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The Christian Heritage of America

By Luke Hobbs
 
Two hundred twenty-eight years ago, many of our Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia for a meeting that would change the course of history. We had already been at war with Britain for over a year, and now delegates from the colonies assembled to determine what should be done next.

Some advocated laying down their arms and begging King George for forgiveness. But most realized that theirs was a cause from which they could not, should not, would not back down.

Finally, after weeks of deliberation, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia made a motion that the colonies should declare themselves independent of Britain. Eventually, the Congress agreed, and Thomas Jefferson was commissioned to write the Declaration of Independence, which remains one of the most important documents ever written.

"When in the Course of human events," Jefferson penned the immortal words, "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 to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that 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.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

The Declaration went on, giving some of the specific reasons for the colonies’ separation from Britain, and finally proclaiming their independence. The delegates voted to approve the document on July 2, they signed it on July 4, and the rest is history.

Famous history, glorious history, wonderful history. For our nation has not always done followed God in all our ways, but we have followed Him, from the time of the Pilgrims to the present. And now, in the 21st century, we see people trying to remove Christianity, the cornerstone of this nation, from the foundation on which it is built. Most assuredly, if the cornerstone is removed, the building will fall; and America will do just that, unless what is now happening can be reversed.

Now people try to tell us that the Founding Fathers were ignorant atheists who just stumbled upon what is currently the greatest form of government in the world. That is wrong. I’ll admit that not many of the Fathers were Christians in the conventional sense, that is, not the kind of Christians we’re used to, but every one of them, without exception, believed in God, and most worshiped the God of the Bible. George Washington, Patrick Henry, and James Madison all had a profound faith in God and appealed to Him as the higher authority that justified their revolution and reigned over their new nation. Even Jefferson, who was not a Christian, appealed to God several times in the Declaration of Independence, as you have seen.

The bottom line is, this is a nation founded by Christian men on Christian principles. Ours is the first and oldest democratic republic in the world, and God has poured out unbelievable blessings on us. He has made us the richest nation in the world, the most powerful nation in the world. But what will we do with those blessings? Will we give Him the glory for them and pass them on to the next generation? Or will we squander them, worshiping at the altars of other gods as the children of Israel did in the book of Judges, forcing God to respond with judgment?

That is the choice that is set before us, and the future of this great land of America lies in the balance. We can make the choice to follow God and to return to Him, crying out before Him on behalf of this nation that has strayed so far from Him. Or we can choose the alternative: to continue in lukewarm indifference and complacency, traveling slowly but surely down the winding path of sin, until we reach its inevitable end: judgment.

As Joshua said, "Choose this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."