Pilgrim Thought

Since Thanksgiving will be observed later this week, it might be good to consider the fundamentals of Scripture that influenced the thoughts of the Pilgrims.  This persecuted group of believers used the principles of the bible as a guide for their lives.  When they read the 10 Commandments, they believed they were exactly that—commandments and not suggestions.

There are some who would argue that morality in itself is a basis for belief in God.  When we speak of a moral argument for the existence of God, it does not mean:

• that a person must believe in God to be moral

• that if a person would ever stop believing in God that he would revert to immoral behavior

• that morality originates from the Bible or that we need religion to be moral

The moral argument is based on the concept of objective moral standards:   Absolute right and wrong exist, and we know this internally.   Does a child need the 10 Commandments to know it is wrong to steal.?  No,  he knows this before he can ever read and cries loudly when he senses he has been wronged.

What about murder?  We don’t need to be taught that murder is wrong, and we don’t need to read the 10 Commandments to know it is wrong; we intuitively know that it is wrong.   The 10 Commandments simply reinforce, in a profound manner, the moral imperatives that we instinctively know to be true.

Those who object to the concept of the moral argument might question:   “If morality is absolute, why do we see so much evil in the world?” To label certain actions as “evil” is to imply the existence of objective moral standards. If there is no moral standard, how can anything be good or evil?

The Pilgrims experienced religion at its worst and suffered in their quest for freedom to worship without the interference of the government.  Because they had the audacity to possess an English bible, read it, and teach it, some of them were burned and others were imprisoned.  It was this sort of corrupted religion that was the motivator for John Bunyan to write Pilgrim’s Progress.

To state it more simply, the moral argument is the realization that there is something in us that insists on right action for the benefit of self and the betterment of all living things.  When the Pilgrims insisted on right action, they were persecuted.  To escape the heavy hand of the Church of England, they eventually made their way to the shores of a new land where they worshipped the God of the bible.

For this, I give thanks . . .

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