Why was North America seen as a new opportunity for what was called Pilgrims?
In England, the Church and Government were tied together.
There were Separatists who believed they weren’t to be controlled by the Government.
These separatists were considered treasonous and enemies of the Government.
They lived in danger of persecution and imprisonment.
In 1609, a small group of Separatists left England for Holland. After 10 years in Holland this small group decided to come to the US.
But not all separatists left England
There were leaders like Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Andrew Gray, who stayed in England. Many spent time in prison for their faith.
They were told not to gather in groups. So they did it in secret places. They met in the woods and in barns. Like believers in the first centuries who met in caves and in the catacombs.
They showed us that a church can grow and flourish despite cruel persecution.
These early leaders were called Puritans. They wanted to clean the Church of state politics. They were very well studied in scripture.
John Wycliffe lived earlier then this era. He watched 60% of his village die through the Black Death.
During this plague people would look healthy one day and then drop dead a day later.
History shows incredible prejudice against those who had faith in Jesus. Like the times of the Roman Empire believers were blamed for any national problems.
There are amazing feats of faith through history.
During the great missionary movements of the 1800s. Hudson Taylor arrived in Shanghai during the start of the Taiping Rebellion, the fourth bloodiest event in human history.
Taylor saw the city on fire. But he stayed 51 years and created one of the biggest missionary organizations (800 missionaries) in Christian history.
These men were more than just scholars.
They were people with lives that shine the glory of God.
Even with their flaws, we see the amazing glory of God using broken individuals to accomplish incredible purposes.
Where are we now in the history of the Church?
It’s been 6 months since we’ve attended Church. We went to an outdoor service yesterday.
It was all done in compliance to the Governments control. But where are we? Are we again allowing a new tricky State run power take over of the faith?
Is the answer political? Or, is the solution in our walk with Jesus? The Puritans were incredible students of God’s word. We’ve become more students of local and national news.
Was the virus promoted by meeting in a field? Will 60% of Snohomish be wiped out? Nah, it’s doubtful. Covid-19 has a mortality rate of less then 1% by those who get the diesease. And not that many people get it.
The answer is not political. The solution is a closer walk with Jesus. Psalms 1 is still pertinent and relevant.
There is a blessing if we don’t walk in the counsel of those who reject God.