If the Waldenses were not that much different from the Catholic Church, then why were they vigorously persecuted? Finding that many teachings and practices of the Roman Church were based more on tradition than Scripture, they rejected these doctrines and rituals, calling believers to return to the simplicity of the New Testament lifestyle and the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. They hold also that Christ the Son of God is not equal with the Father and that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost these three persons are not One God and one substance….” (Peter Allix, Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont. They were originally known as the Valdese -- the dwellers in the valley. The Sabbath was a symbol of a covenant between God and Israel, signifying that it was the Lord who set apart Israel from the other nations. No one prior to the Exodus from Egypt (Ex 16) even knew about the Sabbath law: Ezek 20:10-12 "So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. Sabbathkeeping among Waldensians was most widespread in Bohemia and Moravia, places to which they fled during papal persecution. Some people have denied that they ever kept the Sabbath. Calvin believed that the Sabbath still had spiritual significance, but that the literal seventh day was ceremonial and a shadow, basing his view on the same scriptural passages as the inquisitor had used against the Waldensians.9 The new generation of pastors educated under Calvin no longer taught the seventh-day Sabbath, but Sunday, as the day of worship. 6 Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. The Waldensians never followed the Seventh-day Adventist’s Sabbath but they followed more Paul in Romans 14,5-8. Many Christians keep Sabbath on Sunday the first day of the week. Not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.”8. 2, page 68). A fifteenth-century manuscript, published by church historian Johann Döllinger in History of the Sects, reports that Waldensians in Bohemia “do not celebrate the feasts of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles, except the Lord’s day. Early Waldensians were members of a reformation movement in Europe, specifically the Alpine regions of Spain, France, and Italy, during the high Middle Ages. Considered forerunners of the Protestant Reformation by various historians,2 the Waldensians stressed the importance of adhering strictly to the teachings of the Bible as the only rule of faith. who kept the true Sabbath.”1. 8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Used by permission. Surely most of us who have read the Bible extensively have wondered why Christians don't keep the Sabbath. Contributing Writer • 2 See, e.g., Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. What led the Waldensians of northern Italy to give up Sabbathkeeping? Waldo and his disciples, “the Poor of Lyon“, … Robinson, in his Ecclesiastical Researches, quotes two primary sources that identify the Waldenses as Sabbath keepers. ( Log Out /  Change ), Protestant Confessions About the Sabbath (Part 2 of 2), Protestant Confessions About the Sabbath (Part 1 of 2), A Call to Repentance and Turning toward God continued…. . In response, the Waldensians, and even some Adventists, have said that Ellen White was not a historian. But to Jesus, Sabbath observance pointed to something greater. In Deuteronomy 5:12-15, the Israelites were commanded to keep the Sabbath as a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt by God’s mighty hand. The Jewish Sabbath starts Friday at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown, the 7th day of the week. . Ford L. Battles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), p. 23. We know God created the Sabbath after the creation of man, so did Adam and Eve keep the Sabbath? They were persecuted, from 1535 (when they joined the Reformation) to 1848 (when they received religious freedom), because of their Reformed-Calvinistic (Protestant) faith in Christ. They were also called the Cathars--which meant 'holy ones.' We have some quotes about this below: In the 1100s-1200s AD, we learn about a group connected to the Waldenses known as the Passagani. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), p. 221. Their practice of wearing sandals or wooden shoes (sabots) caused them to be named "Sandaliati", "Insabbatati", "Sabbatati", Sabotiers". Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally held a special affinity for the Waldensians, who, during a time of religious oppression, preserved and shared the Scriptures […], Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally held a special affinity for the Waldensians, who, during a time of religious oppression, preserved and shared the Scriptures despite grim consequences. Adventists share a sense of comradery with this group for another reason, too. The Sabbath is one of those commandments. [As an aside, Robinson refutes the idea that these people were called insabbati because of their foot wear; as he notes, the people of their region wore a different kind altogether]. You can follow Kelly on his website: www.kellymcdonaldjr.com. Constantine is the one that changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, about 300 AD. The Ten Commandments, including the Saturday Sabbath, were not done away with when Christ died. There was at the very least a significant minority of Sabbath keepers that kept the Sabbath, although not all of them did. Mark Finley is arguably the most famous Adventist evangelist there is, and as a result probably doesn’t need a bio. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. Consequently, they stopped training their itinerant preachers, or “barbes,” at the College of the Barbes in Pra del Torno and instead sent their pastoral candidates to Geneva, Switzerland, to be educated by John Calvin and his associates. Probably not. . Three years later, the pope declared them to … How did Yisraelites keep warm on Yom Ha-Shabat (י֖וֹם הַשַּׁבָּֽת)? Waldenses, members of a Christian movement that originated in 12th-century France, the devotees of which sought to follow Christ in poverty and simplicity. But do not use your freedom to indulge the … With few exceptions, Waldensians today deny that the ancient Waldenses kept the seventh-day Sabbath. ( Log Out /  The answer goes back to the time of the Reformation. The Waldensians’ back-to-the-Bible approach appealed to many, and the movement quickly spread rapidly to Spain, northern France, Flanders, Germany, southern Italy, and even Poland and Hungary. 50 We know that in 1184 the French bishops who were called to the Council of Verona included them in the list of "condemned movements." The modern Waldenses deny any connection to Sabbath observance. We also know from history that the Catholic Church has worked hard to exterminate anyone who opposed their agenda. These historical accounts help us understand that at the very least there was a significant minority population of Sabbath keepers among the Waldenses and connected to them. The Pharisees are understandably upset by this. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 8 Johann Döllinger, Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters (Munich: Beck, 1890), Vol. Although the Waldensians did not set out to oppose the Roman Catholic Church, they were branded heretics, excommunicated by Pope Lucius III in 1184, and targeted for extermination in several campaigns. "The Abyssinians and many continental Europeans, especially in Romania, Bohemia, Moravia, Holland and Germany continued to keep the Sabbath. II, p. 662. Was Jesus ignoring the command to keep the Sabbath found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 5:15)? Every single commandment can be found reiterated in the New Testament. When He wanted to find fault so he could persecute them. In fact, if one of them be true, it almost certainly follows that the other one must be true also. These significant findings of Waldensian Sabbathkeeping invite further investigation into manuscripts prior to the twelfth century that may bring to light even more evidence about Sabbathkeeping among early Protestants in Italy and France. In 1532, at a meeting between Waldensians and representatives of the French Reformation, held in the Valley of Angrogna, most of the Waldensians voted to join the French Reformation. Such research is challenging because Waldensian documents themselves have been burned or otherwise destroyed through centuries of persecution.4 The only evidence one finds comes from the mouths of their inquisitors, who often portray them as a heretical movement. The institution of the Sabbath at creation. The Waldensians (also known as Waldenses (/ w ɔː l ˈ d ɛ n s iː z, w ɒ l-/), Vallenses, Valdesi or Vaudois) are adherents of a proto-Protestant church tradition that began as an ascetic movement within Western Christianity before the Reformation. Notice that Saturday was not one of the Waldensian Protest. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. All the holy prophets kept the seventh day. In the chapter De Sabbato, et De Die Dominico he discussed the significance of the seventh-day Sabbath of Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and contrasted it with the value of the Lord’s day, his term for the first day of the week.5, Anti-Sabbath Arguments Against Waldensians, Moneta claimed that the Sabbath was for the Jews, pointing out that it was a memorial of Creation and of their liberation from Egypt. As I mentioned, I am a Jewish believer. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today." There at least seems to be several reasons that we should. Moneta concluded by quoting Colossians 2:16, commenting that “days related to Jewish festivals are not observed, on the contrary, the days instituted by the Church, and that is it.”7. In modern times the name has been applied to members of a Protestant church that formed when remnants of the earlier movement became Swiss Protestant reformers. At the same time, a modern denial does not erase the pages of history. While touring Torre Pellice, one of the group’s major centers in the foothills of the northern Italian Alps, Adventists often ask about Waldensian Sabbathkeeping practices. These evidences from such primary sources clearly show that Sabbathkeeping was a practice among a good segment of Waldensians in the thirteenth century, continuing into the fifteenth century. The Sabbath commandment is for the “stranger” too. Letters wrote by the Church Leaders in Gaul show their rejection of the controversial order by Pope Victor to observe Easter Sunday instead of Passover (this provides clear evidence that the early church of that day did in fact observe Jewish traditions). We have some quotes about this below: In the 1100s-1200s AD, we learn about a group connected to the Waldenses known as the Passagani. Therefore, the Waldensians did not keep the Sabbath (in the sense of Saturday instead of Sunday) and were not guardians of the "Sabbath Truth” as somebody calls it. 9 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), trans. 7. To help the non-clergy understand the New Testament he had it translated into the language which was commonly used at that time, Provencal. Through the revelations of God’s words, I came to understand that the reason why the Lord Jesus did not keep the Sabbath and chose to go out and work on that day was that He wanted to tell those who lived under the law that He had ended the old age and brought with Him new work. Fathers prior to Egypt did not keep the Sabbath: Deut 5:2-3 "The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Waldenses Kept the Sabbath. Gretzer, a German Jesuit who accused the Waldenses in the late 1500s/early 1600s, and Bishop Usher from Ireland (same time period) are in agreement. These two statements do not conflict. The Sabbath is a blessing, not a curse!! 2, pp. XII, p. 665. Below we have some primary source quotes describing this fascinating group. The king having heard the report of his commissions, said with an oath that they were better men than himself or his people” (William Jones, Jones Church History, 1832, Page 348; In the 1824 version, it is found in Vol. How to Keep the Sabbath Holy – What is the Sabbath? They were simple people. After Jesus ascended back to heaven, the disciples of Christ continued to keep the seventh-day Sabbath for many decades. Here is the eye witness account that his scouts brought back: “…they found no images, nor signs of the ornaments belonging to the mass, nor any of the ceremonies of the Romish church; much less could they discover any traces of those crimes with which they were charged. Further, in 1190 the Bishop of Narbonne pronounced a … ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. On the contrary, they kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism, according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith, and the commandments of God. Unlike other reform-minded groups, the Waldensians did not disappear, nor were they absorbed into other movements, but have continued their presence until today. One of the primary sources of evidence of Waldensian Sabbathkeeping during the first half of the thirteenth century comes from a collection of five books written against the Cathars and Waldensians about 1241-1244 by Dominican inquisitor Father Moneta of Cremona in northern Italy. We just don't have to keep it as they did under the law. Moneta’s treatise clearly shows that a sizable group of Waldensians and Cathars in northern Italy and southern France during the thirteenth century were worshipping on a day other than Sunday, namely, the seventh-day Sabbath. On the contrary, they kept the Sabbath-day, observed the ordinance of baptism, according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the Christian faith and the commandments of God. The Sabbath-keepers in the seventh century did not circumcise, nor did they in the ninth, or else Pope Nicolas I would not have quoted the epistle of Gregory unaltered. “Strangers” are non-Jews or Gentiles (Isaiah 56:6). "We now keep no more the Sabbath on Saturday as the Jews do; but we observe the Sunday, and certain other days as the magistrates do judge convenient, whom in this thing we ought to obey." We can therefore say very clearly that the Waldensians were not Seventh-day Sabbath keepers and they were not persecuted for keeping Saturday as the Sabbath! We talk about the ten commandments, and we seem to believe that Christians should keep them. God has promised to bless all who keep the Sabbath. Based on Ellen White’s statement in The Great Controversy, Adventists have believed that some Waldensians kept the Sabbath, but not necessarily a sizable group. Further, those who do not keep the Sabbath should avoid being a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) to those who do keep the Sabbath. Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the old Jewish Sabbath, a yoke of bondage, etc. Vaticano, Bononiensi, ac Neapolitano (Rome: 1743; reprinted, Ridgewood, N.J.: 1964), pp. Doctrine Before the Reformation. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. One Adventist historian has even gone so far as to suggest that The Great Controversy needs to be revised and brought up-to-date with present scholarship, because there is no primary source evidence for Waldensian Sabbath observance. When we come to consider the Sabbath-keepers during the Reformation, we shall find that even Luther charged them with practising circumcision, while their own words still extant in quotations prove the contrary. 2. As a result, their teachings spread to far-flung regions of Europe. His ideas spread all over Europe. (Isaiah 58:12,13.) Who, other than Waldensians, were conducting mission tours across Europe in the middle ages? “…They say that Pope Sylvester was the Anti-Christ of whom is made mention in the Epistle of St. Paul as being the Son of Perdition,  who extolls himself above everything that is called God, for, from that time, they say, the church perished…He lays it down also as one of their opinions, that the Law of Moses is to be kept according to the Letter and that the keeping of the Sabbath, circumcision, and other legal observances ought to take place. Requirement-1 : Rest (Shabaton, שַׁבָּת֖וֹן) Shemot 35:2 [MT] : "Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy Shabat rest to the Lord; whoever performs work on-it shall be put to death. The pages of history will clarify the situation for us. The Lord required us to call it honourable, (Isaiah 58:13.) Based on Ellen White’s statement in The Great Controversy, Adventists have believed that some Waldensians kept the Sabbath, but not necessarily a sizable group. However, historical evidence indicates that many did observe Sabbath during the Middle Ages. Of special interest to Adventists is their practice of Sabbathkeeping, as already noted. Jesus, or Paul had nothing to do with that! The Waldenses were a body of Christians who stood aloof from the church in its alliance with the secular power, and consequently remained free from many of the corruptions and Pagan notions which the heathens had incorporated into their religion when they came into the national church. Isaiah said Gentiles should keep the Sabbath (Isaiah 56:6, 7). The word Valdese changed through the centuries, and was pronounced Waldenses, and Waldensians. ( Log Out /  30. There was at the very least a significant minority of Sabbath keepers that kept the Sabbath, although not all of them did. For several years I have researched, with the help of graduate students, archaic sources from European libraries for evidence of Sabbathkeeping among the Waldensians. 5:2, 3, NASB ),6 and neither would Sabbathkeeping Christ died Isaiah 56:6, 7 ) Waldensian... Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1954 ), pp 5:13-15 sums up the whole issue: You! 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