American Christian History Part 2
“ APOSTLE TO THE INDIANS”
The 1628 charter of the Massachusetts Bay company stated that one of the chief purposes of establishing a colony in
In 1637. the Puritans became involved in a inter-tribal war between the Narragansett and Pequot Indians. Thought one might have expected otherwise, the Puritans often treated the Indians brutally, Many Pequot people were killed, and more were captured and sold into slavery. Later, in 1675 and 1676, a bitter armed conflict broke out in which over 600 colonist and 3,000 Native Americans died. Several hundred native captives were tried and executed or sold as slaves.
Surprisingly, the Pequot war triggered the earliest Puritan missions to the Indians. John Eliot, later known as the “ Apostle to the Indians,” began learning the Algonquian language, spoken by most New England Indians, from captured Indians. Teaching Christian truths to the Indians in their own language, Eliot saw many of the Indians put their faith in Christ and leave their nomadic lives to form villages that separated them from their pagan backgrounds. These became “praying Indians towns,” over a dozen self-governing communities where the Indians often made strict biblical laws punishing their former practices, including wife beating, polygamy, lying, and stealing.
John Eliot translated the entire Bible into Algonquian. In 1663, this translation became the first Bible printed in
SERVICE “ Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, ……MATTHEW 28:19
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), known as the “ Father of American Poets” and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post, wrote:
The very men who, in the pride of their investigations into the secrets of the internal world, turn a look of scorn upon the Christian system of belief, are not aware how much of the peace and order of society, how much the happiness of households, and the purest of those who are the dearest to them, are owing to the influence of that religion extending beyond their sphere……
In my view, the life, the teachings, the labors, and the sufferings of the blessed Jesus, there can e no admiration too profound, no love of which the human heart is capable too warm, no gratitude too earnest and deep of which He is justly the object. …
INSPIRING “ We never saw anything like this!” MARK 2:12
“ WHO BUT THE RULER OF THE WINDS?..........”
As the president of
In our lowest and most dangerous state, in 1776 and 1777, we sustained our selves against the British Amy of sixty thousand troops, commanded by…. The ablest generals
Who but a
Who but the Ruler of the winds could have delayed the British reinforcements by three months of contrary ocean winds at a critical point of the war?
Or what but “ a providential miracle’ at the last minute detected the treacherous scheme of traitor Benedict Arnold, which would have delivered the American army, including George Washington himself, into the hands of the enemy?
On the French role in the Revolution, it is God who so ordered the balancing interests of nations as to produce an irresistible motive in the European maritime powers to take our part……..
The United States are under peculiar obligations to become a holy people unto the Lord our God.
WORSHIP “ Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” MARK 4:41
WORLD WAR II
IN THE CLOSE OF HIS ANNUAL State of the Union messages to Congress in January 1939, and with war about to break out in
One wonders if
WITH THE JAPANESE ATTACK ONF PERARL HARBOR on December 7,1941, Americans whose lives has been shaped by the trying times of the Great Depression volunteered by the hundreds of thousands to fight the enemies abroad and to save the world form tyranny. The majority of th worlds nations split into opposing military alliances; the Allies and the Axis powers. Over 100 million military personnel would engage in the battle, and over 60 million people, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest and most widespread war in history.
By the D-Day invasion of
FROM OVERCOMING THE MISERY OF LONG years of economic depression in the 1930’s, to defeating Nazism and Japanese imperialism, to the Herculean task of remaking the postwar American society, this generation of Americans born of “ a rendezvous with destiny’ was undoubtedly the most influential of the twentieth century. But what was it that made them a generation of patriots, heroes, and builders?
Perhaps the answer was expressed through one of their won, Mitchell Paige, a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s most prestigious military honor, for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the
In the years to come, Paige was repeatedly asked why he would be willing to put his life on the line for his country. He aid that the answers took him back to the Pennsylvania three-room country school where the children were so steeped in the traditions of America that they literally felt themselves a part of a glorious heritage-where the teacher opened the school day with a Bible verse and the Pledge of allegiance, and where they memorized all the great documents that established the bedrock of America, such as the Gettysburg Address.
“TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND LEAN NOT OUR YOUR OWN UNDERSANDING; IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HW WILL DIRECT YOUR PATHS. “
His response went this way; “ My undying love of country, and my strong loyalty to the marines fighting by my side, gave me no choice but to fight on unswervingly throughout my battle, utilizing my God-given ability to make use of what I had been taught and learned.”
WHEN PAIGE LEFT HOME TO WALK the two-hundred miles to the nearest marines recruiting station in 1936, his mother packed him a lunch in which she included the note; “ Trust in the Lord, son, and he will guide your always.” He aid those words remained forever in his mind and whenever fear would overtake him, he was comforted by them.
Paige said, “ I will never forget sitting in a foxhole, bloody, burned, and injured the morning after our all-night, fierce, hand to hand battle against on overwhelming Japanese force on
Mitchell Paige was a true servant and patriot of
FAITH “ … all things are possible to him who believes.” MARK 9:23
THE MOTTO OF THE STATE OF
THE USE OF POWER
In his 1989 Inaugural Address, George H.W. Bush stated:
We meet on democracy’s front porch, a good place to talk neighbors and as friends. For this is a day when our nation is made whole, when our differences, for a moment, are suspended, And my first act of president is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads;
Heavenly Father, we bow our heads and thank You for Your love. Accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day the shared faith and makes it continuance likely. Make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our hearts these words; “ Use power to help people” For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, not to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people. Help us to remember it, Lord. Amen.
SERVICE “…Whoever desires to becoming great among you shall be your servant.” MARK 10:43
HONOR “ Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…….”
Christ or Chaos
Peter Marshall, that chaplain of the U.S. Senate (1947-1949), issued a call for Americans to honor God:
The Choice before us is plain; Christ or chaos, conviction of compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearting about our rights and privileges as American citizens. The time is come-it is now-when we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship.
THE HATYSTACK, PRAYER MEETING
In August 1806, five
In 1808, the Haystack Prayer group and other Williams students formed “ The Brethren, “ a society organized to “ effect in the persons of its members, a mission to the heathen” in the person of its members, a mission to the heathen.” Within a few years, they inspired the founding of the American Board of commissioners ofr Foreign Missions (ABCFM) Several of the students, including Adoniram Judson, went to Asia as missionaries (the first foreign missionaries sent from America in 1812), and Samuel Mills stayed stateside to recruit others and later helps organize the American bible Society and the Untied Foreign missionary Society.
INSPIRING “ Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15
Whatchmen on the Walls
BENEDICT ARNOLD, AN AMERICAN TRAITOR
Benedict Arnold(1741-1801) was considered by many to be the best general and most accomplished leader in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Without his early contributions to the American cause, some historians feel the American Revolution might have been lost. He secured the vital Lake Champlain route to
But despite being imaginative, daring, and courageous, his name has become a byword for treason in the
The traitor Benedict Arnold abused his position of authority and trust, being willing to betray the entire war for American independence in order tow in hi sown selfish success. He could have been one of the great heroes of the American Revolution, but selfishness and self-pity are formidable foes.
INTEGRITY: ….Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor. Luke 6:16
HOPE" ...laid the foundation on the rock." Luke 6:48"
Dr. King pursued his dream of a color-bind society through lectures, nonvilent marches, and protests, He suffered harassment, threats, being , incarceration-even his house bing torched-but he kept marching for justice, equality, and peace. IN 1963, during the March on Washington, D.C., at the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous " I Have a Dream" speech before 200,000 to 300,000 marchers, saying, " I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. " The speech beautifully and forcefully articulated the hopes and aspirations of the civil rights movements as rooted in two cherished national treasures-the Bible and the promise of true equality in the American Constitution.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S Constitution, some of its opponents, including prominent Founding Fathers, argued that it failed to protect the basic principles of human liberty. While the constitution spelled out the new government’s delegated powers, it did not define the citizen’s rights or insure that the federal governments would not infringe on the most basic of civil rights at a later point in time, as the British had done before and during the Revolution. In their formal ratification of the Constitution, several state conventions either asked for or understood that such amendments would be offered.
The Bill of Rights is the first tem amendments to the Constitution. They were introduced by James Madison to the First U.S Congress in 1791 as a series of constitutional amendments and came into effect on December 15, 1791, after being ratified by three-fourths of the states. In drafting the bill of Rights, the Framers further defined the role of the federal government by defining certain actions in would not do.
Without the Bill of Rights, basic human rights such as the freedom of religion and of speech, the freedom to assemble and to petition, the right to a free press, and the right to keep and bear arms cold have potentially been denied of repressed. The Bill of Rights prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and compelled self-incrimination. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by grand jury for any capital or “infamous crime,” guarantees a speedy public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill or Rights reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or states.
After over two hundred yeas, the United States Supreme Court still frequently hears cases related to the Bill of Rights. For instance, the First Amendment, which states that “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, remains a hotly debates issue. In today’s courts and culture, interpretation of this amendment as an impassible’ wall of separation’ between church and state seeks to prohibit religion from entering the halls of government, public schools, and numerous other community sectors. Freedom” of religion” lies within the balance.
NO ORDINARY CLAIMS
Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) was the Royall Professor of Law at Harvard and considered on of the greatest legal minds in Western history. In his Testimony of the Evangelist, Greenleaf states:
The religion of Jesus Christ aims at nothing less than the utter overthrow of all other systems of religion in the world; denouncing them as inadequate to the wants of man, false in their foundations, and dangerous in their tendency. It not only solicits the grave attention of all, to whom its doctrines are presented, but it demands their cordial belief, as a matter of vial concernment. T hese are no ordinary claims; and it seems hardly possible for a rational being to regard them with even a subdued interest; mush less to treat them with mere indifference and contempt. If not true, they are little else than the pretensions of a bold imposture, which, not satisfied with having already enslaved millions of the human race, seeks to continue its encroachments upon human race, seeks to continue its encroachments upon human liberty, until all nations shall be subjugated under its iron rule. But if they are well-founded and just, they can be no less then the high requirements of heaven, addressed by the voice of God to the reason and understanding of man, concerning things deeply affecting his relations to his sovereign, and essential to the formation of his character and of course to his destiny, both for this life and for the life to come.
TRUTH “ No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
COMMUNION ON THE MOON
As the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 11 space mission, with the first lunar landing on July 20,1969, Buzz Aldrin was the second person to walk on the moon, after Mission Commander Neil Armstrong. Aldrin had brought with him a tiny communion kit, given him by his church. During the morning, he radioed, “
During the radio blackout, Aldrin took the communion elements and read John 15:5: “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Aldrin had been asked not to read the verse publicly because of the legal challenge NASA faced from famed atheist Madalyn Murray O”Hair regarding the reading of the biblical creation story from Genesis during the Apollo 8 mission. How incredible is it that the first thing this American patriot did when he arrived on the moon was the worship God?
WORSHIP “ I AM THE VINE…..” John 15:5
FOUR IMMORTAL CHAPLAINS
Shortly before 1 A.M on February 2,1943, the American transport ship Dorchester was streaming through the icy North Atlantic from
Through the pandemonium, according to eyewitnesses, for Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness to the men who struggled to fine their way out. Those Army chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed. Above the din, the four chaplains could be heard urging the frightened to be brave, praying for the dying, and guiding the disoriented toward the lifeboats.
Men jumped from the ship into lifeboats, overcrowding them to the point of capsizing. Other rafts, tossed into the
“ It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven, “ said John Ladd, one of he survivors.
Then in the darkness, the four chaplains linked arms, grasped the railing of the ship together as it began to slip into the ocean, and began singing and shouting biblical encouragement in English, Hebrew, and Latin to the men in the sea. William Bednar, floating among his dead comrades, later said, “Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.”
Of the men aboard the
SELFLESS “Greater love has no one than this….JOHN 15:13
THE DIVINE ORIGIN OF JESUS
David Dixon Porter(1813-1891), an admiral in the U.S. Navy and later the superintendent of U.S. Naval Academy t Annapolis, stated:
When one sees how much has been done for the world by the disciples of Christ and those professing the Christian religion, he must be astonished to find anyone who hesitates to believe in the Divine origin of Jesus and the wonderful works He performed, all of which are so beautifully portrayed by the Author of the work under consideration; an no man or woman of real intelligence would hesitate to believe that it is only through Christ that sinners can be saved, unless their vanity is so great that they are capable of saving themselves without an intermediary.
FAITH…….they all glorified God for what had been done. ACTS 4:21
A Necessity of American Life
Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States (1929-1933), wrote:
The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.
INSPIRING…BEING ASTONISHED AT THE TEACHING OF THE LORD. ACTS 13:12
A LITTLE SHORT OF A MIRACLE”
The U.S. Constitution was the first written constitution in the world, and one that defined a government of and for the people. It has served Americans well, enhancing freedom and prosperity while withstanding over two centuries of trial by fire, tears, and bloodshed. Frequently copied over the past two hundred years, nearly every nation in the world has since adopted written constitutions, and the U.S. Constitution served as the model.
On September 17,1787, George Washington witnessed the signing of the U.S. Constitution and later declared it as “little short of a miracle,” and for good reasons. The leader from the thirteen states sere deeply divided on many fundamental issues, particularly on the extent to which the states would cede any power to a national government. To create a strong central government meant confronting seemingly irresolvable differences on how to allocate the components of national power between large and small states. The delegates spent over three months in secret sessions, because they were fearful that if their debates were reported to the people before the entire document was ready for submission, the opposition would unite to kill their efforts.
It was so remarkable that the delegates were able to agree on a strong central government that Benjamin Franklin said, “ To conclude, I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our General Convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new Federal Constitution…yet I must won I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influence, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferiors spirits live and move and have their being.”
Charles Pinckney, another of the Framers, said, “ Nothing less than that superintending hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war(in my humble opinion), could have brought it(the constitution)about so complete, upon the whole.”
Alexander Hamilton, who represented New York at the Constitutional Convention, expressed a similar view; “ For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system, which, without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.”
LEADERSHIP Now the apostle and elders came together to consider this matter. ACT 15.6
Search the Scriptures
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, proclaimed:
I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice to thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portion of one or two chapters everyday, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity.
INSPIRING…….SEARCHED THE Scriptures daily………ACTS 17:11
MAN AS GOD’S COWORKER
George Washington Carver (1864-1943), an agricultural chemist who discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more used for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes, shared some of his observations about God.
As a very small boy exploring the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place, I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me. Things were so orderly, so clean, and so harmoniously beautiful. A few years later in these same woods, I was to understand the meaning of this boyish impression….because I was practically overwhelmed with the sense of some Great Presence. Not only had someone been there. Someone was there….
Yeas later when I read in the Scriptures, “In Him we live and move and have our being,” I knew that the writer meant. Never since have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me….The out-of-doors has been to me more and more a great cathedral in which God could be continuously spoken to and heard from…..
Man, who needed a purpose, a mission, to keep him alive, had one. He could be…God’s coworker….My purpose alone must be God’s purpose-to increase the welfare and happiness of His people….Why, then, should we who believe in Christ be so surprised at what God can do with a will man in a laboratory?
SERVICE “ In Him we live and move and have our being….” ACTS 17:28
The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness, “ a lantern to is feet and a lamp unto his paths, “ He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of the Christian nation.
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY, AUTHOR OF , “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Often called the “Book of Books,” the Bible holds a unique place in American history, politics, religion, and popular culture. Unfortunately, through, biblical illiteracy is so prevalent today that when President Ronald Reagan spoke so eloquently of a “shining city on a hill,” few people realized he was referring to a sermon given by John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1630, which was based on the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5, When people hear Martin Luther King Jr,s” magnificent” I Have a Dream” speech, most do not recognize its numerous biblical allusions and quotes. Nevertheless, the transforming power of the Word of God remains to impact lives everywhere.
Unless we form the habit of going to the bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light an darkness. HELEN KELLER (Writer and Social Reformer)
THE BIBLE IS A WINDOW IN THIS PRISON-WORLD, THROUGH WHICH WE MAY LOOK INTO ETERNITY. Timothy Dwight(President of Yale University)
The most remarkable thing, though, is the difference Scripture makes in the lives of those who sincerely follow it. I’ve never heard anyone who said, “I’ve studied the Bible; I’ve lived it for years-and ti doesn’t work for me.” The people I’ve talked to say that the more they truly absorb Scripture and seek to live by its precepts they find God is able to accomplish amazing things for His purposes through the lives. CHARLES COLSON
In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength. ROBERT E. LEE(GENERAL OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY)
A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district-all studied and appreciated as they merit-are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN(Statesman, Inventor, and Scientist)
THE WORLD OF GOD TENDS TO MAKE LARGE-MINDED, MOBLE-HEARTED MEN. (HENRY WARD BEECHER. (Clergyman and Abolitionist)
The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed. PATRICK HENRY
The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible, “ IN all they ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they paths.” George Washington Carver
If we abide by the principles taught in the bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. Daniel Webster
The Bible towers in content above all earlier religious literature; and it towers just as impressively over all subsequent literature in the direct simplicity of its message and the catholicity of its appeal to men of all lands and times. William Foxwell Albright(Archaeologist)
Should not the bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its moral are pure, its examples captivating and noble…. In no book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching all the same book they will speak alike, and the bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith. Fischer Ames(Author of the First Amendment)
To call the Bible a great book is an understatement. It is, quite simply, the cornerstone of Western civilization. Charlton Heston(Actor)
A POLICEMAN’S PRAYER
When I start my tour of duty, God,
Please give me understanding
Let me never make a judgment
Lord, if some dark and dreary night,
But the centurion…kept them from their purpose…. ACTS 27:43
THE LAWS OF NATURE AND OF NATURE’S GOD
The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence sets the stage for the American Revolution and its absolute reliance on the laws of God:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bans which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and of Nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
The “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” had been defined by historic legal writers, such as Sir William Blackstone and others, as the laws that God, the Creator of the universe, had established for the governance of people, nations, and nature. Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law, which had become the primary law book of the Founding Fathers, explained “The laws of nature” as the will of God for man, which can be ascertained by people through an examination of God’s creation, the text of the Bible, and to a certain degree, instinct or reason. Blackstone stated:
Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject ot the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being… And consequently, as a man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature….This law of nature, being coeval (coexistent) with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this.
And if our reason were always…..clear and perfect…the task would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this (the law of nature). But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error. This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of Divine
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depends all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.
TRUTH…….who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. ROMANS 1:18, 19
A LEGACY OF SUCCESS
At age six, Henry John Heinz(1844-1919) started helping his mother tend a small garden behind the family home. At twelve, he was working three and one-half acres of garden, using horse and cart for his three-times-a-week deliveries to grocery stores in
Henry Heinz was deeply involved in the promotion of the Sunday school in
In his will, Heinz said, “ I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will, as the most important items in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which there were unusual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ. This legacy was left me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained.”
LEADERSHIP….was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God……ROMANS 4:20
RELIGIOUS BROADCASTING RIGHTS
In July 1993, the
Initially Christianity was taught by Christ. He then taught disciples who went out over the world to teach others. This process has spread to a major world body of believers.
Religion should be permitted to use contemporary means to communicate religious messages in the form of TV appeal to mass audiences, follow-up communication by computerized mailing designed to convert and symbolic tokens to cause response to the messages
The context of the message is belief, and the freedom for belief is absolute. When a minister or a church urges one to take certain actions based upon a representation that God will act towards that person in positive and rewarding ways, they are entitled to absolute protection as a belief.
FREEDOM: so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. ROMANS 10:17
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The Declaration of Independence, considered the founding document of the United States, is and act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4,1776, which declared that the 13 American colonies were” Free and Independent States” and that “ all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved. “ In it, or founding Fathers were quick to acknowledge God as the source of our rights, and they were wise to not separate God from state. The placement of Judeo-Christian values and biblical morality into our founding documents and laws was clearly intentional. As Benjamin Rush, one of the Founders, said, “ Without (religion) there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them………
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…..
We, Therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, ore Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
FREEDOM For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free ROMANS 8:2
FEED THE HUNGRY
Henry Ward Beecher(1813-1887) was a leading American clergyman, editor, and abolitionist. He observed:
Christianity works while infidelity talks She feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visit and cheers the sick, and seeks the lost, while infidelity abuses her and babbles nonsense and profanity, “ By their fruits ye shall know them.”
He also said:
The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on the rocks of bars.
SERVICE “If your enemy is hungry, feed him….” ROMANS 12:20
THE LAND OF THE BIBLE
Benjamin Franklin Morris (1810-1867), the Congregational minister and historian who wrote, “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States in 1864, stated:
These fundamental objects of the Constitution are in perfect harmony with the revealed objects of the Christian religion. Union, justice, peace, the general welfare, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty, are the objects of Christianity, and always secured under its practical and beneficent reign.
The state must rest upon the basis of religion, and it must preserve this basis, or itself must fall. But the support which religion gives to the state will obviously cease the moment religion loses its hold upon the popular mind.
This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly because of the many and mighty elements of a pure Christianity which have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is preeminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian church, and the Christian Sabbath……..The chief security and glory of the United States of America has been in now, and will be forever, the prevalence and domination of the Christian faith.
William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873), considered the “ Schoolmaster of the Nation,” published the first edition of his McGuffey Reader in 1836, one of the nation’s first and most widely used series of textbooks in public education. It is estimated that at least 120 million copies of McGuffey Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, placing its sales in a category with the bible and Webster’s Dictionary. In the preface of his Eclectic Third Reader, McGuffey wrote:
Selections have been drawn from the purest fountains of English literature…Copious extracts made from the Sacred Scriptures.
Upon a review of th work…an apology may be due for not having still more liberally transferred to pages that chaste simplicity, the thrilling pathos, the living descriptions, and the matchless sublimity of the Sacred Writings.
From no source has the author drawn more copiously than from the Sacred Scriptures… This certainly apprehends no censure. In a Christian country, that man is to be pitied, who , at this day, can honestly object to imbuing the minds of youth with the language and spirit of the Word of God.
EQUIPPER: For whatever things were written before were written for our learning....Romans 15:4
THE BIBLE IMPACT ON SOCIETY
James McHenry(1753-1816) was a physician, one of the signers of the Constitution, a member of the Continental Congress, and the U.S. Secretary of War. In 1813, he became the president of the first Bible society in Baltimore, Maryland, and stated the importance of distributing the Bible into society:
Neither, in considering this subject, let it be overlooked, that public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preached, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threatened, the rewards they promised, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of governments, purity, stability and usefulness.
In vain, without the Bible, we increased penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.
Consider also, the rich do not posses aught more precious than their Bible, and that the poor cannot be presented by the rich with anything of greater value. Withhold it not from the poor. It is a book of councils and directions fitted to every situation in which man can be placed it is an oracle which reveals to mortals the secrets of heavens and the hidden will of the Almighty……It is an estate, whose title is guaranteed by Christ, whose delicious fruits ripen every season, survive the worm, and keep through eternity.
EQUIPPER, “ ....THE THINGS WHICH God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 CORINTHIANS 2.9
CHRISTIANITY AND COMMON LAW
At the age of 32, Joseph Story became the youngest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and served from 1811 to 1845, writing 286 opinions. He was also the Dane Professor of Law at Harvard and wrote many legal texts now considered classics. His three-volumes set of Commentaries on the constitution of the United States is still the standard treatise on the subject.
At a point in his life where Story doubted the truth of Christianity, he “ labored and read with assiduous attention all of the arguments of its proof’ and became committed to the principles of Christianity, which he repeatedly expressed throughout his lengthy legal career. It was his conviction that American law and legal practices must never be separated from Christian principles. As he explained:
One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the common Law… There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations… The law pronounces illegal every contract offensive to Christianity’s morals. It recognizes with profound humility Christianity’s holidays and festivals, and obeys them even to the point of suspending all government functions on those days. It still attaches to persons believing in Christianity’s divine authority the highest degree of competency as witnesses.
TRUTH…….nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners…..1 CORINTHIANS 6:10
ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN,
In the 1885 Utah Territory case of Murphy v. Ramsey, the U.S Supreme Court recognized the fundamental importance of the traditional institution of marriage;
Every person who has a husband or wife living ..and marries another… is guilty of polygamy, and shall be punished… for certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in the springing from the union for life of one man and one women in the holy estate of matrimony, the sure foundations of all that is stable and noble in our civilization,; the best guaranty of the reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.
FAMILY VALUES……..let each man have his own wife…….1 CORINTHIANS 7:2
Franklin D. Roosevelt placed has hand on 1 Corinthians 13 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1933, 1937, 1941, and 1945.
WAR HERO WITHOUT A GUN
When Desmond Doss was inducted into the U.S. Army in April 1942, he entered service as a conscientious objector for his religious beliefs and served as a medic for the 77th Infantry Division. From the beginning, the other men in his company harassed and threaten Doss for his beliefs and his quiet reading of the pocket-sized bible his wife had given him, even trying to get him transferred out of their unit.
On Okinawa, in the late spring of 1945, his battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high. As the troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the ay stricken, caring them one by one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. Each time he got one of them to safety, he prayed, “Dear God let me get just one more man.”
In three more battles in May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy artillery and mortar shells, small arms fire, and showers of grenades to dress his comrade’s wounds and evacuated them to safety. On May 21, whole giving aid to the inured, he was seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of grenades. Caring for his won injuries, he waited five hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. Along the way, Doss insisted on giving his stretcher to a badly injured GI. Awaiting the litter bearers’ returned, he was struck by a bullet, suffering a compound fracture of one arm. With magnificent fortitude, he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station.
Discovering he has lost his Bible, Doss sent word asking if the men could keep an eye out for it. An entire battalion combed the battlefield until the bible was found. A sergeant carefully dried it out and mailed it to Doss.
Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions, Private First Class Doss saved the lives of many solders and became the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding gallantry for above the beyond the call of duty.
SELFLESS Love never fails 1Corinthians 13:8
TRUE HISTORY OR CONSUMMATE FRAUD?
Daniel Webster (1782-1852), a leading American statesman during the nation’s
Antebellum Period, declared:
The Gospel is either true history, or it is a consummate fraud; it is ether a reality or an imposition. Christ was what He professed to be, or He was an imposter. There is no other alternative.
His spotless life in His earnest enforcement of the truth_ his suffering in its defense, forbid us to suppose that He was suffering an illusion of a heated brain. Every act of His pure and holy life shows that. He was the author of truth, the advocate of truth, the earnest defender of truth, and the uncompromising sufferer for truth
Now, considering the purity of His doctrines, the simplicity of His life, and the sublimity of His death, is it possible that he would have died for an illusion? IN all His preaching the savior made no popular appeals; His discourses were always directed tot the individual. Christ and His apostle sought to impress upon every man the conviction that he must stand or fall alone-he must live for himself, and die for himself, and give up his account to the omniscient God as though he were the only dependent creature in the universe. The Gospel leaves the individual sinner alone with himself and his God.
And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile………1 CORINTIANS 15:17
LIFE AND IMMORTALITY
John McLean (1785-1861), a U.S. Postmaster General and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote:
No one can estimate or describe the salutary influence of the Bible. What would the world be without it? Corporate the dark places of the earth, where the light of the Gospel has not penetrated, with those where it has been proclaimed and embraced in all its purity. Life and immortality are brought to light by the Scriptures.
Aside form Revelation, darkness rests upon the world and upon the future. There is no ray of light to shine upon our pathway; there is no ray of light to shine upon our pathway; there is no ray of light to shine upon our pathway; there is no star of hope. We begin our speculations as to our destiny n conjecture, and they end in uncertainty. We know not that there is a God, a heave, or a hell, or any day of general account, when the wicked and the righteous shall be judged.
The Bible has shed a glorious light upon the world. It shows us that in the coming day we must answer for the deeds done in the body. It has opened us to a new and living way, so plainly marked out hat no one can mistake it. The price paid for our redemption shows the value of our immortals souls.
HOPE…. Shone in our hearts to give the light….. 2 CORINTHAINS 4:6
CHRISTIANITY, LIBERTY, AND SCIENCE
Elaborating on the excesses in inherent within the hierarchal state-controlled church, Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote:
The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they (the clergy) have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent Institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.
INSPIRING ….where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:17
………..where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:17
Christianity, Liberty, and Science
Elaborating on the excesses inherent within the hierarchal state-controlled church, Thomas Jefferson, third, president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence wrote:
The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they(the clergy) have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent Institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.
LIFE AND IMMORTALITY
John Mclean (1785-1861), a U.S. Postmaster General and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote:
No one can estimate or describe the salutary influence of the bible. What would the world be without it? Compare the dark places of the earth, where the light of the Gospel has no penetrated, with those where it has been proclaimed and embraced in all its purity. Live and immortality are brought to light by the Scriptures.
Aside from Revelation, darkness rests upon the world and upon the future. There is no ray of light to shine upon our pathways; there I no star of hope. We begin our speculations as to our destiny in conjecture, and they end in uncertainty. We know not that there is a God, a heaven, or a hell, or any day of general account, when the wicked and the righteous shall be judged.
The Bible has shed a glorious light upon the world. It shows us that in the coming day we must answer for the deeds done in the body. It has opened us to a new and living way, so plainly marked out that no one can mistake it. The price paid for our redemption shows the value of our immortals souls.
HOPE…….shone in our hearts to give the light………..2 Corinthians 4:6
HOPE…….and eternal weight of glory…….2 CORINTHIANS 4:17
AN Exceeding Weight of Glory
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863), the revered Civil War general, whose death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, had written in a letter to his wife:
Don’t trouble yourself… these things are earthly and transitory. There are real and glorious blessings, I trust, in reserve for us, beyond this life. It is best for us to keep our eyes fixed upon the throne of God… it is gratifying to be believed and to have our conduct approved by our fellowmen but this is not worthy to be compared with the glory that is in reservation for us, in the presence of the glorified Redeemer…knowing that there awaits us “ a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
“GOD HAS A BIGGER SHOVEL”
R.G. LeTourneau (1888-1969) was a prolific inventor in the earthmoving industry and one of the most amazing “rags to riches” stories in America. He began his career in obscurity in Stockton, California, where frustrations with his first job of moving dirt drove him to find a better, more efficient way. As the father of the modern earthmoving industry, he was responsible for nearly 300 inventions, including the bulldozer, scrapers of all sorts, dredgers, portable cranes, rollers, dump wagons, bridge spans, logging equipment, mobile sea platforms for oil exploration, the electric wheel, and many others. During World War II, he produced 70 percent of all the army’s earthmoving machines.
Le Tourneau felt that he was clearly called to be a “Businessman for God,” and he spoke of God as the Chairman of his board. He said that the money came in faster than he could give ti away. He established the LeTourneau Foundation to channel 90 percent of his personal multimillion-dollar salary to Christian endeavors, especially the training of Christian workers in practical skills that are needed on mission fields. LeTourneau was convinced that he could not out-give God. “I shovel it out,” he would say, “and God shovels it back, but God has a bigger shovel.”
He also said,” You will never know what you can accomplish until you say a great big yes to the Lord,” and he proved those words true. His business efforts-although incredibly successful-never deterred him from what he felt was his reason for existence; to glorify God an spread the Gospel message. He shared his faith with million during his life and founded missionary efforts in Liberia and Peru. He and his wife also founded a college in Longview, Texas, which is a lasting spiritual legacy. LeTourneau University continues to hold to its spiritual foundations and has produced more than 10,000 alumni who are faithfully serving the Lord in all 50 states and 55 nations.
Many people see LeTourneau as one of the most influential people of the past hundred years. His attitude was always positive toward ultimate accomplishment, and he was known to say, “The only difference between can and cant’ is a little extra effort.” His life’s verse was Matthew 6:33: “but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
INSPIRING………AND HE WHO SOWS BOUNTIFULLY WILL ASLO REAP BOUNTIFULLY. 2CORINTHIANS 9:6
The Unspeakable Gift
John Sherman (1823-1900), a longtime American political leader noted for having introduced the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1879) in an effort to curb the monopolies to big businesses, stated:
I appreciate the Holy Bible as the highest gift of God to man, unless to be the “unspeakable Gift” of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. It is the Divine assurance that our life does not end with death, and it is the strongest incentive to honorable, charitable Christian deeds.
INSPIRING Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
A Nation’s Most Powerful Resource
Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States (1953-1961), signed into law the Congressional Act, Joint Resolution 243, which added the phrase “ One Nation under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Concerning it, he stated:
In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.
Richard Allen (1760-1831) was born into slavery in Philadelphia. He came to faith in Christ at age 17, joined the Methodist Society, began attending classes, and started preaching on his plantation and at local Methodist churches. His owner allowed Allen to purchase his freedom for 2,000 by working for the Revolutionary forces, and he became on of the first blacks to be emancipated during the Revolutionary Era. For the next six years, Allen traveled the Methodist circuit in the mid Atlantic States, preaching to black and white congregants alike.
IN 1786, he returned to Philadelphia and joined St. George’s Methodist church, where he preached at 5:00 A.M. so his services would not interfere with the whites. His leadership attracted dozens of blacks into the church, and with them came increased racial tension. Although whites and black often worshiped together, segregated seating was typical, and blacks enjoyed no real freedom or equality. Allen recognized that blacks needed a place they could worship without restriction and harassment, and where they could control their religious lives. He, along with Rev. Absalom Jones and few others, formed the Free African Society in 1787. In 1794, he purchases an old frame building and started the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Also in 1794, Allen and representatives from four other black Methodist congregations in Baltimore, Wilmington, Attleboro, and Salem met at the Bethel Church to organize a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Allen was chosen as the first bishop of the church, the first fully independent black denomination in America, whose motto has always been, “God our father, man our brother, and Christ our redeemer.”
Richard Allen remained a Methodist, continued preaching throughout his life, and oversaw the amazing growth of the AME’s mother church in Philadelphia, which grew to 7,500 members in the 1820s. By 1846, the AME church had grown to 176 clergy, 296 churches, and over 17,000 members. Its expansion was not only as a spiritual force but also in civil and social activism, and the AME is considered one of the most enduring and influential black institutions ever organized. In the 1990s, the AME included over 2,000,000 members, 8,000 ministers, and 7,000 congregations in more than 30 nations in North and South America, Africa, and Europe.
A strong patriot, Allen supported the War of 1812 and denounced the notion of sending blacks to colonize in Africa, making the compelling argument; “This land which we watered with our tears and our blood is now our mother country.”
LEADERSHIP: BUT WHEN I SAW THAT THEYWERE NOT STRAIGHTFORWARD ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL. GALATIANS 2;14
The churches role in the world
President Harry Truman held office during the end of World War II, one of the most difficult periods of the twentieth century. In this 1946 excerpt, he reminds Americans of what we fought for and how to preserve it.
We have just come through a decade in which forces of evil in various parts of the world have been lined up in a bitter fight to banish from the face of the earth… religion and democracy. For these forces of evil have long realized that both religion and democracy are founded on one basic principle, the worth and dignity of the individual man and woman. Dictatorship, on the other hand, has always rejected that principle. Dictatorship, by whatever name, is founded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only thing that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the State.
In that long struggle between these two doctrines, the cause of decency and righteousness has been victorious. The right of every human being to live in dignity and freedom, the right to worship his God in his own way, the right to fix his own relationship to his fellow men and to his Creator-these again have been saved for mankind.
The fight to preserve these rights was hard-won. The victory took a toll of human life and treasure so large that it should bring home to us forever how precious, how invaluable, is our liberty which we had just begun to take for granted. Now that we have preserved our freedom of conscience and religion, … let us make use of it to save a world which is beset by so many threats of new conflict, new terror, and new destruction……..
If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear….
This is a supreme opportunity for the Church to continue to fulfill its mission on earth…. (And to) provide the shock forces to accomplish this moral and spiritual awakening. No other agency can do it. Unless it is done, we are headed for the disaster we would deserve.. Oh for an Isaiah or a Saint Paul to reawaken this sick world to its moral responsibilities.
PROTECTOR Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… GALATIONS 5:1
MORAL STRENTH….beware lest you be consumed by one another!!! GALATIONS 5:15
A Constitution for Moral People
John Adams (1735-1826) is one of America’s Founding Fathers and served as the second president of the United Sates. In an October 1798 letter to the Militia of Massachusetts, he stated:
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry world break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through an et.. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
MORAL STRENGHT….BEWARE LEST YOU BE CONSUMED BY ONE ANTOHER! Galatians 5:15
Bill Clinton placed his had on Galatians 6:8 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1993
In August 1984, Ronald Reagan spoke to an ecumenical prayer breakfast in
We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison out society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions.
I submit to you that the tolerant society is open to and encouraging of all religions. And this does not weaken us; it strengthens us……..
Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
FAITH, “ HAVING NO HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD EPHESIANS 2:12
THE FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES
When the Pilgrim Fathers arrived at
The early residents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony brought with them several books of Psalms in metrical translations into English, but they were dissatisfied with the translations from Hebrew and hired “thirty pious and learned Ministers” to undertake a new translation. It represented a sacred value held by the Puritans-a faithful translation of God’s Word, to be sung in worship by the entire congregation. Given the harsh living condition of those early years, it was a remarkable achievement.
The Bay Psalm Book went through several editions and remained in use for well over a century. This Psalter an The New England Primer were, next to the Bible, the most commonly owned books in seventeenth-century New England.
EQUIPPER …speaking to none another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…….EPHESIANS 5:19
THE BIBLE OF THE EARLY COLONISTS
The Geneva Bible (over 140 editions were printed from 1560 to 1644) was the Bible that the early religious colonists brought to
The most unique feature of the Geneva Bible was its extensive marginal notes that were included to explain and interpret the scriptures for the common people These notes run to approximately 300,000 words, or one-third the length of the text of the Bible itself, and were largely to work of reformers who had been driven from Great Britain during the reigns of Bloody Mary (1553) and James I (1603)-two monarchs who were advocates of the Divine Rights of Kings and of the authority of the State over the Church. The commentaries in the Geneva Bible reflected reformation thought and took an antiautocratic tone toward both church leaders and state leaders.
TRUTH ….and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…. EPHESIANS 6:17
FREEDOM REQUIRES BRAVERY
According to a popular legend surrounding the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock signed his name largely and distinctly so King George could read it without his spectacles. While that may not be true, it is true that one of colonial
Certainly, all 56 patriots who singed the Declaration of Independence mad eth same solemn declaration’ with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. “Even in victory, many of the signers endured hardships and losses, as did thousands of other Americans.
John Adams wrote to his wife regarding the meaning of his signature on the document of freedom: “I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transactions.”
A few months before signing the Declaration, Patrick Henry addressed the
When the authors of The Day America Told the Truth took polls in the early 1990s asking people which beliefs they would die for, 48 percent said” none.” Only 30 percent would die for God and their faith under any circumstance, and fewer would die for their country. The question is, “Can America restore courage to its soul?”
COURAGE For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. PHILIPPIANS 1:21
THE POWER OF PRAYER
General Robert E. Lee(1807-1870), Commander of the confederate Army of Northern Virginia, wrote:
Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and supreme call for Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray….Let there be prayer t sunup, and noonday, at sundown, at midnight, all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, or aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches.
Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word “concern” for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.
PRAYER……..IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION PHILLIPPIAN 4:6
THE CHIRSTMAS/JULY 4 LINK
On the 61st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the
Why is it hat, next to the birthday of the savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not hat, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the savior? That is forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that he Declaration of
INSPIRING ……ROOTED AND BUILD UP IN Him and established in the faith……COLOSSIONS 2:7
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE WORK ETHIC
Engrained deep within the American spirit is the Puritan work ethic, which places a high moral value of doing a good job because work has intrinsic value for its won sake. To the Puritan, all of life was to be lived in relation to God, a principle which gave sacred significance to every activity. Work was valued as a vital part of their service and worship to God, and they took the Bible seriously when it said, “ And whatever you do in work or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17). Just as the Israelites were instructed to work six days and then rest on the seventh (Ex. 20:9, 10), the Puritans regarded work and worship as a lifestyle of obedience to Christ.
God Himself taught us this by example as he created this universe and all that is in it. He could have merely thought creation into being, but he took six days and rested on the seventh. Man was created in God’s image with a purpose, to work by creating a desirable habitat (Gen 1:28. Man was create to work toward the betterment of both himself and others for six days, and then the Sabbath rest offers opportunities for worship that renew the spirit.
When God completed His creation, He declared it “very good”-the quality was a reflection of His character. Similarly, the quality of our work reflects our personal character. Whatever our trade or craft, we should do all to the glory of God and in the service of mankind. God is worthy of the best we can offer, for He has endowed us with gifts to be used for the good of all. God has designed our labor to have dignity and consequences.
This spiritual heritage has led
INTEGRITY AND WHATEVER YOU DO IN WORK OF DEED……..COLOSSIONAS 3:17
THE “ HOLY EXPERIMENT”
William Penn (1644-1718), the founder of
No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
In 1682, Penn established the
CHARITY But concerning brotherly love…you yourselves are taught by God to love one another 1 Thessalonians 4:9
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863), probably the most revered Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. said:
When we take our meals, there is the grace. When I take a drought of water, I always pause… to lift up my heart to God in thanks and prayer for the water of life… When I break the seal of a letter just received, I stop to pray to God that He may prepare me for its contents and make it a messenger of good. When I go to my classroom and await the arrangement of the cadets in their places that is my time to intercede with God for them.
PRAYER….pray without ceasing…..1 Thessalonians 5:17
The Groundwork of Human Freedom
Horace Greeley (1811-1872), the editor of American’s most influential newspaper from the 1840s to the 1870s, the New York Tribune, wrote;
It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.
FREEDOM……..stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught…….
2 THESSALONIANS 2:15
As believers, it is our responsibility to pray for America-always, not just in times of national crisis. Without diminishing the importance of the Supreme Court or the Congress or the president, they are not the source of our future or our hope. Only God and the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of citizens can sustain the strength and the future of this nation.
James 5:16 encourages us that’ the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much,” and throughout the bible we see how true these words are.. Prayers moved the hand of God and changes came to nations, leaders, laws, and individuals. S. D. Gordon said, “The greatest things anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing.”
First, as God’s people, we must humble ourselves and confess to God the sins of our nation as well as our own lives-our self-centeredness, lusts, addictions, the love of the world, and any area I which we are disobeying His Word. God has said, “ If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:14) John Wesley adds, “ Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.”
Second, we must pray for our leaders and authorities. Ask the Lord to give godly wisdom, protection, and direction to the president, Congress, state and local officials, judges, as well as all those whom God has raised up to lead His people(Ezra 6:10; Rom 13:105; 1 Tim 2:1-3). If we see nonbelievers taking control of the government, passing laws that violate the laws of God, and jeopardizing our God given freedoms, or mandate is to intercede and trust God to restore godliness or our nation and communities.
Third, we must pray that the Lord will work in the powerful way in the hearts of believers and people from all walks of life(Ps. 85; Hos. 6:1-3; Hab. 3:2). Only God has the power to free people from the sins that destroy their lives as well as the foundations of righteousness.
Fourth, we must pray for families, for school systems, for the military; for the economy, and for the vital aspects of our society. Be aware of what is going on, and pray.
PRAYER……supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be make for all men, for kings and all who are in authority…..1 TIMOTHY 2:1,2
THE CORNERSTONE O FAMERICAN SOCIETY
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the
The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms. In the family, we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities, human dignity and human frailty.
Our families give us daily examples of these lesions being put into ractice. In raising and instructing our children, in providing personal and compassionate care for the elderly, in maintaining the spiritual strength of religious commitment among our people-in these and other ways,
Today more than ever, it is essential that these contributions not be taken for granted and that each of us remember that the strength of our families to vital to the strength of our nation.
FAMILY VALUES……..HUSBANDS OF ONE WIFE, RULING THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR WON HOUSES WELL. 1 Timothy 3:12
VIRTUE AND A FREE CONSTITUTION
On June 21, 1776, John Adams, the future seconds President of the
Statesmen…may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.
The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure, than they have it now, they many change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
……..IN WORD, IN CONDUCT, IN LOCE, IN SPIRIT, IN FAITH, IN PURITY 1 TIMOTHY 4:12
THE TRANSCENDENT RIGHT TO LIFE
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the
Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Like wise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.
My administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.
PROTECTOR…….GOD WHO GIVES LIFE TO ALL THINGS 1 TIMOTHY 6:13
Story wrote; “We are compelled to admit that although Christianity be a part of the common law of Pennsylvania, yet it is so in this qualified sense, that its divine origins and truth are admitted, and therefore it is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public.”
In this case, Girard’s will permit the teaching of the Christian religion, just not by members of the clergy. Story’s opinion that Girard’s will was not derogatory to the Christian religion rested on two determinations. First, a layman was capable to teaching the general principles of Christianity. “Why many no laymen instruct in the general principles of Christianity as well as ecclesiastics? There is no restriction as to the religious opinion of the instructors and officers.”
And second, Girard’s will actually permitted the teaching of the Bible in the school;” Why many not the Bible, and especially the New Testament , without not or comment be read and taught as a divine revelation in the college-its general precepts expounded, its evidences of Christianity, from being read and taught in the college by lay teachers? Certainly there is nothing in the will that proscribes such studies…. Now, it may well be asked, what is there in all this, which is positively enjoined, inconsistent with the spirit of truths of Christianity? Are not these truths all taught by Christianity, although it teaches much more? Where can the purest principles of morality are learned so clearly or as perfectly as from the New Testament? Where are benevolence, the love of truth, sobriety, and industry, so powerfully and irresistibly inculcated as in the sacred volume?”
The Court’s decision held that Girard’s will did not attack or revile Christianity, because it permitted the teaching of Christian values and moral principles in a nonsectarian way.
MORAL STRENGHT …THAT THE MAN OF God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 TIMOTHY 3:17
I pray to God every night of my life to be given the strength and power to continue my efforts to inspire in others the interest, the obligation, and the responsibilities that we owe to this land for the sake of future generations-for my boys and girls-so that we can always look back when the candle of life burns low and say, “ Thank God, I have contributed my best to the land that contributed so much to me.”
SERVICE: I have fought the good fight……..2 Timothy 4:7
BRILLIANCE WITHOUGH CONSCIENCE
General Omar Bradley was one of the main U.S> Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during World War 11 and the first officer assigned to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1948, he stated:
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the sermon on the Mount…. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
MORAL STRENGTH……BUT EVEN THEIR MIND AND CONSCIENCE ARE DEFILED. TITUS 1:15
Samuel Sullivan Cox (1824-1889) was a Congressman and U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire who stated in a Memorial address to Congress:
I believe in the religion which was taught and exemplified in the life of the Nazarene, and I never fail to bear testimony to the ennobling and purifying influence of the Christian religion…..
MORAL STRENGTH……AND PURIFY FOR HIMSELF HIS WON SPECIAL PEOPLE, ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS. TITUS 2:14
ENLIGHTENMENT AND SALVATION
Rutherford Hayes, the 19th president of the Untied States (1877-1881), stated:
I am a firm believer in the Divine teachings, perfect example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I believe also in the Holy Scriptures as revealed Word of God to the world for its enlightenment and salvation.
Inspiring…the sharing of your faith……..Philemon 6
"Supreme Confidence in the Bible"
Dr Howard a Kelly was considered by many to be the most famous medical practitioner in this country in the first half of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in the field of gynecology in radium therapy, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at John Hopkins University, and a surgeon of gynecology at John Hopkins Hospital. Is publish works were unsurpassed and his day, writing some 20 scientific books and 500 medical and scientific articles. When asked what the secret of his greatness was,
Dr Kelly said : I rise regularly at six o'clock and after dressing, give all my time until our 8 o'clock breakfast to the study of Gods word. I find time for Bible studies during the day and again in the evening. I make it a general rule to touch nothing but the Bible after the evening meal.
And what difference did the Bible make in this busy surgeons life?
One of the most cogent reasons for my supreme confidence in the Bible is that it reveals to me, as does no other book in the world, that which appeals to a physician. A clear diagnosis of my spiritual condition, showing me quilt clearly what I am by nature, one lost in sin and alienated from life that is in God. I find it to be a consistent and wonderful revelation, from Genesis to Revelation, of the character of God, far removed from any man's natural imaginings. It also reveal the tenderness and nearness of God in Christ that signifies the hearts yearnings and presents the infinite God, Creator of the world, as taking are very nature upon Him in infinite love to become one of his people in order to redeem them.
Another great American, George Washington, Rose regularly and spent the time from five until six in the morning on his knees before the chair on which lay an open Bible. He retired every evening at nine o'clock to the same study, to the same chair, to the same open Bible.
DEVOTION: For the word of God is … a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrew 4:12
Religious services and federal buildings
It may come too surprised on December 4th, 1800, Congress approve the use of the Capitol building for religious services even before to officially moved into a building, and this practice lasted until well after the Civil War and Reconstruction. While it is true that there were no churches in the city at that time, even after dozens of churches were established in the city, religious services still continued at the Capitol.
Even more fascinating is the fact that within a year of his inauguration, Thomas Jefferson, who recommended that there exists a" wall of separation" between church and state, began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Throughout his presidency (1801- 1809), he permitted church services in executive branch buildings, because they were non discriminatory and voluntary. Apparently, Jefferson’s concern for separation regarded the opposition to an official state sponsored Church rather than excluding religion from government. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared, and Catholic priest begins officiating in 1826.
Jefferson successor, James Madison, also attended church at the Capitol, as did many more presidents through Abraham Lincoln. It was also a common practice for many members of Congress to attend o services, and often the floor of the house was filled. From 1807 to 1857, services were held in what is now Statuary Hall. The services were interdenominational and overseen by the chaplain appointed by the House and Senate.
In addition to the service held in the hall of the house, several individual churches met in the capital of each week for their own services; there could be up to four different church services at the capital every Sunday. In 1867, the First Congregational Church in Washington was holding services for nearly 2,000 every Sunday in the Hall of Representatives while they raise funds to build their own sanctuary. At the time, that made it not only the largest church in the city, but the largest Protestant church in the United States. Church services were also held in the Supreme Court chambers as well as in the Senate Chamber.
FAITH: … NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER…..HEBREW 10:25
Valley Forge December 1777
After defeats to the British in the Battle of Brandywine in Germantown in the fall of 1777, the Continental Army was in camp at Valley Forge, struggling to survive the winter. Nine out of ten soldiers had no shoes, and for a month in the bitter cold snow, 12000 American troops live in tents while building huts. There was not enough food or firewood, and many people wouldn't sell to the army because the paper money wasn't worth anything. Many soldiers subsisted on "fire cakes and tasteless mixture of flour and water while Washington pleaded with Congress for supplies. More than 2,000 soldiers died that winter from disease such as pneumonia, typhoid, and dysentery.
Over one hundred years later, Henry Armitt Brown vividly described the experience of the soldiers at Valley Forge:
Trials that rarely have failed to break the fortitude of men await them here. False friends shall endeavor to undermine their virtue and secret enemies to shake their faith; the Congress whom they serve shall prove helpless to protect them, and their country herself seem on my full of their suffering.
Nevertheless, Brown added these words a tribute to the sacrifices and sufferings of so many who serves to secure for us the freedoms we enjoy:
.........Dangers shall not frighten nor temptation have power to seduce them. Doubt shall not shake their love of country nor suffering overcome their fortitude. The powers of evil shall not prevail against them, for they are the Continental Army, and these are the hills of Valley Forge!
The heroic dead who has suffered here or beyond our reach. No human eulogy can make their glory greater, no failure to do them justice can make it less...... Their trials here secured the happiness of the continent: their labors have born fruit in the free institution of a powerful nation; their examples give hope to every race and clime: their names live on the lips of a grateful people: their memory is cherished in their children's hearts, and shall endure forever.
DEVOTION…..of whom the world was not worthy. HEBREW 11:38
THE NATION’S GUIDING PRINCIPLE
In a speech given in February 1961, President John F. Kennedy stated:
This country was founded by men and women who were dedicated or came to be dedicated to two propositions; first, a strong religious conviction, and secondly a recognition that this conviction could flourish only under a system of freedom.
I think it is appropriate that we pay tribute to this great constitutional principle which is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitutions: the principle of religious independence, of religious liberty, of religious freedom. But I think it is also important that we pay tribute and acknowledge another great principle, and that is the principle of religious conviction. Religious freedom has no significance unless it is accompanied by conviction. And therefore the Puritans and the Pilgrims of my own section of New England, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, the Catholics of Maryland, the Presbyterians of North Carolina, the Methodists and the Baptists who came later, all shared these two great traditions which, like silver threads, have run through the warp and the woof of American history.
No man who enters upon the office to which I have succeeded can fail to recognize how every president of the
…Let us go forth to lead this land that we love, joining in the prayer of General George Washington in 1783, “that God would have you in His holy protection, that He would incline the heart of the citizens.. to entertain a brotherly love and affection one for another… and finally that How could not graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with.. The characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, without and humble imitation of whose example we can never hope to be a happy nation.”
The guiding principle and prayer of this nation has been, is now, and shall ever be “In God We Trust.”
FAITH. “ I will never leave you nor forsake you.” HEBREWS 13:5
A THANKFUL NATION
In his 1815 Thanksgiving Day proclamation, President James Madison stated:
No people ought to fee greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events of the destiny of Nations that the people of the
HUMILITY Every good gift and every perfect gift……..James 1:17
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON SKEPTICISM
JOSHUA Speed was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, a skeptic when both were young men. He later published a small volume called Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, which includes a story from 1864 when he visited
I have often been asked what ere Mr. Lincoln’s religious opinions. When I knew him, in early life, he was a skeptic. He had tried hard to be a believer, but his reason could not grasp and solve the great problem of redemption as taught. He was very cautious never to give expression to any though or sentiment hat would grate harshly upon a Christian’s ear. For a sincere Christian, he has great respect. He often said that the most ambitious man might live to see every hope fail; but, no Christian could live to see his fail, because fulfillment could only come when life ended. But this was a subject we never discussed.
The only evidence I have of any change, was in the summer before he was killed. I was invited out of the Soldier’s Home to spend the night. As I entered the room, near night, he was sitting near a window intently reading his Bible.
Approaching him I said, “I am glad to see you so profitably engaged.”
“Yes, “said he, “I am profitably engaged.”
"Well, “said I, “if you have recovered from your skepticism, I am sorry to say that I have not.”
Looking me earnestly in the face and placing his hand on my shoulder, he said, “You are wrong, Speed. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance of faith, and you will live and die a happier and better man.”
FAITH……he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind JAMES 1:6
RELIGION AND DEMOCRACY-1835
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French nobleman, spent nine months traveling America, venturing as far west as the unspoiled wilderness of Michigan and then south of New Orleans. But the majority of his time was spent in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He interviewed people from every walk of life, and then wrote down these amazing observations in Democracy in America.
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention: and the longer I stayed there the more did I perceive that great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.
…….they brought with them in the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion. This sect contributed powerfully to the establishment of a democracy and a republic, and from the earliest settlement of the emigrants politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.
….. . there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men then in American; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence in most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; fro if it does no impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions…. I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
FREEDOM; BUT HE WHO LOOKS INOT THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY JAMES 1:25
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S “EARNEST PRAYER”
The prayer below was written by Washington at Newburgh, New York, at the close of the Revolutionary War on June 14, 1783. It was sent to the 13 governors of the newly freed states in a “Circular Letter Addresses to the Governors of all the states on the Disbanding of the Army.”
I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the state over which you preside, in His holy protection; that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of who’s example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.
PRAYER Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly JAMES 5:17
The Bible Came with Them
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was a leading American statesman during the nation’s Antebellum Period. In 1843, he spoke of the Founding Fathers’ regard for the Bible in an address celebrating the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument;
The Bible came with them. And it is not to be doubted, that to free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for rights views of civil liberty.
The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelations from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellowman.
Equipper… Through the word of God which lives and abides forever… 1PETER 1:23
FREEDOM MUST BE PRACTICED.
We must be free not because we claim freedom , but because we practice it. William Faulkner
Have we too much freedom: Have we so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education, rules in art, decency in conduct, and law in the state that our liberation has brought us close to chaos in the family and the school, in morals, arts, ideas, and government: We forgot to make ourselves intelligent when we make ourselves free. WILL DURANT
We proclaim ourselves as indeed we are: the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. EDWARD R. MURROW
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere Martin Luther King Jr.
No one is free when others are oppressed.
FREEDOM…..as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 1PETER 2:16
RULES OF MORAL ACTION
Wesley Merritt, a Major General in the Union Army during the Civil War and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1882-1887), stated:
The principles of life as taught in the Bible, the inspired Word, and exemplified in the matchless life of Him” who spake as never man spake, “are the rules of moral action which have resulted in civilizing the world.
The testimony of great men, like Gladstone and his fellow statesmen; like Havelock and his fellow soldiers, who have made the teachings of the Scriptures their rule of conduct in life, are wonderful helps to men of lesser note and smaller intellectual and moral powers. One example, even of the smallest of these, more than offsets the efforts of an hundred unbelievers in active opposition.
They are the worthy followers of the religion of the Bible, and in their daily lives interpret the inimitable example and Divine precepts of the Son of God, or Savior.
MORAL STRENGHT……leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…. 1Peter 2:21
NO BOOK LIKE THE BIBLE
Charles Anderson Dana( 1819-1897) was the editor-in-chief of the New York Sun, one of the largest newspapers in the country, and considered by many the most brilliant journalist in the county at that time. He wrote:
I believe in Christianity; that it is the religion taught to men by God Himself in person on earth. I also believe that Bible to be a Divine revelation. Christianity is not comparable with any other religion. It is the religion. The incarnation is a fact, and Christianity is based on revealed truth.
There are some books that are absolutely indispensable to the kin of education that we are contemplating and to the profession that we are now considering and of all these, the most indispensable, the most useful, the one whose knowledge is most effective, is the Bible. There is no book from which more valuable lessons can be learned. I am considering it now as a manual of utility, or professional preparation, and professional use for a journalist.
There is no book whose style is more suggestive and more instructive, from which you learn more directly that sublime simplicity which never exaggerates, which recouts the greatest event with solemnity, of course, but without sentimentality or affection, noen which you open with such confidence and lay down with such reverence; there is not book like the Bible.
EQUIPPER For we did not follow cunningly devised fables…..2 PETER 1:16
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:
I have always considered Christianity as the strong ground of republicanism. The spirit is opposed, not only to the splendor, but even to the very forms of monarchy, and many of its precepts have for their monarchy, and many of its precepts have for their objects republican liberty and equality as well as simplicity, integrity, and economy in government. It is only necessary for republicanism to ally itself to the Christian religion to overturn all the corrupted political and religious institutions in the world.
DEFENDER…….they themselves are slaves of corruption 2 PETER 2:19
In 1917, Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, stated:
The most perfect machinery of government will not keep us as a nation from destruction if there is not within us a soul. No abounding material prosperity shall avail us if our spiritual senses atrophy. The foes of our own household shall surely prevail against us unless there be in our people a inner life which finds its outward expression in a morality not very widely different from the preached by the seers and prophets of Judea when the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome sill lay in the future.
In his Farewell Address to his countryman, Washington said: “Morality is a necessary spring of popular government… and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can e maintained without religion. Whatever many 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.”
…..His words were given expression when the European movement with which the American people were in most complete sympathy-the French Revolution-had endeavored to destroy the abuses of priestcraft and bigotry by abolishing not only Christianity but religion. ….. The result was a cynical disregard of morality and a carnival of cruelty and bigotry, committed in the name of reason and liberty. Which equaled anything ever done by Torguemada and the fanatics of the Inquesition in the name of religion and order? Washington wished his fellow countrymen to walk clear of such folly and iniquity. As in all cases where he dealt with continuing causes, his words are as well worth pondering now as when they were written…
In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoff at or ignore their Christian duties is a community on the rapid downgrade. It is perfectly true that occasional individuals or families may have nothing to do with church or with religious practices and observances and yet maintain the highest standard of spirituality and of ethical obligation. But this does not affect the case in the world as it now is, any more than that exceptional en and women under exceptional conditions have disregarded the marriage tie without moral harm to themselves interferes with the larger fact that such disregard if at all common means the complete moral disintegration of the body politic.
MORAL STRENGTH………everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 JOHN 2:29
Benjamin Franklin Butler (1795-1858), a lawyer who served as the U.S. Attorney General under President Andrew Jackson (1833-1838), stated:
He is truly happy; whatever may be his temporal condition, who can call God his Father in the full assurance of faith and hope. And amid all his trials, conflicts, and doubts, the feeblest Christian is still comparatively happy; because cheered by the hope… that the hour is coming when he shall be delivered from” This body of sin and death” and in the vision of his Redeemer…approximate to the …felicity of angels.
MORAL STRENGTH Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us…. 1 John 3:1
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was a leader American statesman and considered one of the greatest orators in American history. He served as a U.S. congressman, senator, and as the Secretary of State for three different presidents.
If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our county; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one things, that while our country furnishes material for a thousand masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibbon. I will have no decline and all. It will go on prospering and to prosper.
HOPE…….that you may prosper in all things…. 3 John 2.
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
This was America’s first great governmental document, signed on November11, 1962, by the 41 adult male members of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. This established the powerful idea of self-government through laws made by the person, which lies at the heart of democracy. John Adams and many historians have referred to the Mayflower Compact as the foundation of the U.S. Constitution written more than 150 years later.
In the name of God, Amen. We , whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God. Of England, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the 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 ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by the Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall by thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names to Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.
Cotton Mather (1663-1728), an American colonial clergyman and educator, wrote the most detailed history of the first fifty years of New England, The Great Achievement of Christ in America. Observing and rising trend toward materialism in the colonies, he wrote; Religion begat prosperity and the daughter devoured the mother.
INTEGRITY, “ Because you say, “ I am rich…”
Dr. James Kennedy, influential pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, stated:
In reading over the Constitutions of all fifty of our states, I discovered…there is in all fifty, without exception, an appeal or a prayer to the Almighty God of the universe…Through all fifty state Constitutions, without exception, there runs this same appeal and reference to God who is the Creator of our liberties and the preserver of or freedoms.
FAITH “ We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty……..” REVELATION 11:17
On the morning of September 11, 2001, United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco was hijacked by terrorists who claimed to have a explosive device. With telephone confirmation that other planes had hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the passengers understood the hijackers intent.
COURAGE…..AND THEY DID NOT LOVE THEIR LIVES TO THE DEATH. REV. 21:11
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who worked with the Rev. Richard Allen to found the AME church, served in the administrations of three different presidents, each of whom was from a different political party. Asked for his own party affiliation, he once explained:
I have been alternately called an Aristocrat and a Democrat: I am now neither. I am a Christ-ocrat. I believe all power… will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.
DEVOTION…….WHO FOLLOW THE Lamb wherever He goes REVELATION 14:4
“ Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!” REVELATION 15:3
THE WORD AND THE WORKS OF GOD
Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864), and American physicist, chemist, and geologist who founded and edited the American Journal of Science and Arts, stated:
The relation of geology, as well as astronomy, to the Bible, when both are well understood, is that of perfect harmony. The Bible nowhere limits the age of the globe, while its chronology assigns a recent origin to the human race, and geology not only confirms that Genesis presents a true statement of the progress of the terrestrial arrangements and of the introduction of living beings in the order in which their fossils remains are found entombed in the strata.
The Word and the works of God cannot conflict, and the more they are studied the more perfect will their harmony appear.
TRUTH “ Great and marvelous are Your works Lord God Almighty!” revelation 15:3
He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tell lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
“…and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire…” REVELATIONS 21:8
YES, THERE IS HOPE
On September 14, 2001, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Dr. Billy Graham led a national prayer and remembrance service at Washington National Cathedral in which he reminded every American:
This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we too will be called into eternity. I doubt if even one of those people who got on those planes or walked into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last day of their lives. It didn’t occur to them. And that’s why each of us needs and commit ourselves to God and His will now.