In 2011, I preached a sermon at a Wisdom Center Women’s Meeting for Dr. Mike Murdock entitled “How to Make America Great Again.”
That was my title long before Donald Trump ran for president and made a catch phrase of Make America Great Again.
It’s no myth … but a proven fact that this country was made great and would not even exist were it not for God. That may seem like a bold statement but there are volumes of historical facts to back it up.
Since we are about to celebrate our 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this teaching is one part history lesson and one part call to action … so we can remain One Nation under God.
The United States of America is and has always been a country like no other.
Former Prime minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain once said, “Europe was created by history, America by philosophy.”
There are so many ways God was directly involved in our country but here are five strong ones.
1) A Haven for Religious Freedom.
The majority of our first settlers came over to find the religious freedoms they could not enjoy in their own countries. European countries not only had a national government each also had a national religion.
That is why the principle of separation of church and state was so widely emphasized by our founding fathers. In a European country you were required to accept the national religion if you lived under the national government.
The two were not separated which is why Thomas Jefferson is quoted for calling for the separation of church and state. That statement has unwittingly been used to try to remove Christianity from our government when the intent was to make sure the US would always allow the freedom of religion not the exclusion of it.
As just one example, William Penn was imprisoned in the tower of London for becoming a Quaker instead of adhering to the accepted Anglican religion of England.
But as a way of repayment of a debt owed his deceased father by King Charles II, he was given a charter in the new world on land that is now Pennsylvania.
Penn’s colony was a holy experiment that accepted Mennonites, Amish, Catholics and Jews, a safe place for persecuted families fleeing Europe for their religious beliefs.
In keeping with his position on Christian tolerance he named the city Philadelphia which is Greek for brotherly love.
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”
2) God Protected and even Aided the Continental Army during the war for independence.
There are numerous instances in George Washington’s life alone that showed God intervened to allow him to influence this country as commander of the Revolutionary troops and later as our first president.
While serving under British General William Braddock during the French & Indian war, General Braddock along with every officer on horseback was killed except 22 year old Colonel George Washington who later writes his brother to refute the report that he is dead.
Washington stated in part:
“But by the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectations; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot [from] under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
After declaring independence from Britain in 1776, the British sent an enormous army to squash the rebellion in its infancy … and they almost did.
In what was the first and largest battle in the Revolutionary War the British had Washington and the entire Revolutionary Army trapped between Brooklyn Heights and the sea.
In order to save his men and the fledgling cause, Washington desperately ordered an evacuation across the east river to Manhattan Island in the darkness of night.
But at daybreak half of the American troops were still hiding in trenches waiting to cross to safety. Even as the sun rose there also arose a dense fog over the river. The rising sun refused to burn off the fog and the river remained covered until every man escaped. Afterwards, it suddenly lifted and was gone.
This event in the summer of 1776 was not the only incident in which God miraculously intervened.
By August 1778 Washington wrote:
“The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this—the course of the war—that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith.”
Joshua 10:13 in the New International Version says:
“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”
God does miraculous things … when He chooses to.
3. God Was Integral in our Constructing the Constitution.
After the rather lengthy Revolutionary war was over there was the overwhelming task of taking 13 various sized and very independent-minded colonies and uniting them in a way in which each would be willing to submit to a centralized government.
Remember that an overreaching of government in the private affairs of men was why many of them left Europe in the first place.
Over 10 years later May 25 of 1787 at a Constitutional Convention with delegates from every colony were supposed to be hammering out a workable constitution but things were not going well.
The smaller colonies or states were concerned the large states would not give the fair representation. The large states wanted more say because they represented more people.
By June some delegates had already returned home because of the hopeless deadlock.
However, on June 28th Benjamin Franklin, being the elder and highly respected statesman at age 81, addressed the Assembly.
George Washington served as chairman of the Assembly and since everything was directed to the chairman, here is a portion of Mr. Franklin’s speech inviting God into their further proceedings.
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of thus truth—that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
He went on to quote the Psalm 127:1 … “Except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.”
Interestingly enough, there are historians who do not consider Benjamin Franklin believed in God at all.
Nevertheless, this speech led to the convention inviting God to guide their proceedings. Today the US House and the Senate still have a resident chaplain who opens each session with prayer as a result of this decision.
The real difference between the clergy then and too many of the clergy today is their commitment to their beliefs.
As the 4th of July approached the delegates gathered to hear a sermon that might not have singed their hair off their heads but it certainly dealt with their consciences.
For from that point on, they began to make progress in writing the US Constitution that was adopted and ratified in 1789.
4. The American Way became known as American Exceptionalism.
Around 1836 a French historian named Alexis de Tocqueville toured the United States and was so taken by our American way of life that he wrote a two volume set called Democracy in America.
De Tocqueville called this country “exceptional” because it was unlike any country known at the time. He is quoted as saying:
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
“The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.
In his work, de Tocqueville makes the statement that although there are a huge number of church doctrines which all differ … their common ground is each ‘adore the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all … preach the same moral law in the name of God….”
He goes on to marvel at how this unity under God has produced such an influence over the souls of men that “its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”
The following is an amazing quote from his writings:
“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of American in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
“American is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
De Tocqueville continues by saying… “The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.”
Self-government means it is of the people, for the people and by the people. That also requires that we, the people, must be involved and morally educated.
John Adams left a message long ago when he spoke to us, his posterity.
“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”
Unfortunately, there are people in our society who work very hard to keep Christian voices and influences quiet.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. Prov 14:34
5. America’s Educational System Began with God
What we know as the great Ivy League colleges like Princeton, and Yale were founded by Christians.
Yale started in 1701 as a school for congregational ministers. Harvard was founded in 1636 by the Puritans.
Not all founding fathers attended such colleges or any college…but that doesn’t mean they were not educated men. And most all educational training began with the Word of God. .
Almost every president spoke at least two languages…many spoke three or four.
Jefferson spoke and wrote multiple languages and collected a huge library during his lifetime. After his death some of the books found in it were written in Italian, Arabic, Irish, Welsh and Dutch.
John Adams, our second president, also spoke Latin and French and attended Harvard University.
An Academy that prepared students for college entrance such as Princeton had to know Virgil, Cicero’s orations and Latin grammar.
They also had to know enough Greek as to render part of the four gospels in that language into either Latin or English.
As a side note, our son, Jamie, returned to his Christian school in ninth grade to find that all freshmen were required to take Latin. That fall the new TV series premiered called Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
As we watched it as a family, Jamie was getting at least 60 and up to 80% of the hardest questions right. When asked how he knew all these answers he explained that it was easy when you recognize their Latin origins.
How equipped are our students today? Boston College among others have opted to pacify “student fears” by hosting forums, self-care events and organizing support groups for students traumatized by events like “Donald Trump becoming president.” They also called off exams until the students could cope with the idea that he would be our president.
The US Constitution was once required as subject of learning in grammar school but today the teachers are pressured to teach English and math skills. History is basically considered unimportant.
It’s much easier to get away with instituting laws when an ‘educated’ people don’t know if something is unconstitutional or not.
In 2014 a report by the National Assessment of Education Progress showed 18 percent of American high school students were proficient in US History.
Teachers complain that if they get into controversial subjects the parents will become offended.
A personal definition of political correctness is this: the only opinion that is valid is one that agrees with those who support political correctness.
If our children aren’t proud of what their country stands for, it’s even more difficult for them to find their way in it.
So … what now for America?
Most of the political ideas in the colonies were learned two ways: through newspapers or sermons.
Is change possible? Of course… here are 5 Keys why we can expect to turn things around… if we choose to.
1) The United States was founded on God.
When Paul went into Ephesus for the first time he found a city founded on paganism.
It was full of the opulent rich with a mall of over 300 stores many with their own altars so they could pray to their gods for a good work day.
In addition it boasted the temple of a false god, Artemis – considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
The advantage for Christians who face false gods is the fact that they’re false. They do nothing for those who believe in them…and Paul came with the power and anointing of the Holy Ghost!
That is the same power and anointing we have working for us today. The only question is how we are going to use it.
Paul had to tear down and rebuild—we have to awaken the sleeping church.
Isaiah 58:9-14 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking,
10 And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
11 And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
It is up to us to rise up and not turn a blind eye when God is cast out of our culture at every turn.
2. When Opposed We Can’t Give Up.
Change is not easy but it wasn’t for the Apostle Paul either.
Acts 19:8-9 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.
“ But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o’clock till three.”
Not everyone will listen but it doesn’t mean some will not hear. It is still up to us to speak the truth … in love.
3) We can expect God to give an increase.
The Apostle Paul knew that the Lord’s hand would not be short that it could not save.
Anyone who’s been involved with our ministry for very long knows we believe you reap from the seed you sow. Paul knew this too.
Acts 19:10 is a remarkable scripture describing what Paul did and it should make us shout:
10This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
Not just some… all of Asia…now that is astounding to find written in the Bible. The King James Version puts it this way:
“ And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”
Hearing is one thing … but action is another. In Acts 19:19-20 it’s recorded:
19And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver
20Thus the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] grew and spread and intensified, prevailing mightily.”
4. What Can One Person Do?
Most of us think we have too small of a voice to have much influence.
When I hear someone say that I like to ask if they’ve ever spent the night with a mosquito.
The question is how badly do you want to see change? Paul was determined to turn Asia upside down and he did.
Gandhi wanted India to gain independence from British control and it did.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. championed the civil rights movement to change US law and he did.
In January last year, two young surfers Alex and Andrew began a movement to clean the bottom of the ocean of plastics and waste.
Now 4 Ocean employs 150 people in multiple countries and hundreds of thousands of debris has been cleared allowing ocean animals and the environment a new start.
Although Alex and Andrew cared … what if they decided cleaning the ocean is just too mammoth a project to start.
5. We can Pray.
When we pray the promises found in the Word of God … our prayers begin to change things.
We may be small but the God of heaven isn’t.
I John 5:14-15 in the New International Version says:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
When Israel sinned… God always gave them a way out. It’s called 2 Chron. 7:14 says:
“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.”
Even if you feel you are the only one who cares… you aren’t.
Elijah felt that way. In I Kings 19:14 it says:
“He said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, because the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword. And I, I only, am left, and they seek my life, to destroy it.”
But the Lord answers him in verse 18:
“Yet I will leave Myself 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
We are not alone. Somewhere in 2006 I felt led to begin an intercessory prayer meeting the first Saturday of every month. I told our congregation we were only meeting to pray for the USA. And I ended up with 5-6 regular people.
It occurred to me that I was not the only one the Lord touched and over the years the Lord has allowed me to meet several people who were also led to do the same thing. Some have elaborate weekend sessions with guest speakers.
God is not through with the US but He is calling us to action even if means a daily prayer of agreement.
The question we must ask is if we are doing the part we are called to do?
Proverbs 16:2 says:
“All the ways of a man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions], But the Lord weighs and examines the motives and intents [of the heart and knows the truth].”
The Living Bible Translation says:
“We can always “prove” that we are right, but is the Lord convinced?”
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”
This quote is attributed to many people but whoever said it doesn’t weaken the truth it speaks.
July 4th is not just my birthday … it is a sacred day that celebrates freedoms most of the world are not able to enjoy. Are we asking God what we can do to preserve it?BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS