Hope You Can Believe In

During times of fear and crisis, the great temptation of men and nations is to leave the tested and true paths of liberty and choose to follow charismatic leaders who promise to solve their problems and bring change. We have entered a time such as this in America. European socialism is now being implemented at all branches of our government. Our liberties, our heritage and our prosperity are hanging in the balance.

But there is hope. World history is full of examples of nations and individuals who have successfully resisted the overreach of unaccountable power. These great stories of hope and encouragement have been virtually forgotten, censored or untold for a generation.

The story of the incredible transformation of England from tyranny to liberty in the 17th century is a lesson for the ages and produced one of the greatest freedom documents of history. For centuries, the English had forgotten the blood bought documents of liberty. Illiteracy, no Bible in the hands of the people, the Great Plague, church corruption and the “divine right” kings had kept them addicted to the worship and fear of “celebrity.”

At the start of the 17th century, the English were filled with hope that their new young “Christian” leader would bring real change. The English believed he would bring reform and solve their problems. But instead, King James I used his “Christianity” as a cover for even further economic, religious and political corruption. James I proceeded to bankrupt his nation. He spent the nation’s wealth on fighting foreign wars and giving money and lands to his lovers, insiders and special interest groups.

When James I finally died in 1625, his son, Charles I, continued his father’s corruption. He used the Star Chamber, a kangaroo court with no jury or appeal, to persecute believers, bypassing the Parliament and the courts. In Scotland, Charles and his sons tortured and martyred 18,000 ministers and their wives. History proves that out-of-control, unaccountable leaders always persecute Christians. Here’s an example of that persecution and how it resulted in a great turning point in the history of liberty.

On June 30, 1637, John Bastwick and two of his friends were found guilty of criticizing the Arch-Bishop. These godly men were condemned in the Star Chamber. Before all of London they were placed helplessly in the stocks, beaten and had their ears cut off. While Bastwick was being tortured, his wife took a ladder and ascended the scaffold. She gathered the tattered pieces of her husband’s ears in a napkin and then kissed him. The bishop in charge of the torture raged, “What do you think of your husband now?” She said, “I have never been more proud of him than I am at this moment.” The men were then dragged away facing life sentences in the dungeons.

Read more at World History Institute