Stoneites join in fellowship with a handshake, becoming known as the Stone-Campbell Movement and calling themselves the Church (Disciples) of Christ.
In 1820 the Lutheran Gen. Synod in the U.S. is organized by Samuel Simon Schmucker (1799-1873), and the new "American Lutheranism" begins to move closer to Reformed and Evangelical Christianity.
On May 26, 1825 the Am. Unitarian Assoc. is founded; in 1961 it merges with the Universalist Church of Am. to form the Unitarian Universalist Assoc.
In 1827 the Separation of 1827 sees the Am. Quakers (Society of Friends) split into two hostile factions, the liberal Hicksite Party, led by crusty old abolitionist Elias Hicks (1748-1830), and the conservatives; guess which party liberal abolitionists James Mott and Lucretia Mott go with?
In 1827 After falling from a horse in Oct., the Plymouth Brethren (named after Matt. 23:8) Bible-only Christian denomination is founded in Dublin, Ireland by Westminster, London-born John Nelson Darby (1800-82), who popularizes Pre-Tribulation Rapture theology, Dispensationalism, and Futurism, later calling the invention of the telegraph an invention of Cain and a harbinger of Armageddon.
In 1827 Irish-born Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) of Bethany, Va. splits with the Baptists and founds the back-to-the-New-Testament Am. Restoration Movement (Campbellism)<, becoming the oldest ecumenical movement in the U.S., resulting in the creation of the Churches of Christ, which pub. the Millennial Harbinger (1823-63). The Separation of 1827 sees the Am. Quakers (Society of Friends) split into two hostile factions, the liberal Hicksite Party, led by crusty old abolitionist Elias Hicks (1748-1830), and the conservatives; guess which party liberal abolitionists James Mott and Lucretia Mott go with?
In 1830 Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving (1792-1834), whose Chalcedonian Chapel in London (with 1st cent. Christian doctrines mixed with Roman Catholic rites) has 1K+ members begins preaching that Christ will return in two phases, the first one being a secret rapture before the Antichrist comes, getting accused of heresy in 1833 and forming his Irvingites sect (Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church) before dying prematurely in 1834; his ideas gain a following in the U.S. and England, incl. later the Jehovah's Witnesses.
On June 6, 1844 the Young Men's Christian Assoc. (YMCA) is founded in England by draper's shop mgr. Sir George Williams (1821-1905) as a way to get men off the streets and into nice rooms where they can read the Bible and figure out when the Second Coming is going to be; his boss George Hitchcock is one of his first converts; he is knighted in 1894 by Queen Victoria.
When does a fashion statement make a bank statement? On Oct. 24, 1844 the Millerites, followers of Pittsfield, Mass.-born Baptist preacher William Miller (1782-1849) begin to face the Great Disappointment of 1844 when the 2,300 Year-Days of Daniel 8:14 don't jive like they thought, and the world doesn't end with the Second Coming of Christ; never fear, in Dec. Maine-born Ellen Gould White (1827-1915) begins having the first of 2K personal visions, causing the true believers to regroup and form the Seventh-Day Adventists, who claim that Christ didn't make his Second Coming because he entered the Holy of Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin the Investigative Judgment, and that they should worship on Saturday not pagan Sunday - Sunday didn't work so why not go back to the Jewish sabbath?
In 1847 London-born Am. Restorationist John Thomas (1805-71), friend of Restoration Movement founder Alexander Campbell founds the crypto-Anabaptist Unitarian (anti-trinitarian) Christadelphian (Gr. "brethren in Christ") sect in America, claiming to be a return to first cent. apostolic Christianity, going on to promote a nat. homeland for Jews in Israel, claiming that Britain would play a leading role; by modern times there are 50K members in 120 countries.
In 1847 John Humphrey Noyes (1811-86) of Brattleboro, Vt. founds the Oneida Community of Perfectionists at Putney, Vt.; after being expelled, it settles in Oneida, N.Y. (until 1880); its members believe that Christ has already returned, and that true believers should renounce private property and marriage, although they are permitted "complex marriage", i.e., sleeping around, with conception controlled by the leaders using eugenic principles; the group establishes several successful manufacturing enterprises, which raise their capital from $67K to $600K by 1880, when they are again expelled, and most members quit, marry, and form the joint-stock Oneida Community Ltd., while the remainder move to Canada.
In 1851 the Landmarkist Movement is founded in the Am. South by James Robinson Graves (1820-93) and Benjamin Marcus "Ben" Bogard (1868-1951), reacting to religious progressivism by claiming that the Baptist movement began in Apostolic times, and has continued in unbroken continuity to the present despite massive persecution by the Roman Catholic Church, Lutherans et al.; too bad, in 1859 the Southern Baptist Convention repudiates it, causing a schism by the Am. Baptist Assoc. (1924), Baptist Missionary Assoc. of Am., and the Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Assoc.; in 1928 Bogard successfully lobbies for an Ark. state law banning the teaching of Darwin's Theory of Evolution in public schools, which is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968; in 1931 Ark.-born Tex. Baptist minister James Milton Carroll (1870-1931) pub. the booklet The Trail of Blood: Following the Christians Down through the Centuries; or, The History of Baptist Churches from the Time of Christ, Their Founder, to the Present Day, a bestseller promoting Landmarkism, which is used to modern times.
Stay tuned for scenes from one life to live? The year 1874 marks the year in which Christ's Second Presence (Second Advent) is due, according to Allegheny, Penn.-born Pastor Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), author of the 7-vol. Studies in the Scriptures, 1879 founder of The Watchtower mag., and 1871 founder of the Internat. Bible Students, who in 1931 change their name to Jehovah's Witnesses, and go on to recruit millions of followers, incl. some celebs; when a Bible-based Armageddon prediction goes wrong, there is always a shakeup in the org., after which they regroup and make new predictions, because after all, the Bible is still telling them that there will be one; luckily by the 1980s they officially give up Big A predictions, claiming that only God knows the exact time. In 1884 Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) et al. form the Bible-thumping Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, and the Internat. Bible Students, later known as the Jehovah's Witnesses in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Russell, who believes that the Bible and its conflicting, er, moral code are absolute truth, marries beautiful virgin Bible-thumping babe Maria Frances Ackley (1850-1938) in 1879 after er, knowing her a few mo., and they live together in a chaste marriage, with zero sex, leaving them both all the time they want to read their you know whats and plan for eternal life together after Armageddon, when there is plenty of time to, ahem, you know what, and raise children; too bad, she gets ideas that he considers extra-Biblical about women having a role in running the org., and they separate in 1897, after which it gets dirty and she sues for divorce in 1906, using the trial to expose his dirty laundry. On Oct. 31, 1916 Charles Taze Russell (b. 1852) dies in Pampa, Tex., and his org. the Watch Tower Society is taken over by self-proclaimed Mo. "Judge" Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), who goes on to mount his "millions living now will never die" campaign, claiming that Armageddon will come in 1925, causing his followers to sell their homes and live in their cars travelling around to spread the urgent message while trying to avoid either marrying or having children; meanwhile the few who only wanted to study the Bible and think for themselves and not be dictated what to believe splinter off into the Bible Students org., which by the end of the cent. only has 10K members vs. 6M for the Jehovah's Witnesses.
In 1890 the Calvinist "Particular" Baptist Church reuinites with the original "General" Baptist Church to create the Baptist Union.
In Apr. 1914 the Pentecostal (Holy Roller) Assemblies of God, founded by E.N. Bell, Howard Goss, D.C.O. Opperman et al. hold their first meeting in the opera house in Hot Springs, Ark. after sponsoring revival meetings in the same place last fall by New Lisbon, Ohio-born evangelist Maria Buelah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924), who goes on to preach to large crowds throughout the U.S., causing the church to grow to 140 autonomous groups with 384K ministers and 67.5M members in 200+ countries by 2016, becoming the world's largest Pentecostal denomination; in 1988 a world fellowship is formed. In 1916 she pub. A Diary of Signs and Wonders.
In 1914 the Oneness (Apostolic) (Jesus' Name) Pentecostalism movement is founded in the U.S., preaching the nontrinitarian doctrine of Oneness, which claims that there is one God who manifests himself in three ways, AKA the ancient heresy of Sabellianism or Patripassianism, breaking with Trinitarianism, which claims that there are three distinct and eternal persons in the Godhead; they claim that to be saved one must repent, be baptized in Jesus' name, and receive the Holy Spirit and prove it by speaking in tongues, after which there is a strict "holiness standard" of dress code and personal conduct; by modern times there are 24M adherents.