Difference between puritans and separatists
Puritans vs separatists:
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Christianity is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings. It also considers the Hebrew Bible, which is known as the Old Testament, to be canonical. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians. Being one of the mostly followed religions in the world, Christianity has undergone many difficult eras where people and groups opposed their laws and Churches. In such a case, puritans and separatists play a great role. Although they are associated to the Christianity, the majority does not know the difference between the two parties. Therefore, this article will enlighten those who are blind to the differences between puritans and separatists.
Who are puritans?
The Puritans were members of a religious movement that began in England in the 1500s and lasted into the first half of the 1600s, when it spread to the American colonies. Throughout their history, the Puritans were viewed and treated in a variety of ways by both civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Often, they were grudgingly tolerated, and at other times they were severely persecuted. Charles I of England made efforts to purge all Puritan influences from England, which resulted in the Great Migration to Europe and the American Colonies. They were a group of people who grew discontent in the Church of England and worked towards religious, moral and societal reforms. The writings and ideas of John Calvin, a leader in the Reformation, gave rise to Protestantism and were pivotal to the Christian revolt. They contended that The Church of England had become a product of political struggles and man-made doctrines. The Puritans were one branch of dissenters who decided that the Church of England was beyond reform. Escaping persecution from church leadership and the King, they came to America. Puritanism is an extreme form of Protestantism which has as its central belief the absolute supremacy of God’s authority over all human affairs. There is therefore no need for the hierarchy of an Established (i.e. state sponsored) church, for example bishops. In 16th and 17th century England, they saw the Anglican Church as preserving too many forms that were too close to Catholicism, and therefore opposed it. They were also against all forms of what they saw as ‘ungodly’ aspects of lifestyle. This included brightly coloured clothes, long hair for men, music (particularly in church), dancing, the theatre, and ‘…all forms of innocent enjoyment” as one contemporary critic complained.
Who are separatists?
The term separatist is used in reference to many groups of people worldwide. Black separatists typically oppose integration and racial intermarriage, and they want separate institutions — or even a separate nation — for black people in America. Most contemporary forms of black separatism are strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic, and a number of religious versions assert that blacks — not Jews — are the Biblical “chosen people” of God. The latter is where the term is mostly used. The Separatists in that sense, or Independents, were English Protestants who occupied the extreme wing of Puritanism. The Separatists were severely critical of the Church of England and wanted to either destroy it or separate from it. Their chief complaint was that too many elements of the Roman Catholic Church had been retained, such as the ecclesiastical courts, clerical vestments, altars and the practice of kneeling. The Separatists were also critical of the lax standards of public behaviour, citing widespread drunkenness and the failure of many to keep the Sabbath properly. Separatists not only had given up on trying reforming the Anglican Church, they also wanted to separate themselves from the corruptions of the world. They believed they were chosen of God and wanted to set up an environment where they could worship as they wished. Referring to themselves as the Saints, the Separatists believed that they had been elected by God for salvation (see Calvinism) and feared spiritual contamination if they worshiped with those outside of their congregations, often referred to as the Strangers. In 1608, a community of English separatists decided to escape persecution by moving to Holland, an area long known for its toleration. Dutch society was so welcoming that the Pilgrims, as they had come to be known, eventually feared that they were losing control over their children. In 1620, they set out for a more remote location that would allow them to protect their community. This effort resulted in the founding of Plymouth Colony.
What is the difference between separatists and puritans?
It is believed that puritans and separatists are similar in most aspects. All Puritans were separatists, but not all separatists were Puritans. A separatist was any one who did not want to a part of the Church of England they wanted to be Separate. The came to the New Wold the US did not exist at the time. It was a colony of England. And they came here to escape persecution in England because of their religious beliefs. In England at the time it was treason to be a separatist. One could and did lose their head. Puritans wanted to change the English church, separatists wanted to rebel against it. A separatist is someone who wants to break away from current practice. A puritan is a specific type of Christian who believes that religious institutions (historically Roman Catholicism) have corrupted the worship of God. They tend to believe that people should return to a purer form of worship and foster a more personal connection with God. Separatists wanted to get separated from the Church of England. They did not believe in the actions of non-believers also, and aimed at separating themselves from non-believers. However, the Puritans did not aim to separate themselves from the Church of England. They still wanted to be considered as part of the Church of England. However, they aimed at reformation of the Church of England, from the influence caused by the Catholic Church.
From a puritan point of view, the worship of God has indeed been corrupted and tarnished by the introduction of religious schools. Through such strong perception, the puritans attempted to change the church in England by Advocating for a new approach in worship such that, each person had to forge a personal relationship with their God. Separatist on the other side of the balance were the group of people who opposed the puritans and their ideas. According to the separatist, they aim at protecting the poor people from exploitation by powerful classes and their main motivation is based on economic equality. From a religious perspective, separatist as the name suggests are pursuing a complete separation from the Church of England and also the non-believing sect of English society. Puritans were interested to remain a part of England and to work for biblical reformation by remaining there. They declared themselves as English, even after their migration to New England. They wanted their new colony to be a biblical witness setting an example of the right kind of religious practices, and wanted to set an example for Old England and for the entire world. The Separatists aimed at achieving reformation without tarrying, though they were aware that it could separate them from the church and the nation. They also declared themselves as English, but aimed at innovative political and religious identity.
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