Once more we are at the eve of one of the greatest holidays in America. The celebrations may have changed in size and style; but be assured that celebrating our indepence is nothing new. This year we need to stop and remember what made America great. We need to remember what is right about America. We can speak all day about what is wrong and never exhaust the list. I think if we would remember what is right and apply it, perhaps we would discover that what is wrong will steadily fade away.
Sunday I will preach from Proverbs 14:34 - Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Believe it or not, there are some moments when America has shone brightly in light of righteousness.
With a little research, we can discover that America has the right foundation. The great majority of the founding fathers--especially the most influential of them--believed that the hand of God had guided them to establish this republic. They believed in the fundamental and absolute law of God, above all else. These men were persuaded that all moral law came from God's law and that man was incapable of governing himself apart from God's law.
Many of the men were influenced by the Puritan teachings of the age. Consequently, they believed that, due to the untrustworthy and sinful nature of man, any government needed its checks and balances. This gave rise to the three branches of our government: the executive, legislative, and judicial. They did not trust any single branch to hold and administrate all power.
Where did this foundation come from? Why such a view? It is because most had the right faith. The United States of America, contrary to the current secular-humanist and agnostic viewpoints, was founded with a Judeo-Christian worldview. And to speak frankly, there was more emphasis on the Christian than on the "Judeo." When the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, John Adams wrote to his wife and said, "The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals (sic) of Christianity... I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
Alexander Hamilton boldly claimed that two things made America great: 1) Christianity, and 2) a Constitution formed under Christianity (emphasis added).
Yes, America had the right faith.
America also had the right focus. While not stated explicitly in our great documents, there is ample evidence of the desire of man to form a republic for the purpose of the expansion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is, America was to be a platform from which men and women went into all the world to preach the gospel. We were, as John Winthrop stated, to be a city set on a hill--a light, if you will, shining in the darkness.
The desire for liberty was strong. Men were weary with the rule of a king. They wanted liberty and they wanted it for all people.
And this nation was to be a nation where one could find a better life. Even today men and women want to come here for a better life. While too many do so illegally, we must understand their desire to live among us. We are, after all, the greatest nation on earth in modern history.
My question is if America can possibly have the right future. We have spurned our Judeo-Christian values. We have so embraced the heresy of complete tolerance that we have cracked and tried to shatter the very foundation that makes America the nation it is.
We can have the right future if we do two things: we must repent of our sin. We must seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. If we do these two things we will do well. If not, I cannot say what future we may have; probably none.
Signs point to hard times just around the corner. There are those who would see our demise so as to create a new world order. It will happen; the book of Revelation shows us that. But perhaps God will be merciful and allow us a few more years of greatness before that great and horrible day comes on the earth.