Saturday, January 01, 2005

America, Who is Your God?

This is the sermon I would have preached at East Acres Baptist Church on Sunday December 26, 2004. The weather took a turn for the worse, however, blanketing the Mid-South with several inches of ICE. Hence, church services across the area were cancelled...including ours.


(Psa 33:12 KJV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.
Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.
"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.
"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."
Vidmar could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose and claims violations of Williams rights to free speech under the First Amendment.
Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.
Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."
"He hands out a lot of material and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and Christianity because that's what the founders wrote," said Thompson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom. "The principal seems to be systematically censoring material that refers to Christianity and it is pure discrimination."
Those of you who heard about this news story were no doubt shocked that something like this could go on in America.
When I heard this story, it reminded me of what we did every morning at school in the fifth grade.
We actually started the day by saying the Pledge and Lord’s prayer.

That was going on in a PUBLIC SCHOOL.

And today a teacher is banned from using documents from the founding of our country just because they mention and make reference to God.

 We are living in a time of confusion and a time of misinformation.

 As a society we are at a crossroads. If you have been following the news, you have to be concerned about what is happening round you today in the United States of America.

 I am aware of how the Courts are now saying that young people cannot pray at football games,

For almost 30 years it has been legal to kill our children in the womb.

I’m sure that you‘ve heard the news reports of that woman who killed a pregnant lead and then cut the baby out of her womb and claimed it as her own.

If you read the newspapers and hear the story on TV, they refer to the child as a fetus, not a baby.

You know why, don’t you?

If they admit that its’ a baby, then they’re one step closer to admitting that abortion is wrong.

 What has caused us to slide down this path? We are confused about where and if God belongs in our nation. As time goes by, we are pushing God further and further out of our society.

All of these events lead me to ask an important question. It is a question that demands an answer…. And soon.
That question is this: AMERICA, WHO IS YOUR GOD?

When a nation that involved God in its founding makes clear and deliberate efforts to remove God from its culture, I think it is necessary for us to look back and see what the intention of our Founding Fathers were when they formed this great nation.

 What did our founding fathers fight and die for? What did they lay their lives on the line for? It is easy for us to look back on history and say that it was easy for these people to do what they did because we see that they won the war. But remember they took on the strongest nation in the world at the time, victory was not a sure thing.

 Is it important to see what our founding fathers believed and fought for? Yes it is. These men had a vision for the nation that they shed their blood for, it was a vision that was so strong, they were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds to make it happen.

 Today I want to take just a few minutes for us to look at where the founding fathers believed that God belonged in our heritage, our Government and in our educational system.

And when you compare it to what is going on today, I believe it will again bring us back to our original question; AMERICA, WHO IS YOUR GOD?

When America was founded:
I. GOD WAS IN OUR HERITAGEThere is much confusion over our nations heritage. There is much confusion over the beliefs of the founding fathers.

Today it is popular for uninformed people to say that the founders were not Christians.

Did you know that the first act of the United States Congress was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the Indians?

On January 21, 1781, Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken petitioned Congress to officially sanction a publication of the Old and New Testament which he was preparing at his own expense.

Congress "highly approve(s) the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion . . . in this country, and . . . they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States."

This resolution was a result of Aitken's successful accomplishment of his project. Aitken's Bible, published under Congressional patronage, was the first English language Bible published on the North American continent.

When our first President, under the new Constitution, received the request of both Houses of Congress concerning a national declaration of a public day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, ’George Washington...issued a National Thanksgiving Proclamation’ without any apparent concern that he might be mixing government and religion.

The men who founded our country clearly wedded it to Christian principles. "By today’s standards," as syndicated columnist Don Feder says, "the founding fathers were the religious right."

In March of 1798, President John Adams declared May 9th of that year to be a "day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer."

He is also quoted as saying, " The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."

Benjamin Franklin in a speech to the Constitutional Convention said "In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?"

There are so many things that we no longer hear today. For example, we are now told that our Founding Fathers were atheists, agnostics, and deists.
However, 52 of the 55 Founding Fathers who worked on the constitution were members of orthodox churches.
In 1779 after the First Amendment (The Establishment clause) was written, the Supreme Court stated the following:
 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
 By our form the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.

(Congress prohibited itself from establishing a religion partly because ONE HAD ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED IN THIS COUNTRY PRIOR TO THE WRITING OF THE CONSTITUTION)

If you doubt the veracity of that claim, consider this statement by Patrick Henry in May of 1765 in a speech to the House of Burgesses: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!"

When America was founded, GOD WAS IN OUR HERITAGE.

When America was founded,II. GOD WAS IN OUR GOVERNMENT
Does God have a place in our government? If you listen to people today they will tell you no. Let’s briefly look at a couple of statements from our founders pertaining to God in Government.

In a 10-year study the Political Science Professors at the University of Houston researched over 15,000 writing of the founders:

They isolated 3154 direct quotes in these writings, of these direct quotes,

34% of these come directly from the Bible,

Another 60% were quotes from people like John Locke and Sir William Blackstone, who directly quoted the Bible.

Over 94% of the quotes found in the writings of the founders came from the Bible.

James Madison, the "Chief Architect of the Constitution" said this in reference to the 10 commandments:"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves.. according to the Ten Commandments of God.."

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22; "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us."

President John Quincy Adams said:
 The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code... laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws."

In 1811 The Supreme Court stated: Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government

And this ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1892: "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian."
When America was founded, GOD WAS IN OUR GOVERNMENT

1. Does God belong in the school? It does not seem so today.2. Let us look at the New England Primer that was the standard textbook in schools for over 200 years beginning in Boston in 1690.
The New England Primer followed a tradition of combining the study of the alphabet with Bible reading. It introduced each alphabet letter in a religious phrase and then illustrated the phrase with a woodcut. The primer also contained a catechism of religious questions and answers. Emphasis was placed on fear of sin, God's punishment and the fact that all people would have to face death.

Our educational institutions were founded with God as the center.
Look at these statements of philosophy of our major colleges in the United States. Yale- Seeing God is the giver of all wisdom, every scholar, besides private or secret prayer... shall be present morning and evening at public prayer

 Princeton- Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.

 Harvard- "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus which is eternal life. John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning."
"Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein."
Each of the original state constitutions mandated that Christian teachings would be included in a child’s education

November 1, 1802 The Ohio State constitution said:
 Religion, morality, and knowledge, being essentially necessary to the good government, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of instruction shall forever be encouraged by legislative provision.

A few years ago, three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled as unconstitutional Ohio’s 41-year-old state motto, "With God, All Things Are Possible." The panel said the motto was a government endorsement of Christianity because it quotes Jesus addressing his disciples in Matthew 19:26.

106 of the first 108 colleges formed in America and 123 of the first 126 were formed on Christian principles

By 1900 it was extremely rare to find a university president who was not an ordained clergyman.


Let me close with this:
The Episcopal Church has debated the "normalization" of homosexual practices, same-sex marriage and the ordination (as ministers) of practicing homosexuals, for two decades.
At its 74th triennial General Convention in August of 2003, the Episcopal House of Bishops voted, by a two-thirds majority, to confirm an unrepentant homosexual as Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.

ECUSA Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has defended the election, proclaiming that the Bible does not condemn homosexual acts. "Discreet acts of homosexuality" were condemned only because they involved lust instead of the "love, forgiveness and grace" of homosexual relationships, argues Griswold. "Homosexuality, as we understand it as an orientation, is not mentioned in the Bible. I think the confirmation of the bishop of New Hampshire is acknowledging what is already a reality in the life of the church and the larger society of which we are a part."

Griswold said further, "If I believed in any part of my being that the consent to this election was unfaithful to an authentic way of reading scripture and contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I could no longer serve as the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church."
Mr. Griswold, it’s time for you to hang up your robe and go home, because it is obvious that you have not read the Bible.

(Rom 1:27 KJV) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet (necessary).

For a church in America to even come close to going down this road lets me know that America has truly lost its moral compass.
America, who is your God?

One of the great themes of the Bible is the fact that when God is involved in the founding of a nation, He blesses that nation. When that nation turns its back on God, judgement will follow.
When the nation of Israel turned its back on God, God turned His back on them, and Israel was overrun by the Babylonians and the Assyrians.

Since God was involved in the founding of this nation, how far away can WE be from suffering a similar fate?

It has become painfully obvious that the America I grew up is not the same America that I am trying to raise my children in.

I believe that it is up to us Christians to work to get America back on track.
The founding Fathers who gave us this great nation made it clear. Jesus belongs front and center in our society. Don’t be fooled by the so-called enlightened people. The founders knew that when you take God out of something, that something will fail.

The cure for what ails America is laid out clearly and concisely for us in the Bible:

(2 Chr 7:14 KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

America is more than the soil under our feet. YOU are America.
America, who is your God?


Post a Comment

<< Home