Love Under Fire


Chapter 4—The Waldenses Defend the Faith

During the long period of the popes’ supremacy, there were witnesses for God who cherished faith in Christ as the only mediator between God and man. They took the Bible as the only rule of life, and they kept the true Sabbath. The church branded them as heretics and suppressed, misrepresented, or mutilated their writings. But they still stood firm. LF 30.1

There is almost no mention of them in human records, except in the accusations of their persecutors. Rome sought to destroy everything “heretical,” whether persons or writings. The church also tried to destroy every record of its cruelty toward those who disagreed with it. Before the invention of printing, books were few in number, and so there was little to prevent Rome's forces from carrying out their plans. No sooner had the papacy obtained power than it stretched out its arms to crush all who refused to acknowledge its authority. LF 30.2

In Great Britain, simple Christianity had taken root early, uncorrupted by the Roman apostasy. Persecution from pagan emperors was the only gift the first churches of Britain received from Rome. Many Christians fleeing persecution in England found safety in Scotland. From there, believers carried truth to Ireland, and people in these countries received it gladly. LF 30.3

When the Saxons invaded Britain, heathenism gained control, and the Christians were forced to retreat to the mountains. In Scotland, a century later, the light shone out to far-distant lands. From Ireland came Columba and his co-workers, who made the lonely island of Iona the center of their missionary work. Among these evangelists was one who kept the Bible Sabbath, and he introduced this truth among the people. A school was established at Iona, and missionaries went out from it to Scotland, England, Germany, Switzerland, and even Italy. LF 30.4