What does that phrase do for you? Does it invoke pride? Does it make you want to thank God for what he has done for this country? Does it make you weep at the current state of the country? Or does it make you feel like you just heard fingernails on a blackboard?
Each of us has to process our faith, and figure out what is most important. There are many approaches and I’m sure you could find a church or three that would tell you (and tell you again). But what I wanted to talk about today is, do you believe that the United States of America is a Christian Nation?
In 1620, the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts to escape the religious tyranny of England. They came to be able to practice their Christian religion without persecution. It was a brave and unique thing they did. They basically gambled everything they had, their lives, the lives of their children, and their entire estates for being able to move and live in the new world. The first winter was brutal with almost half their number dying. But they survived and began to learn how to live in the new world. During the voyage over they wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact. In the second paragraph of the document, it says, “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic...”
That sounds to me like the first colony was dedicated to Christian beliefs.
If we scroll ahead 160 years we see what George Washington said at his inauguration: “Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” What President Washington is saying is that we have been given a country by God, and we need to follow his rules and practices in order to keep our country.
That sounds to me like a country that owes it’s existence to God.
A mere 80 years further into the future we get so see some of the wisdom of President Lincoln: “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.” Lincoln plainly says that we need Christianity and firm reliance on Him, meaning God.
That sounds to me like the nation needed God at it’s lowest point.
Regardless of your politics or preferences, we are in a desperate situation as a country. We have an election coming up that may be the ugliest ever. We have issues surrounding us that are true and present dangers to this nation and our way of life, but are not addressed because of petty partisan politics, or political correctness. If you love this country, if you want to see a change, what are you willing to change yourself?
I close this message with prayer I wrote for my book “Prayer for Our Nation.” It is the final group prayer in that study guide. It seems rather poignant today.
Lord, you have been so kind and gracious to this country and her people. You brought forth great explorers to determine her length and breadth and to find all the wondrous resources you had hidden away for us. You brought the refuse of other countries and made them into nation builders and built this nation from nothing to the greatest country on earth. Today we stand at a crossroads, where we as a nation have started to turn away from you. We can continue to do so, at the risk of judgment or social stagnation. Or we can turn back to you and seek those blessings that made us great. Lord we ask that you help us turn back to you, soften the hearts that are now turned against you, open eyes to see and ears to hear. May this land once again resound with the praises of her people for you. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.