Gainsborough is a town in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. The population of the town was 22,117 at the 2015 census, it is situated 18 miles north-west from the city and county town of Lincoln, on the River Trent. At one time it served as an important port with trade downstream to Hull, was the most inland port in England, being more than 55 miles from the North Sea; the place-name'Gainsborough' is first attested in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1013, where it appears as Gegnesburh and Gæignesburh. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it appears as Gainesburg; the name means'Gegn's fortified place'. Gainsborough was one of the capital cities of Mercia during the Anglo-Saxon period, which had preceded Danish rule, it is understandable that the Viking kings would have been drawn to it as an administrative centre, being close to the Danish stronghold at Torksey. In 868 King Alfred married Ealswitha, daughter of Aethelred Mucill, chief of the Gaini, whence the town gets its name. Gainsborough is the "capital that never was".
Towards the end of July 1013, the Dane Sweyn Forkbeard, together with his son and heir Canute, arrived in Gainsborough with an army of conquest. Sweyn defeated King Ethelred fled the country. Sweyn was declared King of England, he returned to Gainsborough. Sweyn and Canute took up high office at the Gainsborough Castle, while his army occupied the camp at Thonock, but King Sweyn was killed five weeks when he was thrown from his horse in Gainsborough. His son Canute established a base elsewhere. King Canute may have performed his unsuccessful attempt to turn the tide back in the River Trent at Gainsborough. Historians believe he may have been demonstrating on a tidal bore, he and his supporters may have known Gainsborough was the furthest reach of the aegir, ideal for his demonstration. However the story was only written down a century by Henry of Huntingdon, who gives no location, may have been a myth or a fable; the Domesday Book records that Gainsborough was a community of farmers and sokemen, tenants of Geoffrey de Guerche.
The population was only about 80 people. The Lindsey Survey of 1115-18 records that Gainsborough was held by Nele d’Aubigny, he was the forebear of the Mowbray family, the Mowbray interest in Gainsborough continued until at least the end of the 14th century. A weekly market was granted by King John in 1204. Thomas Burgh acquired the manor of Gainsborough in 1455, he built Gainsborough Old Hall between 1460 and 1480, a large, 15th-century, timber-framed medieval strong house, one of the best-preserved manor houses in Britain. It boasts a magnificent Great Hall and strong brick tower. King Richard III in 1483 and King Henry VIII in 1541 both stayed at the Old Hall; the manor was sold to the Hickman family in 1596. The town was garrisoned for the King in January 1643 and began co-operating with the garrison at Newark in raiding the surrounding countryside and harassing the Parliamentarians there. With the Great North Road blocked to Parliamentarian traffic, Gainsborough became significant as part of a route around Newark by way of Lincoln and the line of the modern A15 road.
It was in the Royalists' interests to obstruct this, which gave rise to the battles of Gainsborough and Winceby. Parliament captured Gainsborough in the battle on 20 July but was besieged by a large Royalist army and forced to surrender after three days. Parliament captured Gainsborough again on 18 December 1643, but was forced to withdraw in March 1644, razing the town's defences to prevent their use by the enemy; the Earl of Manchester's army passed through Gainsborough in May 1644 on its way to York and the Battle of Marston Moor. After the Civil War ended in 1645, several people in Gainsborough were fined for their Royalist sympathies, including Sir Willoughby Hickman at the Old Hall, created the first Baron Gainsborough by Charles I in 1643; the first recorded evidence of a church at Gainsborough is in 1180, when the rectory there was granted by Roger de Talebu to the great Preceptory of the Knights Templar in Lindsey, at Willoughton. In 1547, following the Protestant Reformation, the parish of Gainsborough came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Lincoln for the first time.
The medieval Church of All Saints fell into disrepair after the Civil War, in 1736 it was demolished to make way for a new church. The new Parish Church was completed in 1748 with a mix of perpendicular Gothic and Classical Revival styles. All that remains of the medieval church is the west tower, 90 feet high, housing eight bells. A monument to Richard Rollett, master sailmaker on Captain James Cook's second voyage, is located in the porch; the town's increasing population in the 19th century required the building of a second church in the south of the town, Holy Trinity Church opened in 1843. This was followed by St John the Divine Church on Ashcroft Road in 1882, St George's Church on Heapham Road in the 1950s. Holy Trinity closed in 1971, St John the Divine closed in 2002. Non-conformism flourished in Gainsborough; some of the Mayflower Pilgrims worshipped in secret at the Old Hall before sailing for Holland to find religious freedom in 1609. The John Robinson Memorial Church in Church Street was dedicated in 1897.
S. Ambassador. Now the United Reformed Church, it was named in honour of John Robinson, the pastor of the "Pilgrim Fathers" before they left on the Mayflower. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached in Gainsborough several times betw
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice and observance. It includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs. Freedom of religion is considered by many people and most of the nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, does not persecute believers in other faiths. Freedom of belief is different, it allows the right to believe what a person, group or religion wishes, but it does not allow the right to practice the religion or belief and outwardly in a public manner. Freedom of religion has been used to refer to the tolerance of different theological systems of belief, while freedom of worship has been defined as freedom of individual action. Freedom from religion is a far more pressing moralistic and peaceful solution.
Each of these have existed to varying degrees. While many countries have accepted some form of religious freedom, this has often been limited in practice through punitive taxation, repressive social legislation, political disenfranchisement. Compare examples of individual freedom in Italy or the Muslim tradition of dhimmis "protected individuals" professing an tolerated non-Muslim religion. In Antiquity, a syncretic point of view allowed communities of traders to operate under their own customs; when street mobs of separate quarters clashed in a Hellenistic or Roman city, the issue was perceived to be an infringement of community rights. Cyrus the Great established the Achaemenid Empire ca. 550 BC, initiated a general policy of permitting religious freedom throughout the empire, documenting this on the Cyrus Cylinder. Some of the historical exceptions have been in regions where one of the revealed religions has been in a position of power: Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Others have been where the established order has felt threatened, as shown in the trial of Socrates in 399 BC or where the ruler has been deified, as in Rome, refusal to offer token sacrifice was similar to refusing to take an oath of allegiance.
This was the persecution of early Christian communities. Freedom of religious worship was established in the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, encapsulated in the Edicts of Ashoka. Greek-Jewish clashes at Cyrene in 73 AD and 117 AD and in Alexandria in 115 AD provide examples of cosmopolitan cities as scenes of tumult; the Romans tolerated most religions, including Judaism and encouraged local subjects to continue worshipping their own gods. They did not however, tolerate Christianity until it was legalised by the Roman emperor Galerius in 311; the Edict of Milan guaranteed freedom of religion in the Roman Empire until the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which outlawed all religions except Christianity. Following a period of fighting lasting around a hundred years before 620 AD which involved Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Medina, religious freedom for Muslims and pagans was declared by Muhammad in the Constitution of Medina; the Islamic Caliphate guaranteed religious freedom under the conditions that non-Muslim communities accept dhimmi status and their adult males pay the punitive jizya tax instead of the zakat paid by Muslim citizens.
Though Dhimmis were not given the same political rights as Muslims, they did enjoy equality under the laws of property and obligation. Religious pluralism existed in classical Islamic ethics and Sharia, as the religious laws and courts of other religions, including Christianity and Hinduism, were accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Millet system. In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi communities living in Islamic states had their own laws independent from the Sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha courts. Dhimmis were allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order. Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that were forbidden by Islamic law, such as the consumption of alcohol and pork, as well as religious practices which Muslims found repugnant, such as the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter.
According to the famous Islamic legal scholar Ibn Qayyim, non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissible according to their religion. Despite Dhimmis enjoying special statuses under the Caliphates, they were not considered equals, sporadic persecutions of non-Muslim groups did occur in the history of the Caliphates. Ancient Jews fleeing from persecution in their homeland 2,500 years ago settled in India and never faced anti-Semitism. Freedom of religion edicts have been found written during Ashoka the Great's reign in the 3rd century BC. Freedom to practise and propagate any religion is a constitutional right in Modern India. Most major religious festivals of the main communities are included in
The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders; the early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. An early set of Mennonite beliefs was codified in the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632, but the various groups do not hold to a common confession or creed. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism. In contemporary 21st-century society, Mennonites either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination.
There is controversy among Mennonites about this issue, with some insisting that they are a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group. Historians and sociologists have started to treat Mennonites as an ethno-religious group, while others have begun to challenge that perception. There is a discussion about the term "ethnic Mennonite". Conservative Mennonite groups, who speak Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch, or Bernese German fit well into the definition of an ethnic group, while more liberal groups and converts in developing countries do not. There are about 2.1 million Anabaptists worldwide as of 2015. Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. Mennonites can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents; the largest populations of Mennonites are to be found in Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and the United States.
There are Mennonite colonies in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Paraguay Plautdietsch-speaking, who originated in the Netherlands, formed as a distinct ethnic group in Prussia and Ukraine, are called, somewhat inaccurately, Russian Mennonites. Today, fewer than 500 Mennonites remain in Ukraine. A small Mennonite presence, known as the Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit, still continues in the Netherlands, where Simons was born; the early history of the Mennonites starts with the Anabaptists in the German and Dutch-speaking parts of central Europe. The German term is "Täufer" or "Wiedertäufer"; these forerunners of modern Mennonites were part of the Protestant Reformation, a broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Its most distinguishing feature is the rejection of infant baptism, an act that had both religious and political meaning since every infant born in western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Other significant theological views of the Mennonites developed in opposition to Roman Catholic views or to the views of other Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.
Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament example. They believed that the church should be removed from government, that individuals should join only when willing to publicly acknowledge belief in Jesus and the desire to live in accordance with his teachings. At a small meeting in Zurich on January 21, 1525, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, along with twelve others, baptized each other; this meeting marks the beginning of the Anabaptist movement. In the spirit of the times, other groups came to be, preaching about reducing hierarchy, relations with the state and sexual license, running from utter abandon to extreme chastity; these movements are together referred to as the "Radical Reformation". Many government and religious leaders, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, considered voluntary church membership to be dangerous—the concern of some deepened by reports of the Münster Rebellion, led by a violent sect of Anabaptists.
They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, burning, drowning or beheading. Despite strong repressive efforts of the state churches, the movement spread around western Europe along the Rhine. Officials killed many of the earliest Anabaptist leaders in an attempt to purge Europe of the new sect. By 1530, most of the founding leaders had been killed for refusing to renounce their beliefs. Many believed that God did not condone killing or the use of force for any reason and were, unwilling to fight for their lives; the non-resistant branches survived by seeking refuge in neutral cities or nations, such as Strasbourg. Their safety was tenuous, as a shift in alliances or an invasion could mean resumed persecution. Other groups of Anabaptists, such as the Batenburgers, were destroyed by their willingness to fight; this played a large part in the evolution of Anabaptist theology. They believed that Jesus taught that any use of force to get back at anyone was wrong, taught to forgive.
In the early days of the Anabapt
Thomas Helwys, an Englishman, was one of the joint founders, with John Smyth, of the General Baptist denomination. In the early seventeenth century, Helwys was principal formulator of that distinctively Baptist request: that the church and the state be kept separate in matters of law, so that individuals might have a freedom of religious conscience. Thomas Helwys was an advocate of religious liberty at a time when to hold to such views could be dangerous, he died in prison as a consequence of the religious persecution of Protestant dissenters under King James I. Thomas Helwys was born in Gainsborough, from Edmund and Margaret Helwys who were descendants of an old Norman family. Edmund had sold his land in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire and had taken a lease on Broxtowe Hall in Bilborough parish. In 1590 when his father died, Thomas Helwys assumed control of the estate, but in 1593, left the care of the estate in the hands of his father's friends and began studies in law at Gray's Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London.
Helwys' family was on the rise in London. Geoffrey Helwys, his uncle, was an alderman and the sheriff of London, his cousin, was knighted by King James before becoming lieutenant of the Tower of London. After completing his studies at Gray's Inn in 1593, Thomas himself spent some time in the capital. Thomas married Joan Ashmore at St, Martin's Church, Bilborough, in 1595, they lived at Broxtowe Hall. During this time, the Helwys' home became a haven for early Puritans, one of the many groups of English dissenters within the Church of England and it is that Thomas contributed financially to their mission. At some point, Thomas Helwys developed a close bond with dissenter John Smyth and he and his wife became committed members of Smyth's separatist congregation in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; the sixty or seventy Separatists in Gainsborough were allowed to meet in secret in Gainsborough Old Hall by the Hall's sympathetic owner Sir William Hickman. The Church authorities were unable to tolerate any significant degree of puritan independence.
In 1607, the High Court of Ecclesiastical Commission resolved to clamp down on the Gainsborough and Scrooby dissenters. Sometime in the winter of 1607/08, John Smyth, around 40 others from the Gainsborough and Scrooby congregations fled to the safety of Amsterdam in the more tolerant Dutch Republic, he is one of the leaders of the foundation of the first Baptist Church in 1609. On 11 April 1611 Anabaptist Edward Wightman became the last religious martyr to be burnt. Assuming their safety, Helwys allowed his family to remain in England, his wife was soon arrested and, after refusing to take the oath in court, she was imprisoned. It is that she was banished after three months in prison, it was in the Dutch Republic that a distinctive Baptist faith first emerged amongst the English émigrés. Open debate amongst the émigrés, close contact and interaction with earlier English exiles and continental Protestants, led the congregation to question the meaning and practice of baptism, among other things.
John Smyth became convinced that baptism should be for Christian believers not for infants. The other English émigrés agreed. However, at the same time as Smyth started to embrace Mennonite doctrines. Helwys and other believers separate from Smyth because of some different ones on christology. Helwys and a dozen or so others began to formulate the earliest Baptist confessions of faith; this "confession" became the twenty-seven articles in A Declaration of Faith of English People Remaining at Amsterdam in Holland. In the next twelve months or so, Helwys wrote three more important works: an argument for Arminianism, a polemic explaining his differences with the Mennonites, most A Short Declaration on the Mystery of Iniquity, a critique and apocalyptic interpretation of the Papacy as well as criticisms of Brownism and Puritanism, the first English book defending the principle of religious liberty. For Helwys, religious liberty was a right for everyone for those he disagreed with. Despite the obvious risks involved and twelve Baptist émigrés returned to England to speak out against religious persecution.
They founded the first Baptist congregation on English soil in east end of London. Early in 1612, Helwys was able to publish A Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity, he wrote an appeal to King James I arguing for liberty of conscience and sent him a copy of his book. "The King," Helwys said, "is a mortal man, not God, therefore he hath no power over the mortal soul of his subjects to make laws and ordinances for them and to set spiritual Lords over them." The king had Helwys thrown into Newgate Prison. Helwys' presentation copy of A Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity is still preserved in the Bodleian Library. Thomas Helwys is honoured with the Helwys Hall at Oxford. Thomas Helwys Baptist Church, in Lenton, Nottingham is named after him. Broxtowe Hall, the Helwys' family home, is now only a remnant but in nearby Bilborough Baptist Church there is a simple plaque to his memory. "If the Kings people be obedient and true subjects, obeying all humane lawes made by the King, our Lord the King can require no more: for men's religion to God is betwixt God and themselves.
— A Short Declara
William Franklin Graham Jr. was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. One of his biographers has placed him "among the most influential Christian leaders" of the 20th century; as a preacher, he held large indoor and outdoor rallies with sermons broadcast on radio and television. In his six decades of television, Graham hosted annual "Crusades", evangelistic campaigns, which ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005, he hosted the radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954. He repudiated racial segregation and insisted on racial integration for his revivals and crusades, starting in 1953. In addition to his religious aims, he helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people who came from different backgrounds, leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints. According to his website, Graham preached to live audiences of 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission.
Graham was a spiritual adviser to U. S. presidents and provided spiritual counsel for every president from the 33rd, Harry S. Truman, to the 44th, Barack Obama, he was close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, he was lifelong friends with another televangelist, the founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller, whom Graham talked into starting his own television ministry. Graham operated a variety of media and publishing outlets. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior". Graham's evangelism was appreciated by mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations as he encouraged new converts to become members of these Churches; as of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. One special televised broadcast in 1996 alone may have reached a television audience of as many as 2.5 billion people worldwide.
Because of his crusades, Graham preached the gospel to more people in person than anyone in the history of Christianity. Graham was on Gallup's list of most admired men and women 61 times, more than any man or woman in history. Grant Wacker writes that by the mid-1960s, he had become the "Great Legitimator": "By his presence conferred status on presidents, acceptability on wars, shame on racial prejudice, desirability on decency, dishonor on indecency, prestige on civic events". William Franklin Graham Jr. was born on November 7, 1918, in the downstairs bedroom of a farmhouse near Charlotte, North Carolina. He was of Scots-Irish descent and was the eldest of four children born to Morrow and William Franklin Graham Sr. a dairy farmer. Graham was raised on a family dairy farm with his two younger sisters, Catherine Morrow and Jean and a younger brother, Melvin Thomas; when he was eight years old in 1927, the family moved about 75 yards from their white frame house to a newly built red brick home.
He was raised by his parents in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Graham attended the Sharon Grammar School, he started to read books from an early age and loved to read novels for boys Tarzan. Like Tarzan, he would hang on the trees and gave the popular Tarzan yell, scaring both horses and drivers. According to his father, that yelling had led him to become a minister; when he was fourteen in 1933, Prohibition ended in December, Graham's father forced him and his sister, Katherine, to drink beer until they got sick. This created such an aversion that Graham and his sister avoided alcohol and drugs for the rest of their lives. Graham had been turned down for membership in a local youth group for being "too worldly" when Albert McMakin, who worked on the Graham farm, persuaded him to go and see the evangelist Mordecai Ham. According to his autobiography, Graham was converted in 1934, at age 16 during a series of revival meetings in Charlotte led by Ham. After graduating from Sharon High School in May 1936, Graham attended Bob Jones College located in Cleveland, Tennessee.
After one semester, he found it too legalistic in rules. At this time he was inspired by Pastor Charley Young from Eastport Bible Church, he was expelled, but Bob Jones Sr. warned him not to throw his life away: "At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks... You have a voice. God can use that voice of yours, he can use it mightily."In 1937 Graham transferred to the Florida Bible Institute in Temple Terrace, near Tampa. He preached his first sermon that year at Bostwick Baptist Church near Palatka, while still a student. In his autobiography, Graham wrote of receiving his "calling on the 18th green of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club", adjacent to the Institute campus. Reverend Billy Graham Memorial Park was established on the Hillsborough River, directly east of the 18th green and across from where Graham paddled a canoe to a small island in the river, where he would practice preaching to the birds and cypress stumps. In 1939, Graham was ordained by a group of Southern Baptist clergymen at Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida.
In 1943, Graham graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, with a degree in anthropology. During his time at Wheaton, Graham decided to accept the Bible as the infallible word of God
John Bunyan was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. Bunyan came near Bedford, he had some schooling and at the age of sixteen joined the Parliamentary Army during the first stage of the English Civil War. After three years in the army he returned to Elstow and took up the trade of tinker, which he had learned from his father, he became interested in religion after his marriage, attending first the parish church and joining the Bedford Meeting, a nonconformist group in Bedford, becoming a preacher. After the restoration of the monarch, when the freedom of nonconformists was curtailed, Bunyan was arrested and spent the next twelve years in jail as he refused to give up preaching. During this time he wrote a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, began work on his most famous book, The Pilgrim's Progress, not published until some years after his release.
Bunyan's years, in spite of another shorter term of imprisonment, were spent in relative comfort as a popular author and preacher, pastor of the Bedford Meeting. He is buried in Bunhill Fields; the Pilgrim's Progress became one of the most published books in the English language. He is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 30 August, on the liturgical calendar of the United States Episcopal Church on 29 August; some other churches of the Anglican Communion, such as the Anglican Church of Australia, honour him on the day of his death. John Bunyan was born in 1628 to Thomas and Margaret Bunyan at Bunyan's End in the parish of Elstow, Bedfordshire. Bunyan's End is about halfway between the hamlet of Elstow High Street. Bunyan's date of birth is not known, but he was baptised on 30 November 1628, the baptismal entry in the parish register reading "John the sonne of Thomas Bunnion Jun. the 30 November". The name Bunyan had its origins in the Norman-French name Buignon. There had been Bunyans in north Bedfordshire since at least 1199.
Bunyan's father was a brazier or tinker who travelled around the area mending pots and pans, his grandfather had been a chapman or small trader. The Bunyans owned land in Elstow, so Bunyan's origins were not quite as humble as he suggested in his autobiographical work Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners when he wrote that his father's house was "of that rank, meanest and most despised in the country"; as a child Bunyan was given some rudimentary schooling. In Grace Abounding Bunyan recorded few details of his upbringing, but he did note how he picked up the habit of swearing, suffered from nightmares, read the popular stories of the day in cheap chap-books. In the summer of 1644 Bunyan lost both his sister Margaret; that autumn, shortly before or after his sixteenth birthday, Bunyan enlisted in the Parliamentary army when an edict demanded 225 recruits from the town of Bedford. There are few details available about his military service, which took place during the first stage of the English Civil War.
A muster roll for the garrison of Newport Pagnell shows him as private "John Bunnian". In Grace Abounding, he recounted an incident from this time, as evidence of the grace of God: When I was a Souldier, I, with others, were drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it. Bunyan's army service provided him with a knowledge of military language which he used in his book The Holy War, exposed him to the ideas of the various religious sects and radical groups he came across in Newport Pagnell; the garrison town gave him opportunities to indulge in the sort of behaviour he would confess to in Grace Abounding: "So that until I came to the state of Marriage, I was the ringleader of all the Youth that kept me company, in all manner of vice and ungodliness". Bunyan spent nearly three years in the army, leaving in 1647 to return to Elstow and his trade as a tinker, his father had remarried and had more children and Bunyan moved from Bunyan's End to a cottage in Elstow High Street. Within two years of leaving the army, Bunyan married.
The name of his wife and the exact date of his marriage are not known, but Bunyan did recall that his wife, a pious young woman, brought with her into the marriage two books that she had inherited from her father: Arthur Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly's Practice of Piety. He recalled that, apart from these two books, the newly-weds possessed little: "not having so much household-stuff as a Dish or a Spoon betwixt us both"; the couple's first daughter, was born in 1650, it soon became apparent that she was blind. They would have three more children, Elizabeth and John. By his own account, Bunyan had as a youth enjoyed bell-ringing and playing games including on Sunday, forbidden by the Puritans, who held a high view of Sunday, called the Lord's Day. One Sunday the vicar of Elstow preached a sermon against Sabbath breaking, Bunyan took this sermon to heart; that afternoon, as he was playing tip-cat (a game in which a small piece of wood is hit with a
Sola Scriptura is a theological doctrine held by some Christian denominations that the Christian scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith and practice. While the scriptures' meaning is mediated through many kinds of secondary authority, such as the ordinary teaching offices of a denominated church, the ecumenical creeds, the councils of the catholic church, so on - sola scriptura, on the other hand, rejects any original infallible authority other than the Bible. In this view, all secondary authority is derived from the authority of the scriptures and is therefore subject to reform when compared to the teaching of the Bible. Church councils, Bible commentators, private revelation, or a message from an angel or an apostle are not an original authority alongside the Bible in the sola scriptura approach. Sola scriptura is a formal principle of many Protestant Christian denominations, one of the five solae, it was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by many of the Reformers, who taught that authentication of scripture is governed by the discernible excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to the heart of each man.
Some evangelical and Baptist denominations state the doctrine of sola scriptura more strongly: scripture is self-authenticating, clear to the rational reader, its own interpreter, sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. By contrast and Methodism considered forms of Protestantism, uphold the doctrine of prima scriptura, with scripture being illumined by tradition, in Methodism, experience as well, thus completing the four sides of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral; the Eastern Orthodox Church holds that to "accept the books of the canon is to accept the ongoing Spirit-led authority of the church's tradition, which recognizes, interprets and corrects itself by the witness of Holy Scripture". The Catholic Church regards the apostolic preaching and writing as equal since they believe that many of their traditions came from the Apostles; the Catholic Church describes this as "one common source... with two distinct modes of transmission", while some Protestant authors call it "a dual source of revelation".
Sola scriptura is one of the five solae, considered by some Protestant groups to be the theological pillars of the Reformation. The key implication of the principle is that interpretations and applications of the scriptures do not have the same authority as the scriptures themselves. Martin Luther said, "a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it"; the intention of the Reformation was to correct what he asserted to be the errors of the Catholic Church by appeal to the uniqueness of the Bible's textual authority. Catholic doctrine is based in sacred tradition, as well as scripture. Sola scriptura meant rejecting the infallible authority given to the magisterium to interpret both scripture and tradition. Sola scriptura, does not ignore Christian history, tradition, or the church when seeking to understand the Bible. Rather, it sees the church as the Bible's interpreter, the regula fidei as the interpretive context, scripture as the only final authority in matters of faith and practice.
As Luther said, "The true rule is this: God's Word shall establish articles of faith, no one else, not an angel can do so." Lutheranism teaches that the Bible of the Old and New Testaments is the only divinely inspired book and the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. Scripture alone is the formal principle of the faith in Lutheranism, the final authority for all matters of faith and morals because of its inspiration, clarity and sufficiency. Lutheranism teaches that the Bible does not contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of verbal inspiration, the word of God. Most Lutheran traditions acknowledge that understanding scriptures is complex given that the Bible contains a collection of manuscripts and manuscript fragments that were written and collected over thousands of years. For example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America teaches that "Lutheran Christians believe that the story of God’s steadfast love and mercy in Jesus is the heart and center of what the Scriptures have to say."As Lutherans confess in the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit "spoke through the prophets".
The Apology of the Augsburg Confession identifies "Holy Scripture" with the Word of God and calls the Holy Spirit the author of the Bible. Because of this, Lutherans confess in the Formula of Concord, "we receive and embrace with our whole heart the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the pure, clear fountain of Israel"; the apocryphal books were not written by inspiration. The prophetic and apostolic scriptures are said by the Lutheran church to be authentic as written by the prophets and apostles, that a correct translation of their writings is God's Word because it has the same meaning as the original Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek. A mistranslation is not God's word, no human authority can invest it with divine authority. Scripture, regarded as the word of God, carries the full authority of God in Lutheranism: every single statement of the Bible calls for instant and unrestricted acceptance; every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and