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Author Topic: Just how Splintered is American Protestantism?  (Read 9393 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ebor
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« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2008, 07:10:41 PM »

Well, maybe the analogy with Adam and Eve is too far-fetched. I am still not convinced that Rom. 13:1-7 does not explicitly forbid "dissolving political unions." Again, the King of England and his appointed governors WERE the ONLY legal "superior authorities" in the North American colonies, and they, as such, should have been viewed (according to the text of Rom. 13) as MINISTERS OF GOD.

I have to say though that I am not comfortable participating in this discussion because I am a first generation immigrant to the USA. I live in this country and, as I know from experience, I can very easily be accused in being ungrateful, un-appreciative etc. Sorry, guys, I must bail out. Smiley

Heorhij, it is not nor was ever my intent to cause you discomfort or to make any accusations about you.  I'm very sorry if I ever gave that impression.  I'm interested in your ideas and how they apply historically and with human beings in situations that they find intolerable. Or looking at the realities of history, what of such a case as Constantine.  Because of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, where he fought Maxentius then the "Augustus of the Western Empire" Constantine became Emperor of the entire empire and then legalized Christianity.  But would this be a case where he was 'fighting authority' as it were, at least in the Western Roman Empire? 

That leads to another question that occurs to me:  Is *any* person or group that is in power or comes to power a proper "authority"?  What makes it God-appointed?  What of free will as opposed to being all 'programmed' and run by the Creator?

Ebor
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« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2008, 07:23:29 PM »

Quote
Interesting.  It is always good to gain new information. Could you please give some links or information on these groups?  Thank you in advance.

I said I know, conservative Prespyterians that still call themselves "puritan". We are not allowed to post other forum links on Oc.net. but there is an infamous conservative Calvinistic & Reformed board called "the puritan board". It is a mixture of conservative Calvinists from different denominations. Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Low church Anglican, Prespyterian, Dutch Reformed, Congregational, Evangelical Free, and some independant Calvinistic Fundementalist type churches.

They have a rule that only those who agree with Calvinism are allowed to post on that board. Everyone else can only read what they say, but they can't respond. But I personally know people that call themself "Puritan". You will just have to meet different kinds of American conservative Protestants. Eventially you will find some.


Quote
Then we will have to agree to disagree.  Smiley  Would you please give some historical references for the Congregationalists and are they the same as the Congregationalist churches of today?

I shouldn't have to give internet historical references. I learned this stuff in history class in middle school, and high school. I also learned it from reading various books.

The Puritans that came to America didn't vanish into thin air.

This book will give you a short history of Congregationalism as well as a host of other groups.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0687069831


Also if you buy a few Church history books, then you will see a connection.....especially in regards to American church history.


Quote
Well, I know of the phrase "Protestant work ethic" which was coined by the German sociologist Max Weber.  He wrote a book on it that was published in 1905
http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/weber.htm

I looked your "cliche" as you called it up and it is equated with Weber's idea.

I always knew it as "the Puritan work ethic". Sometimes people confuse the Pilgrims with the Puritans, they do overlap, but in middleschool my history teacher mentioned their "Work Ethic".......the more you work, the less time you have to sin.

But the work ethic stereotype comes from the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. I maybe wrong, but I think Rome use to call the Lutherians "Protestants" while calling the Geneva camp "Reformed".

Now she calls them all by the name "Protestant". But the Work Ethic stereotype would stem from the Reformed Tradition.....not the Lutherian one. And as we all know, the Puritans were "Reformed" in doctrine.


Quote
I know of Harvard and Yale (though one source of information says that it was founded by "Congregationalists" rather then "Puritans".  You appear to think that they are the same, but there seems to be some difference of opinion.)  I beg your pardon, "HBCU"?  Would you please post what those letters mean?

The Pilgrims were eventually absorbed by the Puritans, but both the Pilgrims and a good portion of the Puritans were "Congregationalist" in Church Government.

The other batch of Puritans were Prespyterian in Church government and they hooked up with the Church of Scotland. And this is why the Prespyterian denomination is seen as the "Church of Scotland" today.

And this is why I keep saying "Congregationalist, Prespyterian, and low church Anglican".....not to mention the "Baptists" for they too were heavily influenced by the Puritan Congregationalists & their close cousins the English Separatists.....which is what the Pilgrims were....they were English Separatists....but anyway.

HBCU means "Historic Black Colleges & Universities". Some of the New England Puritans (Congregationalists) were also Abolitionists.

My Mother school was started by them "Hampton University". Hampton University sent the founder of my school to Alabama to start what is now "Tuskegee University".

But they started a whole bunch of HBCU's...like Howard....ect.




Quote
You have asserted that there is a "Puritan Influence" on the American Revolution, but you have not provided any sources or documentation to back this up. Would you please provide some support for this claim.  What people or movements in the time leading up to the American Revolution are you thinking of when you write this, please?  Also, the phrase "No king but Christ" was not, from all of my reading, a rallying cry of the American Colonists. I have found a reference to a biography of a Donald Cargill with that title for example (Scots and during the reign of Charles II apparently).  But no reference to the American Colonies and the politics and economics that were motivating forces for the Revolution.

Some of these for people to look up were the Navigation Acts:
http://www.usahistory.info/colonial/Navigation-Acts.html

The Stamp Act:  http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/stampact.htm

What are termed the "Coercive Acts"
http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/MilSci/Resources/abscoer.html

You've asserted this before.  On what evidence and documentation do you base this claim please?  Have you read the Declaration of Independence which lays out the reasons for seeking to be a separate nation?

Ebor


There were alot of things that influenced them. You had the first great awakening that was an influence, You had King George's Lineancy with the Canadian French Roman Catholics, that was a major influence....especially in New England.

And yes I read the declaration of independence. The Puritan mindset always wanted independence from the English King.

Do you really think the Puritans had amnesia? Do you think they forgot what happened in the British civil war?

Another influence were the works by early Puritans that gave them the "BIBLICAL" right to revolt against a "tyrannical king"!


This is a website that lists some of the books that influenced the founding fathers of this great Nation of ours.

Some of the links don't work anymore, but most of them should work.

http://home.wi.rr.com/rickgardiner/primarysources.htm





JNORM888
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« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2008, 08:54:44 PM »

All comments in quotes takin from the "American Colonists's Library". [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34]



http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/Ponet1.HTM
Quote
"A Short Treatise on Political Power, John Ponet, D.D. (1556) President John Adams credited this Calvinist document as being at the root of the theory of government adopted by the the Americans. According to Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke" including the idea of a three-branched government. (Adams, Works, vol. 6, pg. 4). Published in Strassbourg in 1556, it is the first work out of the Reformation to advocate active resistance to tyrannical magistrates, after the Magdeburg Bekenntnis (the Magdeburg Confession)."
[1]
as takin from ther "American Colonists Library"



http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/firblast.htm
Quote
The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, John Knox (1558). A vigorous critique of the tyranny of "Bloody Mary's" reign in England, and a call to resist. A large portion of the Americans who fought in the American Revolution were adherents to Knox's doctrines as set forth in this document.
[2]
as takin from the "American Colonist's Library"


http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/Beza1.htm
Quote
The Right of Magistrates Over Their Subjects, Theodore Beza (1574). Expanding upon Calvin's political resistance theory set forth in the final chapters of his Institutes, this work by Calvin's successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, was published in response to the growing tensions between Protestant and Catholic in France, which culminated in the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572. This text suggests that it is the right of a Christian to revolt against a tyrannical King: a principle central to the American colonists' cause.
[3]
As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"



http://www.constitution.org/vct/vindiciae.htm
Quote
"the rule of law."  
Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, or, A Vindication Against Tyrants (1579). This Calvinist document is one of the first to set forth the theory of "social contract" upon which the United States was founded. The idea was disseminated through the English Calvinists to the pen of John Locke, and eventually into the Declaration of Independence. John Adams reported the relevance of this document to the American struggle.
[4]
As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"



http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1581dutch.html
Quote
The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); This Calvinistic document served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence. In his Autobiography, Jefferson indicated that the "Dutch Revolution" gave evidence and confidence to the Second Continental Congress that the American Revolution could likewise commence and succeed. Recent scholarship has has suggested that Jefferson may have consciously drawn on this document. John Adams said that the Dutch charters had "been particularly studied, admired, and imitated in every State" in America, and he stated that "the analogy between the means by which the two republics [Holland and U.S.A.] arrived at independency... will infallibly draw them together."
[5]
As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"



The Puritan Influence


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/geneva.html
Quote
1599 update of the translation made by the Puritans in Geneva 1560. This was the Bible of choice in New England. These are the footnotes which provide a Calvinistic theological interpretation of the Bible.
[6]
As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"



http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=coke_insts3&PagePosition=1
Quote
The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, Sir Edward Coke (1628) Written by a Puritan leader of Parliament, this document was almost the only textbook for lawyers (e.g., Jefferson) during the American Colonial Period. Coke's influence over the minds of American politicians is inestimable. Clear traces between Coke and the U.S. Constitution are apparent in this work.
[7]


http://www.constitution.org/eng/petright.htm
Quote
The Petition of Right, Sir Edward Coke (1628). This document set forth complaints of the members of Parliament to King Charles I regarding rights of due process. Charles did not receive this complaint warmly. As a result, Charles I shut down Parliament, which ultimately culminated in the English Civil War, and contributed to the exodus of 20,000 Puritans to New England.
[7]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/protests.html
Quote
Protests of the House of Commons, Documents showing the growth of Parliament's hatred for King Charles I, first complaining against his closet Catholicism, his Arminianism, and his presumptuousness in levying taxes without the consent of Parliament.
[8]



http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/massbay.shtml
Quote
(1629). This document sets forth the Puritans' commission in New England.
[9]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/ames.html
Quote
Medulla Theologica (The Marrow of Theology), William Ames (1629). The Medulla was the principal required textbook in the Ivy League in the American Colonial Period. One cannot adequately grasp the intellectual climate of New England without understanding the concepts in this book. The following two sections on the Decrees of God and Predestination highlight the central peculiarities of Puritan theology. Ames was unequivocal in stating that God controls the universe and that humans do not "change" or "determine" God's behavior in any way.
[10]



http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/winthropseparation.html
Quote
John Winthrop, Esq. (1637) A treatise indicating an early desire among the Puritans to keep church and state separate.
[11]



http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/firstfruits.html
Quote
The first written history regarding the founding of Harvard College (@1640)
[12]


http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1823
 
Quote
including many other political writings the 17th century Englishmen.
[13]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/protestation.html
Quote
(1641) An oath taken by British citizens loyal to the Puritan interests in Parliament.
[14]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/decparliament.html
Quote
Declaration to Justify Their Proceedings and Resolutions to Take Up Arms (1642) Thomas Jefferson, in his Autobiography,said that this Puritan "precedent" was an inspiration to the American cause.
[15]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/schoollaw1642.html
Quote
Massachusetts Bay School Laws (1642) Requiring that every father teach his children the Catechism; if not, the children shall be taken from the home.
[16]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/1643.html
Quote
The Establishment of the United Colonies of New England (1643) The first attempt at a union of colonies, foreshadowing the United States. This document combines several colonies together for the primary purpose of national defense. This is the first document resembling a federal constitution in America.
[17]


http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1644cromwell-marston.html
Quote
Letter of Oliver Cromwell (1644)
[18]


http://www.constitution.org/sr/lexrex.htm
Quote
Lex Rex This treatise systematized the Calvinistic political theories which had developed over the previous century. Rutherford was a colleague of John Locke's parents. Most of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government is reflective of Lex Rex. From Rutherford and other Commonwealthmen such as George Lawson, through Locke, these theorists provided the roots of the Declaration of Independence. This page provides the list of questions Lex Rex addresses.
[19]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/rutherford.html
Quote
Lex, Rex, Samuel Rutherford (1644). This excerpt shows Rutherford's social contract theory and includes the Puritan theory of resistance to a tyrant.
[20]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/character.html
Quote
The Character of A Puritan, John Geree (1646)
[21]



http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC.html
Quote
The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.
 [22]


http://www.strecorsoc.org/docs/agreement.html
Quote
An Agreement of the People (1647) A proposal for a republican government in England
[23]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/charles.html
Quote
King Charles I's Speech at His Trial (1649); Including Judge Bradshaw's response appealing to social contract theory.
[24]




http://www.constitution.org/eng/agreepeo.htm
Quote
An Agreement of the Free People of England (1649) The manifesto of the Levellers, the leaders of the 1649 English Civil War that deposed Charles I and brought a period of parliamentary rule. It expresses many of the ideals that later inspired the American Revolution.
 [25]




http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/Tenure.HTM
Quote
The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1650) by John Milton in defense of the execution of Charles I by the British Parliament a few days after its occurance. It includes an excellent evaluation and summation of the political literature produced on the Continent in the 16th Century. Charles I was the first monarch executed in Europe by his subjects, setting the stage for a religious struggle which would grip Britain for several decades to come. The language and spelling of this edition has been done directly from the 1650 edition
[25]


http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1653intrumentgovt.html
Quote
(1653); The Constitution of the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. Many of the founders, such as Samuel Adams, considered Oliver Cromwell their hero, and considered the Commonwealth as the glory years of England.
[26]



http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/navacts.html
Excerpts from the Navigation Acts, 1660-1696, The first Parliamentary legislation toward the colonies which would lead to the colonial rebellion of the eighteenth century. [27]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/theopolis.html
Quote
Theopolis Americana ("God's City: America"), Cotton Mather (1709) This excerpt from Mather's sermon shows how Mather, with other Puritans, believed that America was truly the "Promised Land." This thinking led ultimately to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, whereby Anglo-Americans believed that it was their divine commission to spread their culture from Atlantic to Pacific.
[28]




http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/wise.html
Quote
Vindication of the Government of New England Churches, John Wise (1717) A Puritan political sermon which included most of the principles of government embraced by the founders of the U.S.
 [29]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/spg2.html
Quote
Intentions of the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) (1740) The desire of this group to land an Anglican Bishop in the American colonies ignited the American Revolution.
[30]



http://www.founding.com/founders_library/pageID.2299/default.asp
Quote
A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers, Jonathan Mayhew (1750) About this document, John Adams wrote, "It was read by everybody; celebrated by friends, and abused by enemies... It spread an universal alarm against the authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just apprehension, that bishops, and dioceses, and churches, and priests, and tithes, were to be imposed on us by Parliament." This sermon has been called the spark which ignited the American Revolution. This illustrates that the Revolution was not only about stamps and taxes but also about religious liberty.
[31]




http://www.leftjustified.org/leftjust/lib/sc/ht/decl/gls4.html#HOB2
Quote
Resolution of the House of Burgesses in Virginia (1774) This resolution was inspired by similar resolutions made in the Puritan Revolution of 1641; the Burgesses resolved to commit their crisis to prayer and fasting.
[32]


http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/arms.htm
Quote
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, Jefferson and Dickinson, July 6, 1775. This document was inspired by the Puritan Declaration of August, 1642, "Declaration of the Lords and Commons to Justify Their Taking Up Arms," available in John Rushworth, ed., Historical Collections of Private Passages of State, Weighty Matters in Law, Remarkable Proceedings in Five Parliaments (1680-1722),vol. 4, pp. 761-768.
[33]


http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/decsources.html
Quote
Sources of the Declaration of Independence (1776) Documents which prove that Jefferson modeled the Declaration largely upon the 1689 Declaration of Rights.
[34]







JNORM888
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« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2008, 09:10:57 PM »

All comments in quotes takin from the "American Colonists's Library". [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34]
jnorm888,
I'm having trouble working out what part of Ebor's post this is meant to answer. I've read a few excepts from the links, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for. Am I looking for evidence that the Puritans had a direct influence on the Civil War, the Declaration of Independence, or should I be looking for something else?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 09:22:23 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2008, 09:25:49 PM »

jnorm888,
I'm having trouble working out what part of Ebor's post this is meant to answer. I've read a few excepts from the links, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for. Am I looking for evidence that the Puritans had a direct influence on the Civil War, the Declaration of Independence, or should I be looking for something else?


I'm trying to show that the Puritans had an influence in getting us to revolt against King George.......thus causing the Revolutionary War.

Those links show that the founding Fathers were heavily influenced by the works of the Puritans...as well as the works of the earlier Calvinists that influenced the Puritans to cause the British Civil war.

Calvinism in general is what made it possible to have both wars.


Those links are just showing the primary works of what the Founding Fathers were influenced by. Basically, it's just showing the works that they themselves read. and talked about, and sometimes used as references.

I know they were influenced by more than just Puritanism, but my focus was to show that Puritanism played a role to inspire them to revolt.




The Puritan influence starts with number 6

numbers 32 & 33 show that the Puritans were still around in the 17 hundreds. They didn't vanish when they came to North America in the 16 hundreds.









JNORM888
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« Reply #50 on: May 06, 2008, 09:35:44 PM »


I'm trying to show that the Puritans had an influence in getting us to revolt against King George.......thus causing the Revolutionary War.

Those links show that the founding Fathers were heavily influenced by the works of the Puritans...as well as the works of the earlier Calvinists that influenced the Puritans to cause the British Civil war.

Calvinism in general is what made it possible to have both wars.


Those links are just links showing what the Founding Fathers were influenced by.



numbers 32 & 33 show that the Puritans were still around in the 17 hundreds. They didn't vanish when they came to North America in the 16 hundreds.
Thanks. I know what I'm looking for now!

MODERATORIAL NOTE: I have split off the discussion about Calvinists, Hugeonots & Roman Catholicism and moved it here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15862
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« Reply #51 on: May 06, 2008, 09:39:05 PM »

Thank you for the information on the Puritan Board. 

I shouldn't have to give internet historical references. I learned this stuff in history class in middle school, and high school. I also learned it from reading various books.

Why shouldn't you have to provide references to support your assertions please?  Why should your or my or anyones post be taken as necessarily true without any support from other sources? 

Though I have learned many things it is possible that I don't always recall them accurately or with details. I supply references so that others may read other information and not just take *my* word that something exists or is true. That is why in the post on the real history of Maryland I posted links to the Tolerance Act and other information rather then just an unsupported contering statement.

And references aren't just "internet" but also books such as the one that you did provide in the Amazon link.  Thank you for that.  I'm not sure, but we might have a copy of that on our shelves. 

Quote
The Puritans that came to America didn't vanish into thin air.

No, they did not.  Over time groups of people shift or change as some die or move on and others take their places and also as situations change.

Quote
Also if you buy a few Church history books, then you will see a connection.....especially in regards to American church history.

I submit with respect that you do not know what I have read or that I do have a number of books on the history of Christianity in general and in particulars on my shelves.  Rather then telling me to read in general, what particular points support your ideas please?  What "connection" to *you* see?

Quote
I always knew it as "the Puritan work ethic". Sometimes people confuse the Pilgrims with the Puritans, they do overlap, but in middleschool my history teacher mentioned their "Work Ethic".......the more you work, the less time you have to sin.

In which case this is somewhat different from Weber's "Protestant Work Ethic" which is not based on sin.

Quote
The other batch of Puritans were Prespyterian in Church government and they hooked up with the Church of Scotland. And this is why the Prespyterian denomination is seen as the "Church of Scotland" today.

From my reading the Prebyterian Church/Church of Scotland dates from 1560 with John Knox *in Scotland*.  But someone who has more knowledge of the Presbyterians might be willing to post with more information.


Quote
And this is why I keep saying "Congregationalist, Prespyterian, and low church Anglican".....not to mention the "Baptists" for they too were heavily influenced by the Puritan Congregationalists & their close cousins the English Separatists.....which is what the Pilgrims were....they were English Separatists....but anyway.

These are your connections.  Low Church Anglicans are not Puritans. The persons on the board you mentioned may call themselves "puritans" as they like.  I know the Pilgrims were English Separatists; I believe that I wrote about that above.


Quote
HBCU means "Historic Black Colleges & Universities". Some of the New England Puritans (Congregationalists) were also Abolitionists.

Thank you for the clarification.  There were many Abolitionists in New England, belonging to a number of Church bodies, as well as Anti-Slavery societies.  Benjamin Franklin for example started one.

Quote
There were alot of things that influenced them. You had the first great awakening that was an influence, You had King George's Lineancy with the Canadian French Roman Catholics, that was a major influence....especially in New England.

And yes I read the declaration of independence. The Puritan mindset always wanted independence from the English King.

How do you see the "Puritan mindset" in any of the signers of the Declaration please? Can you please give some specific examples?  There is not a nebulous kind of cloud of "mindset" but the ideas and beliefs of individual people and groups.  Many of the men involved were either Unitarians (John Adams for example) or from Anglican backgrounds (Jefferson and others).

Quote
Do you really think the Puritans had amnesia? Do you think they forgot what happened in the British civil war?

Do you have any original words from any American "Puritans" on the English Civil war or that they should be separate from England. England was the source for money and materials and support and more people for the colonies.

Quote
Another influence were the works by early Puritans that gave them the "BIBLICAL" right to revolt against a "tyrannical king"!

What works, please?  How did the Puritans in North America "revolt" against the King prior to your contention that they were involved in the American Revolution? The colonies revolted because of Economics because England tried to enforce and control all trade through the mother country (See the Navigation Acts for example). They revolted because the relative freedom that was enjoyed for the first century or so was being restricted by the Crown. (the Royal Governors such as in Maryland).  They revolted because an Act was passed that forbade the colonies from expanding across the Appalachian mountains which prevented trade, new resources and expansion.  Jefferson and others left primary source doucuments about the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation and other important points in the founding of the United States.

Thank you for the link. I know of these documents in history, though this site is new to me.  Which documents do you have in mind in support of your assertions please?

Ebor
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« Reply #52 on: May 06, 2008, 10:39:57 PM »

Quote
From my reading the Prebyterian Church/Church of Scotland dates from 1560 with John Knox *in Scotland*.  But someone who has more knowledge of the Presbyterians might be willing to post with more information.

I never denied John Knoxes influence on those who call themselves Prespyterian. I just said that a batch of them were English Puritans, and that when they came to North America they hooked up with Scotland.

This is from the "Handbook of Denominations in the United States"



Quote
"Dominant in Westminister Assembly, Prespyterians soon also dominated the British government during the English civil war and the interregnum. Oliver Cromwell completeted the ousting of the King Charles I in 1649 and established the Commonwealth. When the commonwealth fell apart after Cromwell's death in 1658 and the monarchy was restored, British Prespyterians fled to North America with the Puritans." page 292 from "Handbook of Denominations: in the united States"
11nth edition by Frank S. Mead & Samuel S. Hill.

Now they make a distinction between the Prespyterians in the revolt and the Puritans, other books don't make that distinction, and this is why I called both "Congregationalists & Prespyterians" Puritans.


This is from the book "the History of Christianity in the united states", and in this book she says that the disputes among Puritans made them split into groups of "Congregationalists, Prespyterians, Baptists, the Society of Friends,(Quakers), and many small radical sects."

And this is pretty much saying what I was trying to say. But she goes on and talks about how Puritanism in general affected America.


Quote
"New England: The Puritan Society of visible Saints

The first Puritan colony in New England was Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620); it was followed by the colonies of Massachusetts bay (1628) and Boston (1630). Between 1630 and 1640, the "great Migration" brought some twenty thousand English Puritans to the NEw England colonies. Puritans also settled in the middle colonies, mingling with other types of Protestants. The Puritan movement did much to shape Christianity not only in the New England colonies but in the United States more broadly. So before continuing with the story of the Puritan colonies, we must sketch the broad range and reach of Puritanism.

As we have seen, Puritanism was a late-born child of the Reformation, dedicated to purifying the Church of England. theologically, the Puritans drew from the Reformed wing of the Reformation, as articulated by John Calvin and his heirs. The challenge was how to put Calvinist theology into practice in an English context. Not all puritans agreed on how this was to be done. Their various reform strategies gave rise to several groups: Congregationalists, Prespyterians, Baptists, the Society of Friends,(Quakers), and many small radical sects. Later on, in the United States, Uniterianism split off from Congregationalism to become a sort of free-thinking grandchild of Puritanism. Many nineteenth-century reforms, including abolitionism, had deep roots in the Puritan tradition. Puritans saw themselves as God's chosen people, devlivered from bondage and given a divine mission in a promised land. As David Gelernter points out, this set of beliefs arose from the Old Testament story of Israel as God's chosen people which, animated Puritanism and lives on today as the essence of "Americanism". This belief(in a divinely chosen people with a special role to play in the World) runs like a red thread from the first Puritan settlements down to politics and foreign policy in the early twenty-first century. To be sure, there are also discontinuities between then and now. The Remnant in the wilderness has become a superpower, and the old Puritan sense of accountabiltiy to divine judgement has all but vanished. Yet the chosen nation idea lives on. One need not accept this worldview to recognize its power in history.

The original Puritans wanted a godly society- a fully reformed church and nation. When they lost their political power in old England, New England became their last chance to complete the Reformation. This "Holy Experiment" was guided by religious convictions."
pages 15 & 16 from the book "The History of Christianity in the United States" by Nancy Koester







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« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2008, 10:42:57 PM »

Quote
Thank you for the link. I know of these documents in history, though this site is new to me.  Which documents do you have in mind in support of your assertions please?

Ebor


All of the links on that webpage show alot of the primary documents that influenced our founding fathers. I gave some of the Calvinistic and Puritan links from that site, that showed the puritan influence on the foundation fathers of our Nation.


Some of those documents are from the British civil war and a justification to revolt against the government(king)


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« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2008, 11:03:01 PM »


I'm trying to show that the Puritans had an influence in getting us to revolt against King George.......thus causing the Revolutionary War.

Those links show that the founding Fathers were heavily influenced by the works of the Puritans...as well as the works of the earlier Calvinists that influenced the Puritans to cause the British Civil war.

These links are excellent as reading the original words.  The site is extensive in the number of documents linked to, and in checking who set up the site (as my history professor taught that we had to do, since not all sites or site creators are 'created equal'  Wink ) the gentleman behind it seems to have good credentials and grounding in history.  It is the connections, the insistance that there were "Puritans" in Revolutionary era politics that are not clear at times.  These and other works were part of the body of English political/social thought.  However, educated men also read Classics such as Greek and Latin works and other materials.  

Quote
Calvinism in general is what made it possible to have both wars.

?  There were wars of "rebellion" against kings and leaders long before there were any "Calvinists".  And what of the influences of the Enlightenment which in some ways was counter to the Great Awakening?

Quote
I know they were influenced by more than just Puritanism, but my focus was to show that Puritanism played a role to inspire them to revolt.

I agree that religion was an influence as it is in many societies.  But there were more then "Puritans" in the American Colonies, as I wrote above.


Quote
numbers 32 & 33 show that the Puritans were still around in the 17 hundreds. They didn't vanish when they came to North America in the 16 hundreds.

How do 32 and 33 show that?  Jefferson and Dickinson were not "Puritans". Nor were the House of Burgesses in 1774, that being the elected legislative assembly of the Colony of Virginia where there was no Puritan foundation. These materials are *based* on earlier documents.  Basing something on a document from over 100 years in the past from the English Civil War does not make them somehow the same as the writers of the original.  If I base some writing now on a document from say St. John Chrysostom, that does not make *me* Byzantine but a person of this century (non-EO even) who is drawing on a source for some reason.  


Thank you, though, for providing materials.  Now, how do *you* interpret them to support your earlier ideas?

With respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2008, 11:17:23 PM »

I apologize for this quibble, but the word is "Presbyterian" with a "b".  Are you typing in the quoted passages because if the books are being published with such a spelling error there is something wrong with their editors.

Now they make a distinction between the Prespyterians in the revolt and the Puritans, other books don't make that distinction, and this is why I called both "Congregationalists & Prespyterians" Puritans.

You choose to lump them together under one name where others do not.  I understand that and as I wrote, this seems to be a point on which we must agree to disagree.

Thank you also for the references to both books.  Is the orange line in parentheses on the quote from The History of Christianity in the United States" by Nancy Koester your emphasis or did you put it in to show what you consider an important point? 


Ebor
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« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2008, 09:49:16 PM »

Quote
I apologize for this quibble, but the word is "Presbyterian" with a "b".  Are you typing in the quoted passages because if the books are being published with such a spelling error there is something wrong with their editors.

I think it is a miss spelling on my part. I was typing it and I put a "p" instead of a "b". My bad.



Quote
You choose to lump them together under one name where others do not.  I understand that and as I wrote, this seems to be a point on which we must agree to disagree.

Thank you also for the references to both books.  Is the orange line in parentheses on the quote from The History of Christianity in the United States" by Nancy Koester your emphasis or did you put it in to show what you consider an important point? 


Ebor


It's ok, we can agree to differ. I'm fine with that.

yeah, it was a quote from what Nancy said. I just never highlighted that part from the larger quote. I'll high light it in red now.

Quote
quote:
"New England: The Puritan Society of visible Saints

The first Puritan colony in New England was Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620); it was followed by the colonies of Massachusetts bay (1628) and Boston (1630). Between 1630 and 1640, the "great Migration" brought some twenty thousand English Puritans to the NEw England colonies. Puritans also settled in the middle colonies, mingling with other types of Protestants. The Puritan movement did much to shape Christianity not only in the New England colonies but in the United States more broadly. So before continuing with the story of the Puritan colonies, we must sketch the broad range and reach of Puritanism.

As we have seen, Puritanism was a late-born child of the Reformation, dedicated to purifying the Church of England. theologically, the Puritans drew from the Reformed wing of the Reformation, as articulated by John Calvin and his heirs. The challenge was how to put Calvinist theology into practice in an English context. Not all puritans agreed on how this was to be done. Their various reform strategies gave rise to several groups: Congregationalists, Prespyterians, Baptists, the Society of Friends,(Quakers), and many small radical sects. Later on, in the United States, Uniterianism split off from Congregationalism to become a sort of free-thinking grandchild of Puritanism. Many nineteenth-century reforms, including abolitionism, had deep roots in the Puritan tradition. Puritans saw themselves as God's chosen people, devlivered from bondage and given a divine mission in a promised land. As David Gelernter points out, this set of beliefs arose from the Old Testament story of Israel as God's chosen people which, animated Puritanism and lives on today as the essence of "Americanism". This belief(in a divinely chosen people with a special role to play in the World) runs like a red thread from the first Puritan settlements down to politics and foreign policy in the early twenty-first century. To be sure, there are also discontinuities between then and now. The Remnant in the wilderness has become a superpower, and the old Puritan sense of accountabiltiy to divine judgement has all but vanished. Yet the chosen nation idea lives on. One need not accept this worldview to recognize its power in history.

The original Puritans wanted a godly society- a fully reformed church and nation. When they lost their political power in old England, New England became their last chance to complete the Reformation. This "Holy Experiment" was guided by religious convictions.""






 I would like to post what Dr. Alister Mcgrath said. I was looking at it last night. I'll highlight the important stuff in red.



Quote
""When Charles appointed the high Churchman William Laud as archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, the Puritan faction within the Church of England was incensed. At this time, Puritans were divided into factions-such as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Separationists. Presbyterians believed in an organic church, with a graded hierarchy of government; Congregationalists held fast to the idea of the Sovereignty of local congregations. There is no greater disruptive force, no greater incentive to fragmentation, than a common creed held with a difference. The perception of a difference often leads to its accentuation, sometimes to the point where what is held in common seems to recede into the background, overshadowed by the suspicion and hostility evoked by the division. A seemingly minor divergence tus had the potential to become the cause of division and strife within Puritanism-if it was allowed to do so.

Yet the increasing perception of a dangerously hostile establishment caused Puritans to see their differences from a somewhat different perspective and to bring a sense of realism to their differences. Internecine hostilities were suspended in order to concentrate on the greater threat that confronted the movement. Puritanism became an increasingly well organized movement, alert to both dangers and opportunities. Whether, taken in isolation, that would have led to anything much remains open to question. In the context of the growing tensions between Charles and Parliament, however, the position of Puritans could be seen as much more serious."
[1]

pages 136-137 from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first" by Dr. Alister Mcgrath.


On pages 153-154 he says:

Quote
"The Pilgrims Fathers were not, it must be appreciated, typical of Enhlish Puritanism at this time. They were separatists whose beliefs were more characteristic of the Anabaptists than of Calvin: they were convinced that each congregation had the democratic right to determine its own beliefs and choose its own ministers. Most English Puritans of the age were Presbyterians who were committed to the notion of a single mother church with local outposts-a "universal church" with "particular congregations" bound together by shared beliefs and leaders. It was only a matter of time before the defining conflicts of the Old World would find themselves being replayed in the New. But this time, decentralization would win.

One of the most remarkable features of the early history of New England Protestantism in the 1620s and 1630s is that most Puritan communities appear to have abandoned a Presbyterian view of church government within months of their arrival and adopted a congregational polity instead. The Plymouth COlony Separatists appear to have been significant in bringing about a major shift in how congregations organized themselves and related to other congregations. Reacting strongly against the rigid hierarchical structures of the European state churches, the American settlers opted instead for a democratic congregationalism. Local congregations made their own decisions. Instead of centralized authority stuctures-such as presbyteries or dioceses-the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay area developed "a highly decentralized and well-nigh uncontrollable Congregational church order which licensed any individual congregation to revise Calvinist theology as it saw fit. And revise it they did."
[2]



And in regards to the American Revolution he says:

Quote
"Protestantism and the American Revolution

The Historical roots of the American Revolution are complex, and it is difficult to assign priority to any factor as the ultimate cause of the rebellion against British rule. The burdens of taxation, the lack of due representation, and the desire for freedom were unquestionably integral ingredients in the accumulation of grievances that drove many colonials to take up arms against the kings. Yet religious ussue also played their part, not least in intensifying a sense of injustice over the privileged status of the Church of England in the British colonies. The Church of England had become established by law in the southern states of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, and even in four counties of New York State. Although dissent was permitted, the situation rankled Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians. Opposition began to grow.

In the early 1770s, Congregationalist ministers in New England regularly preached on the theme of religious and political freedom, linking both with resisting English tyranny. Throughout Puritan Massachusetts, pamphlets appeared offering a religious justification for the use of armed force against an oppressor and urging young men to join militias. The rhetotic and theology were not entirely unlike the rhetoric and theology that prevailed during the prelude to the English civil War.

So was the American Revolution actually a war of Religion? It is difficult to make the case for its being so. Religious elements were involved-above all a desire to ensure religious freedom and eliminate the privileges of the established church. Yet it would not be true to say that these concerns dominated the agenda of those driving the Revolution. The Patriots came from a wide variety of relious backgrounds, only some of which were driven by the theological backgrounds, only some of which were driven by the theological vision of the New England Congregationalists. The "black Regiment" of preachers such as Charles Chauncy, Samuel Cooper, and Jonathon Mayhew(so-called on account of their clerical dress) criticized the British from their pulpits. Yet the Great Awakening had renewed a sense of vision among Lutherians, Methodists, and Baptists, and that renewal widened and diversified the theological base of the Revolution."
[3]

pages 160-161



I will also quote something from the handbook of Denominations in the USA .....in regards to Congregationalism. The important stuff will be highlighted in red.



Quote
"The proper from of church polity of structure of authority has been an issue in Christianity since New Testament times. the dominant Catholic/Orthodox tradition resolved that issue in favor of episcopacy or rule by bishops. As the protestant Reformation developed in the sixteenth century, polity became one of the key issues. The Reformed tradition, associated with John Calvin (1509-64) and John Knox (ca. 1513-72), rejected episcopacy in favor of a presbyterial system in which a council  of clergy had authority. In England, dissent took corporate form in the Puritan movements, of which Congregationalism represented the most radical wing.
page 120 [4]


Quote
"Between 1630 and 1640, 20,000 more Puritans arrived at Massachusetts Bay. Even less inclined toward Separatism than was the Plymouth colony, the sttlers of the bay established an effective "theocratic" government. Church and commonwealth were that society's two instruments. Contrary to popular belief, it was not a stern and rigid regime of the saints, but it was strict and could be as intolerant of religious dissent as the church of England was. The story of the banishment of radicals like Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) and Roger Williams (1603-83) are well known. When four quakers (see Friends), including a woman, were hanged on Boston Common in the 1660s (after the end of the Puritan  Commonwealth in England), there was a public outcry in England. Following the Golden Revolution, New England was forced to accept the Act of Toleration in 1689.

Congregationalists like Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) of Northhampton played leading roles in First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s. That revival was marked not only by the eloquence of george Whitefield (1715-70) but also by vigorous writings and preaching of Edwards, whose books are now regarded as American classics.

Congregationalists in New England were leaders in the American Revolution, and during the next century Congregationalism played a major role in developing American institutional and religious life. In the field of education, this church had already made tremendous contributions. Members of this church founded Harvard in 1636. Yale (dounded 1797) was a project for the education of Congregationalist clergy in Connecticut. Dartmouth (founded 1769) developed from Eleazer Wheelock's (1711-79) school for Native Americans. These schools were among the first colleges in North America."
pages 120-121 [5]






JNORM888


[1],[2],[3] from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first" by Dr. Alister Mcgrath. Copyright 2007, published by Harperone.

[4],[5] from the book "Handbook of Denominations: in the United States" 11nth edition by Frank S. Mead & Samuel S. Hill revised by Craig D. Atwood. last copyrighted in 2001. published by Abingdon Press Nashville
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« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2008, 08:39:53 PM »

I'm going to have to disagree: the Evil one didn't use the draw of happiness to lure them in, but rather the promise of becoming like God Himself.  They probably were happy without it.

Here's a twist to this, for my own sake: But don't the Church Fathers also teach us to become gods?


Also, I have to take the stand that although I'm not convinced that the founding fathers of America were necessarily 'anti-Christian', but I think we can agree that they weren't Orthodox Christian.
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« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2008, 09:08:35 PM »

Here's a twist to this, for my own sake: But don't the Church Fathers also teach us to become gods? 

It's not much of a twist: The Evil One wanted us to become like God Himself without the help or guidance of God Himself, i.e. self-directed, -motivated, and -centered theosis.  The Church Fathers keep God in the equation, so that it is a God-motivated, -directed, and -centered theosis.
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« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2008, 10:17:56 PM »

The Evil One wanted us to become like God Himself without the help or guidance of God Himself, i.e. self-directed, -motivated, and -centered...

This is how I view atheists.
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« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2008, 10:29:44 PM »

Here's a twist to this, for my own sake: But don't the Church Fathers also teach us to become gods?


Also, I have to take the stand that although I'm not convinced that the founding fathers of America were necessarily 'anti-Christian', but I think we can agree that they weren't Orthodox Christian.

A lot of the founding fathers were meant to be Deists.
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« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2008, 10:33:37 PM »

Thank you for the passages and taking the time to type them into your post.  I was not trying to nit-pick about the misspelling of "Presbyterian", I assure you, and hope that I did not give that impression.  Thank you also for clarifying about the highlighted/differently coloured parts.

I would like to post what Dr. Alister Mcgrath said. I was looking at it last night. I'll highlight the important stuff in red.

I have looked up Dr. Alister Mcgrath and find that he is an Anglican priest, with a scholarly background in science, and theology. According to his biography on his website, he is also a former atheist. It's important to know something of people when looking at their ideas and viewpoints.  Smiley

I understand and follow his thought in the pasages you posted.  This clears up some misunderstanding, as from your earlier posts it seemed that you were saying that the Puritans in the Colonies *then* connected with people in Scotland and that was the source of the Presbyterian Chuch.  Whereas, Mcgrath sets it out that the Class or "set" as it were of "All Puritans" had several 'subsets' during the time of Laud in the 1630's , one of which was "Presbyterian".  The mid 17th Century was a time when the North American colonies were getting established and struggling (some of them) to survive and *some* of those had settlers coming who were "Puritan" but mostly in New England with a smaller portion in the middle area.

In the second Mcgrath passage he is talking about a change in *polity* in how the groups operated.  Rather then a central body "a single mother church with local outposts" the local groups changed to a "congregational" or what I've heard called a "Baptist" polity structure, that is, "Local congregations made their own decisions."  Now I can think of a couple of reasons why this might be, one of which is the living situation in the Colonies.  This is small groups in a new and mostly unsettled "wilderness".  Communication is not easy, traveling is difficult with few roads or vehicles, new settlements and their church unit are isolated.  I suggest that this reason is a likely cause for the change in polity, at least in part.  The same pattern can be seen in the West as new areas are settled, small churches may be planted, but with slow communication, in isolation people may change things.  So in this I don't see necessarily any "rebellion" against authority/the Crown.  

In the third Mcgrath passage, you highlighted the second paragraph, but to my reading it is the first and third are important.  He clearly states that "The burdens of taxation, the lack of due representation, and the desire for freedom were unquestionably integral ingredients in the accumulation of grievances that drove many colonials to take up arms against the kings."  The sentence following this talks about a religious aspect: That the Church of England was the established Church in many colonies and *had a privileged position* over the "dissenting" bodies.  It is not a case of "No King but Christ" but that "The King's Church had advantages".  The paragraph you highlighted referrs to sermons preaching religious and political freedom.  With an established Church (C of E) the other Christian bodies were not as free.  The British Crown and its Established Church were linked and the 'dissenting' preachers urged a struggle for freedom from both, it seems to me.
 
Finally, in the third paragraph the lines before your emphasized section are what I've been trying to get across:

"So was the American Revolution actually a war of Religion? It is difficult to make the case for its being so. Religious elements were involved-above all a desire to ensure religious freedom and eliminate the privileges of the established church. Yet it would not be true to say that these concerns dominated the agenda of those driving the Revolution. The Patriots came from a wide variety of religious backgrounds, only some of which were driven by the theological backgrounds...

My emphasis added.

Your earlier posts, I got the impression, were saying that the cause of the American Revolution was "religious", that the "Puritans" were driving the colonial governments to declare independence.  The passages you emphasized need to be read in context and here Mcgrath does not seem to support that idea.  

Another point to discuss perhaps, if you're willing, is even if the "puritans" had been the force behind the American Revolution, why, considering the circumstances of British Rule and laws on the colonies would that necessarily be a Bad Thing?


With respect,

Ebor

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« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2008, 10:46:17 PM »

Also, I have to take the stand that although I'm not convinced that the founding fathers of America were necessarily 'anti-Christian', but I think we can agree that they weren't Orthodox Christian.

Well, that is simply a point of Historical Fact.  Smiley  Many were Christian of some variety and/or came from Christian backgrounds and this is a matter if record.  But the simple facts of which people were immigrating to the British Colonies in North America makes the chances of many EO in 17th-18th Century Colonial America are, imo, very very slim.   Smiley

Ebor
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« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2008, 11:35:44 PM »

Well, that is simply a point of Historical Fact.  Smiley  Many were Christian of some variety and/or came from Christian backgrounds and this is a matter if record.  But the simple facts of which people were immigrating to the British Colonies in North America makes the chances of many EO in 17th-18th Century Colonial America are, imo, very very slim.   Smiley

Ebor

I have no problem admitting that this was historical fact. I guess what I was saying was, just because they were "Christians of some variety" doesn't mean I have to subscribe to their "variety" of Christianity. Nor do I have to accept modern politicians who base their political platforms on these historical facts.Therefore, if I do not subscribe to their version of Christianity, I reserve the right to question American history, our constitution, etc. and choose not to mindlessly accept American ideology, not based upon Orthodox Christianity, rather heterdox teachings as something "good" when it may in fact not always be "good." (Even though for the most part, I do any how  Cheesy )

Just IMHO
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« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2008, 01:28:17 AM »

I've observed that most "Protestant" writers take the view of suffering and how man is free not to suffer by choosing not to suffer.  Martin Luther got tired of seeing people suffer under the financial weight of indulgencies, papal infaliability, etc.

However, most of today's "New Age" writers fail to understand that suffering is the ultimate cost of discipleship where man may not be able to evade suffering.

For example, take the former Governor of New York; he committed adultery and resigned from his office.  There were immediate consequences for his actions except that we live in a world where private suffering is rarely seen unless it is used for political gains or entertainment (e.g. Brittney Spears).

People suffer for all different reasons - it is those who can keep a bright face while sharing suffering that helps one approach theosis.  All one has to do is look at the entire book of Job (who was descended from Esau who was descended from Abraham).
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« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2008, 06:52:23 AM »

A lot of the founding fathers were meant to be Deists.

Well, maybe. I've been researching this of late, and the truth seems to be pretty complicated. One figure is unquestionably a deist: Tom Paine. He used the word for himself, and he defined it in a way that makes it clear that he meant it in the commonly used sense. On the other end of the scale, Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton were devout Anglicans; John Adams was a Christian unitarian. Jefferson was more or less like a modern unitarian.

After that, it gets quite murky quite fast. A lot happened in 19th century American religion, and the Great Awakenings, the Oxford Movement, and higher Criticism would go on to have a substantial impact on every American church. Colonial worship was quite different from what we are used to today, and the conventional language of faith was likewise shifted. It makes it hard to interpret the signs of piety for someone who isn't directly relating their beliefs.

And that's the problem: for most of the FFs, we have to surmise their beliefs indirectly. To take the worst case first: George Washington, at some point in his life, seems to have stopped taking communion.  Or maybe he didn't: there is contradictory testimony from witnesses. But assuming that he did, what does this mean? Well, there is one line of argument that draws upon this and upon the language he used in talking about God in general to surmise that he had adopted deist views. However, there is another line which views this as a projection of modern attitudes upon colonial churchgoing. What it comes down to is that we cannot be sure.

After that the going gets quite murky. Was Madison a deist? Well, it's quite hard to say, because the never really said much about his own religion. He definitely wasn't a churchy person, and he said a lot about religious freedom; but again, all is surmise. Monroe is even more obscure: he hardly said a thing about religion. That doesn't stop people from claiming that he was a deist.

The tendency of modern secularists is to paint the FFs as religiously unconventional; from the opposing camp, there is a tendency to play up FF piety, to the point where there originated in the 1950s a preposterous RC urban legend that George Washington was baptized Catholic on his deathbed. (There isn't the slightest possibility that this is true, BTW.) The truth seems to be that ,for a lot of the FFs, the details of religious belief just weren't that important.
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« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2008, 10:26:00 PM »

Ebor,


My whole focus was in regards to the Puritans, not the Deists, not the other groups. Those who did have theological reasons were mostly from New England (and the mid-atlantic, but I'm not including them at this time). And that was my focus. For they were the ones that mostly came directly from the Puritans.

Alot of groups seemed to have different reasons for fighting against the King.


The Puritans did have an Influence in getting us to fight against the King.


I will admit that I don't have the evidence to prove that it was thee greatest influence. But I think I at least proved that it was "an" influence.

It is my personal view that it was a great influence. But we can agree to differ on that.


Quote
Another point to discuss perhaps, if you're willing, is even if the "puritans" had been the force behind the American Revolution, why, considering the circumstances of British Rule and laws on the colonies would that necessarily be a Bad Thing?


They were very upset with King George for being nice to the Canadian French Roman Catholics. This was also one of the reasons why the British civil war got started. The King at that time was seeking to have good political relations with Roman Catholics, and the Puritans(back then) didn't like that.


When looking at the reactions of the Puritans, you will see alot of similarity between the two wars. Like I said before, my focus was on the puritan influence.


Maybe sometime in the future I will focus on the secular humanistic influence, but that wasn't my focus at this time.






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« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2008, 10:51:50 PM »

Well, maybe. I've been researching this of late, and the truth seems to be pretty complicated. One figure is unquestionably a deist: Tom Paine. He used the word for himself, and he defined it in a way that makes it clear that he meant it in the commonly used sense. On the other end of the scale, Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton were devout Anglicans; John Adams was a Christian unitarian. Jefferson was more or less like a modern unitarian.

After that, it gets quite murky quite fast. A lot happened in 19th century American religion, and the Great Awakenings, the Oxford Movement, and higher Criticism would go on to have a substantial impact on every American church. Colonial worship was quite different from what we are used to today, and the conventional language of faith was likewise shifted. It makes it hard to interpret the signs of piety for someone who isn't directly relating their beliefs.

And that's the problem: for most of the FFs, we have to surmise their beliefs indirectly. To take the worst case first: George Washington, at some point in his life, seems to have stopped taking communion.  Or maybe he didn't: there is contradictory testimony from witnesses. But assuming that he did, what does this mean? Well, there is one line of argument that draws upon this and upon the language he used in talking about God in general to surmise that he had adopted deist views. However, there is another line which views this as a projection of modern attitudes upon colonial churchgoing. What it comes down to is that we cannot be sure.

After that the going gets quite murky. Was Madison a deist? Well, it's quite hard to say, because the never really said much about his own religion. He definitely wasn't a churchy person, and he said a lot about religious freedom; but again, all is surmise. Monroe is even more obscure: he hardly said a thing about religion. That doesn't stop people from claiming that he was a deist.

The tendency of modern secularists is to paint the FFs as religiously unconventional; from the opposing camp, there is a tendency to play up FF piety, to the point where there originated in the 1950s a preposterous RC urban legend that George Washington was baptized Catholic on his deathbed. (There isn't the slightest possibility that this is true, BTW.) The truth seems to be that ,for a lot of the FFs, the details of religious belief just weren't that important.



I maybe wrong, but I think Goerge Washington stopped taking communion after the war. Or was it during the war?

But it either during or after the war with Great Briton.



But like you said, it's kind of hard to know what that meant.




Also some of the FF's were clergy. However, alot of people don't know that.


This is one of the reasons why I focused on the Puritans, because they were some of the most radical.






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« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2008, 09:20:05 PM »

I have no problem admitting that this was historical fact. I guess what I was saying was, just because they were "Christians of some variety" doesn't mean I have to subscribe to their "variety" of Christianity.

Indeed, but I'm afraid I don't understand why someone would think you would "have to subscribe" to it.  Please forgive me for being a bit dense.

Quote
Nor do I have to accept modern politicians who base their political platforms on these historical facts.Therefore, if I do not subscribe to their version of Christianity, I reserve the right to question American history, our constitution, etc. and choose not to mindlessly accept American ideology, not based upon Orthodox Christianity, rather heterdox teachings as something "good" when it may in fact not always be "good." (Even though for the most part, I do any how  Cheesy )

Just IMHO

I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand your points.  What politicians do you have in mind and what platform points please?  One may 'question American History' even if one is a member of the same Church or group as some politician it seems to me.  Also, I can assure you that real history is not "mindlessly" accepting "American ideology".

Perhaps this would be a useful point to address some more questions and try to look at things with real history:

What ideology is somehow contrary or not in agreement with EO?

Is it really so or are there faithful EO who *do* agree with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights?

Why would a political entity that was EO be naturally "better" then one that was not?  or would it in fact be "better" rather then different?

Why would it be a "bad thing" if the United States was shaped by Anglicans/Puritans/Methodists in it's politics and laws? 

Ebor
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« Reply #69 on: May 16, 2008, 10:07:24 PM »

The Puritans did have an Influence in getting us to fight against the King.

I will admit that I don't have the evidence to prove that it was thee greatest influence. But I think I at least proved that it was "an" influence.

It is my personal view that it was a great influence. But we can agree to differ on that.

We will have to agree to differ, because it is a personal view, as you say.  But real history is not only personal views.  There are primary sources, the words of the people involved in which they set out their ideas, their beliefs and their motives, ideally.  You have showed sources stating that there were persons supporting the Revolution who came from a Puritan background. But even your chosen material from Mcgrath does not support that idea that it was a "great influence" or that the Revolution was religiously based.   I'm afraid I do not see, yet, how there is any deep "puritan" line of thought in the men who were involved in the Continental Congress and the writing of the Declaration or the many works prior to that on the subject of independence such as Patrick Henry of Virginia or John Dickinson of Pennsyvania/Delaware or even Samuel Adams, John Adams or John Hancock of Massachusetts. 

Quote
They were very upset with King George for being nice to the Canadian French Roman Catholics. This was also one of the reasons why the British civil war got started. The King at that time was seeking to have good political relations with Roman Catholics, and the Puritans(back then) didn't like that.

Britain acquired Canada from the French as a result of the "French and Indian War" which was the North American part of the "Seven Years War" which involved most of Europe and other parts of the globe.  I'm not quite sure what you mean by "being nice" to the French Canadians. If you mean the "Quebec Act" which is counted as one of the "Intolerable Acts" of 1774, that was not purely or even mostly about religion.  It was an attempt by the British government have amiable relations with the inhabitants it's true.  But while it gave the RC freedom to practice their religion it did not give them an elected assembly/political power.  The point that caused the greatest agitation in the Colonies was the enlarging of the Quebec Territory to include lands that would have cut off westward expansion such as the Ohio River country. 

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006592

The French exploration and trading in this area was part of the cause for the "French and Indian War"  With France colonies in Canada and in the Mississippi River Valley connecting the two via the Ohio Country would have effectively trapped the British Colonies along the Eastern Seaboard.  No room to expand, no increase in land.

The other "Intolerable Acts" were much more close to home, as it were:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intolerable_Acts

May I ask what your sources are for the RC influence on the English Civil War please?  It is true that Charles I had married Henrietta-Marie de Bourbon who was RC.  But the war was much more political with the Parliamentarians and the Royalists.

Quote
When looking at the reactions of the Puritans, you will see alot of similarity between the two wars. Like I said before, my focus was on the puritan influence.

I'm afraid that *you* may see "alot of similarity" but I do not.  I see politics and power and in the case of the American Revolution much more stress on the economic.

Quote
Maybe sometime in the future I will focus on the secular humanistic influence, but that wasn't my focus at this time.

?? "secular humanist influence"?  On the American Revolution?  I'm sorry, but that is an anachronism.

Ebor




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« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2008, 10:45:14 PM »

Also some of the FF's were clergy. However, alot of people don't know that.

Well, it's usually right there in the real history, such as the Rev. John Witherspoon, delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress in 1776, the only clergyman to sign the Declaration, president of Princeton College.  What's needed is to teach Real History!  Smiley Wink  With documentation and primary sources! 

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This is one of the reasons why I focused on the Puritans, because they were some of the most radical.

Do you have some particular people in mind?

Ebor





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« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2008, 10:25:35 AM »

I would like to bump this thread because of the questions I asked in my reply to JustinianPrima a couple of weeks ago (the third post above).  I'm not trying to be irritating. I really am interested in what people think about the subjects.

Ebor
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