Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts,
sanctify Christ as Lord (I Peter 3:14-15).
In 1634, Anne Hutchinson left England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony after the birth of her fourteenth child. She and her family settled in the growing city of Boston. A midwife who gradually gained a reputation for profound biblical literacy and great religious insight, she hosted large numbers of woman who became increasingly swayed by her perspectives. Men, too, liked what she said and her reputation spread.
Like her father, a pastor in England, she was increasingly concerned about ill-prepared preachers whose sermons reflected not the Bible or the teachings of Jesus but their own personal prejudices and biased perspectives. But, by confronting some, she got herself into trouble.
Anne Hutchinson is one example of the many who stood up for their beliefs, regardless of the consequences. Such courage is what our faith – and the early history of our country was founded on.
Sanctifying Christ as Lord: Her Stand for Religious Freedom
Anne Hutchinson was America’s first feminist and female minister. She stood against the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony as an early advocate for religious freedom. Freedom of thought, speech, and worship are gifts we enjoy thanks to her and many others who courageously stood up to the intimidating majority of pious religious and political authorities. In her case, these male leaders were convinced of their righteousness and her foolishness. At her trial in 1637, her prosecutors were well-spoken preachers and political leaders who ridiculed her, laughed at her, and belittled her ideas of grace, religious freedom, and God’s desire to speak to all people. They scoffed that a woman could even teach, or preach, or lead in worship.
Using only the Bible to defend herself, she stood before these men, forty-nine in all, and didnot fear. She wasnot intimidated. And she continued to sanctify Christ as Lord.
Imagine what it would have been like in that courtroom – the taunting, belittling, patronizing treatment. This October, in your heart, reclaim “Christ as Lord.” Be strong in your convictions, stand for what you believe in, and in doing so, offer others an example to do the same. You will find that you are not alone.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”