I am thankful for the life we have here in America. It is amazing on so many levels. No other country in the world has been blessed like this nation. Our foundations were forged in the fires of freedom that generations fought, bled and died to secure. Most people know that the first roots on the soil of this land were put down by the Pilgrims. What they don’t know is that they were seeking a place to raise their children away from the bad influence of Holland. They had fled to Amsterdam, Holland from persecution in England during the early part of 1606, and finally settled in 1609, in Leiden, Holland. By 1620 it was clear that the religious liberty encountered in Holland was negatively counterbalanced by a political and social climate tolerant of everything. This meant there were no clear spiritual standards to live by, and Holland’s liberty had become a cesspool of mixture, lacking moral fiber and clear absolutes.
The Pilgrim’s, who were Calvinists, had uncovered a fatal flaw in what they thought would be a place of promise and opportunity. They realized that tolerance, without spiritual truth, produces a society with no reason to establish moral clarity. They saw first-hand how unbridled liberty, negatively influenced their children, and destroyed the fabric and spiritual life of the culture. Historian, Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, uncovered what most people were never taught in school. He wrote 800 pages of historical evidence that shows the Pilgrims saw the seductive pull of unrestrained liberty as a bigger threat than the intolerance of England’s religious elite. This was the compelling force that finally drove them to one conclusion; it was better to face the possibility of death, in an untamed new world, than stay in the old world and watch their children be pulled away from God by the unrestrained liberty of a tolerant, and increasingly decadent society.
Thus, In the first week of September 1620, a band of 102 sojourners left Holland in a ship called the Mayflower. It sailed west-southwest for 66 days, crossing stormy seas as it headed for what is now the area of Virginia. They had been granted permission by King James, to plant a new colony in the fertile land south of the Hudson River. Here they would establish a place to live in ordered peace, free from the godless influence of the unrestrained liberty they had encountered in Holland. During the first week of November, as they began to approach the east coast of America, near Long Island, dangerous shoals were encountered and rough seas came up that took them 240 miles north of their intended target. On November 11th, 1620 they found safe harbor in what is now Provincetown, Cape Cod.
Five of the group had died during the 66 day trip, and they knew others, 45 to be exact, would die the first winter in Plymouth. However, before leaving the ship to establish their colony at Plymouth, the Mayflower Compact was signed by the leaders of the group. It’s design was to establish a clear biblical foundation and Christian spiritual focus for the life they all agreed to build together. After signing this covenant, they went ashore, and established the Plymouth Colony. With the help of Squanto, an english speaking indian, 51 men and 2 women survived the winter. The next Fall, after having an abundant harvest, they thanked and gave glory to God by celebrated the first Thanksgiving.
Below are the words of the Mayflower Compact, which is our national foundation. As you read it, let each word sink in. No matter what you may have been told, this is the truth behind our great nation. It was built by those who wanted to protect their children from ungodly influences. More than that, they wanted to worship and glorify God in all they did from a place of liberty. That liberty had to be based in Christianity because it would give them the moral foundation needed to stay pure and free. This Thanksgiving, be sure to thank God for what He did in 1620 and what He is still doing in America today!
The Mayflower Compact
The Mayflower Compact was a unique document drawn up as a covenant between the Pilgrims and God in heaven. It acknowledged their strong Christian faith, their desire to do all things for the glory of God and their allegiance to the earthly powers that released them to fulfill their vision. When you consider these factors, perhaps America would do well to return to these basics if we want to secure the continued blessing of God for future generations. That idea certainly is food for thought!
“In the name of God Amen· We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord King James by the grace of God, of great Britain, France, & Ireland king, defender of the faith, having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia· do by these present, solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant, & combine ourselves together into a civil body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of the ends aforesaid;
and by virtue hearof, to enact, constitute, and frame such just & equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet & convenient for the general good of the colony: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod in the 18th year of the reign of our sovereign Lord king James of England, France & Ireland, and the 54th year of reign of Scotland. The 11th of November Ano: Dom 1620″
With these words a new, a God centered government was established in America “for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith. May we return to this foundation once again!! Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours..