[This article was originally written as an academic paper for University and therefore is presented in a much more formal manner than some of my other writings. I would caution the reader that the paper to follow examines some of the heretical doctrines that Zinzendorf adhered to and includes descriptions of his sexual deviancy and fetishism. The Zinzendorf of Rick Joyner and other Neo-Pentecostals is far different from the Zinzendorf we discover by going back to period texts.]
The Moravians, or Unitas Fratrum, were a Gnostic sect founded in 1457 in the former Eastern European countries of Bohemia and Moravia, known today as the Czech Republic. When the Counter Reformation ensued in the 16th century, merciless Catholic persecution all but extinguished them. In 1722, a small band of survivors journeyed to neighboring Germany in the hope they would grant religious asylum. They eventually settled, upon invitation, at Berthelsdorf in Saxony Germany, on the estate of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Immediately, the exiles set about establishing a permanent community, complete with a church, on the Count’s estate (Hamilton).
In 1734, Zinzendorf became a Lutheran minister and was later made a bishop over the Moravian Church at Herrnhut. He and his sect subsequently established Moravian settlements in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and England, and afterward set up communities in Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina (Hamilton). Today, Zinzendorf is considered a religious reformer and revered by a small number of Protestant denominations. In recent years, his “religion of the heart,” which stresses divine revelation over doctrine, has gained new and ardent followers among the ultra-right-wing, Neo-Pentecostal Dominionist groups. Historically Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf has been portrayed as a religious reformer and a brilliant, albeit misunderstood, theologian. However, comparison of texts penned by Zinzendorf’s 18th-century critics reveal shockingly similar allegations that are too voluminous and well substantiated to ignore. As it turns out, Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was not only theologically heterodoxic, but a sexual deviant whose worship and sexualization of the wounds of Christ bordered on fetishism.
Zinzendorf took great pains to cover the fact that his doctrine was heterodoxic. His desire to gain legitimacy and entrance to other nations required as much. He claimed that the Theological faculty of the University of Tübingen in Württemberg Germany had issued him Testaments of Orthodoxy, and it is true—these testaments were, in fact, given. He needed these to prove to others that the tenets of his faith did not differ significantly from any other Protestant religion. Zinzendorf wanted desperately to start a mission in London and would need these Testaments for the British Kingdom to grant his sect permission to settle in any of the British Dominions (Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 15).
While initially granted, these testaments were later rescinded by the same governing body that had issued them once they examined his beliefs more deeply (Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 15). Evidently, the Theological Faculty at the University of Tübingen felt hoodwinked. An official copy of the University’s withdrawal is annexed in the book, “Candid Narrative” by Henry Rimius (Appendix 1-105). Zinzendorf would later knowingly trying to gain entrance to the British Kingdom with these fraudulently obtained Testaments of Orthodoxy. This was considered a high crime and misdemeanor (Rimius, “History of the Moravians” Appendix 1-46; “Candid Narrative” 35). The fact that he fraudulently obtained these Testaments, along with the fact they were later withdrawn, indicates that his doctrine was considered neither orthodox nor in accordance with other Protestant sects.
In another instance, Zinzendorf lied about his credentials by claiming the Theological Faculty had examined his doctrine at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. At that time, the University of Copenhagen functioned as a general church inspection College that oversaw both church discipline and the work of the priesthood within the State of Denmark. Zinzendorf was related to the new bride of the Danish King and was initially warmly received when he arrived in Denmark for the Coronation. The visit went well, and he eventually returned home, leaving behind some of his Moravian brethren to start a mission there.
The king was not amused. The Moravians grew in Denmark over several years, causing division in the State Church and an uproar within the overall religious community. When Zinzendorf returned to Denmark so he could straighten things out, the King was furious. He gave him two days to either submit to an examination of his theology by the University of Copenhagen or “be off Danish soil” (Perkins, 221-222). While Zinzendorf later insisted he had been granted Testaments of Orthodoxy from the University of Copenhagen, the Dean, under the seal of the faculty, legally attested that no such Testaments of Orthodoxy had been given. Furthermore, the Dean insisted that the University had never even been petitioned to undertake such an examination. Consequently, it was determined to be an utter fabrication on the part of Zinzendorf (Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 16).
One does not need a prestigious theological college to discern that the doctrine that Zinzendorf embraced is unorthodox and heretical. Zinzendorf’s sermons, writings, and self-written hymns, testify of this. In excerpts taken from his sermons, Zinzendorf belittles and debases both Christ and the Apostles and calls the Trinity, “good for nothing but to amuse dogs and swine.” He believes the Holy Spirit is the wife of God and refers to Christ’s manner of speech as that of “a peasant, a carpenter, a fisherman, or a man brought up among toll gatherers” (Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 38, 40-41; Lavington 12-15, 31-32, 29; Wesley 13-14).
In one of Zinzendorf’s sermons, he insists Christ is feeble-minded claiming He, has “not one more thought than was needful of Him.” In referring to Christ being tempted to turn stones to bread after His forty-day fast in the wilderness, Zinzendorf claims Christ’s answers are illogical and foolish. He further insists that Christ deemed Himself, “useless and good for nothing” and that many of the things the Lord stated in scripture are “not fit to be examined” (Lavington 29-31). Alarmingly, Zinzendorf goes as far as to tell his congregation that Christ “had nothing extraordinary in his turn of mind or gifts” (Lavington 31; Wesley 13). Furthermore, Zinzendorf states that at that cross, Jesus did not have enough intelligence to “arm himself like a great genius.” Instead, He was like, “the poorest of creatures who in their straits fall into downright convulsions” (Lavington 31-32). He further demeans Christ by calling Him their “little Jesus” and by feminizing Him as their “Little Mama Jesus” (“ Candid Narrative” 39). Evidently, it would appear from such comments that Zinzendorf considered Jesus, weak, cowardly, intellectually deficient, and devoid of any talent or abilities. Consequently, by the words of his mouth, he stands opposed to orthodox Christian doctrine and thought.
Not surprisingly, Zinzendorf denied the deity of Christ, the bedrock upon which all orthodox Christian doctrine stands and instead insisted that Christ had no more power than we have (Lavington 28). In one sermon, Zinzendorf imagined Jesus as a mere woodworker in heaven, “hewing timber as the house carpenter of a little village, or making ploughs and other utensils for his neighbors” (Lavington 30). While this perspective alone provides proof of his unorthodox views, his scathing rebuke of the Apostles adds additional evidence.
In a sermon delivered to one of his Moravian settlements in the Dutch city of Zeist, he refers to the Apostles as “ignorant tricksters not fit to be trusted” (Lavington 125). It is his belief that the Apostles have wrongly cut the cloth and laid a weak foundation, spoiling Christ’s plan. He insists that St. Paul and St. John accommodated themselves too much to the times and were thus incapable of serving as a pattern for us (Wesley 16). In this same sermon, Zinzendorf alleges that Christ felt “pain in his entrails” when He thought about the fact that the Apostles would later commit “false tricks” to mar His plan. Strangely enough, Zinzendorf goes on to claims it will be centuries before Christ will finally find someone to trust with the execution of His plan (Wesley 15-16). This view is understandable considering Zinzendorf believed there had been no real church in existence before him and that God had chosen him to start the true Church and reveal His actual plan (Lavington 2).
Zinzendorf believed that the reading of Scripture was more dangerous than beneficial to His society (Lavington 71). Considering Zinzendorf’s non-Scriptural beliefs, his disdain of Bible reading makes sense. Andrew Frey, a former Moravian who had lived in the settlement on Zinzendorf’s estate, testified that the sect believed the Bible to be “loathsome dung, fit only to be spit upon” (Frey, 19). When a person abandons Scripture, they also abandon the Mosaic Law upon which all orthodox Christian doctrine rests. Without the restraint of this Law, there exists no Biblical morality. A person then feels free to embrace antinomianism and instead, do what seems right in his own eyes. This casting off of the restraint of law was precisely what happened with Zinzendorf. Predictably, antinomianism ensued.
Eventually, Zinzendorf’s antinomianism gave rise to openly erotic and perverse behavior that took place communally within his sect. Antinomians believe that New Testament Christians are under a new dispensation of grace freeing them from the confines of obedience to Mosaic Law. Zinzendorf, in fact, took this freedom one step further by discarding the confines of scripture altogether. He believed instead that this was a new era and that now Christ expressed His will directly and exclusively to both Zinzendorf and his elders eliminating the need for Scripture altogether (Lavington 74). As Christ’s Vice-Regent, Zinzendorf was conveniently free to declare that his sect’s lewd and licentious behavior sanctified by God, and therefore, Holy (Lavington 81; Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 38-79). This kind of “salvation” provided him with the freedom to gratify all sensual proclivities including making use of other men’s wives and daughters and holding orgiastic meetings under the guise of worship (O’Neill 106; Lachman 57-58; Wesley 14, 19-20; Schuchard 6).
Zinzendorf was a sexual deviant who exacted totalitarian control over the sex lives of his followers. He believed that human sexual union symbolized the mystical marriage between Christ and his Church—the believer and the Divine. The act of copulation became so elevated in his community that he referred to it as a “sacrament” and viewed it as a liturgical act (Peucker 31). Zinzendorf gave explicit instructions to all couples regarding the act of copulation, its frequencies and the various positions available to them. There were regular conjugal laws established and these were observed by all members of the sect. Certain hours and quarters were set up for these matters and meetings known as love-feasts ended with couples making love in full view of other parishioners (Lachman 59).
Zinzendorf considered himself Chief Deputy of Christ on earth, and “adjusted” marriages by making couples switch partners whenever it so pleased him. Sometimes “mass adjustments” were performed, and young girls and boys were forced together and made to perform difficile copulation astride wooden benches (O’Neill 107; Lachman 59).
All marriages performed outside the community were considered void, and all marriages performed within the community had to have the initial consummatory copulative act witnessed by Zinzendorf and his elders (O’Neill 108; Lavington xi). In “History of the Moravians,” there appears a testimony from a young, married woman by the name of Johanna Elizabeth Pabst, who testified under oath that all newly married couples were initiated into the “conjugal mysteries” by performing sex in the presence of elders (Appendix IV-72).
Zinzendorf governed not just the copulatory act itself that but the offspring it produced. Parents had to relinquish parental rights before they were allowed to join the community so Zinzendorf could legally take these children from the parents and raise them communally (Rimius, “History of the Moravians” 112-113). It was common for Zinzendorf to take children to his personal residence to “instruct them,” and he was sometimes observed to have nine or ten such children in his bedchamber overnight (Rimius, “Candid Narrative” 9). One is left to contemplate what “instruction” these children might need that required an overnight stay in the bedroom of an adult man. It is conceivable the Count was instructing the boys in the use of their penis. He was, after all, fond of telling them that their male member would become numb from disuse. He cautioned them that once it was numb, the Lord would have to instruct them in its use, forever. (Lavington 102-103). This is not the only instance in which his actions toward young children is suspect.
Zinzendorf often left his Countess at home and traveled abroad with a very young girl by the name of Anna Nitschman. He made her an eldress of the church at the tender age of fourteen, a title by all rights which should have belonged to his wife. It gave the young girl an enormous amount of influence and power of the lives of the community’s women. The young Anna Nitschman had been brought into the Zinzendorf home at a very young age after Zinzendorf had bribed the girl’s father to adopt him. This sham adoption deflected any outrage that might arise over their relationship because it was seen as totally permissible for a brother to be alone with his sister. In exchange for going along with the charade, the girl’s father was allowed entrance into sect’s inner circle and he became a leading figure in the early days. She remained in the Zinzendorf home for many years, and eventually married Zinzendorf, her adopted brother, soon after the death of his wife (Broomhall and Van Gent 194). Certainly, it would be fair to conclude that the adoption only served as a thin veneer of respectability to cloak his ongoing sexual relationship with the young girl.
Zinzendorf’s literature, sermons, and hymns, prove that he placed an undeniable and inordinate amount of emphasis on both the male member and on Christ’s circumcised penis. The congregation was instructed to meditate on the phallus of Christ and to maintain erections during prayer (Schuchard 49). In a hymn addressed to his penis, Zinzendorf penned the following:
“Member full of Mystery
Which holily gives and chastely receives
The conjugal ointments for Jesus sake;
May thou be blessed and anointed” (Rimius, “History of the Moravians” 49).
Zinzendorf did not stop at just writing a hymn for his penis, but he went on to petition Christ’s penis to anoint his own, for its conjugal business. It was words such as these penned above that caused John Wesley, father of the Methodist Church to cry out in protest asking, “Were ever such words put together from the foundation of the world?” (Wesley 30)
Undeniably, much of the sect’s lascivious behavior was committed under the pretenses of devotion to the blood and wounds of Christ. Zinzendorf and his Moravians worshiped the five wounds of Christ. The contemplation, adoration and rumination of these wounds produced group arousal that included language comparable to sexual fetishism. Although they lavished their devotion on all of Christ’s wounds, including, disturbingly enough, his circumcised penis, none of them was as cherished and revered as His side wound (Fogelman 87; Hutton 269).
In their drawings and paintings, they portrayed this side wound as female genitalia. The sect carried little cards with them as tokens of their dedication, inscribed with words of desire for the side wound in openly erotic language. Other cards depicted scenes of the Moravians carrying on the daily activities of eating, sleeping, resting, and working inside the side wound of Christ (Fogelman 77, 110). In this way, Jesus became both male and female, both maternal and erotic. Perhaps feminizing the Lord in this manner made it easier for both sexes to achieve the mystical sexual union with Him needed for spiritual gratification (Fogelman 80-91).
The Moravians hymns were replete with graphic language describing their mystical marriage with Christ and His side hole. In fact, the wounds had their own set of hymns called the “Wounds Litany” that Zinzendorf had penned in their honor (Lavington 37; Wesley 20).
“Oh, husband with a hole, O what an incomparable Ray!
Kiss us, you cold little mouth!
Oh, corpse! Spread further in this church hall.
We are lying here like the child.
Kiss us you cold little mouth” (Mack 44).
The cold little mouth that they were longing to kiss was the side wound on the corpse of Christ! Communion was not viewed in the Scriptural sense but seen as symbolic of their mystical marriage and erotic connection with Christ. They called this communion “a conjugal penetration of our bloody husband” (Mack 44). The language in their hymns was illustrative of the instruction given by Zinzendorf. There were asked to imagine themselves kissing and licking the side wound of Christ, to receive the blood (Lachman 59; Lavington 2, 39).
Zinzendorf’s complete idolization and infatuation with the side wound is evident. He instructed the Moravians to pray to them. In one prayer, they were to ask the side hole to hear their prayers and in another to accept their meditation. In another prayer, they petitioned “His broken eyes, the five wounds and the great hole” (Lavington 38; Wesley 20). Like most fetishes, their adoration and veneration of the wounds spread beyond the object of their immediate focus and began to include mentally kissing the Roman soldier and his spear in order to thank him for making the side hole (Lavington 39).
Their deification of these wounds, in essence, gave them license to commit acts that were not in keeping with Orthodoxy because they self-justified their intemperance by reason of their devotion to these wounds (Lavington 41). Evidently, the community held that any who had “taken abode” in the wounds, could commit no sin since the Lord was so delighted with their “sportiveness” (Lavington 43).
It is clear that a re-evaluation of our historical view of Zinzendorf is in order. This is especially true given the infusion and proliferation of his heterodoxic doctrine into modern Pentecostalism, and especially into the Neo-Pentecostal, ultra right-wing Dominionist groups. This propagation is very alarming to consider because many of the hardcore dominionist groups today seek the complete subjugation of civil government to their control. Therefore, this insidious doctrine that elevates progressive revelation through alleged direct contact with the spirit world over established Christian doctrine is highly dangerous to both religious adherents and society in general.
It is not immediately apparent why this material about Zinzendorf has been hidden, ignored, or glossed over, by historians. However, it is apparent that the reemergence of Zinzendorf’s doctrine within these religious circles makes a re-evaluation of the man critically important. Although Zinzendorf is known today as a social reformer and gifted theologian, the abundant evidence of his non-orthodox doctrine, sexually deviant proclivities, and blood and wound theology, surely disqualify him from such venerable praise.
Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. “Side Wounds, Sex, and Savages.” Governing Masculinities in the Early Modern Period: Regulating Selves and Others. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2011. 194. Print.
Fogelman, Aaron Spencer. Jesus is Female: Moravians and Radical Religion in Early America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. Print.
Frey, Andreas. A True and Authentic Account of Andrew Frey: Containing the Occasion of him Coming Among the Hernhuters or Moravians. London: J. Robinson in Ludgate-Street, M. Keith in Grace-Church-Street, M. Cook at the Royal Exchange, and J. Jolliff in St. James’s-Street, 1753. Print.
Hamilton, John Taylor. A History of the Church Known as the Moravian Church, or, the Unitas Fratrum, or, the Unity of the Brethren, During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Bethlehem: Times Publishing Company, 1900. Print.
Lachman, Gary. “Esoteric Revolution.” Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen. 1st ed. Wheaton: Quest Books, 2008. 53-71. Print.
Lavington, George. The Moravians Compared and Detected. London: J&P Knapton. 1755. Print.
Mack, Phyllis. Heart Religion in the British Enlightenment: Gender and Emotion in Early Methodism. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 44-45. Print.
O’Neill, Tim. “The Erotic Freemasonry of Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf.” Secret and Suppressed: Banned Ideas and Hidden History. Ed. Jim Keith. Venice: Feral House Books, 1993. 103-108. Print.
Perkins, Robert L. International Kierkegaard Commentary: Practice in Christianity. 20. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2004. 221-222. Print.
Peucker, Paul. “”Inspired by Flames of Love”: Homosexuality, Mysticism, and Moravian Brothers around 1750.” Journal of the History of Sexuality. 15.1 (2006): 30-64. Print.
Schuchard, Marsha Keith. Why Mrs. Blake Cried: William Blake and the Erotic Imagination. New York: Random House, 2006. Print
Rimius, Henry. A Candid Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Herrnhuters, Commonly Call’d Moravians, or, Unitas Fratrum; with a Short Account of their Doctrines, Drawn from Their own Writings. London: A. Linde, 1753. Print
—. The History of the Moravians: From their First Settlement at Herrnhaag in the County of Büdingen, down to the Present Time, with a View Chiefly to Their Political Intrigues. London: Royal Exchange, 1754. Print.
Wesley, John. Queries Humbly Proposed to the Right Reverend and Right Honorable Count Zinzendorf. London: Royal Exchange, 1755. Print.
John J says
I have never read any of these accusations against the Movarian movement. I always understood their theology to be antinomian, but had never read of the radical elements. We had to study some of their theology when I was in seminary. If true he was quite a heretic and cult leader
Geoff Andersen says
Ugh! I feel violated just from reading this. I too am amazed that history has chosen to gloss over his ‘teachings’. Thank you for the piece.
I apologize for how graphic this academic paper is. I really had to give the details in order to prove my thesis and get the truth out.
Beth Cavete says
I am horrified and astonished. May I repost this paper?
Weighed against the legacy of the Moravians in the field of missions over a period of 100 years or more, I find this article a lurid character assassination, based on questionable sources. Simply not believable – why would anyone want to believe it, given the good fruit the Moravians bore under such violent persecution from Rome? The fact that there may have been some antinomian tendencies does not justify the sort of picture painted here.
Larry Zanetti says
Thank you for posting this. A very helpful expose!
I also was deceived through the charismatic movement, until the Lord awakened me.
Apostasy posing as revival: diabolically clever. The deception had me for some years.
In my former fellowship circles Count Zinzendorf was held up as a great role model for mission work and 24 hour prayer watches.
After the Lord led me out I, like you, came back to the Bible and began to investigate numerous “Christian” leaders intensively.
I discovered Zinzendorf’s destruction of families by creating communes separating husbands, wives, and their children. I discovered the mysticism and the likely use of a “Christianized” Kabbalah, plus his Freemasonry through the Order of the Mustard Seed.
And I discovered that Zinzendorf’s son led a group of Moravians in homosexual/heterosexual orgies. I bought a book on Moravian heterodoxy called, Jesus is a Female.
I read Wesley’s alarm and concern over the increasing antinomian lawlessness of the Moravians, EVEN THOUGH he appreciatively counted his own personal conversion to Christ as being nudged by the Moravian’s, who, in Wesley’s presence, had viscerally trusted God during a perilous sail across the ocean.
But I did not come across the perverse doctrines contained in the sermons cited above, nor evidence of Zizendorphs personal sexual deviancy. This is even more damning, and it makes sense in light of what I had previously discovered.
I have been out of that “revival” movement since 2008, and now am convinced that we are in the latter stages of the last days before Christ’s physical return to earth from heaven.
And one of the numerous conditions of such times is a widespread apostasy, or “falling away”. (As alluded to in 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24.)
Rather than widespread or global revival as the likes of Toronto Blessing agent Randy Clark would claim, I think it will actually become increasingly difficult for a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to endure to the end, while staying faithful to Him.
A situation more like the days of Noah, or of Lot!
The popular megachurches are virtually all apostate and loaded with smooth deceptions. Almost all “Christian” leaders are actually conscious wolves in sheep’s clothing, or clueless blind leaders of the blind.
The good of all this involves assuming personal responsibility to faithfully walk with God, study the Bible personally, and test leaders with an independent, honest mind.
I would recommend to you a groundbreaking online book to you called, Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing by Matt Two Four. A Google search would bring it up.
(I agree with almost everything except his assertions about Nephalim giants. I think there is far too little Scripture, and far too obscure a reference of Scripture, to make a doctrine out of supposed human/angel hybrids.)
Thank you for trying to help other Christians through your website, Deception Bytes,
Donald K says
Amen Brother Larry! Many of these men go beyond being religious charlatans they are in fact satanists. Benny Hinn and Rodney H Browne and the demon inspired Toronto “revival-blessing” which led to Brownsville and then Lakeland Fl. were counterfeit demonic “revivals”. Other well known satanists are the late Oral Roberts,Kennith Copeland,Jesse Dupplantis,and the late Paul. Crouch of TBN network to name some.
Donald K says
I too came out of the Penta-Charismatic “movement” in 1994.believing although there were for sure true conversions along the way in whole this “movement” was devised by satan himself to bring reprouch upon the name of Christ and His Church! This will be exposed by the Holy Spirit over the next several years to bring back all the
Donald K says
true believers in Christ scattered across the country and parts of the world damaged,disillusioned and shipwrecked by these false “prophets” and doctrines of demons.
Christ and His Church will win!
Donald K. says
recently I viewed a commentary on the life of John Wesley on NRBTV by the Methodist historian/clergyman whose name escapes me now. He recounted Wesley’s trip to Germany to meet
with the Moravians. He described the trip as a life changing “spiritual experience”? He returned deeply
influenced by the Moravians and Count Zinzendorf and shared this “experience” with his brother Charles
who also was “transformed”.
I post this in the event this may help to bring the story into balance not to critique or challenge your
John Wesley is a key figure on the Arminian Penta-charismatic side of “revival” history and controversy
and bias is evident.
Yes that is true, however Wesley later retracted this when he realized how in error Zinzendorf really was. That is a fact.
John J says
That is correct, Wesley actually distanced himself from them after observing Count Zenzindorf, however he never commented much on it, he simply stopped mentioning them for the most part
Jon J says
Our church has recently adopted 24/7 prayer. I have had a bad feeling about it without knowing much about it. Other people who have taken part have commented how utterly empty is has been in terms of feeling close to God, One man (who is a deacon) said that he sat for the first 40 mins wondering what to pray about, and then decided to pray about the vision the church has (based on the 3DM program). Do you know anything about the 3DM program (by Mike Breen). Thanks
I have never heard of the 3DM program but will certainly do some research. You have reason to be concerned from the sounds of it. Trust your discernment.
Jon J says
A good article on 3DM (refuting it) is ‘Beware of the wolves. A critique of Mike Breen and 3DM’ by Jeff Dyrud.
Jon J says
Does ’24/7 prayer’ (Pete Greig) or IHOP (Mike Bickle) believe in ‘open theism’? I know there is ‘Kingdom now’ theology in both of these groups, but not sure if that’s same as open theism. Thanks
Thank you Mishel. This confirms what I have been shown. You have put much time and research into this ,and for that we are greatful.
Revd. A.P. Gillan says
James Hutton is the best authority on the Moravian Church. See: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hutton/moravian.html. The Moravian Church was founded by the martyr John Huss, and was, in fact, one of the first Protestant churches, older perhaps than any Lutheran church.
It was due to the testimony of Moravians, and particularly that of Peter Bohler that John Wesley first came to faith in Christ. John Wesley’s Journal (8 Vol. Std Epworth Edn., vol 2) provides the evidence of this. Wesley later visited the Hurnhutt community, where he stayed for several months. Although the Wesley’s later seperated from the Moravians at Aldersgate, I have not read anything in Wesley’s works which would suggest the Moravians conducted themselves unseemly, quite the contrary.
In 1739, Zinzendorf wrote the words of this famous hymn, which the following year was translated into English by John Wesley.
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.
Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
A Prayer for Purity by Zinzendorf
O Thou, to whose all-searching sight
The darkness shineth as the light,
Search, prove my heart; it pants for Thee;
O burst these bonds, and set it free!
Wash out its stains, refine its dross,
Nail my affections to the Cross;
Hallow each thought; let all within
Be clean, as thou, my Lord, art clean!
If in this darksome wild I stray,
Be Thou my Light, be Thou my Way;
No foes, no violence I fear,
No fraud, while Thou, my God art near.
When rising floods my soul o’erflow,
When sinks my heart in waves of woe,
Jesus, Thy timely aid impart,
And raise my head, and cheer my heart.
Saviour, where’er Thy steps I see,
Dauntless, untired, I follow Thee;
O let They hand support me still,
And lead me to Thy holy hill!
If rough and thorny be the way,
My strength proportion to my day;
Till toil, and grief, and pain shall cease,
Were all is calm, and joy, and peace.
There are many enemies of truth which seek to dishonour the name of Christ, who create malicious slander against His saints. Have you fully read Hutton and the Works of John and Charles Wesley, and learned from their testimoies concerning the Moravians, and Zinzendorf in particular?
Yes of course I am familiar with James Hutton however he was a Moravian–do you really think his account is unbiased? Seriously? I studied Zinzendorf for several years and what I wrote is correct. If you dig a little deeper you will find that John Wesley retracted his endorsement of Zinzendorf.
I think I still have his book in pdf format somewhere on my hard-drive. If you are really interested- send me an email and I will try to dig it up for you.
Additionally, the fact that you have provided some nice hymns that Zinzendorf wrote does not negate the fact that he also wrote hymns that are outright blasphemy.
Wow Mishel, thank you for the article. I remember watching a video on the seventh day being a Sabbath, and in the video they talked about the Moravians. They mentioned how they had lived in cloistered so that they could remain pure and worship the Sabbath. They raved on about one of the songs which is found in the Adventist Hymnal. I believe the title of the hymn is “I gave my life for Thee.
Very very interesting revelation for me. Praise the Father for giving us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.
Bob Wilson says
When I met my wife she was a very active member of a church that was progressively becoming more NAR, especially upon the arrival of two individuals: Danny Steyne and JC Alzamora. The church is pastored by a man whose hero is Rick Joyner. We were married there and attended together. At the time I was totally unaware of NAR but knew something was amiss, something I hadn’t seen before. On the very same night that I began to figure it out and became alarmed that my new wife believed this teaching, the Lord graciously opened my wife’s eyes. While listening to Dennis and Jen Clark (now teaching at MorningStar events), my wife turned to me and said, “This is bullshit!” Please forgive her scatological language but I rejoiced! Since that time I have been researching NAR and am writing a primer that a group of us are planning to distribute to all the pastors in Connecticut and Western MA. We have begun to post and refute their teachings. After viewing JC’s video endorsing Zinzendorf, my wife sent him a link to your article. He dismissed it then she asked, “Is the article factually inaccurate?” Here is his response:
“Yes, because it points to situations and “companion texts of the time” that have also been refuted. It is true that there were deviations in specifically one of his churches led by his son independent from his father. The particular group was shut down by the group themselves. Regardless, when any academic paper begins by accusing another group of been a sect it tells me that they are not legit. John Wesley was saved through them, Methodists owe a debt to them, the prayer movement, Carey of China missions was influenced by them. Actually, you can make a historical case that the modern day mission movement was influenced by this small band of brothers. The fact that you keep sending me these kind of papers doesn’t help the pursuit and advancement of the kingdom. Every church movement from the beginning has had excesses, nothing new.” – JC Alzamora
I am writing a response. Any additional insight would be appreciated, especially that the “companion texts” have been refuted and the allegations referred to the Count’s son. Of course, he provides no source. I have in my possession Wesley’s “Queries Humbly Proposed…” but I haven’t been able to locate a collection of the Count’s heretical sermons and hymns. Are these available as primary sources?