I really am increasingly impressed by the volume on the history of Christianity in Holland that I’ve been working through. Here’s a delightful snippet which demonstrates, I think, the truth that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’:
At Dordrecht in 1573 the classis found that the churches in this respect “were in a very desolate, disorderly, and degenerate state.” The officiating ministers “were mostly altogether novices or those who had been Mass-priests and monks.” Furthermore, there was a contingent of former “tailors, shoemakers, weavers, locksmiths, and in short all sorts of craftsmen, most of whom wanted a lazy life and an annual income, promoting themselves rather than the glory of God and the edification of his church.”
Preachers preaching simply for their own gain and not the glory of God??? Joel Osteen (and a whole host of like minded self servers) had 16th century Dutch antecedents!
I’m telling you, dear friends- when the volume linked to above is published you ought to read it. Or, if you read the tongue of the Dutchlanders, you ought to read it now.