19 February 2015

Better Be Hypocrites Than Profane: John Cotton, Puritan New England the Christian Right

In the mid 17th century there were Baptists remaining in Massachusetts that had not ventured to the newly founded safe-haven of Rhode Island. Rejecting many aspects of Puritan theology they met in homes on Sunday morning. They refused participation in the official state-sanctioned Church.

This was abhorrent to the Puritan authorities, an unacceptable manifestation of Pluralism, and as a result some of these Baptists were arrested, fined and for those who refused to pay... whipped.

Better Be Hypocrites Than Profane (Part 2 of 2)

By using the law (the threat of violence) to force people to become Christians and act in Christian manner means that instead of making disciples or converts and baptizing them we are instead threatening them with judicial action, imprisonment and death. And that's largely the story of Christendom... a false Church which perverts the Gospel and makes godliness into gain or a means of attaining power. And this church when resisted persecutes the faithful.

This Puritan view is essentially the project of the Christian Right. From Peter Marshall to David Barton, to Francis Schaeffer and Jerry Falwell, from Pat Robertson to Albert Mohler, the basic goal is the same. They believe that by Christianizing society we can somehow bring the blessings of God on America. Somehow America will please Him... as if America were the apple of His eye, the nation which somehow bears the 'blessing' which was in truth applied to Israel because it pictured Christ's Kingdom. To expect this blessing for America is to establish another messiah... a false god with a false gospel.