Of the 4 gospels, Luke gives the most detailed account of the Nativity and mentions Mary 12 times, more than any other biblical writer. In addition to the birth of Christ, he also gives special, detailed attention to the birth of John the Baptist and many see his gynecological interests to be a result of his training as a physician.

At the beginning of his gospel, Luke, whom Paul calls “the beloved physician” in Colossians 4:14, indicates that he has made a thorough investigation of the things about which he is writing, including the virgin birth. This investigation included his utilization of eyewitness accounts of the events described.  He writes,

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that were fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught (Luke 1:1-2).

Luke spent extended periods of time with Paul in Jerusalem and Judea and would have had opportunity to interview those closest to the events described, including Mary herself. There is no reliable information on how long Mary lived, but some traditions say she lived as much as 24 years or longer after the resurrection.

The detail Luke presents about the virgin birth does indicate that he has derived his information from a primary source, either Mary herself or someone to whom Mary had relayed the intimate details of the event.

Luke Gains a Reputation for Accuracy

At one time, it was thought that Luke was mistaken concerning the events he portrayed surrounding the birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-5). Critics argued that there was no census and that everyone did not have to return to their ancestral home. They also pointed out that Josephus had dated the governorship of Quirinius of Syria, whom Luke mentions, as beginning in A.D. 6, too late for the birth of Christ.

In every case, however, modern archaeological discoveries have proven the critics to be wrong. In the case of Quirinius, it was found that he actually served two separate terms as governor, the first beginning around 7 B.C., which fits perfectly with the time of Christ's birth. The accuracy of Luke as a historian was confirmed by the famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, who carefully examined his references in Luke/Acts to 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake (Hyatt, Christmas Is For Real, 9).

The late F. F. Bruce, one of the most respected of New Testament scholars, noted that where Luke has been suspected of inaccuracy by modern critics, archaeology has again and again proved Luke to be right and the critics wrong (Hyatt, Christmas Is For Real, 8).

Sir William Ramsay is Convinced

The archaeological affirmation of Luke as a world-class historian, accurate in the minutest details, began with Sir William Ramsay (1851-1939), a world-renowned archaeologist and Oxford professor. Ramsay, an agnostic, set out to scientifically disprove the Bible, but his archaeological investigations carried him to a completely different conclusion.

Ramsay was a product of the skeptical, German higher criticism of the 19th century.  He believed the New Testament to be an unreliable religious treatise written in the 2nd century by writers far removed from the events described. Ramsay decided he would demonstrate his thesis by retracing Luke’s account of Paul’s travels in Acts and doing archaeological excavations along the way.

Since, in his thinking, Acts was not written by the traditional author, but by a later writer who assumed his name, Ramsay was confident that he would discover many inaccuracies and falsehoods in the account.

However, after years of retracing Luke’s account of Paul's travels and doing careful archaeological excavations along the way, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first-century history. He became convinced that Acts was written in the first century by the traditional author, and he acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian. He wrote,

Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians (Hyatt, Christmas Is For Real, 10-11).

In 1896, Ramsay began publishing his discoveries in a book entitled St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen. The book caused a furor of dismay among the skeptics of the world, for its affirmation of the biblical record was totally unexpected. The evidence was, in fact, so overwhelming that many atheists gave up their atheism and embraced Christianity.

Over the next 20 years, Ramsay published other volumes showing how he discovered Luke to be accurate in the tiniest details of his account. In his book, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, he wrote,

You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment (Hyatt, Christmas Is For Real, 11).

Ramsay himself seems to have embraced the Christian faith, for he wrote, “I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here [in the Book of Acts].

Archaeology has, indeed, affirmed the Biblical historical record. William F. Albright (1891-1971), the renowned archaeologist and late professor of Semitic languages at John Hopkins University, also began his career as a skeptic. But after years of archaeological investigations in the land of the Bible, he wrote,

The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, certain phases of which still appear periodically, has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details and has brought recognition to the Bible as a source of history (Hyatt, Christmas Is For Real, 11-12).

Our Faith Has a Solid Historical Base

The evidence begs the question that if Luke was this careful to get his facts right about names, places, events, and dates, can we not be confident that he was just as careful to get his facts right concerning the more important things about which he reported, such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ?

When some skeptics insisted that the virgin birth was a hoax, the noted Greek scholar, Professor John A. Scott, reminded them of Luke's training as a physician and his reputation as a historian. Pointing to his attention to detail and accurate reporting, Scott declared, "You could not fool Doctor Luke."

With such overwhelming evidence for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, it raises the question as to why there remains so much skepticism and unbelief about this event and other miracles recorded in the Bible. This question was answered by Yale archaeologist and professor, Dr. Millard Burrows, who said, "The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural."

In other words, the barrier to faith is not an intellectual one, but a heart that is committed to unbelief. Any honest seeker who will lay aside their biased presuppositions and consider the historical evidence will also experience the affirming witness of the Holy Spirit in their heart and will know that Jesus Christ was truly born of a virgin. And if that part of the story is true, then we can have confidence that the rest of the story is true as well.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, Christmas Is For Real, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt is also the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents how the 18th century Great Awakening had a direct bearing on the founding of America and the abolition of slavery.



I was presenting the "Revive America" seminar at the Abounding Grace Christian Church in Schenectady, New York. As I was preparing the message on the Pilgrims, I had a clear inner sense that I was to have the audience repeat after me the two reasons they gave, in the Mayflower Compact, for coming to the New World. 

So, at the appropriate time that evening, I projected the Mayflower Compact on the big screen and asked the audience to repeat after me their two reasons for coming to this land. We all said together, not once, but twice,

“For the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

At the end of this presentation a young man came to me with his face aglow and excitement in his voice. He said,

I am attending the community college here and taking a course in early American history. Just this week the professor told us that the Pilgrims did not come for religious reasons but for monetary reasons.

He paused and then exclaimed, “But there it is in their own words!”

This young man’s testimony was another stark example of how America’s history is being revised and the element of faith being removed. This is serious, for as George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.”

The Reasons They Came

The words we had repeated are part of the opening statement of the Mayflower Compact. It reads, “Having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith . . . a voyage to plant the first colony in northern Virginia.”

William Bradford, who served as governor of Plymouth for over thirty years, stated this same vision in his memoirs written later in life. He shares this as part of his explanation as to why they decided to leave Holland and come to the New World.

First of all, he tells how they were not satisfied with their lot as foreigners and second-class citizens in Holland. They were also concerned that many of their children were being led astray by undesirable influences in the Dutch culture. He then said,

Lastly (and which was not least), a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 22).

Although we have often heard that the Pilgrims came to escape religious persecution in the Old World, that is only part of the story. The rest of the story is that they were drawn here by a proactive missionary vision to take the gospel where it had not been heard.

Others Came for the Same Reason

The thousands of Puritans that followed the Pilgrims to New England over the next twenty years came with a similar vision. This is obvious from the constitution of the United Colonies of New England formed in 1643 to arbitrate land disputes and provide a system of mutual defense for the many towns that were springing up. The opening statement of the constitution reads,

Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity and peace (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 31).

These New England Puritans had a similar missionary vision as the Anglicans who first settled Virginia. On April 29, 1607, the Jamestown settlers disembarked at Cape Henry, near modern day Virginia Beach, and erected a seven-foot cross they had brought from England.

They then gathered around the cross for a prayer service in which they dedicated the land of their new home to God. In his dedicatory prayer, their chaplain, Rev. Robert Hunt, declared, “From these very shores the gospel shall go forth, not only to this New World, but to all the world.”

Original Vision of the Founding Fathers

It is clear that the earliest immigrants to America came with a vision for a land of liberty from which the gospel would be taken to the ends of the earth. That missionary vision did not die but is clearly seen in statements by many of the Founding Fathers. Consider the following.

George Washington, in a meeting with chiefs from the Delaware Indian tribe, encouraged them to learn, “above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.” And in a prayer journal he kept while in his twenties, the following prayer is recorded.

Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).

Benjamin Franklin, in a 1756 letter to George Whitefield, in which he proposed that they partner together in founding a Christian colony on the Ohio, gave a missionary reason for the project. He said,

Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could, by such a colony, show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 137).

John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, issued a Prayer Proclamation while serving as governor of Massachusetts. The Proclamation included a call to pray for world evangelism, exhorting the citizens to pray,

To the spreading of the true religion of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, in its purity and power, among all the people of the earth” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 173).

James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and America’s fourth president, voiced his opposition in 1785 to a bill that he perceived would have the unintended consequence of hindering the spread of the Gospel. He said,

The policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind (From Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785).

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president, took money from the federal treasury to send a missionary to the Kaskaskia Indian tribe and to build them a chapel in which to worship. He wrote,

Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus. I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 149-50).

May the Vision to be Restored

This Thanksgiving we can be thankful for the vision and sacrifice of those early pilgrims and patriots. We are enjoying liberties and blessings because of their vision and sacrifice.

The original American vision was that it be a land of individual and religious liberty and place where the gospel would have free course and would spread from here to the ends of the earth. This Thanksgiving let’s pray for that Original American Vision to be restored.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. This book documents how the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on both the founding of America and the ending of slavery on this continent. He is the founder/director of the "1726 Project" whose purpose is to educate about the nation's overt Christian birth out of Spiritual Awakening.



In 2019 the Democrat National Committee (DNC) unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity or any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism. With this embrace of atheism and moral relativism, the Democrat party severed ties with America’s founders.

There was not a single atheist among America’s founders. Although some had questions concerning certain components of Christian doctrine, all believed that only Christianity provided the spiritual, moral, and philosophical underpinnings for a stable and prosperous nation.

If alive today, every American founder, from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, would exit the Democrat party.

George Washington

In his Farewell Address, after serving two terms as the nation’s first president, George Washington warned against the very direction being taken by the Democrat Party. He counselled the young nation to guard against separating freedom from faith and supposing that national morality could be maintained apart from Christian truth. He said,

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion [Christianity]. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 165).

When the founders use the word “religion,” they are speaking of Christianity; and notice that Washington says that Christianity and morality are not something to be “tolerated” in the new nation, but are “indispensable” for the nation’s success.

If alive today, Washington would certainly exit the modern Democrat party.

John Adams

In a 1798 speech to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia, John Adams stated the common belief of the founding generation that civil liberty and Christian morality are inseparable. The loss of Christian morality, they believed, would inevitably lead to the loss of civil liberty. Adams declared,

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 168).

In a letter to his cousin, Zabdiel Adams, a minister of the Gospel, Adams exhorted him concerning his vital role in the new nation. He wrote,

Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 164-65).)

It is obvious that John Adams would be completely out of sync with the modern Democrat party and its embrace of atheism. There is no question that if alive today he would join Washington in exiting the Democrat party.

Thomas Jefferson

This belief in the power of Christian morality is why Thomas Jefferson included the teaching of Christianity in a federal treaty he negotiated with the Kaskaskia Indian Tribe. This treaty stipulated, among other things, that federal funds be made available to pay for a Christian missionary to work with this tribe and for the building of a Christian church in which they could worship (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 149).

Jefferson demonstrated his high regard for Jesus Christ by closing all presidential documents with the words, “In the year of our Lord Christ.” He also said, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

Yes, Jefferson believed Christian morality to be necessary for a stable and peaceful society. If alive today, he would join Washington and Adams in exiting the Democrat party and its embrace of atheism, secularism, and moral relativism.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, considered one of the most nonreligious of America’s founders, returned to his Puritan/Christian upbringing through his close friendship with George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening. As a result, he was in complete agreement that Christian morality was necessary for restraining the worst in human nature and society.

This was made clear in his letter to the well-known Deist, Thomas Paine, in response to a manuscript Paine had sent him in which he challenged the idea of a prayer-answering God and other aspects of orthodox Christianity. Franklin refused to print the book, and in strong language, urged Paine not even to allow anyone else to see it. He wrote,

I would advise you, therefore . . . to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 138).

On June 28, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was about to be suspended because of unresolved dissension. Franklin, now 81 years of age, rose to his feet and addressed George Washington, the Convention’s President, with these words,

How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. I have lived, sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 141-42).

Like the other founders, Franklin would have nothing to do with the modern Democrat party and its rejection of God and the teachings of Christianity.

Benjamin Rush

Yes, faith and freedom were married in the thinking of America’s founding generation. Civil liberty, they believed, could not exist apart from Christian morality. Benjamin Rush, a member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, also made this clear when he declared,

The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion [Christianity]. Without this there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 163).

Let the Exit Begin

Can you see it? A mass exodus of the founding fathers from the atheistic Democrat party. If we value the principles and freedoms on which our nation was founded, we should be following them as quickly as possible.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Eddie is also the founder of the "1726 Project," dedicated to educating the American populace about this nation's overt Christian origins out of the Great Awakening.



“What lack I yet?” was the question the rich young ruler asked Jesus, after declaring that he had kept all the commandments (Matthew 19:20). Jesus gave him an answer he did not like, and he went away sorrowful.

Many years ago, I asked the Lord that same question, “What lack I yet?” The answer came back, “True humility.” If the modern church asked that same question regarding a Great Awakening, I suspect the answer would be, “True humility.”

This is confirmed by the fact that in the conditions listed for a national healing in II Chronicles 7:14, humility comes first. God said, If My people who are called by name will humble themselves . . ..

Signs of Pride in the Modern Church

The opposite of humility is pride. The middle letter of pride is “I” and in pride the “I” or ego becomes central and we look for ways to lift ourselves in the eyes of our contemporaries. Pride has many symptoms but one of the most obvious is an unhealthy love of titles.

I will never forget picking up a Christian tabloid in a large metro area on the east coast where I was ministering. As I turned the pages, I was astounded at all the bishops, archbishops, prelates, apostles, covering-apostles, presiding-apostles, jurisdictional-apostles, etc. One person even had a full-page ad filled with a large photo of herself with a caption underneath that read, “Her Super Eminence, Apostle ___.”

I thought to myself, “Can these people be followers of the One who humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples, a task reserved for servants and slaves in that culture?” Can they be followers of the One who admonished His own disciples not to be like the haughty Jewish leaders, saying,

But all their works they do to be seen of men. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, and to be called by men “Rabbi, Rabbi.” But you, do not be called “Rabbi” for One is your Teacher, the Christ and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth “father,” for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (Matthew 23:6-9).

The Call to Humility in the Founding of America

In the many calls to prayer before and after the First Great Awakening, the word “humiliation” was almost always used. For example, the Continental Congress proclaimed December 11, 1776 as a day of “solemn fasting and humiliation” in which all Americans were admonished to plead with God for His assistance in their fight for freedom (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 116).

By humiliation, they did not mean a groveling or self-flagellation, but an acknowledgement of their own human inadequacy and their desperate need for God’s assistance. This is how they understood Matthew 5:3, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This attitude of humility carried over into the founding of the nation and in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution the founders forbade the granting of honorific titles of nobility by the U.S. government. They also forbade any government employee from receiving an honorific title from a foreign government without the consent of Congress.

In other words, in the United States of America, there would be no “Lord so and so” or “Lady so and so.” There would be no Dukes or Duchesses and no Barons or Baronesses. There would be no “His Majesty” or “Her Majesty.” Aristocratic titles were banned and the playing field was leveled. 

Is there not a lesson here for the church?

Humility and the Azusa Street Revival

The leaders of the Azusa Street Revival understood the importance of this Christian virtue and exhibited a humility seldom seen in the modern church. This, no doubt, is a major reason God used them to change the course of church and world history.

Meeting in a dilapidated old building that had most recently been used as a stable and a warehouse, the attendees sat on rough board benches with no backs. There was no raised platform and no special, reserved seating. Everyone was on the same level.

The pulpit was a stack of wooden shoe boxes. William Seymour, the recognized leader of the revival, spent most of his time sitting behind the pulpit with his head inside the top shoe box in prayer. There was no pretense or show and the leaders made clear that such would not be tolerated.

The December 1906 issue of the Apostolic Faith, the official publication of the revival, carried a rebuke of two of the most famous charismatic ministers of the day, John Alexander Dowie and Frank Sanford, who had exalted themselves as special end-time apostles and prophets. Conerning the revival they were enjoying, the leaders at Azusa wrote, 

There is no pope, Doweism, or Sanfordism, but we are all little children knowing only Jesus and Him crucified. This work is carried on by the people of Los Angeles that God has united by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

From this humble setting a revival swept the world and changed the course of the church and world history.

A Lesson from the Healing Revivals

Gordon Lindsay, one of the most prominent leaders of the divine healing revivals of the 1940s-50s, declared, "As one rises higher and higher in spiritual power and blessing . . . he must ever seek to become lower and lower and lower and lower." This statement was born out of his observation of the tragic collapse of the lives and ministries of several men who had been powerfully used of God in healing and deliverance ministries.

In each case, Satan’s door of entry into the person’s life seems to have been an inflated idea of his own importance. Instead of humbling themselves before God, they became enamored with their own success. And instead of moving on to greater displays of God’s glory and power, they were brought down because of their pride and arrogance. 1 Peter 5:5 says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Bowing Down Before the Lord

In 1999, I sat in a "Revival Now" conference and experienced an overwhelming urge to bow down before the Lord. I struggled with this, for no one else was bowing down. In fact, people were going forward and standing in a long line as they waited to receive prayer from the pastor and guest speaker.

Bowing down is an outward expression of humility and as this urge continued, I finally turned and bowed at my seat. As soon as my knees touched the floor, I heard the Holy Spirit speaking in a very vivid manner. He said,

I am going to be doing some incredible things in the days ahead, and when you see My power and My glory, this is to always be your posture. You are to bow down and acknowledge that I Am the Sovereign Lord of this universe.

It is Time For Us to Humble Ourselves

Yes, I am convinced that Biblical humility is the missing ingredient in our prayers for another Great Awakening. Let us, therefore, humble ourselves before the Lord. Let us acknowledge our complete inadequacy apart from Him. Let us acknowledge how desperately we need Him at this time in our history.

He has promised to answer with floods of His Spirit and presence (Isaiah 44:3). He has promised to hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14).

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has a long history as a pastor, revivalist, and professor of theology. His book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, documents how the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on both the founding of America and the abolition of slavery on this continent. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Before the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuela, socialism was tried right here on American soil and utterly failed. The Pilgrims, who established the first permanent English settlement in New England in the fall of 1620, at first attempted a socialist style of living. They disbanded it, however, when it became obvious that their community could not survive with such a system.

Socialism Forced on Them

The Pilgrim’s journey to America was funded by a group of venture capitalists who provided the ship and supplies for their journey to the New World. In return, the Pilgrims agreed to live communally with everyone receiving the same recompense for their work, and with everything above their necessities going into a common fund to be used to pay their creditors.

In other words, there was no inequality. Income produced by farming, fishing, and fur trading would be spread around and evenly divided among members of the community. There would be only one economic class of people in this system.

William Bradford, who served as governor of Plymouth for many years, told of the challenges of this socialist system and how it almost destroyed their community (Hyatt, The Pilgrims, 52).

Four lessons the Pilgrims would teach modern America about socialism are: (1) Socialism destroys initiative; (2) Socialism fosters irresponsibility; (3) Socialism extinguishes hope and generates strife; and (4) Socialism is incompatible with human nature.

Lesson #1
Socialism Destroys Initiative

Under this socialist system, everyone received the same recompense for their work. No matter how hard, or how little, they worked, all received the same income. With no reward tied to their labor, initiative was destroyed, and everyone put forth their least effort.

Why work and dream when you are trapped in a socialist system that mandates equality of outcome for everyone? This socialist system destroyed initiative and almost destroyed the Pilgrim community.

Lesson #2
Socialism Fosters Irresponsibility

Young men, Bradford said, resented getting paid the same as older men when they did so much more of the work. As a result, they tended to slouch and slack since they knew they would receive the same no matter how hard they worked.

Knowing they would receive the same no matter how hard or how little they worked, the women often refused go to the fields to work, complaining of sickness and headaches. To have compelled them to go, Bradford said, would have been considered tyranny and oppression.

With no individual reward tied to their innovation and labor, everyone gave their least effort. Irresponsibility became obvious throughout the community and many became gripped with a sense of hopelessness.

Lesson #3
Socialism Extinguishes Hope and Generates Strife

This socialist system led to a widespread sense of hopelessness. With everyone locked into a closed economic system, there was nothing individuals or families could do to improve their personal lot. Feeling caught in a trap, bickering and strife began to emerge.

The older men, Bradford said, felt they deserved more honor and recompense because of their age and resented getting paid the same as the youngsters in their midst. The young men, on the other hand, resented getting paid the same as the older men when they often did more of the work.

This sense of hopelessness and the ensuing strife drained energy and discouraged innovative thinking and led to very serious complications for the community.

Lesson #4
Socialism is Incompatible with Human Nature

Bradford believed that socialism did not work because it runs counter to human nature as created by God. In Scripture, God rewards individuals for their labor and good works. Capitalism works because it is compatible with the reality of human nature and the world in which we live.

I will never forget visiting eastern Europe shortly after the fall of the Soviet Empire. I was struck by the grey, drab environment. Even the buildings seemed so plain, flat and lackluster.

It was obvious that the Marxist system had robbed the people of life, energy and creativity. I am here reminded of the words of Winston Churchill, “Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

To Survive, They Had to Change

When it became obvious that lack and perhaps starvation would be their lot, Bradford and the leaders of the colony decided to make a change. After much prayer and discussion, they dispensed with that part of the agreement with their creditors that required them to live communally until their debt was paid. In its place, they implemented a free entrepreneurial system that included private ownership of property (Hyatt, The Pilgrims, 52-53).

They Experience the Blessing of Free Enterprise

According to Bradford, they divided the land around them, allotting to each family a certain portion that would be theirs to work and use for their own needs. Bradford said there was an immediate change. The young men began to work much harder because they now knew they would eat the fruit of their own labors.

There were no more complaints from the older men for the same reason. And now the women were seen going into the fields to work, taking the children with them, because they knew they and their family would personally benefit.

Instead of lacking food, each family now grew more food than they needed, and they began to trade with one another for furnishings, clothes and other goods. They also had enough excess to trade with the Indians for furs and other items. In short, the colony began to prosper when they got rid of their socialist form of government and implemented a free, entrepreneurial system.

Of their experience with socialism, Bradford wrote;

This community [socialism] was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort . . . and showed the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s, and applauded by some of later times, that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God (Hyatt, The Pilgrims, 53-54).

Christianity & Capitalism

As Christians, our responsibility is to call people to Christ and help them live out their Christianity in the real world. Living out our Christianity means a life of responsibility, not looking for government hand-outs but working and prospering in a way that we can give a hand-up to those in need.

We desire the best for the greatest number of people which is why we must reject the contemporary vision of a government-mandated socialist system in America.

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and The Pilgrims, both available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.