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Conflict In Scotland Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 28, 2023 1:00 am

Conflict In Scotland Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 28, 2023 1:00 am

Once a galley slave, John Knox brought the Word of God to Scotland. What’s the historical context and growth of the Reformation in Scotland? In this message, Pastor Lutzer describes three reasons to highlight these events. God uses imperfect saints, and John Knox was a perfect example of imperfect.

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Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

North of England lies Scotland, where another chapter of the Reformation took place. Here, politics again mixed with the Church, and John Knox arose as a major player there. Today we begin the final lecture in Pastor Lutzer's series on the Reformation, then and now. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, after all we've heard, it's clear that a lot of imperfect people were involved in crafting the Reformation, and that many of the divisions still with us today had their roots during those turbulent times.

And Dave, you've raised a number of interesting issues. Number one, the divisions that took place back then are still important. Number two, you're absolutely right, God uses imperfect people. I've stood in St. Giles Cathedral there in Scotland and thought of John Knox preaching there, his relationship with Mary Queen of Scots, fascinating story. This is one of the last days we are making available the book I've written entitled Rescuing the Gospel, the Story and the Significance of the Reformation. And what we will discover as we look at the past is, yes, the imperfections of those whom God used, but also the importance of the issues as they relate today. We make these resources available to you because we believe that as you run the race of life, knowing the past enables us to properly interpret the present and the future. Remember, Rescuing the Gospel.

You can call 1-888-218-9337 or go to Why should anyone be interested in the Reformation? Dig up this ancient history. First of all, to be inspired tonight, I'm going to tell you about people who died for the faith and you have to ask yourself the question, would I have that much nerve? Am I willing to go to Manila? Am I willing to lay my life on the line where mosquitoes look like helicopters as I'm sure they do in Manila?

That's the first thing. Be inspired by those who have gone on. Secondly, doctrine determines your destiny. Is there any doctrine in your life that you're actually willing to die for? What you believe determines where you will go forever.

There are tons of people who will be in hell, not because they're not believers, they are fervent believers, but they believe the wrong thing. So that's why we're going to talk about the Reformation tonight and tonight winds up the discussion of the Reformation. When we talk about the Reformation in Scotland, you must remember my dear friend that it was tied in totally with politics. How nice it would be if we said, oh, John Knox preached the Gospel and many people believed and that's the Reformation and Scotland became this Calvinistic slash Presbyterian country.

It wasn't that neat, I can assure you. It was complicated and sometimes pure ugly. And another reason why I want to tell you about this story is that you might realize that God uses imperfect saints. John Knox was not a loving man. He was not the kind of person who'd work good as a counselor. He was not a loving man. And yet look at how mightily God used him. God sometimes uses the most, the strangest people.

Sometimes he puts his hand on the wrong man and decides to use him. Now, because it was tied in with politics, you need to understand that in Scotland, whoever was the king or whoever was the leader, that's what the subjects had to be. When you had a Protestant king or a Protestant parliament, everybody had to be Protestant and the mass was banned. When you had a Catholic in charge and a Catholic parliament, suddenly everybody had to attend mass.

Same thing happened in Germany and Europe before freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. What's the historical context of the Reformation in Scotland? First of all, the Lawlards whom we met in the first lecture, the followers of John Wycliffe, they proclaimed the Gospel not only in England but in Scotland. Luther's writings had come to Scotland. The fact that by 1525 an act of parliament banned Luther's books shows that they were there.

There were reform movements. People were tired of the corruption in the church. I mean, there were so many stories of drunken priests and the whole bit that satires and plays were made of them.

I was going to tell you about one but we must hurry. And then you have also the Bible. Now originally, it couldn't be read. The Scottish bishops banned the reading of the vernacular but in 1542, parliament allowed the use of the English Bible. So people could go to church. You couldn't own a Bible because in those days, they were not books like we have today.

Most people wouldn't. Of course, the printing press had already been invented but you could go to church and somebody would read the Bible to you. And this of course spurred on the Reformation. Then there were martyrs for the faith. People dying for their faith and this spurred on the Reformation.

You think of Patrick Hamilton. He preached the idea that faith makes God and man friends, justification by faith alone. This was anathema to the established church. They made so much money when a person died, he would leave all of his goods to the church so that he could have many different masses to get him out of purgatory.

Now suddenly you're telling people that they can be saved on the basis of faith. Needless to say, it was strongly opposed. Under pretense, Patrick Hamilton was taken to St. Andrew's Church. He was condemned. He was burned as a heretic.

His death was slow and agonizing. The fire was started with the wet twigs that did not burn rapidly. One witness said that he was roasted.

He was not burned. Near the end, he cried, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. How long shall darkness overwhelm this realm?

How long wilt thou suffer this tyranny of men? But his death was not in vain. Later on a Catholic archbishop counseled, if you burn any more, he said to his colleagues, let them be burned in deep cellars for the smoke of Master Patrick Hamilton has infected as many as it blew upon.

What did Tertullian say? You know the quote, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church and the more who were killed for the faith, the more the Protestant faith grew. And George Wishart, another martyr, he was preaching and you know who his bodyguard was? His bodyguard was John Knox. And John Knox, the famous reformer, was converted under the ministry of Wishart.

And when Wishart was whisked to his death, Knox wanted to follow him, but Wishart said, no. He said, return to your pupils and God bless you. One is sufficient for sacrifice. It's enough if I go to die.

You don't have to die too. So Knox came to saving faith in Christ. He was sent to the University of Glasgow, learned Latin and so forth. And he began to preach. He was anointed to ministry. And he, however, there was conflict between Catholics and Protestants and France always defended Scotland.

Now you must understand this for the rest of the lecture. What happened is Scotland was Catholic, though it was beginning to go Protestant and France was strongly Catholic. So whenever the Scottish Catholics needed help, they appealed to France and France would send soldiers, whatever it was that they needed. England sometimes appealed to Spain. But you see, England was beginning to turn Protestant.

And when the Catholic authorities realized Scotland was beginning to turn that way, they turned to France and they said, send us soldiers to put down the Protestant uprising and the Protestant Reformation. So what happened is Knox became a galley slave and had to be on this boat for the French, was very upset, lived there for 19 months on this ship, needing to row day and night, terrible existence. Somebody threw him a statue of the Virgin Mary that he might kiss it. He said, let the lady save herself.

She is light enough, let her swim. And he threw it into the water. Now because of persecution and because Mary Tudor, Mary Tudor is Bloody Mary, whom we talked about last time, she began to rule in England and Knox had been the chaplain to young Edward. Edward, you remember, was Protestant.

He was a son of Henry VIII and he only ruled for a little while because he was poisoned by his sister Mary who wanted to take the throne. And as I mentioned, she became Bloody Mary. When that happened, Knox went to Geneva and spent two years with Calvin and Calvin instructed him there. And that's where the Geneva Bible came from. What they did is they translated the Bible into English, a number of translators while they were there in Geneva. And that's the Bible that the Puritans brought across with them, the Geneva Bible.

And you can go to the Rotunda in Washington where I was a few months ago and you can see paintings of the Geneva Bible and all of the Puritans looking around it and at it. Now Knox wrote a book which generated great controversy. It's entitled The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. What it was is a criticism of women rulers.

He said, no woman should ever rule any country. Well he was writing this because Bloody Mary was in charge of England but he got into deep trouble later on when Bloody Mary died and her sister Elizabeth I took over. Elizabeth I wouldn't even allow Knox back in England because of that terrible book. He wrote, you know, this monstrous blast, the first blast.

There were to be two other blasts but fortunately they were never written. So you have ruling in Scotland a woman by the name of Mary of Gies, G-U-I-S-E. And she is ruling because her husband who is James V dies. He's in war with the Protestants and he loses the war and it was too much for him.

He had a nervous breakdown and so he died. So she is the regent and she is ruling. So what she wants to do now is to turn Scotland back to the Catholic faith because Protestantism was growing and the parliament was largely Protestant. And there were two things about her that Knox disliked. The first is that she was strongly pro-Catholic and persecuted the Protestants.

The second thing, she was French and she wanted to indicate her French culture and so forth and as a result of that Knox did not get along well with her. But now I need to tell you this. Here's what happened. She dies. So Knox is very happy and the Protestants continue now to make greater gains in Scotland. And now the question is who do we get to rule? What Catholic can come and rule and turn this clock back so that Catholicism can regain Scotland?

That's the question. They turn to a young woman who is the daughter of Mary of Gies and this young woman is Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Queen of Scots was born in Scotland and then she was taken to France to be educated and protected because in Mary Queen of Scots there was the hope of continuing a Catholic monarchy in Scotland. She's there and she's asked to marry the potential king of France and she marries him at the age of 15 in Notre Dame. Well what happens is her mother with whom she had virtually no relationship Mary of Gies dies and Protestantism begins to increase in Scotland as I mentioned and the question is how do we snuff it out?

Well the answer is you bring Mary Queen of Scots to Scotland and put her on the throne and she's Catholic and she's going to turn back the clock to Catholicism. Oh she didn't want to leave France. She'd been educated there. She received a lot of applause there.

She was apparently very striking in her appearance. She was six feet tall and she was adored and she was loved in France and now she had to leave France for Scotland where she had been born. I forgot to tell you her husband died so her husband died essentially the same year as her mother dies and so here's this young woman about the age of 18 she has to go to live in Scotland and become the Queen of Scotland Mary Queen of Scots. Knox knew that when that happened Scotland was headed for trouble. On the day she arrived it rained in fact it rained for four days straight Knox wrote the very face of heaven did manifestly speak what comfort was brought to this country with her namely sorrow darkness and impiety for in the memory of man that day of the year was never seen more dour than the day of her arrival.

The sun was not seen to shine two days before she arrived nor two days after God was giving us a warning. Conflict was going to begin. I feel so sorry for Mary Queen of Scots because she was a pawn in a chess game in a political chess game and I'm going to tell you about that game and it it's painful it's painful I have to say in all honesty the poor thing. My heart goes out to somebody like that she didn't ask to be born into royalty she didn't ask to go to Scotland.

Well what happens there? When she arrives at first she does not antagonize the Protestants she kept reforms in place but when she was absent under Mary of Guise and then an interlude the Protestants had so much power they made a law that the mass was to be banned. That was now the law of the land. She came and she didn't keep the law she would keep the mass in her private chapel so for that she was strongly criticized. People said you're a lawbreaker the laws on the books of Parliament say that the mass is to be banned and there you are you're celebrating the mass. The Protestants objected to their queen taking the Catholic mass she offended them by taking the mass and offended the Catholics for tolerating Protestantism. Knox began to preach at St. Giles Church.

How many of you have been to St. Giles Church in Scotland? What a church. When you go there you have to visualize Knox preaching and she asked to see him they met a total of six times. She criticized his book The First Blast and Knox denounced the Catholic mass defended his book about women. He said that it was primarily directed toward Mary Tudor of England and in and out this relationship continues. The queen defended the Catholic Church. Knox sought to show that the church was a harlot.

It ended badly. Knox said later if there not be in her a proud mind a crafty wit and a hard heart against God and his truth then my judgment fails me. We wish that he'd have showed her a little bit of love from what I know that was very very scarce in those days. Truth was everything. Love well if you can work it in today everybody loved tolerance.

We don't care about truth. In those days the pendulum went the opposite way. Well Mary needed to marry and the reason she needed to marry is she needed an heir to the throne and she decided to marry a man by the name of Darnley and Knox in St. Giles preached and criticized the marriage and she called to see him again. Again it did not go well. He told her she was marrying an infidel and unfortunately he was very right. Darnley was bisexual.

He spent all of his time in brothels and in beer halls and was not a model citizen. Well at any rate here she is she's married to this man and she proclaims him king. Darnley bless him attended a service in St. Giles to hear Knox preach. He was seated on a special throne prepared for him and what does Knox preach on?

He preaches on Ahab who is judged by God for not keeping Jezebel in line. Well you talk about something going over like a screen door on a submarine and that would be it. That would be it. So Darnley calls Knox and they tough it out and of course nobody's getting anywhere on these discussions. The problem is that Mary Queen of Scots falls in love with another man whose name was Rizzio and she's eating there in the Holyrood Castle in Edinburgh.

Holyrood standing holy blood is what it means. She is there eating and Darnley and some Protestant nobles break into the room. They take Rizzio and they take him into a bedroom and they stab him 56 times and he dies. Mary Queen of Scots is not happy with what her husband did. She is pregnant. She is not happy with her husband killing her lover. She has a child and she names him James but Darnley needs to be taken care of for having committed the murder. So what happens is they blow up his house and he's strangled. Well who in the world killed her husband Darnley? Well the answer of historians is Mary Queen of Scots was very likely in with a plot with a guy by the name of Brothewell. So she marries Brothewell and he was killed because he killed her lover. Is this becoming a little complicated?

I'm trying to be clear. Now after that things go from bad to worse. The baby that she has James is taken from her. She does not get to raise him. And she's taken to a castle because there was a war with the Protestants and the Catholics were losing and so she's in a castle. You see Queen Elizabeth the first is ruling by now in England.

Bloody Mary's dead. Queen Elizabeth is ruling. She rules for what did we say 50 some years, 46 years. She was the virgin queen. Well what the folks in Scotland said was this that she is ruling illegitimately because she is an illegitimate child. Remember that Queen Elizabeth Anne Boleyn was pregnant with Queen Elizabeth before Henry even divorced, Henry the eighth divorced his first wife. So they're saying she's an illegitimate child. She should not be ruling and throughout all of these years there was one plot after another to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne.

They were cousins. Well Mary Queen of Scots is holed up in a castle now and she is able to escape and she musters an army of Catholics and they try to overthrow the Protestant army and that doesn't work. So she's basically taken and she goes to another castle, Fotheringay I believe is the name of the castle and that's where she's taken to live and she lives there for a long long time and now the question is what to do with her because as they began to read her letters and her correspondence Queen Elizabeth had infiltrated her entourage, the entourage of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth came to the conclusion that indeed Mary Queen of Scots was plotting her death, that is plotting the death of Queen Elizabeth and wanting to take the throne of England.

So what does Elizabeth do? She asks that she be given a number of pieces of paper and without looking at what she was signing she signed all of them and one of them was the death warrant for her cousin Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Queen of Scots after 18 years in captivity in Fotheringay Castle is taken and she is brought to trial in 1586 where she protested her innocence but the letters that she had written condemned her. The trial was unprecedented, the trial of a queen for conspiracy to take the life of another queen but at stake was also Catholicism versus Protestantism because Mary Queen of Scots, strongly Catholic, Elizabeth the first Protestant. Fascinating story. This is one of the last days we are making available to you a book I've written entitled Rescuing the Gospel, the story and the significance of the Reformation.

One of the reasons I love the Reformation is not only because of the issues that were discussed and debated but also we see in the Reformation the providence of God and sometimes you can't see this providence unless you look backward and you see how one event influenced another and then of course you understand the consequences. For a gift of any amount we are making this resource available, Rescuing the Gospel. Sure hope that you have a pen or pencil handy because as I mentioned this is one of the last days we are making this resource available. Here's what you can do, go to As you might guess rtwoffer is all one word, and thanks in advance for helping us as we continue to get the Gospel to so many but there are also many of you who are listening who would prefer to call so here's what you can do right now. You can call 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that phone number again 1-888-218-9337 or go to Title of the book, Rescuing the Gospel, The Story and the Significance of the Reformation.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago Illinois 60614. Next time on Running to Win we conclude our look at the Reformation then and now. Pastor Lutzer will tell us about the rise of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and how today there is almost no trace of its influence there. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-28 03:08:40 / 2023-06-28 03:17:22 / 9

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