On Saturday our country will celebrate its 244th birthday. What a tremendous heritage of freedom! America has been a symbol of liberty for the oppressed of the world.
The foundation that made this country great is a spiritual one. Though many revisionists have tried to give us a different picture, our forefathers knew a strong dependence upon God was the only way they could see the new republic become a reality.
As Jeff Jacoby, conservative columnist for the Boston Globe, has pointed out, "On Independence Day, we should remind ourselves of another truth the men and women of 1776 held to be self-evident: American liberty and democracy do more than tolerate religion. They depend upon it."
Rather than freedom "from" religion, the framers of this country recognized the absolute necessity of Divine intervention. As Jacoby noted in 1996, "It would have astonished Jefferson, Adams, and their colleagues to witness the hostility to religion that pervades modern liberalism and the domains where it holds sway – Hollywood, the public schools, contemporary art, the elite colleges."
Our form of government is rooted in the biblical understanding of the nature of man. The premise of the Declaration of Independence is that all men have been "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…." It concludes with this emphatic statement, "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, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" (emphasis added).
One hundred forty-seven years later, just two years out of office as the 28th President, Woodrow Wilson made this bold statement, "Our civilization cannot survive materially unless it is redeemed spiritually. It can be saved only by becoming permeated with the Spirit of Christ and being made free and happy by the practices which spring out of that Spirit."
Sadly, our nation did not heed his warning and, only a few years later, Wilson's prophetic words became a reality as the stock market crash of 1929 struck with disastrous consequences.
Successive generations have refused, or ignored, Wilson's and our forefather's warnings. Robert Bork, judge and former nominee for the Supreme Court, wryly muses:
God's plan made a hopeful beginning
But man spoiled his chances by sinning.
We trust that the story will end with God's glory
But at present, the other side's winning.
Thankfully, God is still in control!
But how do we as Christians respond to such issues as spiritual decline and historical revisionism? We can make a difference: 1. In political action. We have a responsibility to vote and a privilege to support those who stand for what we believe. Make sure you make a difference with your vote this fall. 2. In prayer. Throughout Scripture we are instructed to pray for those who govern us. There is a spiritual battle going on. 3. In love. When the apostles were confronted with rejection and persecution, they responded firmly but compassionately. They knew they were to represent Jesus Christ in everything they said and did.
You and I are to do the same today. We are called to make a difference in our world.
Let's do it!