The Puritans were a Christian group that emerged in the late 16th century in England. They believed in simplicity, hard work, and self-denial. They also believed in predestination. That’s the idea that God has already determined who will be saved and who will go to Hell.
The Puritans were a controversial group during their time, and their beliefs continue to spark debate even today. Let’s take a closer look at what Puritans believed in and how their beliefs shaped the world around them.
by David Stone
Puritans believed in the importance of a personal relationship with God
The Puritans were deeply religious people who held that faith in God was essential for salvation. To them, it wasn’t enough to just go to church on Sundays. One also had to have a relationship with God.
This relationship was close and personal, leading the Puritans to distrust the idea of formalized religion. They believed that complex rituals and creeds prevented people from being personally accountable before God.
This emphasis on an individual relationship with the divine made Puritanism so distinct and influential in early American history.
And predestination, or the idea that God has already determined who will be saved and who will not
The Puritans had a strict philosophy around predestination, believing that God chose whoever would be saved or damned
No matter what someone did in their lifetime, they could not change the predestined fate laid out for them. As such, some believers found this a very harsh concept to accept.
As difficult as predestination might have made life for the Puritans, however, it is easy to understand how it helped envelop their religion with a sense of faith and strength. Believing in predestination allowed them to hold on tightly to the hope that God’s plan for their lives was always best.
Hard work and self-discipline, a way to show their faith
The Puritans of the 17th Century lived by a set of principles that were founded on honoring God by working hard and self-disciplining their lives.
To them, self-denial and self-governance were tools for achieving nobility—they felt it was vital to display purity and a selfless way of life in order to honor the divinity of their faith.
These values were more than just important; they played a major role in all aspects of day-to-day life for the Puritan community as a way to remain dedicated to their faith.
To put it simply: self-discipline was core to how Puritans chose to live and believe.
Education helped people better understand the Bible
The group may be best known for its strict moral guidelines, but education was also central to its faith. They believed education was essential to living a successful life and understanding the teachings of the Bible correctly.
Puritans focused on education that revolved around the Bible and sought to familiarize children with it from an early age.
This education was trusted to help individuals resist temptation, prepare them for participation in the church, and search out a living that harmonized with religious commitments so that they could be better instruments for His glory.
Clearly, education meant much more than simply schoolwork to these devout believers.
Puritans believed in helping those less fortunate than themselves, such as the poor and sick
The Puritans were well known for helping others and being generous with those who didn’t have as much.
They strongly believed in helping the poor, the sick, and anyone else who was struggling in life. It wasn’t surprising to see them helping out in their local community or engaging in charity work on a much larger scale.
Giving back to those who needed it was ingrained into their culture, which made them an admirable group of people. From donating money to providing tutoring support, many around the world still aspire to follow the example set by the Puritans when it comes to helping others.
Puritanism was a unique and influential religious movement that had an immense impact on the world at large. They believed in predestination, hard work and self-discipline as a way to show their faith, education as a way to better understand the Bible, and charity towards those less fortunate than themselves.
While some of these beliefs might seem outdated or antiquated today, the Puritans and their beliefs still serve as an important reminder of how faith and morality can shape a society.
Today, we can look back to learn from the example set by this remarkable group of people and strive to become more like them in our own lives.