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The Saga of the Pilgrims is a story about the religious persecution brought on a group of Christians by a government. It is also a story about God's deliverance from that persecution. This story applies, even in our modern day, to more and more Christians around the world--Christians coming increasingly under government and religious persecution. Government persecution and persecution of all types against Christians is constantly growing in our modern world, as amazing as that may seem to some of us in the United States of America.


But it is a plain fact, that as we get closer to the end of this age of man, these persecutions will increase. Jesus talked about this persecution in the end times just prior to his return, so we shouldn't be surprised. But some of us are, living in these United States of America, when we hear of Christians being persecuted and even killed in other countries. We don't really know whether to believe these stories or not, they sound so outrageous, like Christians being crucified or sold into slavery in the Sudan. Surely that can't happen here, can it? How bad could it get over here in the United States? I think that is a good reason we need to look at the Saga of the Pilgrims, because England in the 1600's was considered a civilized society. Queen Elizebeth's sea dogs had just beaten off the Spanish Armada with their skillful seamanship, high muzzle-velocity cannons, and by God's grace through a great storm. A virtual knowledge bloom both in Scripture and technology was taking place, quite similar to our time. So let's take a close look at the Saga of the Pilgrims, for it may yet become our Saga. And if any of you doubt the seriousness of the times we live in, remember what just happened on September 11, 2001.

This story is the history of the start of the Congregationalist revival, but it is also a history of Christians under persecution, and more importantly, a story about their deliverance. They were firmly anchored to Jesus, their Rock, and he used them to become the holy seed crystal of the greatest nation on earth. We and they will become the seed crystal of the coming Kingdom of God at the return of Jesus Christ! He is preparing us to land on that promised land, so let us read the Saga of the Pilgrims with these things in mind.

One other essential thing. We must not forget one of the central "religious" motives for the Pilgrim's move to the New World was that of world evangelism. According to writings of Bradford and Edward Winslow this motive was expressed thusly: "Lastly, and which was not least, a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make someway thereunto, for the promoting and advancing of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work." These humble folk were indeed "stepping stones" for greater works of world evangelism which now are presently going around the globe and reaching billions of people with the gospel, all within the last eight years! Be sure to click onto the section "What is Evangelism" and then onto the article "Evangelism: national and international" to read about a group of Christians who have currently reached two billion people with the gospel in just eight short years. Without the godly foundation the Pilgrims laid for the settlement and establishment of these United States, such works would not be possible. We must rekindle that early spiritual fire these Pilgrims had for Jesus' Great Commission which he expressed in Matthew 28:18-20. That Commission the Pilgrim Separatists took quite seriously as one of their major motives for removing to the New World, a very uncertain world.

Elder William Brewster’s Advice to Christians
Living in the United States

If Elder Brewster were alive right now, what advice would he have for Christians today, living in this country his Plymouth Plantation was a foundation of? This article titled Saga of the Pilgrims will answer that question by showing you how the Separatist Christians reacted to very similar circumstances they were living through. First, William Brewster, upon taking stock of the condition of the Christian churches in the United States, would realize that many of these churches have become what the Church of England was like in the late 1500s to early 1600s. The very reason these Pilgrims were called Separatists was because they believed one had to separate himself or herself out from the Church of England in order to more ensure one’s salvation. Why did they feel so strongly about this issue? It was because the Church of England was baptizing and allowing known sinners to become members of the Church of England. The Bible, as they could plainly read in 1 Corinthians, commands believers to have no fellowship with sinners that are in the church, and to put them out of the church. Well these Separatists couldn’t very well remove the “sinners” the Church of England was admitting into their fellowship out of that church, so they felt compelled to break off from that church, even though that put their lives in peril of the monarchy of England, the government. William Brewster would take one good look at what is going on within the Christian churches here in the United States, and judging by the same biblical standards they had lived by, advise all Christians living in this land of ours to separate out from any Christian church which baptized and/or admitted known sinners to their membership rolls. Now that sounds pretty reactionary. But understand, Mr. Brewster was a very pronounced reactionary of his day. King James I of England had a price on Mr. Brewster’s head because he had actually dared to publish a book that went against the kings wishes.
The other thing the Separatists and Mr. Brewster were known for whilst living in the midlands of England was this. They would search diligently for those parishes and churches that had a real preacher that preached the Word of God powerfully and in a way that would spiritually nourish the congregation. He and they would search out for Holy Spirit led and inspired preachers, and go to their services. They set the prime example of going out in search of churches that were alive spiritually, and leaving ones that weren’t. Now that may ruffle a few pastoral feathers, but these people were willing to risk their lives and die so that we in this land of ours could have that freedom without risk to life and limb.
So If Elder Brewster were alive today he would be just as reactionary in his advice to Christians as he was back in 1620. He would advise all Christians living in this land he loved so much to separate themselves out from any church they might be attending if that church or denomination was now in the habit of baptizing or admitting to its membership rolls known sinners. He would go on to advise these same Christians to find for themselves doctrinally sound, solid churches who have preachers in them that expound the whole Word of God without distortion, in a spiritually nourishing manner.
Now let’s define sin. The Bible says sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Which law? Christians follow the law of Christ (which is based on, but not quite the same as the Law of Moses). The law of Christ is defined by Jesus in Matthew 5:17-48, and by Paul in Romans 1. Churches that admit as members people who are knowingly and willingly living by lifestyles defined in these two passages are what Mr. Brewster would advise we “separate” ourselves out from and cease attending.
As a direct descendant of William Brewster, and in a tiny way following in his footsteps in gospel publishing using the most modern media (the Internet), just as he did in the 1600s (the printing press), I feel compelled to tell you what advice my ancestor would desire have me pass on to you. Do you think this advice is too reactionary? Then read about the man who would give you this same advice if he were alive today--read about the man who lived the very advice he would give you in Saga of the Pilgrims.


(a descendant of William Brewster)

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