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Thanksgiving Special: The Pilgrims’ Beliefs and the Founding of America

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2021 7:00 pm

Thanksgiving Special: The Pilgrims’ Beliefs and the Founding of America

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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November 26, 2021 7:00 pm

GUEST: DR. JERRY NEWCOMBE, producer, The Pilgrims documentary

A small group of biblical Christians known as the the Pilgrims are widely considered to be “the founders of America”.

Numbering only about 400-500 souls, they had fled religious persecution in England to settle in Holland. But after ten years there, they decided on another move across the Atlantic Ocean to an unknown land that would become the United States.

About 50 Pilgrims were on the first vessel called The Mayflower, arriving in modern-day Cape Cod in Massachusetts in November 1620. One year later in November 1621, after a brutal winter in which many of them died, they celebrated a bountiful harvest with local Indians who had helped them in what has become known as the first Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims and their biblical beliefs which led directly to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution 150 years have been mostly forgotten by the majority of our population. “Separation of church and state” is a sacrament of mainstream society today…but it wasn’t to the Pilgrims. They said they came to America “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

Dr. Jerry Newcombe, producer of the documentary film, The Pilgrims, joins us this Thanksgiving weekend on The Christian Worldview to discuss the Pilgrims’ story and and what they believed and lived by. For in them we have an example for how we can live in our pilgrimage in a contrary world.

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The Pilgrim's Beliefs in the Founding of America. That is a topic we'll discuss today, this Thanksgiving weekend, right here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the Biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host, and our website is thechristianworldview.org. Thank you for tuning in and listening to The Christian Worldview for your support as well. Thanks also to our national sponsor, Samaritan Ministries, who provide a Biblical solution to healthcare as Christians share and pay one another's medical bills. We have been Samaritan members for many years through several health needs and we couldn't recommend it more highly. Just go to our website, thechristianworldview.org and click on the Samaritan Ministries banner. Or you can call the dedicated Christian Worldview listener line that goes to them at 1-877-691-1625.

Just encourage you to look into whether Samaritan Ministries would be a great solution for your healthcare needs. This is Thanksgiving weekend, and 2 Thessalonians 5 16 says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. And despite anyone's circumstances, if you are alive and you are living in the United States of America, each one of us has so much to be thankful for. Just the gift that God gives us of life, of living in this country.

I know it's not going the right direction, but it's so much better than many other countries around the world. And beyond all that, if you have responded to God's offer to save you through the person of Christ and what he did for you on the cross, paying God's required death penalty for your sin. If you've received that gift of forgiveness and eternal life, there's nothing more priceless and valuable in that.

You have everything to be thankful for because you have eternal life with God in heaven coming someday. You have been reconciled to God and have peace with him, and you won't face God in judgment. If you haven't come to saving faith, my question for you is, why not? Why not receive the most priceless, eternally valuable gift of forgiveness and eternal life that God is offering to you? The Bible says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Find out more about how you can do that by going to our website, thechristianworldview.org, and clicking on the page, What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Okay, now onto the topic for today. A small group of biblical Christians known as the Pilgrims are widely considered to be the founders of America. Numbering only about 400 or 500 souls, they had fled religious persecution in England to settle in Holland.

But after 10 years in Holland, they decided on another move across the Atlantic Ocean to an unknown land that would become the United States. About 50 pilgrims were on that first vessel called the Mayflower, arriving in modern-day Cape Cod in Massachusetts in November of the year 1620. One year later, in November 1621, 400 years ago, after a brutal winter in which many of them died, they celebrated a bountiful harvest with local Indians who had helped them in what has become known as the First Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims and their biblical beliefs, which led directly to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution nearly 150 years later, have been mostly forgotten by the majority of our population. Separation of church and state, as is said, is a sacrament of mainstream society today, but it wasn't to the Pilgrims. They said they came to America, quote, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, unquote. Dr. Jerry Newcomb, producer of the documentary film The Pilgrims, joins us today, this Thanksgiving weekend on The Christian Real View, to discuss the Pilgrims' story and what they believed and lived by.

For in them, we have an example for how we can live in our pilgrimage in a contrary world. Jerry, thank you for coming on The Christian Real View. Before we get into your film, just give us some background about yourself and how you came to saving faith in Christ.

I became born again, and that was back in the mid 1970s. Later on, I had the privilege to work for years now with Dr. D. James Kennedy. I actually worked with a man himself, and he's always been very interested in history, and especially the Christian history, which is, it's a key part of the American story, but that's been left out so much, David, in our time. And so, when Dr. Peter Lobeck, president of Westminster Theological Seminary, but he had founded an organization called Providence Forum, dedicated to helping Americans learn about our true roots as a nation.

And he ended up giving that Providence Forum as a ministry to D. James Kennedy Ministries, and the ministry agreed to it only if they had somebody who could run the ministry for the ministry, and that was me. And actually, as a labor of love, I was making these films on the Christian origins of America, and then this is a whole series of films, but the first one begins with the Pilgrims, because the Pilgrims, even though they were a very small group, they truly helped set the positive trajectory for America, and they embody the essence of America, which is self-rule under God. Dr. Jerry Newcomb with us today on The Christian Real View, talking about his documentary film called The Pilgrims, this Thanksgiving weekend. We're focusing on this, and you say in the lead-up to the film that the Pilgrims came, and there's a quote right from them, for the glory of God in the advancement of the Christian faith. That was their purpose for coming to America, for the glory of God in the advancement of the Christian faith, and contrary to what the 1619 Project would have you believe that they came for the purpose of white supremacy, and to oppress the natives, or to advance racism or slavery or anything else. This is what the Pilgrims said, and we're going to find out today that this actually was their intent, and they lived that out. Let's start out, Jerry, by playing a soundbite from the film, The Pilgrims, early on, where there was a plot taking place in England.

I want to follow up with a question after that. In order to fully understand the Pilgrims and their story, we have to understand the religious controversies that engulfed England at that time. For example, around midnight on November 5, 1605, in London, England, a justice of the peace named Sir Thomas Nivet was making the rounds in the Parliament building. He caught a fellow in the cellar of the building. That man was Guy Fawkes, who, it turns out, had planted 36 barrels loaded with gunpowder under the building. The next day, November 5, was to be an opening of proceedings in the House of Lords, attended by a special visit of King James.

One of the Lords received an anonymous letter encouraging him not to attend that day. By torturing Guy Fawkes, the authorities learned of a plot by a small group of renegade Catholics organized by Robert Catesby. They had rented a cellar that extended under the House of Lords in the Parliament building, and the goal was to blow up Parliament with their 1,800 pounds of gunpowder in those barrels. Thus, they reasoned, they would kill the King and the members of the House of Lords and violently force England to revert to Catholicism. Okay, that from the documentary we're discussing today entitled The Pilgrims, the producer of it, is with us on the program today, Dr. Jerry Newcombe. Jerry, that sounds like the plot out of some modern terrorism novel, to hear about blowing up the Parliament and the King and everything else, and the Catholics are trying to destroy the Protestant leaning of the country at that particular time. So, this is in the early, I believe, the early 1600s, you said there. So, this is within 100 years of when the Protestant Reformation had started. That started in 1517 now, so you advance yourself 80 or 90 years. Now we're in the early 1600s. So, the question is, how did the Protestant Reformation lead to the situation taking place in England that was just described in that soundbite from which the pilgrims would emerge?

The gist of it is this. In England, Henry VIII broke the church in his domain that was in England. He broke it away from the Roman Catholic Church because the Roman Catholic Church would not sanction his divorce from his first wife.

And the reason it wouldn't do that is because of, you know, it was divorce and then he wanted to remarry and so forth. And he wanted to do it because his first wife couldn't produce a son. And Henry VIII was, his goal was just to get a son. So anyway, so he broke away the church from England, created the Church of England, declared himself and the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was the head of the church. And then later on, what happened was his daughter, Bloody Mary, tried to reverse England back to Catholicism, but she ended up killing a lot of Protestants.

You know, that's why we use the name Bloody Mary. To this day, she's called that. And thankfully, her reign was very short lived. And then came Queen Elizabeth, another child of Henry VIII.

And she lived and reigned for about half a century. And during her time, what she ended up doing was coming up with a compromise. We'll have the Church of England have the doctrines of the Protestants, but the outward formalities of the Catholics.

So that was kind of a middle way. Meanwhile, something Henry VIII had done that really changed things in England for the better is he allowed, for the first time, the Bible in English to be released. And what that ended up doing is as people started reading the Bible for themselves and they couldn't get enough of it, many of them began to look at the way the church was versus what the Bible says. And they wanted to work for the purity of the church, and they were called the Puritans. And then a small sliver of a group called the Separatists, of which the pilgrims were one particular congregation, they felt like, nah, it's too far gone, just come out and be separate.

And so what they did in forming their church, their separatist churches, it was totally illegal. And that's why eventually the pilgrims left. But the reason I tell the story about Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up the king in parliament is because it helps to explain the paranoia King James I had against any religious nonconformist. So he was very strong against the Puritans, the Catholics, the pilgrims, you know, the separatists. Again, a very small subset, really, of the Puritans, if you will. The Presbyterians, one of James's quotes is, Presbyterian agreeeth with monarchy like God with the devil.

In other words, it doesn't agree. And by the way, that Guy Fawkes fellow to this day in England, they celebrate on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. And there's even a famous mask patterned after Guy Fawkes. And you've seen it, David, you've seen it a thousand times.

It's used by anarchists and so forth. It's that famous mask. And I show it in the documentary. And so anyway, the whole point of even bringing up this Guy Fawkes plot is to show the kind of paranoia James had if anybody would not conform to the Church of England.

Yeah, I thought that was an interesting part of the film. I hadn't heard that before and how it created this climate of real paranoia, like you said, from King James toward anyone who would dissent with him. And so that put the small little sect of pilgrims really in his crosshairs, and also the Puritans and others. Dr. Jerry Newcomb with us today here on The Christian Real View. We're talking about his film, The Pilgrims, which we have available with The Christian Real View for a donation of any amount to our ministry. You can order the usual ways by going to our website, thechristianrealview.org, or by just calling us toll-free, 1-888-646-2233. It's a 57-minute documentary.

I want to get to the next soundbite, Jerry. The film covers the difference between the King James version of the Bible that was authorized by King James that you just mentioned, and how that was meant to be a pushback, really, against the Geneva Bible, which had been brought up by the Reformers. I believe about 40 or 50 years earlier in the year 1560.

So let me play that soundbite and have you comment. King James is best known today for the beloved masterpiece that bears his name, The King James Bible, which was first published in 1611. James enrolled more than 50 of England's greatest scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, and Westminster to assemble this translation. The only reason that King James even agreed to a new translation of the Bible was to dethrone the Geneva Bible of 1560, which was very popular with the Puritans and the Separatists. That was a thread that appeared a couple times in your documentary, just about how the back and forth of these two Bibles, and you even mentioned that coming over on the ship, the Mayflower, that the pilgrims had the Geneva Bible and some of the others that were with them had the strangers, I guess, would have the King James Bible.

Talk about how that debate was raging back then and why. King James did not like marginal notes that he would find in the Geneva Bible. So, for example, in Exodus, in the early chapters, where it talks about how the midwives would take the Hebrew babies and save them, contrary to the will of Pharaoh, the footnote said something like, the active Christian believer has to disobey the magistrate if the magistrate is trying to get them to disobey God.

You know, that kind of thing. We must obey God rather than men. It bothered King James. Frankly, he was a tyrant. He said, I will make them conform, or I will harry them out of the land, or do worse. Winston Churchill said that his motto, James' motto when it comes to religion was no bishops, no king.

So, in other words, he felt that he could rule his subjects through the bishops, but if you have these independent congregations, like the pilgrims were an independent congregation, he couldn't control them, and that bothered him. So, when the Puritans and Presbyterians and other non-conformists, when they met with King James I early on in his reign, and he started in 1603, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot of Guy Fawkes was 1605, they asked him, oh, you know, can you relax this? Nope. Can you relax that? Nope. Can you relax this?

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Well, would you consider doing a new Bible? Yeah.

Yeah, I'll consider doing that. And to his credit, he assembled more than 50 of the finest scholars at that time, and there were two groups of scholars from Oxford, two groups of scholars from Cambridge, and two groups of scholars from Westminster Abbey, each assigned to different sections of the scriptures to translate them and to compile them, and when their work was finally finished in 1611, they produced probably the world's best seller ever, the King James Version Bible. It's just amazing. The King James Version has influenced our English, and it's really a tremendously powerful and influential thing, and it's funny that people think of King James in almost a reverential way, because the Bible is so wonderful, and it served humanity so well, and yet in reality the guy was a tyrant. But that's the one great thing he did, was to produce that Bible. The Christian Worldview with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. Recent guest Cal Beisner defines economics as moral philosophy applied to marketplace relationships.

So it makes sense that as our nation's judgment of what is right and wrong has moved away from biblical morality, our economic policies have gone the same wrong direction. So what is the Christian Worldview on economics? Cal Beisner has written an insightful 56-page softcover booklet titled Biblical Foundations for Economics that shows how economic principles and policies need to be based on the Bible to achieve the greatest human flourishing. For a limited time, we are offering Biblical Foundations for Economics for a donation of any amount to the Christian Worldview. To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Again, the website is thechristianworldview.org. Be sure to take advantage of two free resources that will keep you informed and sharpen your worldview. The first is the Christian Worldview weekly email, which comes to your inbox each Friday. It contains a preview of the upcoming radio program, along with Need to Read articles, featured resources, special events, and audio of the previous program. The second is the Christian Worldview annual print letter, which is delivered to your mailbox in November. It contains a year-end letter from host David Wheaton and a listing of our store items, including DVDs, books, children's materials, and more. You can sign up for the weekly email and annual print letter by visiting thechristianworldview.org or calling 1-888-646-2233.

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Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Dr. Jerry Newcomb with us today in The Christian Worldview talking about the Pilgrim's documentary that he and Providence Forum have produced as part of D. James Kennedy Ministries. Let's get back to the setup of the Pilgrims in England, now under persecution, being an outcast, small little group of dissenters here against what's going on in the Church of England and King James and so forth. Let's get to the setting for their departure not from England to America, but first their departure from England to Holland.

Their chief pastor was John Robinson, who was a graduate of Cambridge University and a great biblical scholar. The Pilgrims' services were secret and were illegal. Their children helped them by watching to make sure no authorities were coming to arrest them. Open up in the name of the King!

Open up, you heard it! They had to do it in secret. They couldn't really publish when they were going to meet, and the teenagers, like William Bradford at the time, were part of the youth group, which were called spies, and they would be outside listening to what people were saying, so if they heard anybody say, hey, they're going to meet here tonight, they would possibly change the time or even the day. Bradford, who came into the separatist movement as a teenager, was there for all the big events. He was there in England, he fled England, he went to Holland, from Holland he came to America. In America, eventually, he became the governor, he became the preeminent leader of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony, and he also became the great chronicler, the one who really recorded their life and what their hearts and beliefs were. Jerry, so you have this small group of dissenters, the Pilgrims, dissenting from the direction of the Church of England under King James.

They're from mid-England, so a little north of London, I think more on the east side in a town called Scrooby. They started a meeting in 1606, but they had to meet in secret. It was at this time that they decided that they just could not continue to be in England under this kind of persecution, and they wanted to go to Holland. Talk more about how they got over to Holland and why they wanted to go there. It was illegal for them to have these separate meetings, so in Holland, they would be tolerated, and so they set their goal to do that, and even getting to Holland was not easy twice. They met with great difficulties, and we spell out the details of that in the film, but the bottom line is they finally, by God's grace, they make it to Holland, and they get tolerated, and they enjoy good years of fellowship at first, and it's all great, but then after a while, after about 10 years, the hours were so difficult, and worst of all, their children were starting to be lured away by the ways of the worldly Dutch youth, and by this time, they had heard about Jamestown and the fact that it was a permanent British establishment in North America, and so they basically decided, well, let's go to the northern parts of Virginia, so that was what their goal was, to go to America, and they would do it piecemeal, sending out a group of about 50, actually a little bit more than that at first, but they were using two boats or planning to use two boats, and one of them proved unseaworthy, so they had to kind of downsize, so it ended up being only about 50 of their own number on that first Mayflower voyage, and then they sent over others from Holland, came over and joined them in Plymouth once that was established.

Keep in mind, there's only 400 or 500 total pilgrims in Holland at this time. That was the entirety of the pilgrims. Fifty of them came over to America on that first voyage, and the speed well was not seaworthy, so they had to cram into the Mayflower. Some of them couldn't get on it. Families were separated apart.

That's almost an unthinkable type situation. It's hard for us today, Jerry, to get into the mindset of this, traveling to America from Holland or England, you just take an airplane, you go on a boat. Very different back then. This showed in the film, it was fraught with death. It was so often the boats wouldn't make it, people would die in the way, there would be sicknesses, storms.

You're coming to a country, by the way, that's not even developed. You're coming into the wilderness, basically, so that leads well into our next soundbite on one of the things that happened during the voyage. Amidst a terrible storm, the main beam of the mast cracked. Death was certain for the crew and passengers if this couldn't be repaired. The whole pilgrim story could easily have ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic, but one of the pilgrims had a large iron screw on board. Some historians argue it was a jack for lifting roofs onto houses.

Others argue it was part of a printing press. Whatever it was, the main beam was secured with this large screw, and so the Mayflower was saved. On November 9, 1620, 66 days after their departure, they first sighted land off Cape Cod. Once they got underway in the Mayflower, they set sail September 6, 1620, very late in the season because they had to go back to England to get the speed well back in port and then cram onto the Mayflower, just give us a sense of what that voyage was like.

Terrible. It was 66 days, and because of the delays involving the speed well, they were basically coming, you know, sailing over during the stormy season, and they were crammed into this tween decks, which is about five feet tall or whatever. That's where most of them were staying, and so it was extremely difficult. By the way, this is men, women, and children, and the death rate, by the way, of people dying on the voyage over was very small. Only two people died on the voyage of the Mayflower, and in those days, that was a rarity.

God's providence, he chose to have it where only two people died. One of the persons who died was a sailor who was cursing the pilgrims out as they would sing the psalms, and he said, I look forward to throwing half your dead bodies in shrouds overboard. That remark alone kind of shows you how common death was in voyages like that, and somehow this man got some sort of disease, and he died, and his body got thrown over, and there was no more grumbling against the pilgrims singing psalms after that, but it just is an amazing story, again, of God's providence. Yeah, and this is so well laid out in the documentary film we're talking about, The Pilgrims. It's a 57-minute documentary. It's really highly recommended for you and your family to see this.

Some of the story, of course, you'll know from your school days, but this really brings out some good details, and it's good to be reminded of this, what the founding of the country is. Our guest at Dr. Jerry Newcomb, the film is The Pilgrims. You can get it for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View. Just go to our website, thechristianrealview.org to order it there, or call us toll-free, 1-888-646-2233.

You can also write to us as well, and that address is given out right at the end of the program today. Okay, let's get to one of the most important parts of this voyage before they arrive in America, is the forming, the writing of the Mayflower Compact. This is of ultra-importance to not only The Pilgrims, but way more broadly than that, because it was the precursor to the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and really constitutions all over the world. These little group, a band of pilgrims, wrote this thing before they landed, almost in a hurry, actually, by the way.

They realized this needed to be done. We needed to have a sort of a compact, how we're going to behave, a body politic here, how are we going to run our little society, and here's what it says in the film. When the Mayflower Compact was written, November 11, 1620, on board the Mayflower itself, it was written in order to stop a mutiny, a potential mutiny, where some of the ones who were not part of the Church said, hey, we'll do what we want to do. Thus, before disembarking, The Pilgrims ended up making world history by writing up what Winston Churchill called one of the remarkable documents in history. It was a key forerunner to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. It was the Mayflower Compact.

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, to buy these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends of Fawcett. I think it was intimated in the film, Jerry, that this document, the Mayflower Compact, was not something that they just kind of made up. This is the way the Pilgrims had been living by these biblical principles for years and that their pastor, John Robinson, who was, he called in the film, the most important Pilgrim who never came to America and how he was really the inspiration for a lot of these ideas that the Pilgrims brought over to America and that was the most important thing they brought, their faith and how their faith was going to be lived out in civil society and, of course, just in their faith as well. But why was this Mayflower Compact so significant to the Pilgrims but also much more broadly to the world? As Os Guinness once put it, the biblical concept of covenant gave rise to the American Constitution. A covenant is an agreement that somebody makes with God and with each other. So in the case of the Pilgrims, before they even became a specific congregation back in 1606, they made a covenant that was not written down or if it was written down, we don't have a copy of it, they made a covenant with each other under God to be this specific congregation to meet each other's needs, to love one another, to live out the gospel amongst themselves as a united church. And so when they were there on the Mayflower, in light of the fact that the couple of the hired hands that they had with us, who were sympathetic to their trip, who might have been having their own Bible with them but that would have been a King James Bible versus the Geneva Bible. In other words, they weren't a part of this separatist congregation. People like Miles Standish, who was their hired soldier and security guard and policeman all rolled into one. Or John Alden, who was a barrel maker, a specialist in barrels.

And that was extremely important, the barrel process. And these men, these strangers were sympathetic to the pilgrim's cause. They understood, they were going into the new world and creating this Bible Commonwealth where the Bible and living by the Bible, the church was the hub of everything. They understood that. But they were blown off course and the patent that they had of the frame of government actually approved by King James himself was no longer valid. And so they were under no government's jurisdiction.

So some of these hired strangers or whatever were mumbling among themselves about the possibility of setting out on their own once they landed and got onto terra firma. So before setting one single foot on American soil, the pilgrims made world history in writing up that Mayflower Compact. And this Mayflower Compact was the first of about 100 or so different Puritans, covenants and frames of government and writings including some of the Quakers wrote up such as William Penn. And they were these unique Christian doctrines that lead all the way up to we the people. As one man put it, Dr. Donald Lutz retired now but formerly with the University of Houston, author of a book called The Origins of American Constitutionalism. He said, we whose names are underwritten eventually morphs into we the people.

These radical Protestant sects, that's the word he used or phrase he used, radical Protestant sects drawing from the Bible. They're the ones that came up with all these different constitutions and compacts and frames of government that uniquely led the way to the Constitution. So by the time the founding fathers sat down in Philadelphia in 1787 to create a new frame of government, they already had 150 years of experience in doing so. In fact, in another episode of this series, the Foundation of American Liberty, we talk about the fundamental orders of Connecticut. To this day, Connecticut likes to call itself the Constitution State and that's with good cause because the fundamental orders of Connecticut was the first fully developed constitution written on American soil and it was written by these Puritans who founded Connecticut. It talks about the liberty and the purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus and historians say it is in direct lineage to the U.S. Constitution.

It was the first fully developed constitution but it's one of these hundred or so different charters and so forth written mostly by Puritan type from the Mayflower Compact to the 1787 Constitution. This is an important part of our history. The Christian Worldview with David Wheaton returns in just a moment. When it comes to your health care provider, what are some words you would use to describe your experience with them? Comfort, peace, confidence? Well, at Samaritan Ministries, those are just some of the words our members use frequently like Samaritan member, former long-term board member and now staff member Jamie Piles uses to describe his 24-year relationship with Samaritan Ministries. It's hard to put words into the comfort and the relief and the peace that you have as you've come to terms that Samaritan Ministries is real, it's viable and it's working and it's there.

We just thank God that he's allowed us to have that kind of peace to be in a situation where I can focus on things that are far more important than what are we gonna do about health care. Want to be part of a growing, caring community of Christians who faithfully share each other's medical needs each month all without the use of insurance? Find out more at SamaritanMinistries.org slash TCW.

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Short takes are also available and be sure to share with others. Now, back to today's program with host David Wheaton. Dr. Jerry Newcomb talking about his film he produced called The Pilgrims.

You can get it for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View. It's a 57-minute documentary on how they started in England, to how they went to Holland and how they got to America and then what happened when they arrived on shore. Just for the sake of time, Jerry, we're going to skip over just what that first winter was like. You know, they had to live most of the first winter on the ship.

There were so many deaths. Their first governor, John Carver, died. That's when William Bradford became governor.

He would be governor for 30 years. William Brewster was kind of their functioning pastor. Remember, John Robinson wasn't able to come over.

He died a few years later. And then the captain of the ship, Captain Jones, sometime in the spring, lo and behold, returns to England. So there goes your boat. Just imagine that. You're standing on the shore watching the Mayflower go back to England and there's nowhere for you to go now.

You're here. He offered to take anyone back that wanted to go back and no one accepted. And so I want to get on to what you just said about how they lived their lives. This from the film with the Pilgrims. The church was the central focus of the Pilgrims' colony. The first building they built served as a church, as a meeting house, like a town hall, and even housed some of them.

They would often march to church with a drummer ahead of them and with the men bearing muskets and swords for protection. The sons provided the main hymn book for the Pilgrims. In fact, the whole Bible was the center of their colony and the core of its entire purpose.

The Pilgrims did live according to the Bible. That was their textbook for life. People come here and they say to me, this is wonderful, but these children, they couldn't have been well educated. There was no formal school and there wasn't. But they were well educated. They learned at home. Their parents taught them and their textbook was the Bible. But they did have supplementary materials. Governor Bradford himself brought over 400 books with him on the Mayflower.

The governor could speak five languages. You hear all that, Jerry, and these Pilgrims, these sound like biblicists, conservative born-again Christians with the Bible as the textbook for life. It doesn't sound like they believed in the separation of church and state, although they had tolerance for those who didn't believe because they were with strangers.

They were called strangers, those who weren't part of the Pilgrim sect. And they were dealing with, of course, the American Indians at the time, too, and they weren't killing them off. As a matter of fact, you bring that up well in the film that their treatment of finding corn that the Indians had cashed somewhere and they found it and they paid it back. Or when they'd want land, they'd always go through Massasoit and pay for the land. They weren't coming here today, oh, these early Americans, they stole the land.

We're living on stolen land. Not the Pilgrims, at least, were doing any of that. These people were very committed Christians. Talk more about their commitment to God and His word and how that really influenced the way they lived their lives when they came to America.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the law and the prophets. So said Jesus Christ, and that's the way the Pilgrims lived. They treated one another that way. They treated the strangers that they were dealing with. They treated the Native Americans that way. They made a treaty of peace with the Indians that lasted, basically it lasted more than 50 years. It outlived all of them who were participating in that, including Bradford, Squanto, who was their translator, Massasoit, et cetera.

So they really were model Christians in the way they lived. And an interesting aspect that we bring out in the film is that they actually had a form of socialism imposed on them by the merchants from England that had lent them the money to even make the voyage in the first place. And after a couple of years of seeing that this just did not work, that one person would get just as much corn or whatever as someone else, but one person could work real hard and the other one might not work that hard, it just wasn't fair.

They just basically abolished it and they said, there's no way we're going to do this. From now on, each person's going to have their own plot of land and you are responsible for it and if you want to share anything, fine, but no more of this socialism, communalistic situation. And Dennis Prager points out in our film, socialism never works, it just undermines character.

Whenever you say, okay, the government's going to take care of you, people tend to just relax and not work as hard as they would otherwise. I'm skipping over so much here just for the sake of time and that particular point I wanted to play a sound bite, but well, there's a lot of listeners who listen to that portion of the film and it's so ironic that they were experimenting with a socialistic type environment back then, early on, when they came here and it just didn't work and they found when they went to a land ownership and incentive and free trade all of a sudden their productivity went up by multiple times. How ironic that what the pilgrims found that it failed when they experimented with it, that we're dallying and trying to, as many of our society political leaders are trying to push this on us today, history keeps on repeating itself and I hope we don't have to learn that lesson. Again, Jerry Newcomb with us today here on the Christian Real View talking about the film he produced, The Pilgrims is a documentary, nearly one hour. You can get it for a donation of any amount, just for a limited time here at the Christian Real View. Just go to our website, thechristianrealview.org or just call us, 1-888-646-2233. You can also write to us.

We'll give that address right at the end of the program today. Again, just for the sake of time, we're going to skip over all the film it covers on the interactions with the Indians at the time, how Edward Winslow basically helped Massasoit not die, helped him recover from a disease he had, how, again, the land wasn't stolen, it was paid for, the first Thanksgiving, getting together with the Indians and being thankful to God for his provision. We just don't have time to get into all that today, but I want to play just one more sound bite before we conclude, and this is toward the end of the film where this is set. The Mayflower was a cargo ship, but the most precious cargo that was carried across the Atlantic were the ideas in the hearts of the pilgrims that were drawn from the bayou. You see, the seeds of liberty, both religious liberty and civil liberty, and the idea of self-government and rule from within, all these are within that body of pilgrims. Commercially, Plymouth was never a resounding success.

Winston Churchill noted, the financial supports in London reaped no profits. In 1627, they sold out, and the Plymouth colony was left to its own resources. Such was the founding of New England.

It may have technically been a commercial bust, but in so many other ways, Plymouth was a major outpost. The original stalwart souls who created a colony in the howling New England winter, just so they could worship according to the dictates of conscience, had far more influence on world history than they could have ever imagined. Wow. What a big statement. Had more impact on world history than they could have imagined. They were the founders of America, as the film points out.

And so, I watched the film, Jerry. I think about our country today. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but our country has fallen very far away from these pilgrim ideas of who God is and how the Bible integrates into life and being faithful and so forth. And you look at where we are today with the division over critical race theory, calling the founding of America based on white supremacy, the 1619 Project, which says that this country really started when the first slaves came here, and that's what this country was built and developed on, and we're still a very racist country and a bad country. You just look at all the dalliance with socialism today, everything else going on.

It can be a little discouraging, really, for Christians who know about the pilgrims and what their intent was for this nation. Of course, things aren't static. They're going to change. We live in a fallen world. So my final question for you, Jerry, is, how do you think our country went from that to where it is today? What do you think have been the causal factors of that?

And what is the charge that you would have for people who have heard our interview today as to what do we do now? Somebody once said, you know, we're all entitled to our own opinions, but we're not entitled to our own facts. And the facts about American history are laid out in books like The Annals of America, which, by the way, is a product of the Encyclopedia Britannica from the 1970s.

I own a copy of it. It's about 20 different books, volumes one, two, and three, deal with all the key documents that are very important in American history. So the Mayflower Compact is there, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is there, etc. And reputable historians that have looked at things like the 1619 Project, they've said this is baloney, this is just not true. And in fact, the 1619 Project has even had to back off on one of their speeches claims. They said that supposedly the American founders, okay, now we're jumping to the head to the time of the Revolution, so in the 1770s, that they were fighting to defend slavery. And that's just so ignorant. I'm sorry, that's so wrong.

Just a lie. Just to give one quick example, 1774 in Virginia, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and other Virginians that were part of the House of Burgesses, which is their ruling body in that particular colony, they came up with something called the Fairfax Resolves. And that was basically, tried to provide a death blow to the slave trade, at least as a start. Let's stop the slaves from being imported into Virginia.

Let's stop that. And King George III said no, he vetoed that. This is before William Wilberforce's successful 50-year Christian crusade against the slavery in the British Empire. First the slave trade, that was part one of his crusade, and then part two of his crusade was getting all the slaves freed.

By the time he died in 1833, he was successful. But one of the guests in our program, and it's not in this particular episode, it's in the episode on the city on a hill, which is the next episode, Dr. Walter Williams, a professor from George Mason University, now the late Dr. Walter Williams, but he makes a point saying slavery was mankind's fair virtually from the beginning of recorded history. The important thing about the Western world is how we spent so many considerable resources to uproot it. And so what the 1619 Project is doing is basically peddling false history. There's been a lot of false history that's been peddled, for example, by a Marxist Communist member of the Communist Party USA, Howard Zinn, who wrote a series of what became very popular books in the 1970s, or I think it was the 1970s, if not there about in the 1980s, called A People's History of the United States. And these books kind of rewrote everything, and they made Columbus from a hero into a villain. And part of it, though, is that they actually, Howard Zinn takes quotes out of context. So he'll have a quote from Columbus as an example, which sounds like the full context is anti-slavery, but the way Howard Zinn edited it, he made it into Columbus being pro-slavery, and that's not accurate.

But today Columbus is the number one victim of statue toppling in modern America. So, yeah, there is definitely a battle over history, and the Marxists are certainly out there and they're doing their darndest, and they certainly have a lot of the major universities and so forth. But truth will out at the end of the day, the foundation of American liberty, and we love, you know, most people enjoy American liberty, that foundation is the Judeo-Christian heritage.

If you take that away completely, we will collapse into tyranny. So my comment would be, let's keep fighting this and fighting with truth. Let's fight the falsehood with the truth. And think about the hymn, though, that we sing at Thanksgiving time.

We gather together. One of the lines says, so from the beginning, the fight we were winning, thou Lord was at our side, all glory be thine. So let's be faithful doing what is right. Well, I think that's a great encouragement. Exhortation maybe is the better word for us, and that's why I think the film is so helpful, because it does lay out the truth, the historic truth, on who the pilgrims were, how they founded America, and the intentions they had for this country.

And so keep speaking the truth with grace, in love, and we'll see where the Lord leads the whole thing. But, Jerry, thank you for coming on the Christian Reel of Your Radio program today. Thank you for producing this film. We just encourage listeners to watch this. It doesn't need to be watched at Thanksgiving, of course.

It's really an evergreen-type movie that you can watch anytime. It'll give you a sense of where we came from. It will refute the lies that we hear on media all the time about the history of our country at this time or any time of year. So thank you for coming on the program. We wish all of God's best and grace to you. Thank you, and happy Thanksgiving to you, David Wheaton. And just consider, this season is the 400th anniversary of the very first Thanksgiving in Plymouth.

Wow, what a legacy. I hope you were reminded about the founding of our country in listening to the interview with Dr. Jerry Newcomb today on the pilgrims. The quote that they said themselves, that they came to America, quote, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, unquote, just sticks in my mind.

It's very sad to think about how far America has fallen. The sinful natures of mankind, the rebellion against God, like the Old Testament nation of Israel, has led to where we are today. And this should impel us to personal repentance and the pursuit of sanctification as the pilgrims did. Let's proclaim the gospel whenever and wherever we have opportunity. Let's pray for our leaders that they would honor God. Let's ask and cry out to God that he would start spiritual revival in this country.

If you'd like to get a copy of the DVD again, titled The Pilgrims, it's nearly one hour long. You can order it through our website, thechristianworldview.org, or you can call us toll-free, 1-888-646-2233. Our address is given right after the program. One final note is that our annual print letter and resource guide is going to be sent out soon.

If you're not signed up for that free resource, you can do so by getting in touch with us through our website or calling us. We hope you are having a meaningful and God-honoring Thanksgiving weekend. And let's remember what to be thankful for most of all. Jesus Christ and his word are the same yesterday and today and forever. Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Worldview is a listener-supported ministry and furnished by the Overcomer Foundation, a nonprofit organization. You can find out more, order resources, make a donation, become a monthly partner, and contact us by visiting thechristianworldview.org, calling toll-free, 1-888-646-2233, or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to The Christian Worldview. Until next time, think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 20:39:32 / 2023-07-16 21:00:27 / 21

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