THANKSGIVING PRODUCES THANKS – LIVING
FOUR PRIMARY REASONS THE PILGRIMS CAME TO AMERICA
- To protect their children from degeneracy and corruption. “Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.” Prov. 28:7 “…their dearest children…of best dispositions and gracious inclinations, were…oppressed with their heavy labors, … became decrepit in their early youth, and by the great licentiousness of youth in (Holland) and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reigns off their necks, departing from their parents, … tending to dissoluteness and the danger of their souls, to the great grief of the parents and dishonor of God.” (William Bradford)
- To propagate and advance the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ “Go ye therefore and teach all nations,…” Matt. 28:19 “Lastly, and which was not least, a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in to those remote parts of the world.” (William Bradford)
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten…having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage…do by these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation…” (Mayflower Document)
- To obtain and preserve Religious Liberty. “Standfast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 6:1 “And some of the chief of that company (of Pilgrims) doubted not to obtain their suit of the king FOR LIBERTY IN RELIGION, and to have it confirmed under the kings broad seal, according to their desires.” (William Bradford)
- To be as “stepping-stones” unto others for the performing of so great a work.
“..yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work.” (William Bradford) “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” I Cor. 3:6
Reprinted by permission
Check for Part III Tomorrow
For additional Pilgrim Resources Click here
Originally posted 2014-11-22 06:53:02.
THANKSGIVING PRODUCES THANKS – LIVING
Christian Self Government produces Local Self Governing Christian Homes, Churches, Communities. Self Government is explained in I John 3:24: “He that keepeth his commandments DWELLETH IN HIM, and HE IN HIM. And hereby we know that HE ABIDETH IN US, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” The internal gives rise to the external.
George Washington’s and America’s FIRST THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION requested Americans to pray God… 1) “to pardon our national sins; 2) “to render our national government a blessing to all the people (HOW?) by being a government of wise (laws), just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, and 3) “to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion (which was Biblical Christianity at that time) and virtue (or the righteousness of Christ)…”
“The Pilgrim wanted LIBERTY for himself and his wife and little ones, and for his brethren, to WALK WITH GOD in a Christian life as the rules and motives of such a life were revealed to him from God’s Word. For that he went into exile; for that he crossed the ocean; for that he made his home in a wilderness.” (Leonard Bacon, 1874)
Reprinted by Permission
Check for Part II tomorrow.
Originally posted 2014-11-21 15:01:14.
“Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.” Deuteronomy 1:13
Representative government is a process of delegating authority. We, as citizens, consent to, authorize, or assign a person to stand for us in the external governing of our home, church, city, county, state and nation. We bear responsibility for those persons. How, then, do we choose?
“Take you wise men…” Wise men would fear the Lord and have knowledge of His principles. Included in this knowledge should be an understanding of the need to restore and protect those “self-evident” truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”.
We must recognize our responsibility for that restoration and protection, and, as Felix Morley addressed, make purposeful choices. “Mere freedom of choice undoubtedly places its possessor at liberty. But to reach the essence of liberty, and certainly to secure its blessings in co-operative living, choice must be exercised in conformity with moral principles. There must be a sense of personal responsibility, of self restraint, and therefore of self-government… When the founders spoke of the blessings of liberty, they did not discount the value of freedom. But it is apparent to any student of the period that they generally used the word liberty to convey a sense of individual responsibility which the alternative noun freedom does not imply. The blessings of freedom may be of very questionable value. Those of liberty, properly understood, are priceless… That the condition of freedom can be maintained only by the divinely implanted urge for liberty was fully understood when the Republic was launched… the blessings of liberty, which political government may safeguard or destroy but can never itself provide, are therefore intimately connected with personal belief in, and practice of Christian doctrine. As Paul told the Corinthians also: ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!’ “
“…and understanding…” We must choose individuals who understand God’s philosophy of government and have the character to do the work. Samuel Adams writes: “in the state of nature, every man has a right to think and act according to the dictates of his own mind, which, in that state, are subject to no other control and can be commanded by no other power than the laws and ordinances of the great Creator of all things. The perfection of liberty therefore, in a state of nature, is for every man to be free from any external force, and to perform such actions as in his own mind and conscience he judges to be rightest; which liberty no man can truly possess whose mind is enthralled by irregular and inordinate passions; since it is no great privilege to be free from external violence if the dictates of the mind are controlled by a force within, which exerts itself above reason. This is liberty in a state of nature, which, as no man ought to be abridged of, so no man has a right to give up, or even part with any portion of it, but in order to secure the rest and place it upon a more solid foundation; it being equally with our lives the gift of the same bounteous Author of all things we must distinguish and consider liberty as it respects the whole body and as it respects each individual. As it respects the whole body, it is then enjoyed when neither legislative nor executive powers (by which I mean those men with whom are entrusted the power of making laws and of executing them) are disturbed by any internal passion or hindered by any external force from making the wisest laws and executing them in the best manner; when the safety, the security, and the happiness of all is the real care and steady pursuit of those whose business it is to care for and pursue it; in one short word, where no laws are carried through humor or prejudice, or controlled in their proper execution by lust of power in the great, nor wanton licentiousness in the vulgar. As it respects individuals, a man is then free when he freely enjoys the security of the laws and rights to which he is born; when he is hindered by no violence from claiming those rights and enjoying that security, but may at any time demand the protection of the laws under which he lives… He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man’s haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country… The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people…”
The Bible has several examples of people choosing people to positions of delegated authority. In Acts 6:3 Luke records, “…look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” The business spoken of was the caring for the needs of the new church during a period of very rapid growth.
Much of a man’s character is internal, which brings out the third choice, “and known among your tribes.” We are to look at the proven record. I Timothy 3 gives specific traits for delegated authority – blameless, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, hospitable, apt to teach, a person of self control, and in verse 4, “One that ruleth well his own house…” or as Hugo Grotius expanded in 1654, “He knows not how to rule a kingdome, that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor can he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family, nor can that man Govern well a family that knows not how to Govern himselfe; neither can any Govern himselfe unless his reason be Lord, Will and Appetite her Vassals: nor can Reason rule unlesse herselfe be ruled by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.”
 Rosalie Slater, Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, Foundation for American Christian Education, San Francisco.
 Verna M. Hall, “The Life of Samuel Adams,” Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Foundation for American Christian Education, San Francisco
Originally posted 2014-10-23 15:35:07.
How will you remember and celebrate Columbus this October 13th?
In recognizing the character and contribution of Christopher Columbus, it is helpful to see the man, not from the viewpoint of a modern historian, but in his own words. Read these passages from Columbus’s Book of Prophecies and see what stands out to you.
“At a very early age I went to sea and have continued navigating until today. The art of sailing is favorable for anyone who wants to pursue knowledge of this world’s secrets. I have already been at this business for forty years. I have sailed all the waters which, up to now, have been navigated. I have had dealings and conversation with learned people – clergymen and laymen, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors and with many others of other sects. I found Our Lord very well-disposed toward this my desire, and he gave me the spirit of intelligence for it. He prospered me in seamanship and supplied me with the necessary tools of astrology [astronomy], as well as geometry and arithmetic and ingenuity of intellect and of manual skill to draw spherical maps which show cities, rivers and mountains, island and ports – everything in its proper place.
“At this time I have seen and put in study to look into all the Scriptures, cosmography, histories, chronicles and philosophy and other arts, which our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his had upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from her to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea…
“Our Lord wished to perform the clearest miracle in this [matter] of the voyage to the Indies … I spent seven years in your royal Court arguing the case with so many persons of such authority and learned in all the arts, and in the end they concluded that it was idle nonsense, and with this they gave up [the project]…”
In pursuing our God-given calling, do we have the fortitude to remain steadfast over a long period of time? What if the surrounding culture disagreed with our convictions? How would we find the strength to believe, to engage the culture around us, and to work diligently for our cause?
No doubt Christopher Columbus, the man, exhibited both strengths and weaknesses, just as we all do. He acknowledged a sense of his own shortcomings in this way.
“I am the worst of sinners. The pity and mercy of our Lord have completely covered me whenever I have called [on him] for them. I have found the sweetest consolation in casting away all my anxiety, so as to contemplate his marvelous presence.”
Columbus also acknowledged his dependence upon God and gratitude for God’s hand at work in his life.
“Your Highnesses, remember the Gospel texts and the many promises which our Savior made to us, and how all this has been put to a test: … The mountains will obey anyone who has faith the size of a kernel of Indian corn. All that is requested by anyone who has faith will be granted. Knock and it will be opened to you. No one should be afraid to take on any enterprise in the name of our Savior, if it is right and if the purpose is purely for his holy service… the working out of all thins was entrusted by our lord to each person, [but it happens] in conformity with his sovereign will, even though he gives advice to many.
“He lacks nothing that it may be in the power of men to give him. O, how good is the Lord who wishes people to perform that for which he holds himself responsible? Day and night, and at every moment, everyone should give him their most devoted thanks…”
As we recall Christopher Columbus, we are reminded that we choose both how we view the past and how we allow the past to be an influence for the future.
“…Wherefore to Columbus, its discoverer, must deservedly be paid
Thanks, but greater be rendered to God most high,
Who is preparing new realms to be conquered by thee and by himself.
It is best for thee to be at the same time brave and pious.”
We would be wise to respectfully remember those from the past who sought to follow the leading of God. We would do well to set our hope in God, not forget the works of God, keep His commandments, and trust His direction for the future.
Originally posted 2014-10-13 15:46:55.
Contemplating the Constitution – Part III
FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION and
BILL OF RIGHTS
Madison began his education home schooled by his Grandmother and later tutored by a minister. As a youth, he educated himself from the family library. He learned to reason from Scripture and was influenced by Dr. John Witherspoon and John Locke.
Historian Garry Wills wrote: “As a framer and defender of the Constitution he had no peer…. The finest part of Madison’s performance as President was his concern for the preserving of the Constitution…. No man could do everything for the country – not even Washington. Madison did more than most, and did some things better than any. That was quite enough. (Garry Wills, James Madison. Times Books, 2002, p.164)
“One scholar has written of Madison as the Founding Father ‘whose chief interest in life was to prove that Americans had been chosen by Providence for an experiment to test man’s capacity for self government.’” (Swanson, p. 84)
Madison joined Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers. James Madison authored 29 of the 85 Papers.
Federalist Paper, No. 39 “The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible. (Madison)
Federalist Paper # 10: Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. (Madison)
“What we know today about the (Constitutional) Convention we owe largely to (Madison’s) daily record of all that transpired. Day after day for the entire 99 days, this man who was always in frail health never missed attendance. He said later that the ordeal almost killed him, but, nevertheless, he was sustained in his Herculean task” “His object was to preserve the history of a Constitution on which would be staked the happiness of a people great even in its infancy, and possibly the cause of liberty throughout the world.’”
(Swanson, Mary Elaine, The Education of James Madison A Model for Today, Montgomery, Alabama: The Hoffman Education Center for the Family, 1992, p. 191)
(Aside, in the Providence of God, Jim Rose was born on Constitution Day. He knew that Jim would spend 40 years teaching America’s Christian History and Government)
Originally posted 2014-09-16 05:00:57.