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Poly Ticks wrote: .. later in his political leadership of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as a means to an end, the end always being a "Holy Commonwealth" which brought honor to God.
It seems to me Mr. Winthrop may have been a little impatient, no doubt God decreed the separatists flight from Leyden, Holland to MA, but that does not mean Mr. Winthrop was without sin. He fled with his group giving up of the reformation of the then visible Church in England, separating themselves from the Puritans' efforts toward the same..a Holy Commonwealth, in their native land.
I struggle with the ministry when they have bound themselves by oath to God to their office, leaving it for politics or uniting the two. I believe them separate institutions, in the same commonwealth under one Head; the Creator of all men and Redeemer of his elect.
I disagree with the papacy. The Lord Jesus as the suffering servant of Jehovah, rose from the dead, was seen by men, ascended his Mediatorial throne in a truly glorious revolution, and quickly began the bringing down of powers and principalities leading captivity captive and giving gifts to men.
Matthew 10 34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. 37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.---NASB
"But this depressingly common interpretation simply misses the primary reason for the emigration to the New World. Winthrop and most of those who emigrated with him were always far more concerned about what God deserved than about what man needed or desired. To the degree that issues of political and religious freedom were addressed at all, they were addressed by Winthrop, both in his "Modell" sermon and later in his political leadership of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as a means to an end, the end always being a "Holy Commonwealth" which brought honor to God. When, therefore, values of "freedom" or "liberty" came into conflict with values of holiness and righteousness before God, the latter values always took precedence.
So what might this mean for Christians struggling to make biblical sense of political options today? Here are a few possibilities:
1) Adams, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Kerry are all correct at least in this: the United States should seek to set an example to the world 2) If Winthrop was correct the answer must be taken from Scripture. More specifically, the answer must be taken from the character of God. That is, who God is and what God says must be the source of any definition of political virtue" (Prof S.T.Logan)