Do you know that the concept of a written Constitution itself was a development that grew out of the practices of the early American religious colonies? The Pilgrim fathers (and mothers) consciously entered into covenants (compacts, mutual promises or contracts) that imitated the Old and New Covenants (i.e., Old and New Testaments). The Old Testament abounds in examples of covenants between God and man and between people within the ancient social framework of Israel. The fact remains that a people that are covenant keepers will be strong and prosperous.
The Pilgrims were dissenting religious believers that were originally from England. These Separatists first attempted to create a community of believers in Nottinghamshire village of Scrooby around 1606.
Their objective was to practice their faith without being contaminated by the elitist and worldly culture that surrounded them in England. In order to avoid the reality of being imprisoned for worshipping in their homes, the Scrooby Separatists fled to Amsterdam.
The Netherlands was a Calvinistic stronghold that had struggled for years against Spanish invasions launched on behalf of the Catholic Church. Amsterdam was very tolerant toward various religious groups. In fact, Amsterdam had already become very commercialized and prostitution, alcoholism and other vices were on display as much as the religious freedom that the Pilgrims sought. The Ancient Brethren, another group of English Separatists that had immigrated to Amsterdam earlier, lost many of their children to the worldly atmosphere of Amsterdam.
The realization that Amsterdam could easily corrupt their own community, brought the Pilgrims to Leiden:
After a brief stay in Amsterdam, where they were dismayed by the discord within other immigrant English congregations, the Pilgrims were granted permission to settle in the cloth manufacturing city of Leiden. They lived there under the religious leadership of Pastor John Robinson for twelve years gathered openly as a church. However, life in a foreign country was not without problems. The only occupations open to most immigrants were poorly paid, and they found themselves growing old in poverty. The twelve-year truce between Holland and Spain was to end in 1621, threatening a resumption of hostilities. Also troublesome to the Separatists were the hardships endured by their young people, who were forced by circumstance to work at exceptionally hard jobs. Others were assimilated into the Dutch culture, leaving their parents and their community profoundly disturbed.
The impovershed community began looking to Virginia (the whole Eastern seaboard of the North American continent) as a place of refuge where they could carve out a Scriptural way of life free of the commercial culture and vice with which they struggled in Holland and England. They approached the Virginia Company that had funded Jamestown.
They informed prospective investors that they hwere industrious, frugal and “knit otogether in a sacred bond’ by their hardships in Amsterdam. Apparently the investors agreed that the Pilgrim experience inured to their “mutual good” and funds were provided for the tiny band to set sail for what became the Plymouth Colony:
A group of English investors known as the “merchant adventurers” financed the voyage and settlement. They formed a joint-stock company with the colonists in which the merchants agreed to “adventure” (risk) their money, and the settlers to invest their personal labor, for a period of seven years. During that time, all land and livestock were to be owned in partnership; afterwards the company would be dissolved and the assets divided.
The Second Amendment is a Covenant that supersedes treaties. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the first major case involving the important issue of whether the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. The landmark case originated in Washington, DC where, like Chicago and other cities, law abiding citizens were not allowed to defend themselves against lawless criminals! Since Heller v DC was decided, cities all over the land are changing their laws ro conform to the Second Amendment.
The Washington, DC case has provided the legal basis for a series of cases to percolate through the courts. The United Nations and domestic gun ban advocates will be seeking a worldwide treaty banning small arms (firearms are already prohibited to private citizens in all but a few nations as a result of the UN anti-gun agenda). Will the U.S. ratify the consensus of dictators all over the world by bending our Constitution to “international norms“?
The roots of our American Constitutional order are buried in ancient Israel’s covenant with Yahweh! We need to be careful today what kind of laws, covenants and treaties we make as a people.
A people that recognize their heritage in God and that are grateful for blessings every day (not just on Thanksgiving) will prosper and remain free.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
Proverbs 22:28 (King James Version)