The Power of the Written Word It can be said that the thirst for religious freedom and the power of the written word drove the formation and development of America. Having the Bible accessible to every individual led to personal convictions, unique interpretations, and a pursuit of freedom from religious oppression. When men and women began reading the Scriptures for themselves, it fueled a desire for personal, spiritual, and national liberation.
Religion as a Catalyst Religious persecution and the struggle for religious freedom are not novel concepts in history. However, in America’s context, it played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s destiny. The Puritans, oppressed for their beliefs, sought refuge in a new land, paving the way for others who faced similar adversities. Their determination to seek freedom and establish a place where they could worship freely was paramount in America’s early history.
The Birth of a Nation The Founding Fathers were well aware of the implications of intertwining religion with governance. They witnessed firsthand the dangers and oppressive nature of such a union. As such, they were determined to set a precedent where the state wouldn’t dictate religious beliefs or practices. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were not merely political documents; they were statements of intent to create a nation built on the principles of freedom, including religious freedom.
The Ongoing Struggle Though the nation’s foundations were laid with noble intentions, America has continuously grappled with the challenges of maintaining this delicate balance. The mask of Guy Fawkes serves as a symbol of an ongoing rebellion against perceived authority. It reminds us that the quest for freedom, both religious and otherwise, is ongoing and that vigilance is required to safeguard these liberties.
The Legacy of The Word The availability of the Bible to the masses led to a seismic shift in religious and political thought. As individuals began to understand and interpret the Scriptures personally, it led to a desire for spiritual freedom, which in turn sparked the drive for political freedom. The Scriptures provided guidance and direction and were instrumental in shaping the moral and ethical fabric of the nascent nation.
Conclusion: The Path Forward While the journey of America began with the quest for religious freedom, the nation now stands as a beacon of hope for various liberties. It’s a testament to the enduring spirit of those early pioneers who sought freedom from religious persecution and the vision of the Founding Fathers who recognized the importance of separating religion from the state. America’s story, shaped by the hand of God and driven by the pursuit of freedom, serves as a reminder that freedom, once attained, must be protected and cherished. The responsibility now lies with the current generation to uphold these values and ensure that the sacrifices of those before them were not in vain.
Ten Things We Learn:
- Religious Roots: The foundation of America was heavily influenced by the desire for religious freedom.
- Personal Interpretation: Accessibility of the Bible allowed individuals to have unique interpretations, fueling a personal connection to their beliefs.
- Religion as a Motivator: The journey of the Puritans, who fled persecution, demonstrates how religion catalyzed America’s early developments.
- Founding Fathers’ Intent: The nation’s creators intentionally separated church and state to prevent the dangers they had witnessed of combining them.
- Significance of Foundational Documents: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were not just about governance but were also deeply rooted in ensuring religious freedom.
- Symbols of Rebellion: The Guy Fawkes mask symbolizes a continuous rebellion against perceived authority, emphasizing the ongoing nature of the fight for freedom.
- Scriptural Influence: The Bible’s availability led to a significant shift in both religious and political perspectives in the nation’s formative years.
- Moral and Ethical Framework: Scriptures played a crucial role in molding the ethical and moral fabric of America.
- The Continuous Quest: While the foundation was set, the journey to maintain the balance of freedom remains an ongoing challenge.
- Ongoing Responsibility: The importance of current and future generations upholding the values of freedom to honor the sacrifices of the past.
In addition to above article:
Greg, John, and Pat have a discussion about America: how we got here and how do we stay here? We need to get educated. One nation under God, because the Bible of God and the God of the Bible was made known to men. 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
|King JamesVI of Scot & of England and Ireland|
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
|Queen Mary I of Scot|
good starting place is with Queen Mary of Scots who was King James the VI of Scots and King James I of England and Ireland 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 I 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
|Elizabeth I Queen of England|
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
|Guy Fawk Mask|
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”.
After the Catholic Guy Fawk’s 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
|Declaration of Independence|
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.
OATH – A Pledge of Allegiance to be an American Citizen.
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.
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 be over 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