How did Puritans describe sin?


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Puritans believe in the concept of Original Sin. Because Adam and Eve sinned, all other humans are sinners, and it is an inescapable part of human nature. Through self-examination and strong effort to live a morally good life, people may be saved by God and overcome their predisposition for sin.

Puritans believe that Original Sin can potentially taint every thought and act in a person's life. Excess (in eating, drinking, and material goods) outward displays of sexuality, and even sometimes dancing were looked down upon in Puritan society throughout history. 

It is important to Puritans to be constantly striving to turn away from Sin and not live for Earthly pleasure.

The Puritan sect developed as a response to the Protestant Reformation, which many felt was too limited in enacting real reform. Puritans sought to reject any trace of "decadent" Roman Catholicism in the church, but were stern believers in the reality of demonic forces. Quite famously, the Salem Witch Trials were carried out in a Puritan society. Either ergot poisoning or the sheer elevation of public anxieties led to many people believing that witches and demons were rampant in their society, and twenty people were executed.

Above all, Puritans believed that life was lived in honor of the glory of God, and it took constant perseverance over internal and external demons to lead a good life.

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