We think of the Pilgrims as religious zealots bound on a divine missions trip. Well, it might have been the divine providence of our heavenly Father that brought them here but it was the hand of King James who drive them out of England. When King James took the throne of England he wanted to bring all the believers into agreement with the Church of England’s teachings. He opposed any reformers who wanted to bring people more in line with what they felt the Bible taught. He decided that everyone must worship the way he dictated or suffer the consequences. One Christian sect called the Seperatists didn’t believe that a king should be the head of a church but God alone should be their head. King James said, “I shall make them conform or I will harry them out of the land, or else do worse.” It was fear of their earthly king that caused these Pilgrims to seek religious freedom in a new land. Thank God for persecution.
Many times the Lord allows persecution to spread His gospel to new lands. The first century church was driven from Jerusalem by the persecution from the Jews who were killing them, otherwise the gospel may have never spread into gentile lands.
King James was a devoted but misguided believer. His efforts gave us one of the greatest English translations of the Holy Bible yet he persecuted anyone who practiced Christianity differently than he did. The arrogant attitude of King James and religious spirit that guided him can be seen occasionally in those that teach unless you’re reading a King James Bible you’re reading a false Bible. How ridiculous. The KJV is wonderful, a breakthrough for the English speaking reader but it’s not divinely inspired. The Bible in its original languages (Hebrew, Greek & Aramaic) IS. In fact there are thousands of errors in the translations that were corrected in later English Bibles such as New King James, Revised Standard and New Living to name just a few. So please don’t persecute other Christians for worshipping a little differently than you or having a different version of the scriptures…treat each other as children of the King of Kings.
This Thanksgiving remember to thank God for the freedom to worship the way you want in America. Thank God for the founding of this nation on religious freedom. Don’t ever let any president, congress or court limit our religious freedom. And last, remember to thank God for persecution because many times He’s just extending His Kingdom farther. When you’re persecuted because you won’t work or let your kids play sports on Sundays, because you have a Bible on your desk or because you dared to share your faith in a loving, respectful way with a coworker or another student…THANK God because He’s about to do something world changing through you!!
Take this quiz on Thanksgiving: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/quiz/?id=UHVLR although I disagree with one answer they give…Thanksgiving was a religious holiday. Who says you can’t shoot guns on a religious day. Come over my house at Christmas!