VIDEO Remembering America’s Christian Roots – Hidden History

 

To the extent we’ve cast off biblical foundations, we have deteriorated

Despite our many national failings, it cannot be denied that our nation has deep Christian roots. And it is because of, not despite, these godly, Christian origins that America became a great nation and that our daring national experiment succeeded as wildly as it did.

After all, in the beginning, we were just a bunch of struggling, fragmented colonies, and it seemed like the height of folly to take on the might of the British homeland. How, then, did we become the greatest global superpower in world history?

It is our biblically based foundations that paved the way. To the extent we have cast those off, we have deteriorated.

Consider the original charters of our first colonies. Stephen McDowell cites these representative examples.

The First Charter of Massachusetts (1629) states the desire that all the inhabitants would “be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good life and orderly conversation may win and incite the natives of country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Savior of mankind, and the Christian faith, which in Our royal intention and the adventurers’ free profession, is the principal end of this plantation.”

Adopted Jan. 14, 1639, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut began with the inhabitants covenanting together under God “to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess.”

In 1682 the Great Law of Pennsylvania was enacted revealing the desire of William Penn and the inhabitants of the colony to establish “laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, (whereby God may have his due, Caesar his due, and the people their due).”

Not surprisingly, in some of these colonies, Sabbath (Sunday) laws were enforced, church attendance was mandatory, and biblical morality was required.

Obviously, we cannot return to those days, since America today is greatly diversified. And even among professing Christians, we are far from totally unified. Plus, we cannot expect tens of millions of non-Christians and non-believers to practice some form of Christianity.

To be quite frank, it would be dangerous to think that by passing certain laws, we could turn 21st century America into 18th century America.

Certainly not. To do so would be the equivalent of trying to make America into a Christian theocracy, which is something I categorically reject.

But that doesn’t mean we cannot recover much of the spirit and ethic of our earliest founders. And it certainly doesn’t mean that followers of Jesus cannot live as followers of Jesus. To the contrary, given the unique history and Constitution of our country, our nations depends on it. And without a thriving church, America cannot be truly great.

So, as the colonies developed and the United States of America was born, as the population grew and diversified, changes had to come. And they most certainly did.

There were greater divergences in Christian expression along with an ever-increasing secularism.

But the Bible still remained prominent in American thinking. And, quite certainly, the nation identified as Christian and was, broadly speaking, a God-fearing country.

This is reflected by the observations of the French philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville during his celebrated visit to America in the 1830s.

As he famously remarked, “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 I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.”

De Tocqueville noticed how bookseller shops contained “an enormous quantity of religious works, Bibles, sermons, edifying anecdotes, controversial divinity, and reports of charitable societies.” He also spoke of visiting people living in log cabins whose only book was the Bible.

So, despite the diversity of the United States in the 1830s, the biblical principles on which the nation were founded continued to have a profound influence.

As de Tocqueville also noted, “The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.”

And, he added, “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. Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts – the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.”

Ultimately, it was our Christian foundations that enabled us to eradicate slavery and fight against other injustices. If we believe in certain fundamental God-given rights, they must apply to all.

As our first president, George Washington, said in his Farewell Address, “Religion and morality” are the “firmest props of the duties of men and citizens” and therefore are “indispensable supports” of “the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity.” And, he added, “[R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

On this Fourth of July, we do well to remember his words. Our very freedoms are at stake.

(Excerpted and adapted from Michael L. Brown, “Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation.”)

https://www.wnd.com/2019/07/remembering-americas-christian-roots/


America’s Hidden History | Independence Day


Every Story

Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27

I opened the whimsically illustrated children’s Bible and began to read to my grandson. Immediately we were enthralled as the story of God’s love and provision unfurled in prose. Marking our place, I turned the book over and read the title once again: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.

Every story whispers His name.

To be honest, sometimes the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is hard to understand. Why do those who don’t know God seem to triumph over God’s own? How can God permit such cruelty when we know that His character is pure and that His purposes are for our good?

After His resurrection, Jesus met two followers on the road to Emmaus who didn’t recognize Him and were struggling with disappointment over the death of their hoped-for Messiah (Luke 24:19–24). They had “hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (v. 21). Luke then records how Jesus reassured them: “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (v. 27).

Every story whispers His name, even the hard stories, because they reveal the comprehensive brokenness of our world and our need for a Rescuer. Every act, every event, every intervention points to the redemption God designed for His wayward loved ones: to bring us back to Himself.

By Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray

How is God’s rescue at work in your life? What stories trouble you today? In what ways (however small) can you see God at work in them?

Dear God, help me listen as You whisper Your name through the stories of Scripture. Every story.

Kingdom Citizenship

Matthew 25:31-46

This month most Americans are celebrating the founding of our country. Flags are flying, families are gathering, and fireworks fill the night sky. We do this to show appreciation for our American citizenship and to honor those who sacrificed to provide our freedoms. However, there is a citizenship that transcends all national boundaries.

No matter where you live right now, if you believe in Christ, then you and I are fellow citizens of the kingdom of God. The word kingdom denotes royal power or dominion over a specific region or people. Therefore, the kingdom of God refers to the Lord’s complete rule and authority. While He certainly reigns in the hearts of His devoted followers here on earth, we must not forget the term also refers to His sovereignty in heaven.

Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, but today’s passage points to a time when He will return to earth to sit on His glorious throne and reign over the entire world. He will vanquish all His enemies, remove the wicked from the earth, and welcome the righteous into His glorious kingdom. And as kingdom citizens, you and I will rule together with Him (Revelation 3:21).

Certainly nations and nationalities are important, but they are not eternal. All those who belong to Christ are first and foremost citizens of His kingdom. This means that all the geographical borders and barriers that separate us have been removed in Christ, and we are all one in Him. When we worship, we should see one another as fellow citizens in God’s realm.

Ceremony Becomes the Occasion

“The LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

“Philadelphia, July 5, 1777. My dear Daughter: Yesterday being the anniversary of American Independence, was celebrated here with a festivity and ceremony becoming the occasion . . . The thought of taking any notice of this day was not conceived until the second of this month, and it was not mentioned until the third. It was too late to have a sermon, as every one wished, so this must be deferred another year” (John Adams, from Adams Family Correspondence: June 1776–March 1778, 274).

John Adams made two observations that should be remembered today. First, the idea of “taking any notice” of the significance of the day was “not conceived” for some time, and second, “every one wished” to hear a sermon rather than hold a celebration. We have come far!

But note the Creator’s idea of independence. The text in Isaiah 61 is what the Lord Jesus quoted in the synagogue in Nazareth as He assumed His public ministry. “This day,” Jesus declared, “is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). God’s great liberty is of the spirit and of the mind, not merely of the land and the national population. The independence of Christ will heal the brokenhearted. It grants deliverance to the “captives” and new sight to the blind. The liberty of the King of kings and the Creator of the ends of the earth will set at liberty the bruised.

Be grateful and celebrate the wonderful liberty that God has granted the United States. But pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. . . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:10, 13). HMM III

Let’s Eat Something Good

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

—Colossians 3:16

Times are bad in the kingdom and getting worse. The tendency is to settle into a rut, and we must get out of it….

When God sends some preacher to say this to a congregation and the congregation is even half ready to listen to him, they say to themselves, “I think the pastor is right about this. We are in a rut, aren’t we? No use fighting it. I think we ought to do something about this.” Then 99.99 percent of the time the remedy prescribed will be, “Let’s come together and eat something. I know we are in a rut. We don’t see each other often enough. We ought to get to know each other better, so let’s come together and eat something.” I have no objection to fellowship, but it is not the answer to what is wrong with us….

I am quite sure that when the man of God thundered, “You have stayed long enough in this place. You are going around in circles. Get you out and take what is given to you by the hand of your God,” nobody got up and said, “Mr. Chairman, let’s eat something.” Eating probably would not have helped.   RRR013-015

Thank You for the privilege of Christian fellowshipand of eating together to foster relationships in the Body of Christ. But help us, Lord, to go much deeper. Take us out of the rut through following hard after You, not through surface attempts. Amen.

 

If any man be in Christ

If any man be in Christ, be is a new creature; old things are passed away, o behold, all things are become new.—2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

His perfect peace has swept from sight

The narrow bounds of time and space,

And, looking up with still delight,

We catch the glory of His face.

Augusta Larked.

 

In every moment of our days, when once our hearts are yielded to His service, God is working in us and through us. Hitherto, perhaps, our little world has only been large enough to hold self and the present. But, gradually, through tender leadings and unfoldings, and, it may be, through pain and suffering, we come to learn life’s lesson,—that it is God’s world, not ours; that our existence is not finished and rounded off here, but forms part of one vast scheme to which mind and heart and spirit expand and grow, while all the horizon round them grows and expands too, until it touches the shore of the illimitable future, and we become conscious that earth and heaven are not so far separated but that the first is but the vestibule of the second,—imperfect, cloudy, full of broken fragments, but still part of the same Temple of God as that to which we shall pass in by and by.

H. Bowman.

 

The Word, Necessary Food

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4

If God so willed it we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without His Word. By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for he sustaineth all things by the Word of His power. Bread is a second cause; the Lord Himself is the first source of our sustenance. He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation. Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God. We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the Lord has sent in unexpected help. But we must have the Word of the Lord. With this alone we can withstand the devil. Take this from us, and our enemy will have us in his power, for we shall soon faint. Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the Lord. All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal: it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of a believer. Lord, evermore give us this bread. We prize it above royal dainties.