The Freedoms of Modern Day
Sometimes, while studying the Reformation era, I am so very glad we live in tolerant times. I made a list of the freedoms we enjoy that people of the 16th century did not:
Scenario 21st century: Upon asked your religion, you answer “Protestant,” and get an “okay,” usually followed by an “I am . . .” and (hopefully!) constructive dialogue.
Scenario 16th century: Upon asked your religion, you answer “Protestant,” and, depending on the country, you are shunned, imprisoned by the authorities, or attacked outright by disgruntled civilians.
Scenario 21st century: Upon speaking the Lord’s Prayer with those of various faiths, you use the Protestant version and get a noise of interest, an acknowledgment, or indifferent silence.
Scenario 16th century: Upon speaking the Lord’s Prayer with those of various faiths, your end doxology is immediately noticed and you are either condemned or questioned until the “truth” is sufficiently known and action is taken.
Scenario 16th century: Your faith becomes known and you suffer a loud knock on the door. It is probably (a) guards and perhaps local authorities, who have prepared a jail cell and perhaps a trial (legal or not), (b) church officials who beg you to recant, or (c) friends or relatives warning you they are in danger and so are you.
Scenario 21st century: You are told that you *must* participate in the tenets of another denomination (and you feel it is wrong to do so). You refuse and are perhaps shunned but basically left alone.
Scenario 16th century: You are told that you *must* participate in the tenets of another denomination. Upon refusing, you are either forced to do so or are imprisoned.
I cannot fathom how much we take for granted, compared to what our spiritual predecessors suffered. Often when there is a knock on the door I think of how horrifying that unexpected pounding must have been to our ancestors living in fear. Long live the Reformation and freedom!
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved