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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!