Nov. 6, 2019
TO THE EDITOR:
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” That was the question the apostle Paul asked in His letter to the Romans (Romans 8:31).
As we approach this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded that among all our many blessings is our American heritage. God has blessed us beyond what we can ever image. I wonder if this modern generation has any concept of the part the sovereign God of the universe played in both the founding and sustaining of our country.
Many of us are not feeling good about America these days. We have serious questions about our future — and yet I submit that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” The question is, is God really for us? I say yes, a thousand times yes — at least that was true in the early days of our founding. But if we continue to go our own foolish way, how long will God be patient before His full judgment is exerted?
In today’s political world, the terms “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” are focused on the greatness of our country. But do we really know the truth about the source of America’s greatness? We tend to think it’s our superior military power and the richness of our affluence and financial blessings. The truth is God’s sovereign, providential hand has been at work from our country’s very beginning.
In 1492 Columbus came seeking the favor and will of God. He named his first landing San Salvador, which means Christ the Savior, or Holy Savior. The pilgrims came to live in freedom and to express their faith and founding on Christian principles. Our Declaration of Independence of 1776 and Constitution of 1787, as well as the Bill of Rights, all presumed a religious order based on Christ Jesus as their cornerstone and building block. To assume a secular state is to misread the history of our founding.
Under the guiding hand of our sovereign God, our Constitution was designed to perpetuate a Christian order. Everything about our founding government was based on both Old Testament and New Testament principles of ethics and morality.
The First Amendment prohibits the forming of a state religion such as was the Church of England. But at the same time, there were no restrictions on our freedom to exercise personal religious beliefs, whether Christian or otherwise.
The idea of separation of church and state is not to be found in the Constitution. Never in their wildest imaginations did our Founding Fathers conceive of a time when our boys and girls would be forbidden to pray in public schools, at graduation exercises, and football games. Never did they have in mind divorcing God and government, nor the reading of the Bible in public schools. In fact, it is widely known that the Bible was the very first and only text book in the first schools in America.
Charles Malic, a onetime representative to the United Nations from Lebanon, said: “The good in the United States would never come into being without the blessing of Jesus Christ.” If God is for us, who can be against us?
Whatever some politicians may think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of America is at best and highest Christian. In a radio sermon by Pastor Jack Graham (recorded some 20 plus years ago), I heard him say that yes, America does have a soul that was for God, and was made to know God and experience Him. But according to Graham, “America is in danger of losing that soul.” He emphasized that America did not happen by chance. God guided the hands, minds, and the eyes of our forefathers and our nation. His sovereign hand shaped the very fabric of our nation and the freedom we enjoy.
Jesus said, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free …” (John 8:32). I submit that no government can give freedom. Government can protect freedom and can preserve freedom, but only God Himself is the Author of all liberty and freedom, and only He can give freedom.
Fifty of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were God fearing men who considered themselves born again Christians. A similar number of the original constitutionalists were bold Christians, active in the service of Jesus Christ.
James Madison, our fourth president said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it, but on the Ten Commandments of God.” Andrew Johnson, our 17th president said, “Our republic rests on the Rock of Scripture.”
In view of our rapid decline and falling away from our founding Christian principles, maybe a more realistic statement would be, “If God is against us who can be for us.” In fact, Mr. Graham said in effect that the day America decides that we don’t need God and the principles of the Bible, and that we no longer commit ourselves to following Christ and the Word of God, that is the day America begins to die (if it hasn’t already).
As we count our blessings during this Thanksgiving season, the question for all Americans to consider is not, is God on our side, but rather, are we on God’s side? “For what will it profit a man [or nation] if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Let’s remember, and renew our commitment to the founding principles of our forefathers: the sanctity of human life, the value and dignity of the human soul, monogamous family, common decency and truthfulness, the value of the work ethic, our general freedom to own land, the principle of less government control, and our God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Although our future may be questionable in the eyes of some, I submit that there is still hope. It’s not too late to turn the tide!
My Thanksgiving message to all of us who live in this great land we call America is threefold:
Recognize and be thankful for our unique, God-given heritage.
Recognize and confess that we have drifted away from the Godly principles of our founding.
Recognize and claim God’s promise that “If My people … will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Let all of God’s children rally together and respond accordingly by remembering our American heritage and the many blessings we have enjoyed therefrom.
DAN E. PERRY