The Great Controversy Project – The Pilgrim Fathers

Chapter Title: The Pilgrim Fathers

Favorite Quotation:  “The Bible was held as a foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. Its principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance.” (GC 296.3)

Lessons We’ve Learned:

  1. God does not give us full light all at once, but presses the truth upon us when we are able to receive it. When he shows us the light, we must be willing to search the Scriptures to confirm that light.
  2. While the pilgrims sought religious liberty, they established their government in the New World based on their religious convictions and used civil authority to punish non-conformers; creating for others the same situation under which they had suffered. Thus the Roman spirit of intolerance was carried out in the New World and led, inevitably, to persecution.
  3. History repeated itself when the pilgrims attempted to build up the church by the aid of the state.  Because of this relationship, many unconverted, with purely worldly motives, united with the church. “The union of the church with the state, be the degree ever so slight, while it may appear to bring the world nearer to the church, does in reality but bring the church nearer to the world.”-(297.1)


It is amazing to see God’s hand, through the persecution, hardship, and trial, use the Pilgrims to open a new land where religious freedom eventually became the foundation of a new nation. In personal spiritual relationships we may have parallel experiences as is depicted in this chapter. We sometimes refuse to hear new spiritual truth; choosing to live only by that with which we feel comfortable. But woe to the person who does not appear to live by our convictions. It is my prayer that we learn to trust God fully and live each day as He reveals His will for our lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What principle of the Constitution of the United States is inherent in man and therefore, above human reason? 295:3
  2. How were the settlement and the conditions of the New World affected remarkably by the offer of asylum to oppressed Christians of all lands? 296:1-4
  3. What is the effect upon the church when she succeeds in obtaining special privileges in the State? 297:1

Family Worship Activity:

Find a book or Google info on Pastor John Robinson or Roger Williams to read. Think of Bible stories that illustrate the lessons we learned. (i.e. Pharisees and Sadducees establishing church doctrines)

Personal Biography

Marlene Spady

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