I have had the opportunity to travel around the world. I have visited some great countries. And although I am partial, I still believe the United States of America is the greatest country on earth. Of course, we do have our problems.
And as we gear up for another election a few months from now, we are hearing the candidates give us their vision for America. They are telling us what is wrong in our country and how they will fix it. Of course, there is a place for politics. There is a place for elected officials. And I think it is the responsibility of every Christian American to register and vote.
That being said, I also believe that with all the problems we have in our country, the only real, lasting solution for the United States of America is for her people to turn back to God. I believe there is no other hope.
America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Of course, revisionists want to tell us that it is not true. But if we look at the preponderance of evidence in statements from our Founding Fathers, how our universities were established and at so many other things in the foundation of this country, there is no denying the fact that America was built on a Judeo-Christian foundation.
The first prayer of the first Congress went as follows:
“O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee.”
This prayer went on to say:
“Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. … All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.”
I wonder what would happen if that prayer were prayed today in Congress–or at an inauguration? An atheist group filed a lawsuit to prevent prayer at the 2009 presidential inauguration. Things have really changed a lot.
As you look at our country and at the statements of our Founding Fathers, though they may not have all been Christians, they, at the very least, had a respect for the Word of God and believed it to be an authoritative source.
George Washington said, “To the distinguished Character of Patriot it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God. … Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
And Patrick Henry wrote, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
If we remove that foundation, if we remove that belief in the Bible as the Word of God, then we have a vacuum, and suddenly this whole American experiment begins to unravel. You see, it is not just about freedom. It is certainly not about freedom from religion. It is freedom of religion. Despite the fact that we are free to believe as we want to believe in this country, our founders had a strong belief in the authority of the Word of God.
We have strayed a little from that today, haven’t we? You won’t find the Bible in most classrooms. I remember that when I was a kid, the Ten Commandments were posted on the classroom wall. Those are long gone. And so is prayer in the schools. We have done our best to get God out of the classroom, to get God out of the courtroom and to get God out of the culture.
Then we scratch our heads and wonder what is happening when a kid takes a gun and walks onto a school campus and starts shooting. In the wake of such an appalling tragedy, the pundits and experts opine away, and everyone asks why. But my question is this: What did we expect? If, supposedly, there is no such thing as right and wrong, if there is no such thing as good and evil, and if there is no God, then why would we expect people to live morally?
President Abraham Lincoln identified the problem in 1863 when he said, “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
We have forgotten God. We have sown the wind, as the Bible says, and we have reaped the whirlwind.
I believe the only hope for America is not merely a return to the values this nation was founded upon; it is a return to biblical truth that we find only in the pages of Scripture.