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Thanksgiving is Not Heathen by Larry Meadows

Thanksgiving is Not Heathen


Larry Meadows


Thanksgiving is not heathen. Thanksgiving is the only non-heathen holiday that is widely observed in the U.S.  We have a lot to thank the Pilgrims for Religiously and Politically.  They were persecuted in Europe because Yahweh and His Scriptures were their Supreme Authority, not the Crown or the Church (the Church of England or the Catholic Church).  As Americans our Experience is based in part on the history of the story of Thanksgiving.  The Pilgrims are our intellectual, theological, political, economical, and social “fathers and mothers” of our unique American Experience.  They were Separatist who did not celebrate Christmas and Easter as they did not see a biblical basis for it, and wanted to truly finish and complete the Reformation in Spirit and Truth.  They were “Separatist” from the corrupt and unbiblical practices of both the Church of England and Catholicism.  They were persecuted because of this by the Church of England and James I (the same James who authorized the King James Version of the Bible of 1611 as penitence for his homosexual activities) as the “head” (based on the belief of the Divine Right of Kings and Apostolic Succession) for not conforming to the evil and unscriptural practices of the Church.  They met in homes.  Studied straight from Scripture and believed Scripture, and only, Scripture was the normative instruction (positive and negative) for the life of a believer. They had an Eldership.  Made decisions as a community of believers.  Had property and things in common. Wrote pamphlets against the established government and religious systems and were driven out of England and Holland for all of these actions. Wow!  Their beliefs and actions established the groundwork for the U.S. and its ideals of freedom of worship, freedom of speech, due process, trial by jury, etc.  How we have so strayed!


The Pilgrims viewed the first “thanksgiving meal” at Plymouth as a Thanksgiving Offering (Lev. 7:11-13) to Yahweh for giving them safe passage to the New World based on the commands found in Psalm 107 to give thanks after arriving safe from a long journey on a ship (See Psalm 107:23-32).  (The Pilgrims viewed the New World as a Promised Land where Yah was bringing them to worship Him without being persecuted by the government and established church.)


Point is, Thanksgiving is not a heathen feast as the Pilgrims were nonconforming, free thinkers, guided by Yahweh’s Word and His Spirit and established a community to advance and practice the aforementioned  ideals in word and deed—for this I am thankful because it is hard to imagine a world without people who were willing to break away from the system and do what is Scripturally sound and true, even though it was painful, hurtful, and subjected them to persecution, poverty and the like.  This is what I will be Thanking and Praising Yahweh for this Thanksgiving; for because of the Pilgrims (and Yahweh’s Power and Guidance) we can have independent meetings in homes and the like without fear of being persecuted and dragged into prison for not conforming to the religious and/or political majority.


Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.  (Psa 107:21-32)


Grace and Peace!

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Comment by Arleine vonWagner on November 10, 2011 at 5:05pm

And such a short time after the first "thanksgiving" the settlers of the area wiped out the native americans, to extinction, who were instrumental in their survival.  Because of the nature of the people, even if they had known the future, they still would have helped those in need.

Comment by James Trimm on November 10, 2011 at 8:29pm

Ummm... the Native Americans in question were the Patuxet tribe who were wiped out by Small Pox.  Squanto himself died from the disease in 1622.  BTW the plague began in 1614, six years before the Pilgrims arrived in the New World.  Squanto was actually the last of the Patuxet the rest died off shortly before the Pilgrims arrived.  Other Wampanoag indians were involved, but they were not wiped out and in fact there are still Wampanoag today.

Comment by David L Johnson on November 11, 2011 at 12:25pm

Most of the American Indigenous Natives died without seeing a white man. Small Pox and etc was brought in with the first Spanish contacts in the Caribbean, Mexico and South America and it spread. The Americas were populated by millions of Native Americans who were using the land, it was not a wilderness. But the diseases spread far and wide as they had a vast trading system throughout the Americas. By the time most white settlers ventured inland very far in North America, most had died of disease, and the forest had over grown, creating the wilderness that we know of, except for pockets of survivor's.

James is correct.


Sometimes the truth is not what we think. That is like the idea of scalping done by the Indians. Actually it was white man creative ingenuity. A bounty was placed on some Indians, so much a head, scalpers as they soon became know as, found it was much easer to cart in just scalps,  then the entire body. So some Indians decided to repay in kind, but they did not start it, from what I could tell.

Besides the rape, murder , slavery and wholesale theft of land and gold, something like 89% or more of the Native American people were wiped out. I am a bit proud that I have at least different lines from my ancestor's, but sad, that they are no more. Because they had what the White Europeans wanted, they normally lost.


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