Blind Society Essay, Research Paper
Since time and memorial, people keep on arguing about what they believe are true. These arguments start from differences of their beliefs. But if one listens in all of their beliefs, they are all brought to a point that these beliefs are for the good of the society. Then there is a point where the society becomes blind, Why do they not look on their similarities rather than their differences? Then, society should look on their similarities and learn to compromise and respect their individual beliefs rather than to fight on their differences that makes harm to the society.
Around 1517 to 1648, popes, after the Great Schism, got more involved in politics. Abuse of power was at hand by engaging in crusades, expansion of Papal States and practicing Nepotism, which they should not be doing. Thus, the Reformation began, which was a movement in Western Christendom to purify the Church from their abuses. These reformers believed that the conformity of the Bible and the New Testament as a model of the Church. These reformers were also called Protestants. As Protestants, they also rejected the notion that the divine authority is channeled through the Pope. On the other side, a counter reformation was also formed. This movement was formed to eliminate abuses within the Roman Catholic Church and to respond to the protestant reformation. Despite of the large population of Protestants and Turkish threats, the two sides tried to compromise and tolerate each other which later on became a larger problem of the European society.
Among Protestants, they also had a number of different sects that believed differently from each other. Lutheranism, a protestant sect founded by Martin Luther, opposed the elaborate hierarchy and ritual. They only favored the individual s humility, the direct communication with God. Another protestant sect, Calvinism believed in predestination. They insisted that all personal and public activity, including the government, be subordinated to God s Will. Another protestant sect, Anglicanism traced their spiritual authority to Christ and the apostles, and the Protestant belief in the Bible as the standard of faith and life. These were the early Protestant sect that later emerged into more smaller sects. In short, Protestants believed either in faith (sola fide) or scriptures alone (sola scriptura).
On the other hand, the counter reformists made a group against the Protestants. A famous order was called, Jesuits. It was an Orthodox Catholic order and was organized in 1534 by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It aroused opposition from Protestants, Catholics and even the Pope. Other counter reformists made a non-Orthodox order such as Jansenists, and Quietists. The Jansenists reformed Roman Catholic doctrine by returning to the individualistic ideas of St. Augustine and emphasized on personal holiness and predestination, which was closely related to Calvinism. Meanwhile, the Quietists believed that man, to perfect himself, must become passive and abandon his soul to God. In short, all counter reformists wanted was to eliminate Protestant groups and reform the Dogma.
Summarizing all factors, Protestants and Counter Reformists have many differences and similarities. They both believed on the Trinity, the atonement and resurrection of Christ, the authority of the Bible, and sacramental character of Baptism and Eucharist. On the other hand, Protestants settled some differences, such as believing in faith or scriptures alone. Faith alone (Sola fide) means that faith can achieve salvation. There is no need for good deeds, fasting and indulgences. Scriptures alone (Sola scriptura) means that the rules of the Bible should be followed. They also reject the Roman Catholic position in giving the ultimate authority over the Pope in matters of faith and morals. More on differences, they also believed that protestant liturgies were simpler and place a great emphasis on preaching. Protestants have only two sacraments: Baptism and Eucharist.
After knowing the situations and beliefs of both sides, a question still rise, why won t they cooperate to each other or at least, respect one s belief? They were all doing it for the good of the society. If they were just to see the similarities that they both have, they were still Christians. And as Christians, if you believe in God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and Savior of Men, then why think of differences then if all will lead to salvation whatever sect, or religion we take? That is why the society became blind. They never see the fact that they all believed in a common good, which they were needing. They should learn to compromise, or at least, respect one another. Anyway, any sect or religion is good. Besides, there is no sect or religion that teach us to be evil. Therefore, the society should look into their similarities rather than their differences in terms of belief on religion.