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Models for Reformation: John Winthrop, Massachusetts (1588-1649)

By Jay Rogers
Published March 31, 2008

Long before becoming the governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop had a deep understanding of God’s divine purposes for the colony. “We shall be a city set on a hill,” he said of Boston – where the church was the center of life during those early years of the city’s history.

While en route to the New World on board the Arbella, Winthrop wrote a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity,” in which he outlined the purposes of God for New England. He described a harmonious Christian community whose laws and government would logically proceed from a godly and purposeful arrangement.

John Winthrop recognized the plans and purposes that Jesus Christ had for our nation. “A New Order of the Ages” was to be set up in which the individual was free to act and choose according to his free will; yet be dedicated to a lawful social order.

But Winthrop also gave a warning: “The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause us to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.

These and many other ideas are contained in “A Model of Christian Charity” a sermon which Winthrop delivered somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the Arbella. He set out clearly the revealed purposes of God and warned that the success or failure of their endeavors would depend on their dedication to the ideal of selfless community.

History shows us that this ideal was never realized. However, Winthrop himself was a man of unquestionable integrity and deep humanity. He laid the foundation for generations yet to come. Today, the youth of America are helping others more than ever, as they donate car parts, donate food, donate money, and donate time to causes they believe in. God Himself will shortly raise up a new generation of young people who will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

CHRISTIAN CHARITIE: A Modell hereof By John Winthrop

A MODEL OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY: The modern language version

See also: The Boston Awakening

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Your comments are welcome!

Are you a Congregationalist?! What do you make of the Cambridge Platform of 1648, bringing the Plymouth and Boston
Colonies Religious order into more or less one following-just wondering!-Cathy

Posted by Cathy on 12/02/2008 07:33 PM #

We remember Anne Hutchinson. Where was Winthrop’s understanding of God’s divine purposes when he banished a faithful servant of God for speaking the truth.

Posted by Anne Lives on 11/14/2009 11:11 PM #

Real heroes are the people who in the face of adversity, refuse to betray their ideals or ethics, no matter what the cost. Sounds to me as if Anne was the real hero and Winthrop was a tyrant and an oppressor.

Posted by Jennifer Gray on 01/16/2011 01:53 PM #

I just happened to come accross this website while doing research on Anne Hutchinson. If you take a look at the diaries of John Winthrop you can see that he had already formed an oppinion of her before the trial, and that all he needed to do was stroke the male egos of the men on the jury. Plain and simple, she was a women, and unlike Winthrop’s wife, Hutchinson had a mind of her own, shaped by her father and mother. The thinking of the men in the 1500’s was that women should be silent in the church, however, if you read your bible, as Anne so justly pointed out, the book of Titus, states that women should fellowship with other women and also be teachers. Since we did not live in the colony days, we cannot attest to the characters of the people who lived back then. We can, however, read the diaries and transcrips left behind. I think that these are a testaments to the true nature of the people that lived back then.My oppinion is that Winthrop was threatened by Hutchinson and others who thought like she did. The fact that she was a mere woman made it easier for him to “win” his case against her. He was anything, but a great man.

Posted by Nicole Lose on 09/15/2011 03:27 PM #

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

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As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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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.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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