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THE PURITAN’S “CHRISTIAN” AGENDA?
One of the opinions most persistently and widely held among American evangelicals today is that America had essentially Christian origins. They rest heavily on an appeal to the Puritan heritage as the most influential Reformation tradition shaping American culture. If it were shown that the Puritans who settled America did not establish truly Christian cultural principles that were in some important ways perpetuated, then a strong suspicion might be raised that the entire case for a now-lost Christian America rests on rather nebulous foundations. (See: The Search for Christian America, p. 28.)
The fact is, the Puritans were the forerunners of today’s Kingdom/Dominion/Reconstructionist teaching. The Puritans believed that they were carrying to America true Christianity as decreed by God, especially as written in the Old Testament. They believed too that they were on a divine mission to America, a place specially appointed by God to be the “New Israel,” a theocratic “city upon a hill.”
Since the Puritans considered themselves God’s chosen people, they concluded that they had the right to take the land from the heathen Indians. The American Indians were the “new Canaanites” in America’s “Promised Land.” The fruit of Puritan theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these “Canaanites” to Christianity; failing that, it was acceptable to slaughter them in the name of Christ.
For example, the Puritan massacres of the Pequot Indian tribe on May 26, 1637, and again on July 14, 1637, were deemed by the Puritans to be directed by God. Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!