One day, sitting at tea, a Puritan farmer from Massachusetts in 1640, Baptist seaman from Rhode Island in 1740, and scholar of the Enlightenment in Virginia in 1765 got into a quarrel while a storm raged outside the window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean of the fairly new land of America. Their beliefs about the world were conflicting as each man took a turn to defend their positions on God, preaching what they believed to be correct.
“As one of God’s chosen people in the year 1640, I believe that your souls are in great danger because your faith in God’s saving grace is flawed. Do you not follow God’s will? I am one of God’s chosen people to live in His will and to farm my land given to me by those predestined for salvation, His Elect, those He saved from the eternal sin that plagues all human beings, those that live in the covenant with God for their eternal grace. For to live in God’s grace, we must follow the law as His law and attend church to hear His people preach His word. The educated men of our society preach God’s word in the Scripture and give us the strength in morality to be predestined for salvation. Those are the people with the skills valued by all of Massachusetts. God gives them the land that they deserve to raise their own and better our people. This makes them the better people. Those that are not members of our church, with no chance for salvation, may not involve themselves with godly pursuits such as politics. To make Massachusetts worthy to be called God’s land, Puritans must make it worthy by making our efforts worthy of being in God’s name. We must save each other from times of waning faith. We must act to please the Lord God. We as people of faith must-“
“Enough! That is enough! Americans have changed from then to 1740, now too modern to share the image of their souls, helpless to the Divine Grace, or to acknowledge the sovereignty of our sole God, our Father. As a Baptist who has come a long way over the sea to Rhode Island, I believe piety must grow again for people to overcome their unfaithful values on rationality that do not come from the Holy Spirit. God is our only hope! We must acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sin. Adults must be baptized for their sins, but the spirit of the clergy grows cold as they ordain ways that do not connect our individual souls to God, our emotions to our Father. Each person who reveals to God their faithfulness and reveals that the Holy Spirit dwells inside their souls shall reach salvation. Why is intellect so important to America now? Intellect is no glory in a corrupt soul. There is no greater glory than having one’s uncorrupted heart seen by the Divine Spirit. Therefore, only those educated, such as myself, in the truth must preach God’s word. The corrupt have no right to make it so men leave God’s only truly glorious church. We as people must treat one another as equal, thus hear each other’s voices, for that is what God wishes for us to do because salvation is for all souls. We are God’s people, thus, we must speak true; and you, modest farmer of 1640, are stuck in the days of God’s view on us as a people, but we as individual souls must seek communication with God, our Father.”
“You are both foolish and lack the understanding of a scholar from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in the year of 1765, learnt in the Enlightenment. You, Baptist seaman, believe that we may communicate with the Holy Father? God is no longer available to His people. We may not communicate with the glorious “Watchmaker,” whose natural laws have created this world, which runs as a model for time. We are given the power of reason and observation from God, to use under the natural laws that he created for this world. It is now up to man to control this world. Reason shall be our faith to men who are learnt in the way of natural laws to create a new order of harmony and balance, free of the corruption of unnatural laws, which are to be removed to create a perfect world, God’s world. For this perfect world, our civil government must be run on the consent of the people in accordance to our natural rights, our birthrights. Only reasoning and the removal of the problems created by man can allow for a perfectly harmonious world. Our own logic and reasoning that was given to us individuals to use to create a perfect world must be used. God gave us these powers, and He wishes we use them to observe the world and decipher natural laws to utilize to allow us to live our lives. God’s will is unknown.”
“Are you saying He does not exist?” the Puritan farmer questioned the scholar.
“No, I am merely stating that-“
“That is blasphemous! You are both wrong! You are both destined to be condemned to eternal damnation for not fulfilling the wishes of the Lord God. Your souls shall-“
“Silence yourself!” The Baptist seaman, getting tired of the beliefs of inequality and what he believed to be the farmer’s misconceptions about the truth and grace of God’ glory and salvation, struck the Puritan farmer on his left jaw with an open palm.
The three men noticed the storm outside was not raging as badly as it was, and each man was tired of the company of the others. They all parted ways believing their ideas of God as the truth. This conflict in religion shows the development of the foundation that allowed for America to progress throughout the centuries that started from being as closed-minded as the Puritan farmer of 1640 that followed the laws of the clergy and church as if they themselves were the word of God. After the Puritan belief of the inequality of people under God came the Baptist seaman in 1740 that encouraged that one’s individual relationship with God is one’s responsibility to strengthen through openness to what is considered holy. Finally, under the influence of the Enlightenment came the scholar from Virginia in 1765 that asserted that logic and reason would create for a perfect world because of man’s inability to communicate with God.