Today I am writing about the Church and America.
In my last blog concerning the Church I defined the church. Today I want to take a look at the church and America. When I speak of the church I am not speaking of a particular denomination, but rather the Christian church as a whole.
From the very beginning when the Pilgrims came to America the church played a role. Most, if not all, had been persecuted for their faith. They saw America as their last chance to be able to worship God as they believed the Bible taught.
The Mayflower Compact
This document signed by the pilgrims starts out by saying, “In the name of God.” I counted four times that God is mentioned. Moreover there are references to “Defender of the Faith,” and “Christian faith.” It is a document that represents both their spiritual outlook and their commitment to the faith once delivered; a faith based on the Bible.
Declaration of Independence
This document authorizes our independence and the establishment of a constituted government and is bathed in references to God’s involvement. It begins with a prologue, if you will, that sets the stage by appealing to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. But then follows the famous line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator …” We have not always lived up to these words but God has honored them. With those few words we were aligning ourselves with God and His Word.
Has America always lived up to that commitment? No. But it doesn’t change the commitment. We even had to fight a Civil War to bring us into line with His will. But He has blessed us to this very day because of our forefather’s commitment even though we have in recent decades slipped!
He has sent mighty revivals that have altered our destiny. Our nation has been either honored or reviled for our faith, but He has remained true.
While this document does not contain references to Christianity the very first Amendment does: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” Please note it says Congress shall make no law. Up to that time nations around the world had national churches where citizenship required adherence to a particular religion. Here in America people were free to worship God how they wanted to. While Christianity was assumed, it was not mentioned thereby allowing other religions the same freedom.
The Jefferson Letter
This letter is not a law but a private letter from President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists (American Baptist Assoc.) who expressed concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion. He assured them there was a wall between church and government. While many ‘experts’ claim this was to protect the citizens from establishing a state religion, already stated in Amendment 1, the history surrounding this letter shows that the wall was to protect all churches from government intrusion.
Throughout the history of the United States of America the Christian faith and thereby the Christian church has been a bedrock of strength. Many times we have faced crisis and turned back to God. In my life I remember 9/11. Throughout the nation people flocked to church, seeking God and praying to Him. Men and women, conservative and liberal sought God. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as within weeks the nation reverted to its worldly outlook. Even so many lives were saved and eternally changed!
The President has claimed he is a Christian and there is no reason to doubt that. Does he have a checkered past? Yes. But God changes people and so far all the negatives we hear are about his past. Without a doubt he is a lightning rod to those who favor elitism and the power of a central government. But God has and still is using him to turn the country around whether it be political or economical.
One thing is for sure, President Trump has gotten government out of the way of Christianity. We were headed for a secular nation influenced by violence and a disregard for Biblical faith to go against religious liberty. That violence is now blamed on him but a closer look shows that it comes from the left who cannot understand how they got left out in the cold. It’s just my opinion, but I believe the majority of Americans, whether Christian or not, believe that Christianity is what is right for America.
I quite often point out that the need in America is for revival. I need it and so does everyone else who claims the name of Jesus! Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence can bring about revival. That must come from each of us seeking God. Only He can bring revival.
Some people claim it is too late for revival. I respectfully disagree. Read the Old Testament. The Jewish people were at least as bad as we have become. They turned away from God and worshiped false gods. They also sacrificed their children to false gods. Therefore God brought judgment and revival came. Here, in the United States, we have turned our backs on God and substituted our own religion. I believe that in recent years we have entered a period where God is showing His displeasure with the direction of our nation. It is not the final judgment, but rather now He may be giving us an opportunity to turn back to Him and once again be a Christian nation.
What will we do with that opportunity?
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HAVE A HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.