Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Fight or Flight
In 1631, John Winthrop, an early Pilgrim who would become many times Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gave multiple reasons why He would leave his homeland and lead the first large wave of immigrants to the New World. Interestingly, religious freedom was not one of them.
Listen to some of his reasons—
--This Land grows weary of her Inhabitants, so as man, who is the most precious of all creatures, is here more vile & base than the earth we tread upon, & of less price among us then a horse or a sheep.
--All other churches of Europe are brought to desolation, & sins
---All arts & trades are carried in that deceitful & unrighteous course, as it is almost impossible for a good & upright man, to maintain his charge & live comfortably in any of them.
-- The fountains of Learning & Religion are so corrupted as most children (even the best wits & of fairest hopes) are perverted, corrupted, & utterly overthrown by the multitude of evil examples & the licentious government.
Winthrop’s response was not to fight the culture he found himself in, nor strive to change his country but instead to “fly into the wilderness” as he said.
So they flew.
Reading today Winthrop’s reasons I cannot help but see parallels with our own day. There are differences certainly but one stands out to me. Where could we fly if one day we felt the need to do so as He did ? The earth is filled and if you look carefully across the globe (I confess I have) you will see no such option available.
What then ? I think back and remember that one flag early American patriots used picked up again by some in our own day—the Gadsden Flag. The coiled snake that Franklin said about it “She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders”
We must fight.
The “city on a hill” that Winthrop envisioned is now the fort under assault.
Pick up the sword, it is time.