Last weekend here in America we celebrated Independence Day. So I thought it would be worthwhile to look back over our 238-year history to reflect on the nation that was birthed that day in 1776.
On July 2, 1776, the American Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence from Great Britain. Once the resolution of independence was completed, Congress turned its attention to writing the Declaration of Independence which was accepted on July 4, 1776.
In-between, on July 3, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
Adams believed as many of our founders believed that the American people’s devotion to God was central to the establishment of America as an independent nation.
I wonder what Adams would say if he could see America today? Or for that matter any of the others who drafted the Declaration (Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert Livingston of New York, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia). Would they be pleased, or would they be dismayed at how far we have fallen from the ideals they established?
- Prayer in public schools – not allowed,
- Valedictorian speeches mention of God – not allowed,
- Christian Fraternity/Sororities receive university recognition/funding – not allowed (a recent case in San Diego),
- Military Chaplains praying in Jesus’ name & quoting scripture in VA Hospitals – not allowed,
- Gideon’s passing out Bibles to students who request them – not allowed (South Dakota),
- 5-year old in school praying before lunch silently with head bowed – not allowed (Florida),
- Cross on public land – not allowed (Mt. Soledad, California),
- Air Force cadet oath “so help me God” – not allowed,
- Funerals at Veteran’s Cemeteries use of the word “God” or praying in Jesus’ name – not allowed (Texas).
Contrast this partial list of places and events where God is not allowed, with the fact that during the Revolutionary War Bibles were in short supply in America, so Congress authorized the importation of 20,000 Bibles from Holland and Scotland. Congress also oversaw the development of the first Bible translated and printed in the United States (the Aiken Bible 1782). Congress appointed Chaplains to serve the military during the war and authorized their pay at the rank of a major in the Continental Army. Beginning in 1864 “In God, We Trust” appeared on our coinage, and was added to paper currency in 1957, after being adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956.
So, do we as a nation, still trust in God? According to a 2013 Harris poll Americans still believe in God, but not as much as they used to:
- 74% of adults say they believe in God, down from 82% in 2005;
- 72 percent believe in miracles, down from 79 percent;
- 68 percent believe in heaven, down from 75 percent;
- 68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent;
- 65 percent believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70 percent;
- 64 percent believe in the survival of the soul after death, down from 69 percent;
- 58 percent believe in the devil and hell, down from 62 percent;
- 57 percent believe in the Virgin birth, down from 60 percent.
From the “not allowed” list it is clear that many of our leaders in education, the health fields, the military, the courts, and our elected representatives in government do not hold God in high esteem. Rather, it seems that many are putting God in a closet, pushing Him further and further to the back, in an effort to keep Him from the public sphere. Perhaps they think in their enlightened state that they don’t need God; that they can get along just fine without Him. Nothing could be further from the truth!
As I read my Bible, I come across numerous examples of kings who followed God with all their hearts, until they got some measure of success. Then they starting thinking they knew better than God. They started doing things their way, ignoring God, pushing Him further and further into the back of the closet. In every single case, these leaders fell, taking their nations with them.
There are, I think, two things we must do as believers, and perhaps, if it God’s will, we can reverse the course of this country before God is outlawed altogether.
1) Pray for all those in leadership. Paul writing to his young protégée said,
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (HCSB)
2) Be an example of Christ’s love so that people will be drawn to Him. Jesus, teaching the disciples said,
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (HCSB)
I’ve read to the end of the Book. I know who wins. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
Join the Conversation
As always, questions and comments are welcome. What do you think of the course we are on? Do you think belief in God is important to our society?
Category: personal Development | Dependence on God