As a kid growing up in Minneapolis, to me nothing could be duller than the Presbyterian church that I went to. Or the Methodists, or the Lutherans. And so when I started learning about the dangerous and rebellious world of the early Protestants, I was astonished.
My family, the Puritans, didn't leave England in the 1600s just because they felt like moving somewhere. They were running for their lives. Because they were part of a growing group of people in Europe who were protesting how the established Church was being run.
It started with a German Friar named Martin Luther, who, quite literally protested (which is where the word Protest-ant comes from) by nailing up a list of grievances on a door. Doesn't sound like much nowadays, but in the 1500s that was the kind of thing that could get you killed in places like Spain, by the Inquisition. It was heresy.
Keep in mind that the church that we now call the Catholic Church was the Christian Church. It had been established through the Disciple Peter, upon whom Jesus declared that he would build his church on. Peter means rock. And all authority of the church grew directly from that time, leading up to Popes, etc.
The Protestants rejected all of that. And while you may say that nowadays freedom of Religion is no big deal, this was the 16th Century. The authority of the Kings depended on their rights given by divinity. If you follow me here, take away the divinity, you take away the divine right of Kings. If you're a King, that had to make you pretty darn nervous!
So being a Protestant was a dangerous and rebellious thing. Protesting the established church got people burned at the stake. And my family, the Puritans, were just as unhappy with the Anglican Church as the Catholic Church. As you can imagine, this was pretty upsetting to Kings like Henry VIII, and King James.
Take a look at a modern Protestant church today. It's not a place of pomp and ceremony. It's a plain place to worship God.