In the Jamestown village was one interesting feature, at least to me, and that was the meeting house. Church services were required every day of the early settlers' lives. They were to attend twice a day every day and three times on Sunday. If you were to miss a church service, you lost your food ration for the day. If you were to miss a second service, you lost your food ration plus you were whipped with a cat of nine tails. Miss a third service and you were executed.
One in the tour group asked the burning question, "Was anyone executed for not going to church?" The guide answered that historical records did not show that anyone was. Such punishments, or at least the threatening of them, were not uncommon for that era's churches, but it raised a question in my mind. Has the pendulum swung in the opposite direction? The moral laxity and unregenerancy of the church of this era calls for a reclamation of a robust understanding of church discipline, a teaching practically abandoned by most modern, and especially Baptist, churches. Perhaps we should not return to execution or scourging, or even threatening it, but at least practice what the Scripture says about church discipline.