Thursday, February 14, 2013
Cathars and Separatists
In Southern France Cathars became extinct not as a result of a strict adherence to their peculiar beliefs, but because they became associated with a nationalistic fervor that sought independence from the French Crown. The crusade against the Albigensian Cathars, became a political matter that suited both the Established Church and French Kings and Profiteers. Worth recalling that before the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United Sates (around 1791) former colonies had their own Established Churches. All except the colony dominated by Quakers and the colony of Rhode Island, which was founded by a preacher called Roger Williams who had been exiled by the Congregationalist colony of Massachusetts after being tried and convicted of sedition and heresy. Kind of like Socrates, he'd been broadcasting 'diverse, new and dangerous opinions.' The Meeting House where Roger Williams preached, which was his own home in Providence Rhode Island, became what is most likely the first 'Six Principle Baptist Church' in the American Colonies. The year was 1652 and Roger Williams would have been considered a Liberal, an Abolitionist and a Free Thinker. He was also a "Separatist" in matters of spirit, which means that he wanted a "wall of separation" between "the garden of Christ" and the "Wilderness of the World." And worth wondering whether something like a Bible in a bank would have earned a rebuke from him.