Summary: In the first of the movie, Monumental, Kurt Cameron shares information about the Pilgrims which reinforces the Providence of God in their lives and ours.
1. Mayflower Compact
2. First Thanksgiving Proclamation -- 1623
The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623, 3 years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth;
To all ye Pilgrims,
Inasmuch as the great father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the raids of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving t ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
3. In 1620, this group of "Pilgrims" came to America seeking religious freedom and an opportunity to carry out the Great Commission.
4. Their story is one of the Providence of God -- Proverbs 3.5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
I. The Pilgrim Story
A. Religious Intolerance
* The Pilgrims were part of the Puritans -- attempted to purify the Church of England
o Had illegal English bibles which had been smuggled into England -- most important thing to them as they heard God speaking to them through it [EEM
o The Monarchies of Elizabeth and James used clergy to control the people
Their fear was of accountability -- if the people had bibles, they would see through the sham of churches and the Monarchy//KJV -- Episcopal government of the church
The people had been sacrificing and starving while churches grew wealthy and fat
People came to want the Church of the NT, not of men
* Unable to Purify, they became "Separatists" (Pilgrims)
o By separating, they were denouncing the Monarchy (head of the Church of England)
o This was bigger than switching churches, this was TREASON
o King James, a tyrant, followed Elizabeth -- tripled the debt of the country; bankrupted; coined "Divine Right of Kings" to intimidate the people -- God set up governments, therefore, whatever the king wants he gets; saw himself as devout but was actually killing the devout
o Once "Separatists" there was no going back -- underground worship/study for 4 years
B. Attempts for Freedom
* Choice -- Get caught and die or escape to freedom; then grow and develop as a community of faith to come back and free people from the tyrant
* Attempt #1 -- secret negotiation with Dutch Sea Captain
o Walked 60 miles in cold September to coast
o Camped without tents, sleeping bags, or fires
o On the beach they were betrayed by the captain and arrested by the army; the captain sold them out and kept their money -- they were jailed
* Attempt #2 -- they saw the first attempt's failure as a temporary setback, learning experience -- second attempt more dangerous
o Men were separated from their families
Men went through woods to ship on the river
Women and children rafted but got sick and moved closer to shore where they were stuck on a mud bank -- captured by the army
o Captain had to leave -- could lose his ship or life by helping the Pilgrims
o A Miracle -- horrific storm on the North Sea -- carried the uncontrollable ship for 2 weeks; they prayed, especially when they thought they were about to die -- "Even now, LORD, you are able to save us." -- Storm stopped and they made their way to Amsterdam
100's of ships were lost in the storm
Miracle? They thought so!
o One year later their families came to Holland
o They stayed in Holland 12 years under the leadership of John Robinson, their Pastor, developing their faith and their community
Hard life -- no jobs (not in guilds); children worked for survival
Providence? This was the only country to which they could have gone that they would not have been persecuted to death -- France, Germany, and Scotland were killing thousands and thousands of non-conforming Christians
* Attempt #3 -- Back to England to sail to the New World
o Hired Mayflower and Speedwell for the 150 passengers
Speedwell leaked, went back to England for repairs and another opportunity to be captured