The Pilgrims

Presented by: V Clark on December 7, 2015.

John Brewster (the character) 31-years their governor, narrates his history of the Pilgrims who established a colony on Plymoth, Mass in 1620. This dramatic documentary portrays re-enactments of actual events and provides excellent material to better understand their motives and circumstances.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

The Pilgrims

+ADD video to watch list

  • Aired: 11/24/2015
  • 01:51:48
  • Expires: 12/14/2015

Explore the converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620. The challenges they faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.

After 400 years, we now have a more accurate history of the spiritual journey of these religious dissidents in the writings of John Brewster.  They were seeking a better country as described in Hebrews Chapter 11.

Through hardship and conflict, their ideals were gradually whittled away as they struggled to survive. In the end, John Brewster felt that the experiment in Christian Community failed to produce a lasting spiritual culture.  The primary challenges were not getting food, or resisting Native American attacks, but the thousands of incoming immigrants who promoted agricultural competition and scattering of their group.

John Brewster was a man of God who strove to serve God through his protestant interpretation of the scriptures. His desire to gather other fellow believers into a Christian Community was considered an act of treason because the Crown of England was also the head of the Church of England and there were laws forbidding competing faiths.

The Pilgrims first relocated to Holland where for ten years they began their effort to go to the New World.

Separate from the world

I cannot say it is ‘wrong’ to separate yourself from the world in order to serve God.  I also cannot say it is ‘wrong’ to stay in the world and mix with it in order to promote the gospel. Jesus was criticized on both counts by his opponents.

16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Remain in the world

We have numerous examples of people of God who were in the world and yet were still able to do God’s will.  The patriarch, Joseph was sold into slavery and went to prison.  But he became the prime minister of Egypt and saved his nation.

Daniel was a refugee of the diaspora in Babylon and refused to worship the false gods.

Jesus was not concerned that his church would be in the world.  He told the woman at the well that there is coming a time and now is when we will worship God in spirit and in truth.  So he was saying it is not where you worship, but how you worship.

And the Apostle Paul tells the church at Rome to live peaceably with all men.  These are instructions to stay in the world and how to behave in order to demonstrate that we are in the world, but not of the world.

 

10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.