S5:E33 Extremes Lead to Extremes

S5:E33 Extremes Lead to Extremes

The Congress of Vienna

In the fall of 1814, the powers of Europe gathered together to discuss what to do with the continent after the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon had changed a lot in his time in power! He cowed the Roman Catholic Church, ended serfdom where he went, freed Jews from their ghettos, took away kingdoms, and placed new kings in charge. The Congress of Vienna was tasked with a Humpty Dumpty scenario and they couldn’t put Europe back together again.

How could the Congress of Vienna put Europe back together after the Napoleonic wars?

The various countries also wanted to be compensated for their efforts to stop Napoleon. Couldn’t they take a little piece of land? Encroach on one of the lesser kingdoms? Install their own puppet governments? In trying to undo all of the changes Napoleon made, they became little Napoleons themselves.

In the same way, when we confront extremism with extremism we become exactly what we dislike. Shouldn’t Christians be more focused on simple righteousness than culture wars?

* The image on the episode graphic is the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. It was one of the primary sites of the Congress of Vienna. It was free on Pixabay and was taken by Leonhard Niederwimmer.

Select Sources:

  • The Rites of Peace by Adam Zamoyski
  • Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts (a great place to start if you want to learn about Napoleon)

Discussion Questions:

  • What was the Congress of Vienna?
  • Why did the congress matter?
  • Have you ever served God to the point where it cost you something big to do so?
  • How have you seen the modern Church become what it opposes?
  • Have you seen Christians or churches act in a righteous way?