20(Proverbs 14,34) A Nation Under God
Past Wednesday, 9th U.S. Circuit Court ruled Pledge Unconstitutional in Public Schools because of phrase “One Nation Under God”.
In celebrating our independence as a nation, we often forget that in declaring their independence from England, our forefathers made an equally strong declaration of their dependence upon Almighty God.
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, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.
The closing words of the Declaration solemnly states: “With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other out Lives, our Fortunes & our sacred Honor.”
May not remember Patrick Henry: statesman and orator of colonial Virginia. Elected in 1764 to House of Burgesses where he championed frontier rights. In 1774 a delagate to 1st Continental Congress. In 1775 before Virginia Provincial Convention that was deeply divided between England and freedom, said “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Commander-in-chief of Virginia’s military during Revolutionary War, member of 2nd Contintental Congress, helped draw up most of the Bill of Rights, Virginian’s first Governor, re-elected 4 times, then retired. Offered ambassadorships to Spain & France, offered Secretary of State under Washington, offered position as chief justice of Supreme Court (all refused).
Why mention all this? Listen to words of respected statesman: “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.”
In 1779 after the first admendment (establishment clause), the Supreme Court stated the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. By our form, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.”
James Madison, the “Chief Architect of the Constitution”: We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves…according to the Ten Commandments of God…”
John Adams: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Supreme Court, 1892: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
We need to be reminded of the solemn warning that God gave to another nation which was experiencing the thrill of independence after centuries of slavery in Egypt: (read Deuteronomy 8:7-14).
I. Review America’s Independence. (Proverbs 14:34a)
A. Righteousness – people living by just and godly principles that produce just and godly actions.
B. How does and individual or nation become righteous?
1. We are not righteous by nature … we are sinners.
2. We do not become righteous by being good.
3. We are made righteous through Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
C. It is imperative that we revisit our birth as a nation, so that we understand this scripture, “Righteousness exalts a nation…”.
1. John Quincy Adams – “From the time of the Declaration of Independence, the American people were bound by the laws of God and the laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which they acknowledge as the root of their conduct. We all came together to obey the word of God.”
2. G.W. – “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.”
3. Pres. Thomas Jefferson (Danbury) – “the 1st amendment has created a wall of separation between church and state, but that wall is a one directional wall, it keeps the government from running the church, but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government.”
D. Our Righteousness as a nation is even patterned after Biblical principles:
1. Three branches of government – Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King;…”
2. Ezra 7:24 for exempting the church from taxes.
II. Repent of America’s Indifference. (Prov. 14:34b)
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
A. Sin – missing the mark; disobeying God.
B. Signs of reproach.
1. 1963 – prayer taken out of schools.
2. Then bibles removed from classrooms.
3. Ten commandments taken off walls of public buildings.
4. Ruled that students could not pray at graduations, then sporting events.
5. Now, that the pledge is unconstitutional.
C. We have seen the heart of our founding fathers as we reviewed America’s fight for independence.
D. We have seen how our nation has fallen from its godly principles.
E. Finally, there is but one action that America’s men and women of God must take:
III. Reclaim America’s Inspiration. (Psalm 33:12)
Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
A. How do we do that?
B. The answer lies in this room today, those listening to this message in person, or by tape or CD.
1. You can personally repent of sin and commit your life to Christ.
2. You can pray for our nation and her leaders.
3. You can insist that we not allow a liberal, atheistic minority to rob us of our spiritual heritage.
4. You can live your life as a Christian patriot, who honors the laws of God and this country.
If you really are a patriot; if you are truly concerned about America; if you earnestly want God to bless her – then live a life in harmony with the will of God. Only then does one truly have the right to sing:
God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America, my home, sweet home.
As we celebrate again the birth of our nation, pray that our country might have a new birth of freedom; not freedom from God, but freedom based on God and godly principles.
Therein lies the only true freedom; “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”