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Today, September 13, exactly 388 years ago, in 1635, a 32-year-old man, a faithful follower of Jesus, was banished from Massachusetts. He was banished because he said that the state should have no power over the church – that faith is a personal response to Christ, not imposed by the church or ruling political power – and because he opposed the confiscation of land from First Nations peoples. The man’s name was Roger Williams, a former Anglican pastor.

After he was banished from Massachusetts, Roger Williams moved south. He met other believers – Baptists. He became convinced of their biblical view of the church as a fellowship of redeemed believers. So, having purchased land from the local First Nations peoples – not confiscating it – he founded Rhode Island, and in 1639, established the first Baptist church on North American soil – First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island.

Roger Williams believed that faith in Christ must be personal faith. No power of government, civil, political, or religious, has the right to coerce or impose belief upon anyone. We call this the separation of church and state. It’s a principle that is fundamental to biblical faith. Your faith in Christ is a personal decision by you, not forced upon you by government, nation, state, religion, society, culture, or even family. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Sometimes we take the efforts of those like Roger Williams for granted. He and many others suffered because they stood up for these biblical principles at a time when there was pressure to conform to the state and state religion.

Today, on the 388th anniversary of Roger Williams’ expulsion from Massachusetts, let's give thanks to God for the faith he has given you and that he brought you into relationship with himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour. And let’s go live the Lordship of Christ in all we do, say, and think today – by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

視頻大意翻譯(video Chinese translation):


在1635年,整整388年前的今天,一位32歲的男士,耶穌忠心的跟隨者,被驅逐趕出美國麻薩諸塞州。他被驅逐是因為他說國家不應該對教會有權力-這是他個人對基督信仰的回應,不是教會或政治領導政權強加的-他反對從原住民手中沒收土地。他的名字叫Roger Williams, 是以前聖公會的一位牧師。


Roger Willams相信對基督的信心必須是個人的信仰。因此,沒有任何政府權力、公民、政治、或宗教有權強迫或強加信仰給任何人。我們稱這個原則為政教分離。這是聖經信仰的根本原則。你對基督的信仰是你個人的決定,而不是政府、國家、宗教、社會、文化甚至家庭強加給你的。羅馬書10:9說:” 你若口裏認耶穌為主、心裏信 神叫他從死裏復活、就必得救。”

有時我們對一些人像Roger Williams的付出覺得是理所當然的。他和許多其他人受苦,因為他們在有壓力遵守國家和國教的方式時堅持這些聖經原則。

因此,今天,在Roger Williams被驅逐出馬薩諸塞州388周年之際,感謝神賜予你的信仰,透過主和救主耶穌基督的死亡和復活使你與祂建立關係。然後,讓我們在今天所做、所說和所想的一切事中,活出基督是主—靠著神的恩典和聖靈的能力。 


Grace and peace

Pastor Callum