“Foundations Are Enormously Important”
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” --Matthew 7: 24-27
Foundations are enormously important in how things turn out. We must be careful how we begin and how we remember beginnings.
It has become popular for those who write history books to judge the beginning of this country by opinions of the present day as far as motives and choices are concerned. I guess it makes people today feel as though they’re better people than they actually are, making smarter choices than they actually do. Many alterations of history come from this, such as the idea that the American Revolution was NOT all that revolutionary. They authoritatively dictate that it was just a revolt motivated by money and the self-will of agnostics & deists. But definitely not Christians.
The internet drips with self-righteous statements like: “As we witness yet again the brutal and bloody consequences of religious intolerance in the form of ISIS, we have a majority of Republicans pining for a Christian America.” These people ignorantly and pathetically paint all faith with the same bloodied brush. A fool fools himself first.
Happily, REAL History also disagrees with such foolishness. Patrick Henry said, “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.” In the 1600s, Wm Penn said: “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”
It is the idea that God gives us “inalienable rights” that powered the Declaration of Independence. And the idea came from 100s of sermons preached long before 1776. What a Godly heritage the present-day patriot has. But we must know it and speak of it.
From the beginning, our nation had a solid foundation. Individuals like George Washington and John Adams honored God and revered Biblical principles. Many of the founding fathers were Christians. In fact, of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, nearly half (24) held seminary or Bible school degrees. They were unapologetic about their faith in Jesus and it provided our country with a firm foundational basis for freedom based on eternal standards from the Creator, not selfish standards based on fickle human whims or government's natural desire for always-greater control.
Atheism believes there is nothing but the material. It says it denies any faith. Though it's arguable that one must have enormous faith in various suspensions of some laws of physics to believe in macro-evolution. I've never met someone without faith in something! When the rubber hits the road, a matter-based philosophy is fundamentally self-centered. It may mouth patriotism (the better to put people at ease), but ultimately it is only patriotic when serving the self. “What’s in it for me?” “I’m on board as long as I get what I want out of it.” This necessitates elevating self—me—at the expense of God. Government gives me my needs and rights, so I can fabricate whatever “right” I want and force government to consent. (The reason the founders used phrases like "tyranny of democracy" and gave us a republic.) True, the sales pitch of such folk always sounds caring, a perfect way to put the truly caring American off guard, and make opponents look evil. In this mindset, The Constitution is out-dated, because it does not serve me first. These are dangerous waters.
It turns out that an essential revolutionary part of the founding of these United States is the idea that God has given us "inalienable rights" and that "We the people" allow our Republic some, limited, authority. Government was never to be our "savior".
I submit that True patriotism in the American Context, is not and cannot be based on anything that rejects the influence of Christianity in the founding of the country. When a politician or activist promises to give free "goodies", you'll find they come at the expense of the real freedoms of the Republic.
You’ll be happy to know that I’m not the first to think this. George Washington agreed in his Farewell Address, “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.” (Note that in the 1700s, religion" meant Christianity.)
Patrick Henry said “It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”
We can see our rule-by-law and the freedoms that go with them in peril. Many misunderstand the United States. Americans, not only Christians, can only truly comprehend the basis of our freedom with a better understanding of Christianity. We must reclaim our real history! Pastor Geoff