Contradictions In The Puritan Religion
Life is full of many contradictions, and the basis of the Puritan religion is no exception. The Puritans believed that they were God's chosen people, as mentioned in the Bible. They saw themselves on a level above the average man, but in reality, their religion was full of inconsistencies. The Puritans believed in something known as the Doctrine of Elect,' hinted at in Romans 8:28-30, 9:6-24, and later at the Synod of Dort.. The doctrine contradicted the more widely held belief of Pelagianism, the belief that man could redeem himself through acts of charity, piety, and by living an unselfish life. It came to be one of the greatest theological discrepancies of all time. Evidently, the Puritan beliefs were almost entirely contradictory.
Some of the Puritan beliefs were both simple and believable. Others would seem outrageous today. Puritanism was founded on the principles and beliefs of John Calvin, and one of the major ideals they focused on was the doctrine of predestination. Calvin believed that the grace of God was the ticket into Heaven and that his grace could not be earned. God's grace was bestowed upon a select few regardless of what they did to earn it. This doctrine' stated that God determines a mans' destiny, whether it be redemption or condemnation, regardless of any worth or merit on the person's part. It could be compared to the failures of Communism in that no matter how hard a person worked, how devout a person was, how often a person went to church, there was no way to get into Heaven unless they were chosen. Aside from the doctrine of elect, the Puritans had other outrageous beliefs including the degradation of one's self, the utter and total dependence on divine grace for salvation, and the wrath of an angry God.
The God worshipped by the Puritans was not a forgiving God, and definitely not a happy God. The Puritans fear him and tried zealously to make themselves worthy in his eyes....
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