By Jay Rogers
Published April 4, 2008
In 1636, Anne Hutchinson, the wife of one of Boston’s leading citizens, was charged with heresy and banished from Massachusetts Colony. A woman of learning and great religious conviction, Hutchinson challenged the Puritan clergy and asserted her view of the “Covenant of Grace” – that moral conduct and piety should not be the primary qualifications for “visible sanctification.”
Her preachings were unjustly labeled “antinomianism” by the Puritans – a heresy – since the Christian leaders of that day held to a strong “Covenant of Works” teaching which dictated the need for outward signs of God’s grace. The question of “works versus grace” is a very old one; it goes on forever in a certain type of mind. Both are true doctrines, however, the “Covenant of Grace” is true in a higher sense.
Anne Hutchinson’s teaching can be summed up in a simple phrase which she taught the women who met in her home: “As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart cannot go astray.”
Actually, what Anne Hutchinson was preaching was not antithetical to what the Puritans believed at all. What began as quibbling over fine points of Christian doctrine ended as a confrontation over the role of authority in the colony. Threatened by meetings she held in her Boston home, the clergy charged Hutchinson with blasphemy. An outspoken female in a male hierarchy, Hutchinson had little hope that many would speak in her defense, and she was being tried by the General Court.
After being sentenced, instead of going to Cancun Mexico or Punta Cana Dominican Republic, she went with her family to what is now Rhode Island. Several years later she moved to New York where she and some of her family were massacred by Indians. One of her descendants, Thomas Hutchinson, later became governor of Massachusetts.
Anne Hutchinson pioneered the principles of civil liberty and religious freedom which were written into the Constitution of the United States. The spirit of Anne Hutchinson, the first woman preacher and fearless defender of freedom in New England, survived her persecution and death and it survives even until this day.
See also: The Boston Awakening
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
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Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
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