Protestants, and the arrogance and heresy of reading the word of God
If you're like me, and grew up Protestant, you probably take reading the Bible for granted. It was always around, and had been recently translated in modern English when I was a kid. Well, the New Testament was, which was called "Good News for Modern Man".
Every hotel I've ever stayed in has a Bible, provided by the Gideons. And I just took reading the Bible for granted. That is, reading it myself and drawing my own conclusions. I don't remember much about the Youth Minister at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, but I remember that he taught us how to use the Bible. As kids, we had races to see who could get to a particular Book of the Bible fastest. And we learned about sharing with other people, which we called Fellowship.
But my family, the Puritans, would have been burned at the stake if they had even presumed to do that during the days of the Spanish Inquisition. Luckily, my family wasn't anywhere near Spain, but their heretical beliefs were enough to put their lives in danger, and that's why they left England in the 1600s.
Protestants rejected Priests, they rejected ceremony. And mostly they rejected the huge power that had accumulated in the hands of Monarchies and Churches since the founding of the Christian Church. And while the Spanish Inquisition took enforcement to an extreme that is still known today, the persecution and punishment of people who were committing the heresy of ignoring the Priests, reading the Bible for themselves, and in general showing contempt for the people in charge, was terrible.
Protestantism has left its mark on the United States. As a people, we tend to prefer things to be written down, so that we can interpret ourselves, not the edicts of those in power. This makes Americans a very arrogant people, who are very quick to knock crowns off of self-appointed experts.
If you're just learning about Protestant Christianity, it may seem confusing at first. If you're looking for short and easy answers, proclaimed by a person who professes to speak for God, you are missing the point. The Word of God speaks directly to you, and all you have to do is to read the Bible.
Posted by Brad Hall