Americans worship Thunder? (Matthew Henry Romans 1)

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Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
In Matthew Henry's commentary on Romans 1, he has the below to say:

It has been observed that the most refined nations, that made the greatest show of wisdom, were the arrantest fools in religion. The barbarians adored the sun and moon, which of all others was the most specious idolatry; while the learned Egyptians worshipped an ox and an onion. The Grecians, who excelled them in wisdom, adored diseases and human passions. The Romans, the wisest of all, worshipped the furies. And at this day the poor Americans worship the thunder; while the ingenious Chinese adore the devil.
I think I follow most of these, but I am not following his comment about Americans. Matthew Henry lived 1663-1714. The British colonies existed 1602–1776. In historical context, is he referring to the American Indians, and their worship of nature?

Passage reference:

Romans 1:22-23
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.​
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Clearly, an insightful prophesy concerning loud worship bands with heavy bass and fog machines.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
You're not the only one, eh?
Alternative Options:

We understand it is not possible to accommodate every attendee’s sound and music preferences. To come alongside those that are looking for some alternative options while still engaging in corporate worship, we offer the following options to consider:
  1. 1With this statement is a map of the sanctuary showing the places where the sound volume is lower based on the acoustics of our Worship Center. You can use this to help select a seat better suited to your preferences.
  2. If you find there is not a seat that suits your preference, earplugs are available at the Welcome Center in the lobby upon request.
  3. For those who require additional hearing assistance, wireless hearing assist packs are available upon request at the tech booth.
The Bible tells us that our worship is to be both loud (Psalm 33:3, Psalm 47:1, Psalm
150:5) and soft (Psalm 131:2, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 33:30) and we do our best to honor
these commands. Our heart is to be intentional, faithful, and Christ exalting as we strive to have the best balance of volume, dynamics, and mix for our church. Our prayer is that the things we put our hands to, would ultimately bring glory to God
and disappear from sight (and sound) as we behold God’s glory in Christ together.
Beyond decibels, song choices, and mix preferences, our hope is for you to engage
with God through corporate worship in a deep, real, and unhindered way.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Alternative Options:

We understand it is not possible to accommodate every attendee’s sound and music preferences. To come alongside those that are looking for some alternative options while still engaging in corporate worship, we offer the following options to consider:
  1. 1With this statement is a map of the sanctuary showing the places where the sound volume is lower based on the acoustics of our Worship Center. You can use this to help select a seat better suited to your preferences.
  2. If you find there is not a seat that suits your preference, earplugs are available at the Welcome Center in the lobby upon request.
  3. For those who require additional hearing assistance, wireless hearing assist packs are available upon request at the tech booth.
The Bible tells us that our worship is to be both loud (Psalm 33:3, Psalm 47:1, Psalm
150:5) and soft (Psalm 131:2, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 33:30) and we do our best to honor
these commands. Our heart is to be intentional, faithful, and Christ exalting as we strive to have the best balance of volume, dynamics, and mix for our church. Our prayer is that the things we put our hands to, would ultimately bring glory to God
and disappear from sight (and sound) as we behold God’s glory in Christ together.
Beyond decibels, song choices, and mix preferences, our hope is for you to engage
with God through corporate worship in a deep, real, and unhindered way.
Oops. I meant to write, "We're not the only ones, eh?"

But that is sad. It's sad when people try to attach Bible verses to a priori views.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
Rutherford's writings are chalk full of references to the "Indians and Americans" who "never heard a word about Christ" and have no immediate hope of salvation. Sometimes the Brazilians got a mention too. It was apparently a common rhetorical way to allude to remote pagans who were utterly beyond the reach of the Christian missions of the day.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Rutherford's writings are chalk full of references to the "Indians and Americans" who "never heard a word about Christ" and have no immediate hope of salvation. Sometimes the Brazilians got a mention too. It was apparently a common rhetorical way to allude to remote pagans who were utterly beyond the reach of the Christian missions of the day.
In 2019 some African Christian in a nice house is reading American articles about some poor African in a mud hut who has never heard of Jesus, and this African Christian then sighs as he reads the news about abortion, and homosexuality, and godlessness in America and wonders if we can be saved.
 
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py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Perhaps a reference to the American love of firearms?
I would think it odd for Henry to refer to Natives as "Americans", especially considering the day in which he lived.
"American" is used with reference to the inhabitants of the North and South American continents encountered by Europeans by contemporaries of Matthew Henry. In James Tyrell's The General History of England, "Americans" is a synonym for "Indian" (1697). Indeed, a 1678 dictionary, The New Book of English Words defines mestizo as "the breed of Spaniards with Americans."
 

RJ Spencer

Puritan Board Freshman
"American" is used with reference to the inhabitants of the North and South American continents encountered by Europeans by contemporaries of Matthew Henry. In James Tyrell's The General History of England, "Americans" is a synonym for "Indian" (1697). Indeed, a 1678 dictionary, The New Book of English Words defines mestizo as "the breed of Spaniards with Americans."
I recant. I can admit when I am wrong. Thank you for the correction.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Of course, RJ -- it's a minor point people can't be expected to know.
 
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