Puritan beliefs, in essence, emphasized a relationship with God and Jesus Christ. They emphasized a pure relationship with the Father and the Son of God, hence, the name “Puritans.” Fundamentally, some Puritans did not hold to all the teachings of the Church of England as they believed this church had strayed from the faith – the true, pure teachings espoused in the first century by Christ and subsequently his apostles and other true followers. However, some wanted changes in the church, but did not promote the idea of breaking away from the Church of England.
The Puritans believed in a covenant or agreement with God. In other words, they believed that to have a right relationship with God and Jesus, an individual must hold to a covenant and do as God instructs, and this must be the thrust behind one’s thoughts and deeds every day. Puritans believed in the authority of the Bible. Their belief was that one’s foundation for success in this life, and beyond, was to adhere to the Bible’s teachings. The Bible was to be a guide for every person on how to live one’s life in a way that pleases God.
Puritans did not place great emphasis on a human leader in a church. They believed that the ultimate authority and head of the church was, is, and would always be Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Puritans believed in predestination and that those called by God are God’s elect.
In addition, in everyday life, Puritans desired to keep clear of any cultural traditions they deemed vulgar and lewd and immoral. They looked down on any entertainment that was unwholesome and unedifying. Puritans were concerned with practicing unadulterated religion – religion as they believed it should be practiced based on their view and understanding of the Bible. They sought to remove themselves from any behaviour deemed contrary to this kind of religion.
Puritans believed that God was an angry and vengeful God. They believed that God and the Devil were very real in their lives, and they were most certainly male. It was also understood in Puritan society that Heaven and Hell are specific locations, and God decides which one you will go to ultimately.
Puritans also believed that too much religious freedom would lead to corruption, thus it was important to study the Bible regularly. If one was not reading and studying the Bible, they should be working, whether that meant working in their fields or helping their neighbors. They were never to waste time. If they had nothing to do, they were more likely to get into mischief, allowing the Devil to enter their hearts and souls.