America’s Roots: A Discussion on Faith, History, and the Making of a Nation
The Historical Context
America’s founding wasn’t an accident; it was the result of centuries of events, decisions, and the persistent tug-of-war between kingdoms, religious beliefs, and the idea of authority.
The Power and Role of Kings
Since the beginning of civilization, kings and kingdoms have shaped societies. God, according to many beliefs, is the ultimate authority, even over monarchs. The concept of dual loyalty to God and country is evident in America’s history, with some prioritizing nation over divinity.
Queen Mary of Scots and the Ascension of King James
Queen Mary’s turbulent reign, rife with religious tensions, romantic intrigues, and political machinations, culminated in her forced abdication in favor of her infant son, King James VI of Scotland. James’ Protestant upbringing would heavily influence his rule and the religious trajectory of England.
King James’ Protestant Reign and the Catholic Challenge
Religious wars, especially between Catholics and Protestants, were central to King James’ reign. With his Protestant beliefs challenging Catholic hegemony, tensions culminated in events like the Guy Fawkes conspiracy.
The Guy Fawkes Legacy
The modern-day mask of Guy Fawkes has become a symbol of resistance and rebellion. But its origins lie in a plot to overthrow the authority of King James, a reflection of the enduring conflict between Catholics and Protestants.
The Birth of the United States and the British Colonial Era
King James and Queen Elizabeth I’s combined reigns saw the early phases of British colonization in the Americas. This laid the foundations for the emergence of the United States, with a unique interplay of political, religious, and cultural factors.
Religion, Allegiance, and the Struggle for Identity
The struggle between the Catholic Church and emerging Protestant denominations laid the groundwork for the future American nation. From the oaths of allegiance to the translation of the Bible into accessible English, religion played a central role in shaping individual and national identities.
The Journey of the English Bible
From John Wycliffe’s early translations to King James’ Authorized Version in 1611, the English Bible’s journey has been a story of perseverance, politics, and the drive to make the Word of God accessible to all.
The Declaration of Independence and America’s Founding Principles
America’s birth was influenced heavily by religious freedoms and the ability to practice faith without government interference. This foundation was laid partly by the availability of the Bible in English and the values it imparted.
Conclusion: America’s Divine Direction
America’s origins are deeply intertwined with religious freedom, the journey of the Bible, and the struggle against tyranny. The nation’s story, as seen through its early influencers like King James and Queen Mary, is a testament to the enduring power of faith and the drive for autonomy.
Addition to the article:
Greg and Pat have a discussion about America: how we got here and how do we stay here? We need to get educated. America just didn’t happen it has a history. All throughout history there have been kings and kingdoms. God is the one who establishes all authority even kings. Americans have been guilty of having one foot in one kingdom and the other foot in another. Conservatives have been happy to make America their kingdom. It’s God and country and not country and God. We are headed to a caliphate, tyranny and ultimately bondage. The question is how did we get here? How did we get to the King James Bible which represents the Word of God in the hands of every man? What it represents is more important than what some people have made of this version itself. There were some key events and key people in history that went down a direction that caused certain events to unfold that have had profound affects to the church and America even to this day. A good starting place is with Queen Mary of Scots who was King James the VI of Scots and King James I of England’s mother. Kings James would eventually be the one to sponsor the 1611 King James Bible. Prior to his rule his mother Queen Mary of Scots ruled Scots. Queen Mary of Scots was eventually lured by the church of the day and eventually arrested and imprisoned as they tried to shame her for adultery and the choices she made regarding her husbands. She was imprisoned in Loch Haven Castle, never to see her son King James VI again. During her imprisonment she was forced to abdicate her throne as Mary, Queen of the Scots to her infant son. King James assumed and was named King of the Scots July 24, 1567 at 13 months. His care was entrusted to the Earl and Countess of Mar in Stirling Castle. King James’ upbringing was paramount to what would happen later in his life. They raised him and brought him up as a Protestant not a Catholic. There was a religious war between Catholics and Protestants and whether the Pope should be over the King and the church verses the King being over the church. The Protestants were defined as denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth” and more broadly, to mean Christianity outside “of an Orthodox or Catholic church.” Several tutors were sought out to train and develop King James into a God fearing, Protestant King who accepted the limitations of monarchy.
We learn that James, King of Scots mother, Mary, escaped from her captivity only to be captured and imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I, Queen of England researched and felt that James would be the rightful blood line successor to the throne of England. She began secret correspondence with him working out all details for him to pursue her as successor to her throne after her passing. On March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth died in the early morning hours and King James was proclaimed King in London, he became King of England and Ireland on the same day. In his first year he survived two assignation attempts. It was during his mother’s and his rule that the battle between Catholics and Protestants continued and there was conflict with him because of his Catholic mother. King James was distrusted by other nations for his repression of Catholics. They continued to discuss how today we are seeing people wear a mask as a protest. The mask is a mask of the catholic man Guy Fawkes. On November 4-5 in 1605 on the eve of opening the second session of James parliament the Catholic man Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar of the parliament building guarding a pile of wood not far from 36 barrels of gun powder with which Fawkes intended to blow up the parliament House the following day and cause destruction. King James would later say that Fawkes was trying to destroy “Not only…of my person, or my life and posterity also, but of the whole body of the State in general.” This is the mask that you are seeing around the nation and the world today. The mask of Guy Fawkes. Realize what that statement represents, knowingly or unknowingly it represents destruction of present authority and blowing it up, destroying it all. After that attempt King James went through a period of time of ruler ship without consulting parliament. In America, according to our nation’s design, described in detail in the U.S. Constitution, the people are rulers, “kings” if you would”, under God. In his and Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, the British colonization of the Americas began which we now know were the first seeds of the United States of America. King James even signed “The Treaty of Burwick in which the killing of his own mother was approved. It was this treaty that secured his rise to power as King, but it was at the cost of his mother, Queen Mary I who was executed by Queen Elizabeth of England. The executioners knelt before her and asked forgiveness. She replied, “I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope, you shall make an end of all my troubles.” Her servants, Jane Kennedy and Elizabeth Curle, and the executioners helped Mary to remove her outer garments, revealing a velvet petticoat and a pair of sleeves in crimson-brown, the liturgical color of martyrdom in the Catholic Church…” As she disrobed she smiled and said that she “never had such grooms before … nor ever put off her clothes before such a company”. She was blindfolded by Kennedy (her servant) with a white veil embroidered in gold, and knelt down on the cushion in front of the block, on which she positioned her head, and stretched out her arms. Her last words were, “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”.
Mary was not beheaded with a single strike. The first blow missed her neck and struck the back of her head. The second blow severed the neck, except for a small bit of sinew, which the executioner cut through using the axe. The executor then picks up Mary I, Queen of Scots head, lifts it in the air and says “LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.”
After the Catholic Guy Fawkes’ attempt to destroy him and England’s leadership; King James, stepped up his control over the church in a greater way. King James sanctioned harsh measures for controlling non-conforming English Catholics and 1606; Parliament passed the Popish Recusants Act which could require ANY CITIZEN to take an Oath of Allegiance denying the Pope’s authority over the King. The Act forbade Roman Catholics from practicing the professions of law and medicine and from acting as a guardian or trustee; and it allowed magistrates to search their houses. Today we have the second and fourth amendment in the U.S. Constitution to forbid this from happening. The Act also provided a new oath of allegiance, which denied the power of the Pope to depose monarchs. The person who refused to take this oath was to be fined £60 or to forfeit two-thirds of his land if he did not receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at least once a year in his Church of England parish church. This act also made it HIGH TREASON to obey the authority of Rome rather than the King. Upon King James VI’s death in 1625, realize it would only be 151 YEARS later- when the founding fathers of America would pen The Declaration of Independence in 1776 to begin a new fledgling nation! WHY? They wrote about their 27 reasons why in The Declaration of Independence which started by them writing it to the KING OF ENGLAND who merged the Church with his kingdom and had placed himself over the Church and the Anglican Church and he told all his subjects that if they were to leave the Church which he is the head of they were committing high treason against England. England ended up doing the same thing the Catholics did.
At the same time the Founding Fathers understood the importance of allegiance to a nation and even to this day we still require every new citizen to take the oath of allegiance; but we failed miserably in requiring citizens to live up to this oath.
OATH – A Pledge of Allegiance to be an American Citizen.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce, and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have here-to-fore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I TAKE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
In the midst of this there was the Bible version that was going to lead to the birthing of a nation. The followers of John Wycliffe undertook the first complete English translations of the Christian scriptures in the 15th century. These 1409 translations were banned. This translation predated the printing press but was circulated widely in manuscript form, often inscribed with a date earlier than 1409 to avoid legal ban. The second version was put together in 1525 by William Tyndale, an English contemporary of Martin Luther. Tyndale’s translation was the first printed Bible in English. In 1539 Tyndale’s New Testament and his incomplete work on the Old Testament became the basis of the Great Bible.
This was the first “AUTHORIZED VERSION” issued by the Church of England during the reign of King Henry VIII. When Mary I succeeded to the throne in 1553, SHE RETURNED THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO THE COMMUNION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITH and many English religious reformers fled the country, some establishing an ENGLISH-SPEAKING COLONY AT GENEVA. Under the leadership of John Calvin, GENEVA BECAME THE CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF REFORMED PROTESTANTISM AND LATIN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP. They undertook a translation that became known as the Geneva Bible. This translation dated 1560 just six years before King James was born. As time progressed and Queen Elizabeth took the throne in 1558 they sought after a new translation which resulted in the Bishop’s Bible, which was a revision of the Great Bible and an attempt to replace the Geneva Bible. However it failed to displace the Geneva translation as the most popular English Bible of the age, in part because the full Bible was only printed in lectern editions of an extraordinary size [BIG ONE!] and at a cost of several pounds. Accordingly, to English lay people it was overwhelming to read the Geneva version was made available in small printed versions at a relative low cost. The Bishops’ Bible printed over 50 editions, whereas the Geneva Bible was reprinted more than 150 times.
However, a key meeting took place in May of 1601 in which King James VI of Scotland was in attendance of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Up to this point the Bible was in Latin and the Catholics held the Bible captive under “king pope.” Then there was the John Wycliffe Bible, the William Tyndale Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Bishop Bible and now two years later at age 34 after he ascended the throne of England King James I of England.
It wasn’t until the Hamilton Conference of 1604 (the King James Bible Conference).
The newly crowned King James convened the Hampton Court Conference in 1604 in it were representatives of the Church of England, including leading English Puritans. That gathering proposed a new English version of the Bible in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the Puritan faction of the Church of England which eventually would become the “Authorized King James Version 1611 Bible” You can say what you want to and how God does it and who He uses, the Word says, Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in men’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s plans that prevail. Proverbs 21:30 – There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. The word of God was now available in the hands of every man that they may know God for themselves and learn of his ways and expectations. Man was free to seek God individually. As a result of many having the word of God much persecution followed which pushed the puritans out of England and eventually to land on Plymouth Rock. It also pushed our Founding Fathers as they continued to experience persecution from King George ultimately leading them to signing the Declaration of Independence and declaring our independence from the King of England resulting in the American Revolution only 151 short years later after the death of King James. Today we have a constitution that includes a bill of “civil” rights. The very first amendment would insure the government will no longer put its nose in religion. America, how did we get here? It got where it is today by the hand of God. What caused it to come to pass? Oppression and tyranny. What was the one thing that set men to walk out the freest, most powerful, most influential, most wealthiest nation in the world? It was the Bible getting into the hands of men! It was the word of God being understood by men! It was the beginning to follow God not men! It was men understanding that God is real, God is present and God is involved in the day to day affairs of men! It was realizing that now we know God, His Word and that all rights come from Him, we can believe Him for a nation which He is over, He blesses and speaks to the men of that nation. This way it can be a government of and by the people because they can hear from God. We must never forget the price those who have gone before us have paid so we can have the precious Word of God in our hands. William Tyndale was arrested and jailed outside of Brussels for over a year. He was later convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation and after which his body was burnt at the stake. John Wycliffe was declared a heretic and his writings were banned. The Council of Constance decreed Wycliffe’s works should be burned and his remains exhumed and burned and the ashes cast in the River Swift. May we never forget the price that was paid and may it spur us to seek the God of the Bible and allow Him to speak to us through His amazing and enduring Word. iAbide.org