At their first harvest, the Pilgrims sat down with the Indians for a feast of Thanksgiving. We are all familiar with the story. They said a prayer of thanks to God for providing for them. But we tend to forget the true circumstances surrounding this first harvest.
In September 1620, the Mayflower set sail from England with 102 passengers. The Pilgrims on board were heading to America with the hopes of finding a better place of living where the children would not be “drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses” as they had been experiencing in the Netherlands, along with the “great hope, for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.”
As they crossed the Atlantic, they encountered severe storms that almost sank the boat. The conditions on board were cramped and harsh. Food was scarce or had been eaten by worms. Two passengers died on the trip.
Guest blog written by Gordon Sterling
Years ago, I was with the family visiting the Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, TN. As I looked over the different styles of paintings, I realized there is a metaphor of the different styles of paintings and the different ways that we approach the study of God.
At the time of our visit there was a painting by John George Brown entitled, “Solid Comfort.” It was beautiful, and I found I could not pull myself away. I just stood there and soaked in all of the detail that he put into this painting.
I was excited the past few weeks in our homeschool history lessons to teach my children about Mohamed and the founding of Islam. Yes, you read that correctly. Over the past two years we have studied most of the major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and now Islam. We’ve even covered ancient religions like the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Empires. And it has been one of my favorite things to teach.
I have taught them how these other religions began, who the founding leaders are, how they obtained their religious texts, what these religions claim – and most importantly, how these beliefs contrast with Christianity. I want my kids to know there are a lot of different beliefs out there, but that doesn’t make all those different beliefs true. So we discuss the doctrines of these other religions and determine if they adequately address reality, humanity, and the condition of the human heart.
Now, you may find it surprising that a Christian apologist homeschooling mom would enjoy teaching her children these other religions, but it is incredibly important to do so. As Christians, we are commanded to go into the world and preach the Gospel. In order to do that, we must understand what “the world” believes. This is important for all of us for several reasons.
As we are finally at the end of this election cycle, it is important for us to step back and consider what all has taken place in this election season. I think if we had to describe what it has been like we’d all have to agree it was filled with hate, anger, and tension.
And that was between Christians!