Saxon Schism

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The final straw for me was the ‘Decree on behalf of the Jews’ wherein Markus stated that ‘the Holy Empire of New Israel reaffirms its support for the State of Israel… and the Zionist movement…’ He proceeded to talk about the State of Israel’s ‘God-given’ boundaries and the ‘true Holy Land’.

— King Penda II, interviewed by Béal na Tíre

The Saxon Schism was a theological controversy between the leaders and churches of the Holy Empire of New Israel and the Kingdom of West Germania. The main contention centered around Emperor Markus' support for Zionism in both its political and Protestant dispensationalist aspects, but other questions, including the episcopal polity of the New Israeli church, observance of the Sabbath, feast days, and image veneration were also debated. Similarly controversial, the eschatological debate between amillennial and millenial theology was an important disagreement.

The Third Spice War, fought between New Israel and West Germania, is seen as the formal beginning of the Schism; though the origins of the rupture date back to heated theological debates between Markus and Penda II as far back as May 2014. King Penda II once claimed his primary opposition to New Israel was its stances on Zionism and the emperor's opinions concerning the Millennium.[1]

In the end, with New Israel's rejection of Zionism and several dispensationalist Protestant worldviews, the two states are in more agreement.

West Germanic Legislation

Puritan Act of 2014

On 27 March 2014, the Saxon Thing and Senate, a congressional body of the government, passed the Puritan Act, which was strongly opposed by the New Israeli emperor.

The Puritan Act began by claiming the Bishop of Rome to be "Antichrist" and persona non grata. The Act prohibited the existence of any form of church hierarchy; in addition, it prohibited church calendars and holy days except the Sabbath.

To the immense disapproval of the New Israeli emperor, the Act also proscribed images of Christ or the Holy Trinity, theorizing them to be idols.

Ecclesiastical Moderator Act of 2014

In June 2014, the legislature passed the Ecclesiastical Moderator Act, denying any constitutional or religious authorities of the New Israeli church when in conflict with the Westminster Confession. The Act censured the church from calling holy days in Saxony (save for the Sabbath), and prohibited the church from overriding the "Reformed" Westminster Confession.

Regulative Worship Act of 2014

While the Ecclesiastical Moderator of New Israel and the Senate of West Germania may call for particular days of public thanksgiving or solemn fasting in the Church, these will be rejected where they coincide with festival days, either popish or Jewish.

— Regulative Worship Act
A satirical poster issued by the NINBC of New Israel, depicting Penda conferring with "Divell" and Oliver Cromwell

The Saxon legislature, evidently supporting Penda's theology, passed the Regulative Worship Act on 17 July. This, in addition to an article written by Penda, "Calling For a Peaceful Solution in Palestine",[2] were heavily criticized by the New Israeli emperor. Private discussions between Markus of New Israel and Penda of Saxony led to a complete gridlock.

The Regulative Worship Act demonstrated the Saxon government's opposition to Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Zionism, and Episcopalian church government. The Act famously declared the religion of Judaism in its modern form to be "filthy and vain". Liturgies were also prohibited.

This Act was directly vetoed by the New Israeli emperor.

Decree on Behalf of the Jews

The Holy Empire of New Israel recognizes the official boundaries of the Jewish state to be as outlined in Genesis 15. The western boundary of Greater Israel shall be the root of the Wadi of Egypt to the southern border of Turkey. The western sea-side border stretches along the Great Sea (Mediterranean). From the north, the boundary shall follow the border of Turkey to the Euphrates river, which makes the eastern end of Greater Israel. The eastern border of Greater Israel stretches along the Euphrates river to the Persian Gulf. The southern boundary shall stretch along the southernmost boundaries of Iraq, continuing to the southernmost boundaries of Jordan, and going through the Sinai peninsula back to the Wadi of Egypt. Though this land is presently not under Jewish administration, we hold that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will usher in the expansion of Israel to those boundaries. The rest of the world shall be ruled as well by the returned King.

The Jewish people are the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so are the Christians all around the world. New Israel reaffirms its belief that salvation is for all people who choose to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, the Jewish people are not exempt from having to be saved, regardless of their special status as God's chosen people. We welcome the Jewish people into New Israel, and welcome the existence of the State of Israel, the proud nation that we, New Israel, are named after. As servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will make it our aim to bring the gospel to the Jews all over the world, and within our own country. It is our wish that every Jew on every continent of the world come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior and Messiah, as He is rightfully.

— Decree on Behalf of the Jews

The emperor also issued a counter-decree, "On Behalf of the Jews",[3] in which he ordered the government to support Zionism, recognize Jewish holidays, and respect Jews in the Empire. The Act controversially declared all opponents of the Jews guilty of "high treason" against Christendom and Christ. In the interview with Beal na Tire, Penda elaborated on this, and claimed Markus' decree to be unscriptural.

Immediately after these events, the Saxon Empire declared independence from New Israel. Ðat Raicespell announced the secession by claiming "West Germania Rebels Against Emperor".[4]

De facto resolution

After political and religious developments in the Holy Empire of New Israel and West Germania, now known as the Angle-Saxish Commonwealth, the Saxon Schism became a moot point. After converting to Catholicism, Markus of New Israel implemented new theological stances in the Holy Empire. Agreeing with the Angle-Saxish leader, amillennialism was adopted; most importantly, the Holy Empire withdrew all support for the Zionist state and for Zionism. The former New Israeli policy of Jewish tolerance was replaced with a formal proscription on the Jewish religion. Also, the Holy Empire's state church was disbanded, eliminating the oft-criticised imperial episcopate, and replacing it with adherence to the Catholic Church. With the dissolution of New Israel, the conflict was effectively closed.

References