By Elizabeth Prata
Our own nation was founded on principles the Puritans brought with them as they fled persecution to start afresh in the New World. As a native southern New Englander, I was surrounded in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with puritan history. Statues, plaques, history, tours, homes, ships…from the Puritan and colonial era abounded. As a child growing up and a teen and young adult, I used to wonder deeply at the impetus that brought these luminaries here, like John Winthrop, William Brewster, Roger Williams…in school we studied The Mayflower Compact, went on field trips to see The Mayflower…
I pondered and wondered and thought the nagging question in my young mind: WHY did these people leave the comforts of a known world, to drift across a wild ocean in a leaky, small boat, to land where Indians may kill them, or scarcity may famine them to death? All to pursue religion? Just for religion?? I thought it was a worthless endeavor, not being saved and not knowing God. Yet my young mind struggled with the question. After all, they upended their lives to do this thing, there must be something to it all…wasn’t there?
I wondered, until the moment arrived that God had set from the foundation of the world: I became saved and knew God and His worth. Pursuing Him across continents, oceans, and new worlds was worth it for the privilege of worshiping Him in freedom.
I owe a debt to those long-ago people who struck a blow against satan and committed to founding a ‘new world’ here on earth so they could preach and teach in freedom about the world to come. Their act ignited my young mind, which the Spirit kept aflame until the MOMENT when He designated my salvation would come to life.
Today beginning at 1:00 Eastern time (10:00 am Pacific time) is the anticipated Puritan Conference! Hosted at Grace Community Church, a slate of Puritan experts will be preaching/teaching about the Puritans and their theology, among other interesting topics. Today’s schedule begins with:
10:00 am General Session 1: The Theological and Historical Foundation of the Puritans • Steve Lawson
11:30 am General Session 2: The Puritans on Adoption • Joel Beeke
I am eagerly looking forward to this talk later today by Joel Beeke: “The Writing of the Puritans.” And on Friday, General Session 9 • Ian Hamilton “The Need for the Puritan Mindset Today.” And so on, check out the schedule at the link above.
FMI on the schedule over the next 3 days, speakers, etc, go here:
I’m sure the livestreams will be recorded for later. I exhort you, if you have time, to tune in at some point and learn about these people who made such an impact on this world…and the next.