Roger Williams And The Christian Malmima Essay

1771 Words8 Pages
WINTHROP AND THE PURITAN DELIMMA Throughout history Christians have been troubled by living in a world where the unrighteous reign and prosper. Some Christians, namely the monks, responded to this by secluding themselves in their monasteries away from the rest of the world. While this grants them the ability to be righteous together, it also prevents them from spreading righteousness to the rest of the world. John Winthrop and other Puritans saw the fault in this and dealt with the problem of being holy in an unholy world. Separating from the world was a just as much a sin as taking too much pleasure in the world was a sin. Withdrawal from society was not the answer to this problem—the answer lie in figuring out how to exercise moderation…show more content…
One notable one in Winthrop’s history is Roger Williams. Williams was well liked by all and was seen as a godly and strong spiritual man by Winthrop. However, Winthrop saw Williams as “a Separatist indeed, who would separate…from everyone who would not denounce erroneous churches” (109). This kind of legalism led Williams into a downward spiral from separating from the Church of England to separating from the churches of Boston to separating from the church at Salem to eventually separating “from everyone but his wife” (122). Once he had done this and reached the conclusion that it was impossible to have a pure church on Earth he began preaching and praying with everyone. Winthrop saw this turn “as ridiculous as the former separatism” (122) and could only hope that others would find the delicate balance he had. Williams is a prime example of separating too far that it leads to the other extreme. The other extreme is also something that Winthrop dealt with by walking the thin but clearly drawn line of living in the world but not being of it. After the decline of King Charles Parliament began to rule England again and it was once more safe for the Puritans to worship how they pleased. Unfortunately, in their eyes at least, it was also possible for people of different religious views to worship how they pleased. This policy of toleration was abominable to the Puritans because they thought that everyone should worship as they
Open Document