Paul's Passing Thoughts

Susan Dohse: Colonial Puritanism; TANC 2014 Sessions 1-3

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

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SUSAN 2014 SESSION 1

Do any of you remember the popular show Myth Busters? Well, Myth Busters was a popular show at our house, and the goal of that team of men was to disprove popular myths by using a scientific, investigative approach. And often, they would take legend, superstition, or even a stunt that had been re-done on television to see if it could really happen without the effects of Hollywood. And they would break it up into a scientific investigative approach and then determine if the myth was definitely a myth, could probably happen or that it would occur all the time.

Now I would like to provoke you to take on the role of a myth buster and rather than accept what’s in our textbooks or what you read on your online blog spots and what you hear from the pulpit, rather than accept that as factual, biblical or true. And this is why we call TANC a discernment ministry. It’s a ministry that encourages believers to become Bereans, searching the Scripture daily to verify what is taught from the authority of God’s word.

Well, the topic that I have chosen to present to you is based on a historical research approach, and I have selected three myths that I would like to try to bust. And I assure you that I could have and should have delved deeper into my topic, but I allowed time restraints to hinder me–cooking, cleaning, playing with the grandbaby. But I did read eight books and twelve inches of material that I printed from online resources. But what I want to do really is just to plant a seed. I want to plant a seed and hopefully provoke you to germinate that seed. You take my point of view, you look at my references, and then you go and research for yourself and see if you come up with the same or similar conclusions that I have.

Well, there’s a plethora of myth surrounding the early history of America, some from secular humanist research, many from the Christian historians, but you have to be careful. You have to be careful when you elevate historical figures to the rank of hero and you begin hero-worshiping historical figures without knowledge. Or you hold a group of people in such high regard that we are encouraged or we are told to encourage our children to emulate them. So therefore, it was important for me to frame any research that I did with dependable historical records, direct quotes from personal writings, sermons and speeches. Now the word “dependable” is – I glean that from a colonial historian who wrote the book The Times of Their Lives: The Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony by James Deetz – Now he said that if three or more historical documentations from firsthand accounts–court and church records, personal diaries, pamphlets and books–if three or more of those documentations agree fully or mostly, then the assumption can be made that that source is probably reliable, more reliable than not reliable. So I try to do the same as Mr. Deetz in preparation for this talk. I tried to look at historical documents, church and court records, personal diaries, pamphlets and books.

There is a resurgence of interest and emphasis on the Puritans today–their beliefs and their practices. In our Christian schools, heavy in the homeschool movement, and in our churches, there is a push to pattern how we study the Bible, their theology and how to contend for the truth from the Puritans in order to make significant changes that will reap eternal results. I quote from a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, “No greater tribute to them could be made than to follow their example in this regard.” And “in this regard” is referring to how to study the Bible, their theology and how to contend for the truth. Well, that emphasis is causing me to have some grave concern, because there is a lack of foundation based on fact and true historical perspective. Myths are being presented as facts, and the same criticism that’s heaped upon those secular humanists who want to shape America’s history by eliminating and covering its Christian roots need to apply to those who try to shape America’s history by eliminating and covering its Calvinist roots.

Here are the three myths that I would like to bust. And if I don’t bust them, at least poke a hole in the balloon.  Myth number one: “The Puritans came to New England because of religious persecution and a desire for religious freedom.” Myth number two: “God could make any people his chosen.” And myth number three: “The Puritans have a biblical worldview.” These are three key foundational truths to what the Puritans believed. They believe they – why they came to New England, that God could make them his chosen, and what their worldview was.

Well, myth number one, the Puritans came to the New World because of religious persecution and a desire for religious freedom. The Puritans immigrated to establish God’s commonwealth on earth, a community of visible saints following the Bible and to found churches on a congregational model. The king gave permission for the migration in order for England to acquire new materials, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians. It’s very important to remember what was in their charter, the Massachusetts charter that was given to those colonial-minded people. Acquire new materials, particularly gold and silver, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians.

Now English history reports that the Puritans back in England wanted to purify the Church, the Church of England. And that’s how they got that nickname “Puritans.” The pilgrims, who were called separatists, chose to break away from the Church of England and many even left England for Holland. The pilgrims of Plymouth are not the same as the Puritans of Massachusetts. Both were Calvinists, but they were not the same. The pilgrims of Plymouth were Puritans, seeking to reform their church, and the Puritans of Massachusetts were innocent pilgrims who moved to this land because of religious conviction, not persecution. The name Puritan, it was initially an insulting moniker, very much like when the believers in the New Testament were first called Christians. It was really not a praiseworthy title. It was to make fun of them. Well, the same was the title Puritans. That title was to poke fun at them. (more…)

A Typical New Calvinist Membership Covenant: People really Sign These Things?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 27, 2013

Recognizing our responsibility to obey all the Scriptures and the need to distinguish ourselves from the world as a community of believers, all members shall affirm their commitment to please God in all areas of life by entering into this covenant:

Humbly depending on the Holy Spirit’s enabling and aiding us, and affirming The Truths We Treasure, we Covenant to Glorify God by striving:

To walk in obedience to the Scriptures by loving the Lord God with all our heart, all our souls, and all our minds;

To walk in harmony with our fellow Christians by loving them as we love ourselves;

To be faithful in our witnessing, to uphold our testimony, to defend the doctrines of the Word of God, and to expand the Kingdom of God;

To be faithful in edifying, exhorting, rebuking, discipling, encouraging, praying for, and meeting the needs of the Body of Christ;

To exercise our spiritual gifts to build up and to serve one another;

To be submissive to one another in Christian love;

To regularly attend the services of the church and not forsake the assembling of ourselves together;

To be submissive to the God-ordained elders as to those who give an account for our souls;

To give heed to the ministry of the Word;

To attend the ordinances of the church faithfully, approaching them in a serious, spiritual, and holy attitude;

To honor the Lord in our finances in all things including regular, proportionate giving to the church;

To be consistent in our own study of the Word;

To love our wives as Christ loved the church or to submit to our husbands and to teach and train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;

To extend the Lordship of Christ into all areas of our lives;

To abstain from practices harmful to our physical bodies and injurious to our testimony;

To purpose that if we relocate we will, as soon as possible, unite with another church of like faith, where we can carry out the spirit of this Covenant and the principles of God’s Word. (Proverbs 13:24; 23:13; 29:15; Malachi 3:8-11; Acts 2:42, 47; Romans 8:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15; 16:2; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 12:13; Ephesians 4:11-14; 5:23-24; 6:1-4; Philippians 1:3-6; Colossians 4:2-4; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Hebrews 10:24, 25; 13:17; James 2:12; 5:13-14; 1 Peter 2:5,9; 3:7; 1 John 2:19).

3. Requirements for Membership

Any person who desires to unite in membership with the Chapel must profess repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, submit to Him as Lord and Sovereign, be Biblically baptized following this profession, and must not be under Biblically administered church discipline. Having met these requirements, this person shall joyfully enter into this Covenant with this people, expressing willingness to follow the beliefs and practices of this community, and evidencing willingness to submit to its Elders.

4. Admission to Membership

The Elders shall be responsible to receive applicants into membership. This shall include reviewing the application, conducting an interview, and evaluating their standing when coming from another church. Upon determining that the applicants meet the requirements, the Elders shall present them to the church as members.

5. Categories of Membership

Resident Membership is for those active, participating members who comprise the majority of the Chapel. Associate Membership, having all the privileges and responsibilities of membership except that of voting, may be extended by the Elders to those who will be absent for an extended period of time, or who are at the Chapel for a short period of time and wish to minister while maintaining membership in their home churches.

6. Congregational Voting Privilege

To be eligible to vote at congregational meetings, one must be a resident member on the day of the vote, at least sixteen (16) years of age, in attendance at the meeting and not have forfeited their voting privilege by being placed on the inactive list or being subject to discipline. The Chapel may permit absentee ballots in exceptional circumstances as requested of and granted by the Elders on a case-by-case basis.

7. Removal from Membership

Membership will end by physical death, transfer of membership to churches holding to Biblical doctrine, or by the process of corrective discipline ending in

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