Sunday, June 29, 2008

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; the people who He hath chosen for His own inheritance!”

Today’s America doesn’t look much like the America of 1776. Certainly there have been geographical changes. We are no longer 13 loosely chartered and highly independent colonies, but are now 50 states strong, stretching from “sea to shining sea” – having displaced England, France, Spain and Mexico from any outpost in our land. We are no longer a weak and struggling nation, but are now the world’s superpower. But the biggest change in America has occurred spiritually.

Long before that great American document was signed in Philadelphia, other documents had declared the purpose of why people were coming to America.

For instance, before the pilgrims set foot in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts in 1620, they sat out in harbor aboard their ship and drafted what has become known as the Mayflower Compact.

"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, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour 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 Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be 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 at 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."

Of the 102 passengers, 41 of them (37 of whom were religious Separatists) then set their signatures to what we could call the very first governing document of America. And they had stated clearly why they came. For the honor of their king and their country, yes! But also “for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith”.

As more and more people came from England over the next two decades, it became apparent that another governing document was necessary for the order of the new settlement. The settlers came together to write America’s first official constitution. Though it only governed one settlement (the New England Confederation) it nevertheless was our country’s first official constitution. It began with these words:

“Whereas we all came into these parts with one & the same end & aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our lord Jesus Christ, & to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity & peace…"

Clearly, the main purpose of coming to America was for the glory of God and advancement of Christianity.

So it is little wonder that when the colonists were drafting the words in their Declaration of Independence, they appealed to their Christian background, heritage and principles. They had rights entitled by “Nature’s God” and believed these rights were “self-evident” that “all men were created equal” and that they were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

After listing about 15 or 16 charges against the actions of the King, the signers make two more references to God:

"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled,” (listen to this) “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World…” They’re saying that God is the Supreme Judge of the World and that they were appealing to Him. So their action of rebellion against
England was rooted in their belief that they were conducting themselves rightly in the eyes of the King of Heaven.

And then they end their Declaration with these words: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” (that’s God), “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes & our sacred honor.” Because they were obeying God they confidently relied upon Him for His assistance in their course of action.

Incidentally, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, leader of Boston’s Sons of Liberty and often called the "Father of the Revolution," declared: "We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, & from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."

So it is quite disheartening to look upon modern

A private businessman Tim Bono was told by the Arlington (Va.) County Human Rights Commission that he must duplicate pro-homosexual videos even though doing so would counter the Christian standards he had established for his business.

In San Diego, a three–judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a federal district judge’s order to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross, meaning the city must remove the historic cross by August 1, or face fines of $5,000 per day.

We could speak of atheist Michael Newdow’s lawsuit against the national motto, “In God We Trust”. Newdow argued that having to use money inscribed with the national motto offends him and is unconstitutional. While this is an encouraging win, the effort to purge even innocuous references to God from the public square continues. Barry Lynn of the high-profile Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has admitted that his organization wants to eliminate phrases like “In God We Trust” from our currency.

In Henderson, Nevada, a high school senior had her microphone unplugged by school officials after she mentioned her Christian beliefs and quoted the Bible in her valedictory address a few days ago.

In Atlanta, FAA employee Larry Dombrowski was suspended without pay for expressing his religious beliefs and views on homosexual behavior at work.

In Whittier, Calif., elementary school officials told Christian students they could not sing a religious song in a talent show, saying the song was “not appropriate”.

We are in danger of losing more than our Christian heritage. We do more than betray the heritage of the Founders. We are provoking our Eternal God to anger. We dishonor the very One who has blessed us, defended us, prospered us and lead us.

May we repent and return to Him.