The year 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact of 1620 that set America on its course. The Mayflower Compact contains three vitally important points, which serve as instructions for us today:
To live for the Glory of God
To pursue the advancement of the Christian faith
To take responsibility for governing ourselves, and our nation
The 2020 Vision for America is a discipleship movement committed to the fundamental restoration of the United States of America, by raising up a new generation that knows and lives in the power of the truths that our founding covenant contains.
The vision for the year 2020 is of a national re-covenanting with God around the essential elements of the Mayflower Compact on it's 400th anniversary on November 21, 2020.
In late 2008, the phrase "fundamentally transforming" the United States of America began to echo around the mediasphere. Although the exact intention behind the initial use of this phrase have been debated, it nevertheless caught the attention of many who thought carefully about the language used. The Latin root of the word fundamental is fundamentum, meaning beginning, basis, and foundation. The beginning, basis, and foundation of the United States were clearly drawn from eternal truths derived from the revelation of God's purpose for man found in the Bible. If this foundation is replaced with something else, America will greatly decline as the "light to the nations" she is called to be.
The 2020 Vision for America is a vision of fundamentally restoring the United States of America.
The foundation of a nation is of course more than just historic documents. But these documents capture the ideas, truths, principles, values, and vision held by the founders. In this regard the United States has in its foundation the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Constitution (1787), and Bill of Rights (1791). These documents define the birth a nation. Yet as we search back further we find many significant documents that precede America's independence from Britain, documents that show us how the United States was conceived. The among the earliest and most significant of these is the Mayflower Compact of 1620. This document is a tiny package with immensely powerful contents. The Mayflower Compact, as we shall see, commanded the attention of both heaven and earth, and established a foundation for America that is anchored in an understanding of God's purpose for nations. The 2020 Vision for America is drawn from the essential contents of this document, and its historical context.
To appreciate the Mayflower Compact we need to understand some broader context. Just what context does America sit in? Is it just the last 400 years or so, or is there a much bigger picture. Without looking too far, we see some major clues that help answer this question. Let's take the phrase "God Bless America." This phrase is as American as Mom, baseball, and apple pie. We have beautiful songs that recite this as a prayer. Our Presidents, up to and including the current President, will conclude a major address with "May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America." We even declare on every piece of currency that God is to be trusted as the source of blessing and not money itself. We could go on and on. But when we couple this observation with the fact that the Pilgrim fathers of the Mayflower generation recognized that the blessing of a people and nation came from God, we see that the story of America is painted on the biggest canvas possible...the canvas of God's purpose from the beginning of history.
Central to understanding the context of America is the principle found in God's promise to Abram in Genesis chapter 12, "I will bless you, and through you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." This principle of being blessed by God to be a blessing to others was well understood by the Mayflower Pilgrims, as set forth by William Bradford (Governor of the Plymouth Colony for many years). He stated that their purpose in leaving Europe to come to the New World included that, "they cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation)
So how does the Mayflower Compact form the basis of fundamentally restoring the United States of America? The complete text can be seen here, but lets look at the following excerpt:
Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid;
The text above contains three vitally important components:
1. "Having undertaken for the glory of God..."
To live for the glory of God touches everything we do. We can ask, "Is the way I am living bringing glory to God...the way I speak, do business, treat my spouse and children, maintain moral standards etc.?" The answer to these questions will often require that we have a personal revival in our relationship to God. To have the goal that our lives glorify God will transform everything we do, and influence every sphere of society.
2. "and advancements of the Christian faith..."
It is utterly amazing that the task of taking the gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth (world missions in church language) is written into this founding covenant of our nation. To have a foundation that is directly in sync with Jesus' last commands (the Great Commission) and with God's covenant with Abram ("I will bless you and through you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed") is to be positioned to expect and receive God's supernatural favor in pursuit of His purposes. Here we are almost 400 years later, and which nation still sends the most missionaries (in raw numbers) out to the ends of the earth? The nation that covenanted to that very purpose!
3. "and furtherance of the ends aforesaid..."
The Mayflower Pilgrims come to America from a background of being persecuted for their Christian faith. This persecution came through both the church and government of England, who made it extremely difficult for them to function as a congregation of believers. This obvious factor in their past experience made it abundantly clear to them that if they were to be free to fully pursue the goal of "the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith", they needed to have a favorable governmental environment. Thus, they took full responsibility for the civil government under which they would live, and purposely structured it to give freedom to serving God as their consciences led them. They did not wait for a higher power to enslave them again, but set an example that would shine a light to the whole world by showing that a people of sound character can live a largely self-governed life under God's leadership, with civil government playing an important, but limited role.
What makes this all the more profound is the fact that the model of civil government that Israel lost when they asked for a king, vanished from the earth for 2600 years, only to re-emerge in a significant way in the governing covenant of the Pilgrims! The general principle of self-government is of course reflected in the very intentional structure of the United States Constitution.
This point is exceedingly important to grasp. Too many Christians today have abandoned their Biblical responsibility to relate properly to civil government. And because of that, our freedom to serve God unhindered is drying up in exact proportion. However...this can be turned around! This is a key point of the 2020 Vision for America movement.
We are currently approximately three and a half years away from the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. This lead up to the anniversary serves as a powerful opportunity strengthen the God given foundations of this nation through the multiplication of effective teaching on this topic, and to prepare the way for a national re-commitment (by all who will) to the essential points of the original covenant.
I ask you to bring this matter before God in regard to your own life, and also for your family, church, city and the nation. Let's work together to build momentum leading up to November 21, 2020. Let's ask God to give us a vision of America revived and transformed from the inside out, and ready to take hold of the purpose for which we are a blessed and free nation. I believe that the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact could effectively be the biggest missions conference in the history of our nation - a day when all across the nation we have gatherings to renew our covenant with God, and to connect with missions agencies and other opportunities for the "furtherance of the Christian faith." It's time for America to see with 2020 Vision!
Serving with Youth With A Mission, Tyler
and The 2020 Vision for America
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