A Thanksgiving Tale
Martian Luther 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546 was a German friar, Catholic priest, professor of theology he was originally an Augustinian friar. He became disillusioned with the Roman Catholic Church. You need to understand that the Roman Church had the full power of the Government behind it so it could enforce its point of view on everyone and if they didn’t follow along they would be put to death. Luther led the Protestant Reformation. The reasons that caused Luther to lead this reformation are:
- He felt that the Roman Catholic Church was corrupt and needed to be reformed.
- Bibles were only available in Latin and therefore not available to most people.
- Priest would be willing to sell forgiveness so that left out all but the wealthy and well educated from forgiveness.
So to put it in a simple form he thought the Church was motivated by greed and not teaching from the word. Luther in 1517 wrote out his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgence and tacked it to the door of the church in Wittenberg. In a strange twist of fate in the 14th century in England there had been an attempt to reform the church. The attempt in England had been crushed.
Luther changed and started teaching that salvation was not earned but was a free gift available to all. He taught was Ephesians 2:8, 9. He also taught that the Bible alone should be our sole source for truth thereby challenging the Pope’s authority.
Luther was ex communicated
Luther had gained a great deal of support throughout Europe. Henry the VIII did not support Luther. Henry had written a pamphlet in 1521 criticizing Luther which of course earned him the Pope's gratitude.
Henry the VIII was born in June of 1421 to Henry the 7th and Elizabeth of York. In 1509 Henry ascended to the throne in England. When Henry’s brother Arthur died Henry became betrothed to his brother's wife, Catherine of Aragon, to which Henry protested both to Pope Julius II and Archbishop Warham. Because of pressure Brought by Catherine's father Ferdinand they were wed.
One thing that became a very large issue was Henry wanted a male heir. This was not happening. In 1533 Henry divorced Catherine and married Ann Boleyn.
This also removed all papal jurisdictions because Henry turned his back on Rome and joined in with those supporting the reformation. One of the things that happened when Henry separated from Rome was he ordered Bibles written in English be put into all Churches in direct defiance to Rome. Little did Henry realize what he was setting into motion.
People who could read were now reading the Bibles that Henry had put into the churches. People could hear the actual words of the Word for the first time. Like many when these people started to hear what the bible taught and realize that wasn't what they were being taught. In fact many of the things they had always held as true they were finding out it was not the case. If you spent your whole life confessing your sins and you find out that what you need to do is to confess the Savior from sin (Romans 10: 9,10) and that would cause you to want to change at least those who were interested in living by what the word taught. These people kept talking about getting back to the purity of the Bible. As they kept saying this they became known as Puritans. This is much the same as when the first century believers kept talking about having Christ in them they became known as Christians. (Act 11:26 )
As often happens when there is a group that has ideas that do not conform to the Majority a persecution started. These Puritans were treated very badly to the point that in 1607/08 these Puritans moved to Holland. There they no longer were being persecuted. The Puritans went to Amsterdam first then moved to the town of Leiden in 1609. The Puritans lived there happily for a decade then Spain threatened war against Holland and the concerns about their children their safety and they did not want them to lose their English identity. It was decided that the Puritans would return to England then half of them would continue on to what we now call The United States. It would take another 10 years for the second group of Puritans as well as some others to get to America.
The first group when they arrived would before they went ashore in Plymouth would gather together and devise a group of laws called the Plymouth Compact.
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under-written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November [New Style, November 21], in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.
One of those Laws was all would have freedom of religion. Those laws also became the outline for the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
You may notice that the words separation of Church and state don't appear there. That was an idea that came about in the Supreme Court. Don't ever be tricked there is nothing anyplace in the Amendments that talks of separation of church and state only that congress the body that makes laws may do nothing to abridging your or my right to worship God in whatever way we choose.
Of course they came ashore set up a village survived a winter where almost half of them died and decided to have a party to which the local Indians were invited to because of the help they had given these people who had come to their land, and we still celebrate this holiday with the giving of thanks. A very biblical principal.
All Scriptures are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
2 Sa 22:50 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.
1 Ch 16:8 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Ezr 3:11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Psa 18:49 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.
Psa 30:4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
Psa 30:11, 12 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
(KJV) Psalm 100: Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him,and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psa 35:18, Psa 75:1, Psa 79:13, Psa 92:1, Psa 105:1, Psa 106:1, Psa 107:1, Psa 118:1, Psa 119:62, and I could go on but
I think you get the point I will end with
(KJV) Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of introducing the word into a situation look what happened when Henry the 8th introduced the word to the people.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Everyone