"Although they didn't seek trouble and even informed King James that they didn't want to interfere with the Anglican church, the king became increasingly bothered by this small congregation. He called them religious fanatics, ever discontented with the present government... He issued an ultimatum: they must either conform to his wishes or be driven from the land. When they didn't obey he ordered the police to hunt down the Separatists.
People began hunting them with enthusiasm. Neighbors spied on them and watched roads to inform on their whereabouts... After much prayer and discussion, they decided that they must leave England. But how would they do it? It was against the law--under penalty of death--to leave England without permission."
The Some-Day-To-Be-Called Pilgrims found a Dutch ship that would take them to a new land. However, after they were all on board, the King's officers appeared in several boats to take them captive. The men were able to escape but the women and children were taken off the ship and put in prison. Let me quote again:
"God was working through the prayers of his people. Through the imprisonment of these women and children, the British people became aware of their cause and noticed their godly example, and the situation became a political embarrassment for King James. To save face, he let them go saying again, they must conform or leave England. They chose to join their husbands and fathers, who had escaped to the Netherlands. God has answered their prayers, and there were all able to leave England--men, women, and children--with the consent of King James, although not in the way they had originally planned.
They stayed in the Netherlands for 11 years as immigrants. They worked from dawn til dusk and were paid very little. It was a hard life and many died an early death. But these godly people did not complain and carried on cheerfully, worshipping God in freedom for the first time."
What would you do if the government decided that people must worship in one church. In one way.
What would you do if you felt an inner desire to learn more about God yet reading the Bible was banned.
What would you do if your family disowned you because you chose God's way and not the government's way.
What would you do if you had to leave everything.
because of a conviction you felt so strongly about.
All of this took place before the Pilgrims-To-Be even got on the boat.
I wonder what I would do if I was put into this situation.
As you get a day off work on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, would you please chat around the table about the reason for the holiday.
Would you give some discussion time to the truth that America was started by a group of religious fanatics that wanted to worship God.
Quotes from The Incredible Power of Prayer: David W. Galsiger, Joette Whims & Melody Hunskor, pp. 71-83.