This post, the fifth of a nine-part series highlighting a topic from each chapter of The American Covenant – The Untold Story by Dr. Marshall Foster, verifies America’s foundation on Judeo-Christian principles in government.
Our founders, Pilgrims who used their blood and sweat to form America’s government, followed Biblical principles. Often overlooked in American history is the fact that the Pilgrims, before arriving in America, settled first in Holland for eleven years. It was there they learned and lived the teaching of Christian self-governing from their pastor, John Robinson.
Robinson taught them the church in Jerusalem was essentially democratic. He encouraged delegating congregational leadership through chosen elected officials, men of good conscience and character. The Pilgrims were learning self-government through Christ.
“This was the structure of the Pilgrim Church under Pastor Robinson’s inspired leadership: Christ the King giving to each member self-government; then the Christians, forming the Body of Christ, electing representatives from among themselves to carry on the work of the church.”The American Covenant – The Untold Story
Once it became time for the original Mayflower to leave Holland and voyage to America Pastor Robinson had to make the choice to stay behind with the majority of his congregation. However, because he clearly knew his members would face many challenges in their new life, he wrote them a farewell letter of counsel encouraging their move now from Christian self-government to Christian civil-government.
“Lastly, where as you are to become a body politic, using amongst yourselves civil government…let your wisdom and godliness appear not only in choosing such persons as do entirely and will diligently promote the common good, but also in yielding unto them all due honor and obedience in their lawful administrations; not beholding in them the ordinariness of their persons, but God’s ordinance for your good.”The American Covenant – The Untold Story
Of the 102 passengers on the original Mayflower’s first passage to America less than half were Pilgrims. Those others the Pilgrims referred to as “strangers.” The strangers, having no desire to create a Godly government, were overheard to say no one had power to command them on what to do once they arrived on land.
The Pilgrims, knowing that chaos could arise if they themselves did not follow the teachings of Pastor Robinson, chose to write The Mayflower Compact. This official document, known to be the first of many covenant documents our Founding Fathers made with God, was indeed signed by all 41 Pilgrim men on board the ship before they ever stepped out onto American soil.
By signing the compact they committed themselves to just and equal law good for the colony and, “for the glory of God”.
America has many other founding covenant with God documents. Included are:
- The Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut
“In the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, we have a document far ahead of its time in recognizing the origin of all civil government as derived from God and ‘the agreement and covenant of the whole body of governed.’”The American Covenant – The Untold Story – Dr. Marshall Foster
- The Frame Of Government, by William Penn
Pennsylvania founder William Penn, a devout Quaker who spent time in the Tower of London and Newgate Prison for his religion, made it a priority to establish religious freedom in Pennsylvania when he wrote The Frame Of Government.
“All persons living in the providence, who confess and acknowledge the One Almighty and Eternal God to be Creator, Upholder, and Ruler of the world, and that hold themselves obliged, in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in no wise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice, in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”The American Covenant – The Untold Story
It is Christian Pilgrims who brought self-government to the shores of America and committed our country to Christian civil-government. It is Christian Pilgrims who realized government was a choice between electing good men with morals and character or be under the directive of an authoritative government. In 1620, upon the signing of the Mayflower Compact the Christian Pilgrims made the right choice for our future.
It is up to Christians today to continue their legacy.
John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Read more about, The American Covenant – The Untold Story:
- Part 1 of 9 – Remember God’s History In America
- Part 2 of 9 – America Acknowledges God’s Providence
- Part 3 of 9 – Our Purpose In America
- Part 4 of 9 – America, Our Liberty Is Through Christ
ARE YOU A FOLLOWER OF JESUS?
Have you invited Jesus into your heart? now is the perfect time. Pray this sinner’s prayer found at Gotquestions.com. Through Jesus you will receive the hope that He alone offers.
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
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Will the Church Forget?
May 25, 1997
Dr. Kennedy encourages pastors to speak out on the important moral issues of our day in his message, “Will the Church Forget.” Down through the centuries churches have been the ones who have moved to get rid of most of the great evils of our world, like slavery, cannibalism, prison reform, child labor laws, to name a few. We are involved in a great conflict for the soul of this nation. Let us not be mere spectators on the sidelines.