- There really wasn't much criticism
or disunity in Christianityuntil Martin Luther
kicked off the protestant reformation
by literally nailing to the wall
the radical doctrine that salvation comes
not from priests, but by faith alone.
- [Paul] His actions shookthe world so much though,
it led to bloody religiouswars and persecutions
between the traditional Catholic faith
and the burgeoningProtestant denominations.
It actually took the threat of Islam
to bring the feuding Christians together
with a treaty known asThe Peace of Augsburg,
but it contained some costly fine print.
- It has a little Latinphrase in the treaty,
(speaking foreign language) which means
who's is the reign, his is the religion.
- [Paul] That phrasegave monarchs the right
to impose their ownreligion on entire kingdoms.
- You had to believe the way your king did
if you did not you werepersecuted and you fled.
- The kings believed that theyhad a divine right from God
to rule over their subjects.
The subjects had nothing to say about it.
- [Paul] And monarchstook a ruthless approach
in stomping out religious descent.
- You were burnt at the stake.
You had your face branded as a heretic.
- If you are a Christian,a professing Christian,
but don't have the right doctrines
they will impale you, they will slit you.
- If you were involvedin baptizing and adult,
you could be put to death.
- [Paul] Subjects also hadto attend the state church.
- [Man] Every Sunday they didn't
go to church they were fined.
- [Paul] Some tried meeting on their own.
- Their meetings wereraided and broken up.
- Your all criminals,they'll bust into the home
and arrest everyone.
- But it was disallowed to read the Bible
in those days for yourself.
- If you just try to put the Bible
where other people can read it,
we'll burn you at the stake.
- [Paul] England's Parliament could be
as controlling as the king.
- Parliament is passinglaws saying who can
and cannot take communion.
- Religion can be mean without Christ.
- But through it all, Christian historians
can trace the hand of Godusing whatever it took
to propel those nationsforward and westward.
Like when Muslim conquerorswho wanted to hurt
those nations cut off the very profitable
overland trading routesbetween Europe and Asia.
- That gave the impetusfor Columbus to set sail
looking for a sea route.
- [Paul] Which led to Europegaining the new world.
And Islamic attacks ended up sparking
both the Renaissance and Reformation.
- Then all the Greek scholars were fleeing
to Florence, Italy with their Greek art
and architecture, we callthis the Renaissance,
but they also fled withtheir Greek New Testaments.
And so this reinterestin the original language
of the New Testament laid the foundation
for the Reformation.
- [Paul] Some believe God used nature
to alter historic events.
For example, during the Battleof Lepanto in the 1500s,
the commanders of Europe's Holy League
turned to prayer as a huge Muslim fleet
appeared ready to defeat them.
- While they're praying, thewind changes 180 degrees.
The Muslim sails go limpand the Holy League sails
fill up and they crash inand they capture or sink 200
of the 230 Ottoman-Turkish ships.
- [Paul] But when themighty Spanish Armada
was about to crush England, and likely,
the rest of the Protestant world.
- The hurricane came and it smashed
the Spanish Armada to pieces.
Phillip II said, I sent myArmada to fight England,
not God's winds and rains.
Once the Spanish Armadasunk, the other countries
of Europe are not as afraidof Spain as they used to be
and it's this mad dashto settle North America.
- [Paul] Among thosesettlers, the Pilgrims,
who just wanted to serveChrist in their way
and had given up onEngland ever allowing them
the freedom to do so.
- And they wanted to pursue God.
- [Paul] A goal that laid the foundation
for a new kind of country.
- To my knowledge, no othernation has been formed
specifically for the glory of God
and the advancement ofthe Christian faith.
- [Paul] And a unique form of government,
ruled by law, not by earthly kings.
- God was to be king and thelaws that the people would make
was to be what they were governed by.
- [Paul] In other words.
- Government of the people, by the people,
and for the people.
- Now Thanksgiving day.
A perfect time to be grateful
for what these Pilgrims gave America.
Just as they were gratefulfor what God gave them.
- [Man] Despite all thehardships when the harvest came,
they said thank you to God.
- [Paul] Paul Strand,CBN News, Washington.