Remonstrants

Remonstrants

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The Remonstrants are the Dutch Protestants who, after the death of Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius , the Latinized name of the Dutch theologian Jakob Hermanszoon from the Protestant Reformation period, served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden...

, maintained the views associated with his name. In 1610 they presented to the States of Holland and Friesland a remonstrance in five articles formulating their points of disagreement from Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

.

History


The five articles include:
  • that the divine decree of predestination is conditional, not absolute;
  • that the Atonement is in intention universal;
  • that man cannot of himself exercise a saving faith;
  • that though the grace of God is a necessary condition of human effort it does not act irresistibly in man and
  • that believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace.


Their adversaries, inspired by Franciscus Gomarus
Franciscus Gomarus
Franciscus Gomarus , was a Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius , which was formally judged at the Synod of Dort .-Life:His parents, having embraced the principles of the Reformation, emigrated to the Palatinate in 1578, in order...

, became known as Gomarists or Counter-Remonstrants. Although the States-General
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 issued an edict tolerating both parties and forbidding further dispute, the conflict continued and became linked to political conflicts
Twelve Years' Truce
The Twelve Years' Truce was the name given to the cessation of hostilities between the Habsburg rulers of Spain and the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic as agreed in Antwerp on 9 April 1609. It was a watershed in the Eighty Years' War, marking the point from which the independence of the...

 in the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. The Remonstrants were assailed both by personal enemies and by the political weapons of Maurice of Orange. Their foremost ally, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, was executed, and other leaders were imprisoned.

In 1618–19 the Synod of Dordrecht, after expelling the thirteen Arminian
Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

 pastors headed by Simon Episcopius
Simon Episcopius
Simon Episcopius was a Dutch theologian and Remonstrant who played a significant role at the Synod of Dort in 1618...

, established the victory of the Calvinist school. It drew up ninety-three canonical rules, and confirmed the authority of the Belgic Confession
Belgic Confession
The Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, is a doctrinal standard document to which many of the Reformed churches subscribe. The Confession forms part of the Reformed Three Forms of Unity...

 and the Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism
The Heidelberg Catechism is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Reformed Christian doctrine...

. The judgement of the synod was enforced through the deposition and in some cases banishment of Remonstrant ministers. An exile community was founded in Antwerp in 1619. In 1621 they were allowed to settle in Schleswig
Schleswig
Schleswig or South Jutland is a region covering the area about 60 km north and 70 km south of the border between Germany and Denmark; the territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany...

, where they built the town of Friedrichstadt
Friedrichstadt
Friedrichstadt is a town in the district of Nordfriesland, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated on the river Eider approx. 12 km south of Husum. It was founded in 1621 by Dutch settlers...

.

The doctrine of the Remonstrants was embodied in 1621 in a confessio written by Episcopius, their major theologian, while Jan Uytenbogaert gave them a catechism
Catechism
A catechism , i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present...

 and regulated their church order. Their seminary in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 had distinguished pupils, including Curcellaeus, Limborch
Philipp van Limborch
Philipp van Limborch , Dutch Remonstrant theologian, was born at Amsterdam, where his father was a lawyer.He received his education at Utrecht, at Leiden, in his native city, and finally at Utrecht University, which he entered in 1652...

, Wetstein, and Le Clerc
Jean Leclerc (theologian)
Jean Le Clerc, also Johannes Clericus was a Swiss theologian and biblical scholar. He was famous for promoting exegesis, or critical interpretation of the Bible, and was a radical of his age...

. Their school of theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, which grew more liberal and even rationalistic, forcefully debated the official Dutch Reformed
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

 state church and other Christian denominations.

After the death of Maurice of Orange in 1625 some exiles returned. The government became convinced that they posed no danger to the state, and in 1630 they were formally allowed to reside again in all parts of the Republic. They were not, however, officially allowed to build churches until the establishment of the Batavian Republic
Batavian Republic
The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on January 19, 1795, and ended on June 5, 1806, with the accession of Louis Bonaparte to the throne of the Kingdom of Holland....

 in 1795. Until then they held their services in so-called Schuilkerk
Schuilkerk
A clandestine church , defined by historian Benjamin J. Kaplan as a "semi-clandestine church", is a house of worship used by religious minorities whose communal worship is tolerated by those of the majority faith on condition that it is discreet and not conducted in public spaces...

en (House church
House church
House church, or "home church", is used to describe an independent assembly of Christians who gather in a home. Sometimes this occurs because the group is small, and a home is the most appropriate place to gather, as in the beginning phase of the British New Church Movement...

es).

Modern Remonstrant Brotherhood


The Remonstrant Brotherhood continues as a Church in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. It has its origins in the theology of Arminius and the signing of the "Five articles of Remonstrance
Five articles of Remonstrance
The Five Articles of Remonstrance were theological propositions advanced in 1610 by followers of Jacobus Arminius who had died in 1609, in disagreement with interpretations of the teaching of John Calvin then current in the Dutch Reformed Church...

" against a stricter form of Calvinism by 44 ministers. The Remonstrants proclaimed the responsibility of man, pre-ordination through foreknowledge of faith, and that Christ's death was sufficient for all.

The Remonstrants first received official recognition in 1795. Their chief congregation has been in Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

. Today, the Remonstrant Brotherhood has some 5,780 members and 'friends', in 46 congregations in the Netherlands, and one congregation in Friedrichstadt, in northern Germany (2008). It keeps fellowship with the European Liberal Protestant Network
European Liberal Protestant Network
The European Liberal Protestant Network is an association of free Christians and Liberal Protestants of Europe.It had its inaugural meeting at Bad Boll, Germany, July 1998 among Protestant members of the International Association for Religious Freedom....

.

See also

  • Arminianism
    Arminianism
    Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

  • Calvinism
    Calvinism
    Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

  • Methodism
    Methodism
    Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

  • Five articles of Remonstrance
    Five articles of Remonstrance
    The Five Articles of Remonstrance were theological propositions advanced in 1610 by followers of Jacobus Arminius who had died in 1609, in disagreement with interpretations of the teaching of John Calvin then current in the Dutch Reformed Church...

  • Five points of Calvinism
  • Predestination (Calvinism)
    Predestination (Calvinism)
    The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world...


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