By Bill Potter
ome historians label the 17th Century Reformation Christians known as Covenanters, fanatics, bigots, and revolutionaries. They were devout believers who were convinced from Scripture that God should be worshipped only as He had commanded. They also believed that Jesus Christ—not the King of England—is the head of the Church. Upon those doctrines they would not compromise nor obey commands to conform to royal absolutism in the Church. Hundreds of pastors were expelled from their pulpits and a systematic persecution commenced which lasted from 1661-1688. More than 18,000 Scottish men, women and children were jailed, tortured, murdered or transported as slaves to the English colonies during the reigns of Charles II and James II.
The Scottish Covenanters are exemplars of fortitude, sacrifice, and martyrdom for Christ in a day in which the civil government disapproved of their beliefs. Most other Christians went along with the government mandates. Is there a point at which Christians today should disobey the civil authorities, and if so, when?.
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