Who Ever Thought We’d Make It This Far?
When I drive through any Small Town USA and see a plethora of churches of varying denominations, I am so proud to be a Protestant with a Reformation heritage. Think about it. In the 1500s and 1600s, there was no freedom of religion. The idea of a country where Protestant believers could not only live but thrive was an impossible concept. Looking back over history, it seems amazing that we endured and triumphed. The proof is in our churches . . . through God’s mercy and our ancestors’ unshakable faith, we have indeed survived and thrived!
A recent Sunday drive allowed me to look upon Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, Reformed, and possibly other churches. While detractors might say that is unflattering to Protestants, proclaiming an alarming variance in doctrine, I say it is a testament to free thought and to everyone being able to fit in where their beliefs are most suited. We must also remember that many Protestant faiths are very similar in the “basics.” Instead of wondering why others believe “error,” we ought to learn and study what exactly the differences are. Use doctrines as a springboard, not as grounds for judgment!
On that same note, as a historical fiction writer, I often “dive into” whatever era I am researching at the time, and this makes it even more touching to contrast the past with the present. Out and about, I notice all sorts of vehicles. Vehicles with Protestant college names on them, vehicles with Catholic rosaries hanging from the mirror. Freedom of religion. Keeping in mind that in the past Christians of varying denominations would have persecuted each other, it is indeed refreshing to see that everyone may go freely wherever they wish, and may share the road without fear of repercussion. How different from the world in which our ancestors lived!
So, yes, I love going along and seeing all those churches. The Reformation was initiated in suffering and went through fire and blood (literally) to reach the freedom of the modern era. Let us all be proud!
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved