While our nation remains deeply divided and under great stress right now—for a multitude of reasons—Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), points to a key reason Americans should feel gratitude this Thanksgiving season.
He urges all citizens to remember the direct connection, going back 400 years, between the Mayflower Compact and America’s founding documents—and to understand the priceless heritage we’ve been given as a country, a treasure worth protecting and defending well into the future.
“We have just celebrated, this past Saturday, the 400th anniversary of a red-letter day in American history,” says Dr. Land. “On November 21, 1620, the adult male passengers and crew of the Mayflower hammered out a social contract on how they would govern themselves in the New World.”
Adds Dr. Land, “There is a critical historical distinction, often missed by modern readers, between these ‘Pilgrims’ and the ‘Puritans’ who came six years later in larger numbers to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Mayflower Pilgrims were 17th-century revolutionaries,” explains Dr. Land. “Their theology over the previous century had led them to reject the idea of an official state church and to embrace the vision of the church as a visible, local congregation of Christians who had professed a personal relationship with Jesus—thus their being labeled ‘Separatists.’”
As Dr. Land also notes in his just-published piece on this topic in The Christian Post, “The Separatists invoked the wrath of the king and brought serious persecution down on themselves.” Yet the Mayflower Compact they created “became the first organized attempt at self-government in the English-speaking experiment in the New World,” says Dr. Land. “The Mayflower Compact became, in truth, America’s Magna Carta, the basis for the self-governing constitutional republic we were destined to become. This form of government was planted in the original American DNA from the beginning—there is a direct line of descent from the Mayflower Compact in 1620 to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787.”
For all of these reasons and more, Dr. Land emphasizes, “The Mayflower Compact is a far better place to look for the origin of America’s founding, rather than the fanciful 1619 date from the delusional New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ when some slaves landed in North America by happenstance.”
Dr. Land is urging all Americans to “pause to reflect on the priceless heritage of self-government and liberty that our ancestors have bequeathed to us—and may we all resolve to pass it on undiminished to our children and our grandchildren. God bless America! We have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.”
Dr. Land shared additional timely insights last week in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” on which he regularly discusses topics of the day. He also writes a regular weekly column for The Christian Post, where he serves as executive editor.