Francis David (Dávid Ferenc) proclaiming religious freedom at the Diet of Torda in 1568.
Francis David The founder and first bishop of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania was Francis David (Dávid Ferenc), who lived between 1510-1579.
Was born in Kolozsvar (Cluj). Studied theology in Cluj, Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia), he was in pilgrimage [Wittenberg, Frankfurt(Germany)]. After he returned, he was teacher and minister in Cluj.
He brought back the new ideas of the reformation and he became the main leader of the reformation in Transylvania.
From 1565 he started to preach in unitarian spirit, starting the new branch of the reformation, the unitarian reformation, proclaiming God is One, proclaiming the religious freedom because "Faith is the gift of God." In 20th January 1566. he held his first unitarian sermon in the main church in Kolozsvar. Many people followed him, even the kind, John Sigismun became unitarian and supported the unitarian reformation.. Between 6-13th January 1568, the Diet of Torda proclaimed religious freedom and tolerance to everybody. "In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel, each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like it, ok; if not, no one shall compell them, for their soul would not be satisfied, but they shell be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve. Therefore none of the superintendents or others shall annoy or abuse the preachers on account of their religion, according to the previous constitutions, allow any to be imprisoned or punished by removal from his post on account of his teachings, for Faith is the gift of God; this comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God." This was the starting moment of the existance of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania. The Diet of Torda settled the quarrel about the religion. To the radical reformation (the Unitarianism) under the direction of Francis David had been accorded legal recognition. So the Unitarian Church was born in the 16th Century as a natural and logical development of the Christian Reformation.
In 1571, king John Sigismund died, and the next king did not supported the unitarian reformation and the church, the guarantee of religious freedom was narrowed, no further innovations were tolerated. And Francis David because of his belief: - he taught that there is one God and Jesus is human, - was tried and convicted of religious innovation and sent to the Deva castle's dungeon, where he died - according to the tradition - in 15th November 1579.
Francis David regarded it as an eternal principle, that the work of reformation must be continued and extended, "Those who have been enlightened by God's spirit" - he said - "must not cease to speak nor can they suppress the truth. Such in the power of the spirit, that the mind of man, - putting aside every false artifice - strives only to add to the glory of God, let the whole world rage and oppose it."
The very essence of Unitarianism is religious tolerance and a consistantly firm attitude in support of liberty of conscience. Francis David constantly emphasized that religion must be free, that in question of faith there is no place for compulsion and that the spreading the Gospel (God's words) requires no weapons or violence, because Faith is the gift of God. In other words, Unitarianism is inseparably bound up with freedom of conscience and faith. There is no greater mindlessness and absurdity than to force conscience and ther spirit with external power, when only their creator has authority of them.
|It has been said that we Unitarians have no
Doctrine, only Principles of faith. The difference between these two words is that
Unitarians possess no articles of faith enunciated by church meetings which are compulsory
and unchangeable. But there are in the Unitarian membership generally accepted views and
principles regarding religion which more or less shape the Unitarian colective
consciousness. Perhaps these are the beliefs we usually refer to.
The Unitarian religion is simple. The Love of God and Human are the essence of Jesus' teaching, according to Unitarian Principles. God is Spirit, who is almighty, wise, good, just. God is Love. The Holy Spirit is God's power, the cause of life in us. It is true, that the Bible attributes will, examination of inner thoughts, teaching and comforting to it. This is not because it would be an other person, but to illustrate the different ways of God's action. This Spirit is a teaching power, guiding toward good.
Jesus is human. He is our master in teaching and our guide toward God's Kingdom. Jesus is the greatest representative of faith, reason and freedom. The human Jesus doesn't teach about the essence or person, about the son preexisting eternally, neither about the dual Christ, but only about One God.
The human being is in the center. Everything is for humanity's sake; religon also serves humanity. God created the whole of humanity from one blood, this is the natural foundation of our brotherhood and sisterhood. God created human beings good and capable to become perfect. To be human is not a state, but a hard task yet to be accomplished. Humans can be recognised if they love each other, if they are merciful, meek, peaceful, generous ... humanness and love must be visible in all our actions.
Our most pesonal cause if Faith, which we can accept but also to refuse. If faith it was given in our nature and it isn't a gift of God, than all of us would believe equally. Faith in its content is trust in God and it is God's work in us, entering in our life, connecting with us, who speaks to us by the spirit touching our soul and we answer. So thus faith and action are inseparable. We demonstrate our faith by clear thoughts, zealous prayers and our actions of love in relationship with humans.
Conscience and reason are the assurance for freedom of faith. Francis David summarizes his theology in this way: let people argue by their own will, to seek for the hidden essence of God or deal with the multitude of the person and to turn around the wisdom of reason, but eternal life is to know your only God. Jesus said: Seek and you will find, knock and it the doors will open to you.. search everything and what is good keep it.
Conscience is free. Every one follows his own best understanding. Thus to be Unitarian means the acceptance of complete freedom in matters of religion. Unitarian and individual freedom belong together. Characteristic of Unitarianism is the belief in humans potential for good, their noble calling and strong faith in enlightenment and progress. It emphasizes science as an important factor in our religion. It is enthusiastic for humanism. It emphasizes the authority of the individual conscience as opposed to creedal authority. The church is a necessary organization to mature and to spread these views.
These are the general convictions, the framework within which lies a more precise expression of communal belief. The following are its main points: God is One and indivisible. The man Jesus is an example. The Holy Spirit is the power for good within. Its ethic is to emphasize the possibility of repentance, free will and freedom of choice, the innerness of religion as opposed to outher forms and ceremonies. It requires reason among humans and progresive change in the principles of one's faith and a continuing endeavor to bring into harmony the findings of science and religion. Possibly this description is sketchy and misses some points, yet without doubt it describes the main outline of Hungarian Unitarianism.
We can say that Unitarianism is a richly colorful and varied religion. It is not bound, it gives a free field for individual thinking, does not put up boundaries, thus provides a personal way upon which one can proceed. It is not advisable to set up boundaries, because progress will obliterate them.
Unitarianism as a living philosophy is first of all a religion, a religious philosophy whose aim must be to fulfill and to comfort the soul. A religion whose task is to lift and ennoble humans' soul cannot really be a method, a scientific world view, a constant search, or any other such endeavour. It must be something which equips human's souls with a shield against the trials of life, which provides a faith "which is not of this world".
The basis of the Unitarianism is the Gospel according to Jesus. The rules of Unitarianism are rooted in the teachings of Jesus. The seed of continuity in Unitarianism is the seed which represents ideas accepted in the Gospel, the inferences of humanism and social liberalism are significant only as they relate to this seed.
Kant has a saying according to which, observations without concepts are blind, and concepts without experience are empty. In this saying deep truth is hidden, that every particular idea must have some universal element in it, othervise it does not have any binding value to the human situation. This is so regarding Unitarianism as well. There must be in it some elements which we all can accept or relate to, which we all understand and know and that we all are able to express in a precise form.
1.Négyszáz Év (Four Hundred Year),
2.Dr.Varga Béla: Dávid Ferenc és az Unitárius vallás (dr. Béla Varga: Francis David and the Unitarian religion)
|Hear , O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall
love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Jesus answered: The first is: hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with al your mind, and with all your strenght. The second is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3,17
...one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christm whom you have sent.
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas ans Simon and are not his sisters here with us?
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth and the life.
...for he taught them as one having authority and not as their scribes.
But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
In everything do to others as you would have them to do you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from evil one.
For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever.