The Puritan religion started in England as a reformation in efforts of purifying the church. This was based off of the ideas of Martin Luther and John Calvin as the men did not agree with the Roman Catholic church. Martin Luther believed that the teachings of the Bible was the source in which achieving salvation was made possible while John Calvin believed that God had the ultimate source of power. The Puritans that left England and came to America formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony in which they became known as the American Puritans. The main two ideas that came with the reformation was that the Bible was in supreme authority and that individuals had a direct relationship with God and this was not done through an institution or a priest. There were five main beliefs within this religion and this included absolute sovereignty, human depravity, predestination, covenant theology, and individualism. Absolute sovereignty was this idea that God has total control, and that nothing happens without his knowledge. An example of this can be seen when Reverend Samuel Parris delivered a sermon stating, “Our Lord Jesus Christ knows how many Devils there are in his church, and who they are.” When looking into the bigger picture of the Puritan religion of good versus evil, it always comes back to God having power over everyone’s lives. Human depravity is based off original sin which refers to the story of Adam and Eve. Eve ate the forbidden fruit as she could not resist the serpent’s temptation, Adam would follow her actions as well. This ultimately led them to disobeying God and allowing sin to enter the world. Adam and Eve made humanity evil by default of their actions. The only way to save the integrity of human nature is to serve God and live a pure life. God gives the humans the ability to respond to him and they should be forever grateful for this. Predestination is the ability of God to determine whether humans were to be saved or elected and who was to be damned. The Puritans believed only true followers of God could be elected to go to heaven as God had knowledge of everyone’s truest intentions. Although God decides a person’s faith he does have the power to change different outcomes based off the actions of an individual, this refers to Gods forgiving nature. If a person is lured towards the Devil and commits sin, then that person was never truly a Puritan and therefore should be damned to hell. Sin was unacceptable, and the Puritans tried to live a perfect life. They often believed anything pleasurable that brought happiness was the Devil’s way of trying to lure someone and take over their soul. Covenant theology comes from the ideas of Calvinism, and it is based on the relationship between God and those who follow him.
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