Today we hear much bluster about the Bible and what we as a so-called Christian nation should be doing accordingly. While the Pilgrims sought to break away from the Church of England, the Puritans wanted to reform it. While the Pilgrims wanted government that had no involvement with church matters, the Puritans had other plans though.
The Puritans had a goal of purifying the Anglican Church. They wanted to do away with all of the pageantry leftover from the days of Catholicism in England. Because Henry the VIII never left the Catholic Church in his heart, he allowed many of the practices to continue, such as marriage, ordination, confession, communion, and Last Rites. The Puritans were opposed to these practices.
While the Pilgrims also had no use for these ceremonies, they didn’t want to change the church (which they felt was impossible), but desired to be rid of it completely. They figured that it was easier to start again.
Arriving in New England, the Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in a town they named Boston. Life was hard, but in this stern and unforgiving place they were free to worship as they chose. The Bible was central to their worship. Their church services were simple. The organ and all musical instruments were forbidden. Puritans sang psalms a Capella
The most intriguing detail for me, is that the Puritans did not believe in marriage as a religious ceremony, but in actuality something that the state should ratify. They believed more in the concept of Civil Unions than any kind of church wedding. Their argument for this was simple. This, and other ideas, were not in the teachings of the Bible, but were simply made up along the way.
Armed with this information, I now find it more ironic than ever when people say that marriage is between a man and a woman. They tell us that the Bible says it is so… but apparently, they’re not reading it properly. While the Bible definitely has some things to say about the nature of marriage, it does not state anywhere how, where, or who. It certainly doesn’t say that only opposite genders should be married.
If anything, the Bible has a sick sense of humor. Did you know that the Bible permits a slave owner to marry his slave, plus his slave’s slave. Let us not forget Solomon his many wives and concubines. Also, the Bible does permit a rapist and his victim to marry-in fact, they’re ordered to.
Is that really the type of country we want?