I am a history nerd, so I love watching storytellers bring history to life. Kirk Cameron’s Monumental does just that. Kirk traces the Pilgrims from the Old World to the New, and then he describes the formula for their success and ours. I thought it was a gripping depiction of what it must have been like to be one of the brave men and women who founded our country.
One section of the movie describes a monument to the Pilgrims that was built in the 1800’s. This monument symbolizes the pillars of a free society: Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty, with Faith at the center. Faith is depicted by a tall statue, with the other four as smaller statues around the base. It is an impressive statue, but why did they choose these 5 components to commemorate the Pilgrims?
Faith was central to all aspects of the Pilgrims’ lives. It was the driving force for their trip to America, and it guided every decision they made. John Adams said that “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Our country was founded on faith, and faith is what will keep it strong and good.
Faith is an inward conviction, and morality is the outward expression of that conviction. Morality is the basic understanding that there is a right and wrong that does not change. And not only that, we believe that our moral behavior matters! If it does not matter, then we can and should do whatever we want. But our actions do matter – they are either moral or immoral. We can all look at the news and see that without this foundation, our country cannot stand.
Faith creates morality, and morality is encoded in law. One of America’s greatest advantages over much of the world is that it is a country that is ruled by law, not by people. As frustrating as political gridlock can be, we can be thankful that individual leaders cannot act by themselves without following the law of the land. This simple idea – that there are rules to the game that everyone has to follow – allows us to live in confident freedom. In contrast, if the government and police and soldiers are above the law, then businesses and churches and individuals are attacked and oppressed at every whim of those in power. A civil and kind society must be ruled by law, or it will descend into dog-eat-dog chaos.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote “if a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be.” Put simply, it takes knowledge to stay free, and ignorant people will be easily repressed. This building block makes sure that the batons of faith, morality and law are passed from generation to generation. We at OPL are passionate about education, and we believe that true education has to start with God’s truth at the core.
When true faith underpins morality, which is encoded in law and nurtured through education, then true liberty can shine! On this Thanksgiving, we can be truly thankful for the free country into which we were born.
Monumental is one more video to add to your collection – a good gift for the history-lovers in your family. And for normal people too! If you have not seen it, I strongly encourage you to rent or buy it so that you can experience the journey of the Pilgrims who risked so much to kindle the spark of liberty. Today I will leave you with a quote from their leader:
Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand…and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.”
Lots of Thanksgiving Information: OPL – Thankful Pilgrims
Plymouth Rock Foundation (I hope to visit Plymouth some day!)