Protestants: The Sinner of Elburg

"I solemnly declare before God and my parish that I have committed adultery," announced Pastor Bastianus Gerardus Andries van der Wiel from the pulpit of the Reformed Church of Elburg in The Netherlands. The congregation listened in thrilled silence; then the chief elder rose to deliver a thunderous, hour-long sermon on guilt, as Van der Wiel sat beside his wife with head bowed. Many in the congregation cried, and they sang six psalms for a sinner restored to grace.

Elburg is a gossipy little farming and fishing community of 4,000 that eyes...

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