Before the Puritans came to America, they made a temporary but extended stay in the Netherlands. This exodus from England came with conditions from the Dutch government.
The Puritans could move to the Netherlands, the government said, but the religious refugees would not be allowed to proselytize the very faith that inspired them to move there in the first place. Leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone, said the foreign government. And so it was.
The Puritans were happy for the opportunity to quietly live as they saw fit, without the constant political machinations that hovered over most church- and faith-related matters in England. So they worked hard. They enjoyed family life. And in their worship of God, they set the course for how the rest of the world would see them, regardless of how much overt evangelism they actually practiced.
Turns out the command in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations stood a chance even under those circumstances, because when the Puritans decided it was time to head across the Atlantic, the once standoffish Dutch practically begged them to stay. They were good citizens, in both tax-paying and moral fiber. So much so that people of lesser quality on both accounts had taken notice and in many cases reformed their lives accordingly.
By their fruits the Puritans were known, and the Netherlands enjoyed the increase. That’s how the Kingdom of God is supposed to work. We should strive to be like these folks who were instrumental in founding America, but we have strayed so far from our founding ideals that we now the toss the term “Puritan” around like a putdown.
That’s because we’re more like San Domenico School in California. San Domenico is a “Catholic” school that removed nearly all of the 180 religious statues that once adorned its grounds because, of course, it has fallen in love with the Baals of the age. Obvious buzzwords like “inclusive” and “forward looking” were brought to bear as reasons for the spiritual demolition at a school where as much as 80 percent of the student body doesn’t identify as Catholic.
That Catholic schools are often filled with non-Catholic students is nothing new. They have long been mission fields of social outreach to impoverished populations regardless of religious affiliation. What has changed immensely, though, is that various constituencies within the church no longer see those children as their spiritual mission field. Instead, they’re now the materialistic manifestation of their white liberal guilt. So Jesus Christ, who loved us enough to die for us, is no longer tolerant enough and has to go.
Parent Shannon Fitzpatrick said in her family’s time at the school, “the word ‘Catholic’ has been removed from the mission statement, sacraments were removed from the curriculum, the lower-school curriculum was changed to world religions, the logo and colors were changed to be ‘less Catholic,’ and the uniform was changed to be less Catholic.”
“Less Catholic” is a nice way of saying “full apostate.” This is not a uniquely Catholic issue, though.
Mainstream Protestantism has been overrun by the very same disease. And now those alleged sola scriptura evangelicals change their standards to conform to worldly politicians, whom too many of their leaders unfortunately become mascots for.
This is the very opposite of what the Puritans did in the Netherlands, which set the stage for what they did to create America. However, instead of showing the world God’s plan and purpose, we have over and over again let the world shove its plan and purpose right down our throats.
“The power of Christ compels you” has become “thank you, sir, may I have another.”
Exhibit A is Amy Skewes-Cox, who heads the San Domenico school’s board of trustees. She explained that “if you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of Saint Dominic or Saint Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling.”
The only thing alienated here is the likes of Skewes-Cox from her Savior, who perished on a wooden cross to bridge that alienation, lest it become permanent in a place called hell. Because when you strip away the Newspeak here, that’s really what we’re playing with — fire, as in hellfire.