Watchmen On the Wall - FRC

Prayer Targets: The Mayflower Compact; Bishop Harry Jackson; The Election Tabulation

November 11, 2020

"Judah's leaders are like those who move boundary stones." (Hosea 5:10a)

Dear Praying Friends,

Dr. Kenyn Cureton, FRC's Vice President for Christian Resources, wrote Lost Episodes in American History, which is 366 daily documented vignettes that reveal the powerful influence of Christian faith in American public life. Today is the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact, a milestone in the advance of Christianity and what some consider "The Birth Certificate" of America:

On November 11, 1620, the Pilgrims finally landed at Cape Cod. They had endured storm-tossed seas and the violent winds had driven the Mayflower far north of intended destination of Virginia. When they tried to sail south around the horn, the headwinds were too strong. After much prayer, they decided that God would have them establish the colony near what is now Provincetown Harbor and they would call the colony "Plimoth." The area had been recently deserted by the hostile Patuxet tribe, having been wiped out by a plague.

However, before they disembarked for dry land on November 11, Pilgrim leaders drafted and the heads of households signed what was later called Mayflower Compact, the first constitutional document created in America [You can find a modern English translation HERE]:

"In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, France, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, etc., having undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutually in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witnes wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye 11. of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James, of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and by Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano:Dom. 1620."*

Language in compact echoes the farewell letter written to the Pilgrims by their Pastor, John Robinson, who for years had taught them Biblical principles for elected leadership and cast the vision for relocating their church to the New World. Note well their stated reason for coming to America: "for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith..." Their Christian motivation is another lost episode in American history.

Read and Reflect: Read 1 Peter 2:13-17 and compare those verses about honoring the King and submitting to governmental authority with the words of the Mayflower Compact.

  • Prayer: Father, we thank you for the Pilgrims, who braved stormy seas and winter's blast to scrape out a new life in the new world, but who first wrote up a governing document that may well be called the Birth Certificate of America. May their hardy example give us courage to face the difficult days ahead, in Jesus' Name, Amen.

*Source Citation: William Bradford, Bradford's History "Of Plimoth Plantation:" From the Original Manuscript with a Report of the Proceedings Incident to the Return of the Manuscript to Massachusetts (Boston: Wright & Potter, 1898), 110.

America has been uniquely blessed as a nation because of God's providential care from the beginning until now. We must remember God's covenants and milestones in our biblical and national history often and teach them to our children diligently. It is partly because of the accumulated failure of recent and present generations to faithfully pass on the facts and truths of our nation's spiritual heritage that we are facing the many crises we face today in our nation. It behooves us to use every opportunity to teach our children and grandchildren how God has guided our forebearers by his providence. And as families, we must seek his guidance in all we do today. May we keep this in mind as we plan our Thanksgiving holiday, keeping it simple for our youngsters. We have very little time to inculcate in our children's hearts a knowledge and memory of God's wondrous providence for which we owe him so much (see Gen 9:9-16; 17:9-13; Ex 12:14-17; Dt 6:6-7; 12; Josh 4:4-7; Pr 22:28; 23:10; Is 2:5; 30:21; Jer 6:16; Hos 5:10; Mt 26:28; Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Eph 6:4; 1 Pt 1:24-25).

In Memoriam: Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., Friend of FRC -- One of America's great contemporary pastors, and one of FRC's best friends, Bishop Harry Jackson passed away in his sleep on Monday, the cause not yet known. Harry was an amazing leader and visionary who served not only as pastor of Hope Church, the megachurch in Beltsville, Maryland near Washington, D.C., but also as presiding Bishop of International Communion of Evangelical Churches, a large network of churches in the U.S. and abroad. Harry was active in promoting racial reconciliation and in advancing public policy from a biblical worldview in Maryland and our nation's capital. Harry and his wife of 44 years, Dr. Michelle Jackson, were both diagnosed with cancer in the early 2000s. Michelle passed away in 2018. Harry, who was told he had a 15 percent chance of survival, was healed. In fact, Harry remarried in September. Harry's bio encompasses his family, education, significant organizations and initiatives he has founded, and the important books he has written, including his timely book, A Manifesto: Christian America's Contract with Minorities, released a week before he died (see Tony Perkins' tribute; CBN interview; 2018 response to critics over his role as Evangelical Advisor to the President, News of his death).

  • Father, be with Bishop Harry and Michelle's children and his new wife, Rosalind. Thank you for allowing us to have known and worked together with this great man. May his legacy, his work, and his vision carry on and have a growing impact upon our nation. Thank you for his ministry to your churches and his service to our country, and especially his timely work to foster racial reconciliation. May his vision be fulfilled in our lifetimes, and may the church lead the way! In Jesus' name, amen. (Ex 18:21; Ps 112:1-2; Pr 20:6-7; 22:1; Acts 20:26-27; 1 Cor 1:4; 1 Th 5:12-13; 1 Tim 5:17; 2 Tim 4:8; Heb 13:7)

The Yet Unfinished Election Tabulation -- It's now been over a week since Election Day. The media announced whom they believed to be the winner of the presidential election. If you want to feel better about the election, here's an idea: turn off the news! We've become so conditioned to listen to the media in situations like this, thinking only they can update maps and color in states. But here's the reality: no one -- not even the Fox News Decision Desk -- can change the fact that there are actual constitutional processes and laws in place that will settle this election. Not all the anti-Trump/pro-Biden politicians. Not the pundits at CNN. Not even the uncertified statewide counts. As much as we want instant results, our Founders understood that there needed to be a system that could withstand the kind of political divisions we have today. Thankfully, despite the media's insistence that they call the shots, that's not how it works. There is a process for close and uncertain elections, and we need to let the process work. The president and the administration are trying to uphold the rule of law. And if the rule of law is gone, you can kiss fair and free elections goodbye.

For more on where we stand in the presidential election process, read FRC's 2020 Presidential Election: Where Do We Stand? Also, be sure to read Tony Perkins' White House Hangs in the Ballots and Travis Weber's important documented analysis Where Do We Go From Here?

Today is Veterans Day. Please pray for all our servicemembers on active duty, in the reserves, and who have been discharged or have retired. Pray, too, for the families of those who are no longer with us. And thank God for their service. As always, thank you for praying!