“And he said, Hearken ye all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou, King Jehoshaphat: Thus saith the Lord unto you, Fear you not, neither be afraid for this great multitude: FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S” (2nd Chronicles 20:15-17; 1599 Geneva Bible).
For those of you who are unaware, the 1599 Geneva Bible was the Bible used by our PILGRIM Forefathers and mothers (they didn’t trust the King James Version because they disliked King James and his allegiance to The Church of England, with its “anti-Calvinist” inclinations). I’m sure it was often read and preached from during the dangerous and tedious 66-day Atlantic voyage from England to the New World during the harsh fall and winter of 1620. Fierce storms and huge waves and horrible living conditions below decks would have turned most modern people back from whence they came. Not so for these 104 stalwart souls who had determined to separate from their old world and, at least some of them trusting in God’s guidance, build a new and religiously separate colony on the barren coast of North America.
Many of us know the story of the great struggles that these Pilgrim men and women endured over the next few years in order to “obey God by resisting tyranny”. They really did “put their money (and their lives) where their mouths were”. They had tried for decades to reform, or purify, the existing Church of England, to which all of them, by English law, were FORCED to belong. Eventually this band of a few hundred souls—basically ONE single church congregation---concluded that reforming the Church of England was impossible and, after a sojourn of twelve years in Holland (to escape the persecution perpetrated upon them by King James’ political supporters in England and by the ecclesiastical “bullies” of the established Church of England), a number of them volunteered to be the first of their congregation to venture to The New World and, in obedience to God, begin a colony faithful to His Word. However, due to the unexpected delays caused by the un-seaworthiness of one of the two ships they had chartered to travel to North America, delays which forced them to postpone their voyage until late into the sailing season when Atlantic storms were worse, some of the Christians from Pastor John Robinson’s congregation in Leiden, Holland who had volunteered to emigrate to the New World were unable to make the trip because the Mayflower could not accommodate all of them--and some changed their minds about going (necessitating their English financial backers to recruit non-Separatists and possibly even non-Christians to make the colony viable)--therefore the original number of Pilgrim colonists was much smaller than originally planned.
Fast forward to today’s world. Almost 400 years have elapsed since Plymouth Colony’s beginning in November of 1620. The tiny colony of “New Plimouth” (sic) has grown into a huge nation of over 300 million people (at least 20 to 30 million of whom are here ILLEGALLY). I fear, though, that our Pilgrim Forefathers would have great difficulty in recognizing among today’s American people the basic principles that motivated them, principles that they lived (and died) to defend. So why, we might ask, did these Pilgrims—not all of who were Christians --- do what they did?
Did they make these sacrifices simply for the purpose of self-gratification or vanity or trying to make themselves appear “holier” than their countrymen? I don’t think that’s what motivated them. I believe that they were sincerely trying to honor their Savior, Jesus, and obey His Word as they struggled for 12 years to live for Him in a relatively free but religiously diverse and overly tolerant nation (Holland) that increasingly was making it culturally and Scripturally difficult to do what they believed God required them to do. Why did God call these Pilgrims (or at least the Christians among them) to follow Him at such a cost, considering that about half of them died of sickness and hardship before the colony’s first year had elapsed? As Paul reminds us in the Word, and as they assured their contemporaries, they were not especially wise—they surely were not “influential” in their world—and to those around them in their homeland they were nothing special and were often perceived as “troublemakers”.
But as has so often happened in history, where faithful men and women have chosen to BATTLE on God’s side, their Heavenly Father chose the “foolish things”—the weak people of that age and time—to shame those who thought they were too “wise” to believe in Him. God chose both faithful and unfaithful people to serve His purposes and shame the strong and arrogant who had tyrannized them for decades in their homeland. God chose the lowly and despised people of their world to change that world. In this, these Pilgrims eventually “saw the defeat of (their) adversaries, and (their) ears heard the rout of (their) wicked foes” (Psalm 92:11).
It is fashionable in our “enlightened” world of today to ridicule and bad mouth these admittedly imperfect people known as Pilgrims, who came and started the still somewhat free country we enjoy today. They were “hypocrites” and “persecutors of the Native People”, we are told, and “despoiled the pure and harmonious existence” of those Native People who “lived in peace” with each other and who were “almost perfect and sinless”; and all because of their own “greed” and to “force” their Christian beliefs on others, and rape and pillage the “unsullied land” in order to send their “filthy gains” back to their English backers. As usual, there are precious few “grains of truth” amongst the vast field of lies regarding the interactions of these first English colonists with the Native People (which they prefer to be referred to, rather than as Native Americans).
I’ll leave those arguments to others to resolve, because most of them are bogus and promulgated by those with leftist political agendas to push and with hate in their hearts for people who refuse to capitulate to “group think”. Obviously these Pilgrims came to this New World for religious and even political freedom, concepts which were somewhat foreign to the people of that day, and indeed were concepts that these Pilgrims themselves found difficult to extend without reservation to other arriving colonists with different religious beliefs who came among them later (as I said earlier, they were ‘imperfect’ people----the same as those of us who live today).
In recent times, some have questioned whether the price that they paid for their freedom was too high—i.e. was the price higher than the ultimate value that they, and eventually we, received? Good question. Is the “price” of freedom higher than the value received? Is the battle that we, as Christians, choose to fight on God’s side too overwhelming for us, or are we Christians to rely on God’s Word which assures us that “if God be for us, who can be against us”? What price can be placed on the freedom to worship God in our own way (or not to do so), without the threat of being destroyed by the State? What value should we place on our ability to travel virtually anywhere we please, freely and without having to seek permission from “big brother”? Of what value is our ability to speak our own minds to our neighbors and fellow citizens, face-to-face or in the press or electronic media, without the threat (yet) of government agents of tyranny coming to our door to arrest us for disagreeing with the politically correct group think of our day? (Sadly, the agents of tyranny and GROUP THINK have already entrenched themselves on most of the college and university campuses of our nation, and the First Amendment right of “free speech” no longer applies in the vast majority of our centers of academic non-thought and rigid speech control). I ask you, my fellow countrymen, as I’m sure the Pilgrims asked themselves---what value is freedom at all? As I have written previously, all of us must now and forever decide that in our minds, for freedom is a concept that exists ONLY as we will it to exist. If we lose the will we most assuredly will lose the freedom, for that is an inviolable “principle” of human existence. That choice is forever in our own hands!
Today, we are almost to year 4 of the widely supported or, if we believe the “fake news main stream media” (which we should only accept with “a grain of salt), the widely “despised” Trump Administration. Our President, imperfect as are ALL people, and with “feet of clay” like ALL of our presidents have had, continues to battle, with some success, the evil and treacherous anti-American forces of “The Deep State” and as he accurately portrays them—their allies--“The Swamp Dwellers”—all of whom more and more openly admit how much they despise the Constitutional Republic bequeathed to us by our Founding Generation, and especially how much they HATE the system of FREE ENTERPRISE that it enables. Tragically, that increasing enmity of the powerful and all-too-often subversive “powerful political class” in the U.S. against the God-inspired freedoms codified in our U.S. Constitution has been going on at least since the days of President Andrew Jackson, and became a strong anti-constitutional, pro-socialist/pro-communist force in America beginning in the late 1840’s, when America was flooded with hordes of defeated communist revolutionaries escaping from their failed “communist revolutions” in France and Germany in 1847-1848, many of whom ended up in positions of power in “our” government and ESPECIALLY in the U.S. Army, prior to the “Uncivil War”.
That “enmity”, much of it IMPORTED into American society by these radical outsiders, culminated in that totally evil and deliberately manufactured war between the northern and southern portions of the U.S.---a war designed to destroy, if possible, or at least severely erode the very Constitution that was written by Christian and/or God-fearing Patriots to provide the greatest degree of freedom and economic well-being ever experienced by any people on Earth---a war that should NEVER have been permitted by people of good will and real Christian values to have occurred! The constitutional liberties of all Americans took a severe blow before, during, and especially after that “Uncivil War”, from which our constitutional republican system has NEVER recovered! And that SAME ENMITY which caused that dastardly war continues to spew its collectivist venom among Americans today!
The paid whores of the “main stream media”—the servants of the “god” of this age—seemingly have blinded the minds of half of our countrymen, who seem to prefer to live in Marxist/socialist/tyrannical darkness. However, as difficult as it may be, those of us who walk “in the light” of knowledge and truth need to show compassion and patience to our blinded countrymen, for in the past some of US also walked in that darkness, which is why our purpose MUST be to educate them, show them the truth, help guide their paths not only unto salvation and eternal life, if necessary, but into the political freedom that vast numbers of Christians and Patriots sacrificed everything to send down the corridors of time to US. As Psalm 112:4 reminds us: “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous”. WE must be that “light” for those who still walk in the darkness engendered by the minions of the Evil One! WE must be those “gracious and compassionate and righteous” ones who take the hands of our unseeing fellow citizens and lead them into the Light of Liberty! Not someone else. US! You and I!
Was God truly on the “side” of our Pilgrim fore parents? I know He was. They knew it, also. They were often hard pressed on every side, but they were not crushed. They were often perplexed and confused, but He never abandoned them to despair. For decades they were persecuted in their native land, but they were never forsaken by the One who loved them and gave Himself for them. God’s Grace was always sufficient for them, as it should be for those of us who today are called by His name. For the sake of their Savior the Pilgrims “boasted” of their many weaknesses so that Jesus’ Power could rest on them. For the sake of their Savior they delighted in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, and in many difficulties. We who today battle with the blessings of our God for the preservation of a Christian culture and our Constitutional Republic can do NO less! We cannot turn our gaze away from the corruption—the sin—the evil—the mendacity engendered by the present-day followers of “Baal”, who are now all around us! Who is on OUR side? GOD IS IF WE ARE CHRISTIANS, BUT SATAN IS IF WE AREN’T! So I leave you with a final question: Whose side are YOU on?