Tuesday, July 07, 2009

John Bunyan: Radical Heretic

In 1658, Bunyan was arrested and indicted for preaching without a license. He continued to preach, in spite of this, and avoided being imprisoned until November of 1660.

In that same year, The Restoration of the Monarchy by Charles II turned up the heat on John Bunyan's unlicensed preaching of the Gospel as the country returned to Anglicanism. As a result, unlicensed (non-Anglican) houses of worship were closed and all citizens were required to attend their Anglican parish church.

Under this rule of law, it became illegal for Christians in England to "conduct divine service except in accordance with the ritual of the church, or for one not in Episcopal orders to address a congregation."

Because John Bunyan no longer had the freedom to preach that he had enjoyed under the Puritan Commonwealth, and because he refused to stop preaching the Gospel, he was arrested on November 12, 1660 while preaching privately.

He was confined for three months, but, because he refused to conform and expressed his intention to preach the Gospel in opposition to this law, his confinement was extended for a period of nearly 12 years, during which time he wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress” his most famous work.

Bunyan was incarcerated for his faith because he refused to accept the lie that only special clergymen have authority to preach the Gospel saying, "If you release me today, I will preach tomorrow."


banjarphile said...

He did fight the status quo,
to a point-
He became the pastor of
Bedford Baptist Church in 1672.

Mike said...

As a fellow heretic, I "get" brother John. Say on Brother John, say on.