The Bible insists that there is a connection between the moral vigor of a nation and its survivability. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a people’s ruin.” (Proverbs 14:34/Goodspeed.)
The founders of our nation saw the need for God to be at the heart of our national life. The Declaration of Independence contains a solemn appeal “to the Supreme Judge of the world…” and in it, Thomas Jefferson claimed “unalienable rights” as an endowment from the Creator.
The Continental Congress appropriated $300,000 for Bibles, during our war for national existence, because members believed no Bible-reading people could be enslaved! At the Constitutional Convention, Franklin proposed that the sessions begin with prayer, by saying, “I have lived a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground unseen by Him, is it possible that an empire could arise without His aid.”
The Northwest Ordinance, approved by Congress in 1789 began with this declaration: “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address described America as “This nation under God.” This concept of America as a “nation under God” is deeply embedded in the fabric of our national life.
The founders were convinced that democracy could not survive in a nonreligious society. John Adams wrote “Our constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” Thomas Jefferson proposed that our national seal be based on a Bible story: the children of Israel being led in the wilder-ness by cloud by day and fiery pillar by night.
Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman reviewed more than 17,000 quotations, books, pamphlets and newspaper articles (1760-1805) to determine the influences on the political thinking of the founders. They identified 3,154 references; 34% came from the Bible — by far the largest influence!
We live at a time when society is rapidly becoming paganized. Powerful forces have conspired to drive religious influence from our schools, our civic institutions, our national life. We have become a nation without moral boundaries. The moral and spiritual foundations laid by the founders have fallen into ruin. “If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
Will God continue to bless America? Not unless Americans honor God! There is a poem which asks the question, “Who serves his country best?” Several possibilities are considered: The General, might in war…: The statesman who makes its laws…? The poet who celebrates the nation in song…? The answer: None of these!
He serves his country best
Who lives pure life, and doth righteous deed,
Who walks straight paths, however others stray
And leaves his sons as a last bequest
A stainless record which all men may read…
The whole course of human events can be altered when enough people turn back to God!
By Bobby Dockery, Fayetteville, Ark.