July 4 marks the 243rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, one of the greatest documents ever written by man. Fifty-six patriots signed that document, pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
These were not rabble-rousers, out for a fight. They were educated, religious men of means who believed in the things they wrote to King George III. They held that freedom is a human right, granted by “the laws of nature and nature’s god,” and that certain truths are self-evident, “that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
These men knew the risk they were taking, but they also understood the benefits of their action. A war ensued and most of these men were called upon to lose their fortunes, the lives of family members and their own lives as well.
But, they maintained to the end their “sacred honor”.
The creation of America was without a doubt a measure of the grace of God. Our founding fathers and mothers, though not all Biblical Christians, for the most part, believed in the sovereignty of God, trusted the veracity of the Bible and understood that a nation built on Godly principles can change the world.
Today, while revisionists try to change American history, Patrick Henry’s statement is still true: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians; not on religion but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
To hear many of our media pundits and politicians talk, one would think that the average American is irreligious, socialistic, and ignorant. But I believe that the average American is still God-fearing, Bible believing, hardworking and moral…but much too apathetic in action and misunderstanding current events and government.
The founding fathers and mothers and the framers of our laws and Constitution never intended for Christianity to be taken out of the marketplace or the halls of government and secluded in the walls of the church. Listen as they speak to us from their graves:
“Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity with change the face of the world,” Benjamin Franklin
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” John Quincy Adams
“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” George Washington
“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 mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 Commandments of God.” James Madison
“[W]hatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.” SCOTUS 1811
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1)
I believe America is at a tipping point; the church and the people of this nation are losing their freedoms to a minority of people who care only for themselves and their wealth, power and position. They ignore all that they know, all that history has shown, to feather their own nests. As Winston Churchill said, “Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off and hurry on about their business as if nothing had happened.” The common philosophy of leadership today is: My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts.
If the church doesn’t wake up, if God’s Word is not again thundered from the pulpits, clearly and without compromise, if God’s people don’t begin to get involved in lives other than their own, if we as Americans don’t take back our nation, then we will lose it.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence understood the implications and risks of their desire to stand up and do right. And they did it.
Edmund Burke was so right when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And former President Ronald Reagan hit the nail on the head when he said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
“O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation; blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’ And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
(Francis Scott Key)