A voice for poverty arose in eastern France with Peter Waldo (1140-1218). Waldo sought to live like Christ, in so doing he provided income for his wife, place his two daughters in a cloister and gave the rest of his estate to the poor. He applied the life of poverty and discipleship to all true Christians, not just monks, and as he gained followers he would send them out two by two into villages and market places to teach and explain the Scriptures. they called themselves the "Poor in Spirit." The Waldenses wanted to purify the church by a return to the simple life of the apostles. This meant the surrender of worldly power. This brought them into great conflict with the Roman Church. The Waldenses came to feel that no teaching except Christ’s was binding. The Scriptures must rule. The Waldenses were so clearly a back-to-the-Bible movement that over the years many evangelical Christians have tried to present them as "reformers before the Reformation." But their view of salvation, a life of penance and poverty, lacks the clear note of God’s grace that sounded so powerfully in the Reformation.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, history, Peter, Reformation, Waldenses[/tags]