America is at a Crossroads

I’m
posting an article today that I read at our Thanksgiving communion service
yesterday. Our nation has a strong Christian heritage. It’s what made us great.
But we have removed God from our civic life, and if He does not intervene, we
are headed for a big fall. Our children will pay a heavy price. I’m asking God
for a great awakening in our country. It has to start with us the church.  I say, Lord,
let it start in me!
This
is a long article, but it’s worth reading…give me your thoughts…
A RELIGIOUS PEOPLE
VERSUS
A GODLESS GOVERNMENT

BY BRANNON HOWSE 

      America
is at a crossroads, and the path that is chosen will have a lasting impact on
the future of this nation. We will continue to see a downward trend in our
nation’s morality as long as our citizens continues to permit the only accepted
form of bigotry permitted today to continue – religious bigotry.

      Americans need to stand up for and reaffirm
the faith of our fathers. Today, a civil war rages in Congress, in the courts,
and in our schools.

      Why do I believe that this battle for religious
freedom will so greatly affect the future of this nation? Because as a nation
we can only embrace and govern on the basis of one of two worldviews. We as a
people will either embrace the Christian worldview or the secular humanist
worldview. There is no middle ground.

      This is not a new battle. In fact, it has
been on-going since the Garden of Eden. This conflict of the ages has always
been between what is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is unjust,
what is good and what is evil, what makes men free and what makes them slaves.

      The Christian worldview was the basis and
foundation on which the founding fathers built the United States of America.
Lenin, however, used the secular humanist worldview to base his ideology.

A Religious People

      Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his book, Crime and Punishment, wrote, “If God is dead, then everything
is permitted.”

      If there is no God, then humanism, which is
based on the belief that man is god, is the moral standard. In other words, man
can decide for himself what is right and what is wrong through a relativistic,
humanistic worldview.

      If, however, there is a Creator, as
America’s founding fathers believed and wrote in the Declaration of
Independence, then man is not god and is subject to set standards as prescribed
by the Creator. Man is also obligated not only to live, but to govern in a
manner consistent with God’s laws and standards.

      The standards prescribed by the Creator are
spelled out in the most important book of our western culture, the Holy Bible. Those who believe in God the Creator and His moral standards of
right and wrong, i.e. the Ten commandments, are embracing the Christian
worldview either knowingly or unknowingly.

      Those of us who believe in God and seek to
follow and live out the Judeo-Christian faith realize that we are not the
minority that the media and cultural elite would have us to believe. Gallop
surveys over the past two decades reveal that fully 85 percent of Americans
consider themselves to be following the Christian faith. On an average Sunday
in America, 106 million Americans attend church.

      Americans need not apologize to the
cultural elite for their religious convictions, no matter how strong. Indeed,
it was a group of gun-toting, church-going Christians who gave us the greatest
nation on the face of the earth.

      If you doubt me when I say that this nation
was founded on the Christian worldview by people who considered themselves to
be following the “Christian faith,” then you do not know the facts.

      Dr. D. James Kennedy in his book, Character and Destiny, provides interesting data about the people who
founded our nation:

As late as 1776, fully
98 percent of the people in this country professed to be Protestant
Christians; 1.8 percent said they were Roman Catholics; and .2 percent said
they were Jewish. Now, if you add those numbers up you will find that 99.8
percent of the people in this nation declared themselves to be Christians.
      As
an indication of the beliefs of all thirteen colonies at that time, the
Constitution of the State of Delaware required that all office holders swear in
public, “I do profess faith in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus
Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost . . . and I do acknowledge the Holy
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine
inspiration.”

      In 1892, the Supreme Court ruled in the
case, Church of the Holy
Trinity v. United States
,
that:

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; and in
this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are
emphatically Christian. . . . This is a religious people. This is
historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour,
there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a
clear recognition of the same truth . . . these, and many other matters which
might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of
organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
      Again,
in 1931, the United States Supreme Court declared, in the case ofUnited States v. Macintosh, that “we are a Christian people.”
And in 1952, even the liberal justice, William O. Douglas, declared from the
bench that “we are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a
Supreme Being.”

Who Gave Us Liberty?

      In 1774, while serving in the Virginia
Assembly, Thomas Jefferson personally introduced a resolution calling for a day
of fasting and prayer. Later, while serving as the Governor of Virginia
(1779-1781), Jefferson decreed a day of: “Public and solemn thanksgiving
and prayer to the Almighty God.”3

      Engraved on the Jefferson Memorial in
Washington D.C. are these famous words by Thomas Jefferson, the author of the
Declaration of Independence and our third President:

God who gave us life
gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we
have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people
that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated
but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God
is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.

We must recommit ourselves as a nation and a people to the convictions of our
Christian worldview.

      John
Adams, who served as our nation’s first Vice President under George Washington
for eight years and then as the second President of the United States, so
believed in the relevancy of the Bible that he wrote the following in his diary
on February 22, 1756:

Suppose a nation in
some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every
member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every
member would be obliged in conscience to temperance, frugality, and industry;
to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow man; and to piety, love,
and reverence toward Almighty God. . . . What a Utopia, what a Paradise would
this region be.
      John
Adams also said, “We have no government capable of dealing with an
irreligious people.” In other words, those who disregard religion are
disregarding what makes America, America.

      I could fill hundreds of pages with quotes
from our founding fathers proving that they both publicly and privately
believed in and possessed the Christian worldview. Many of our founding fathers
were convinced that as long as we as a nation held onto and protected our
Christian heritage, we would flourish. Likewise, they also believed that if we
denied and rejected our Christian heritage, it would be the death of this
nation they so loved.

      George Washington wrote “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.” He also wrote “It is impossible to rightly
govern the world without God and the Bible.”

      Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Whoever
shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity
will change the face of the world.”

      On June 20, 1785, James Madison wrote,
“Religion [is] the basis and foundation of Government.” Several years
later, on March 4, 1809, President James Madison said in his Inaugural address,
“We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of
that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations.”

      It is overwhelmingly clear from these few
examples that our founding fathers knew just how important it was to the
preservation of our nation that our Christian heritage and foundations not be
eroded.

      Even though our founders knew how important
our Christian heritage was – and with a 99.8 percent Christian majority – still
a state religion was not mandated. Our founders wanted freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, as the
liberals claim. The founders did not want our nation to deny its heritage, but
they wanted everyone to be free to practice and express their religious
convictions and beliefs.

The “Separation” Myth

      The “wall of separation” between
church and state is a myth. In recent years, this myth has gone from protecting
us from a state-mandated religion to denying people their constitutional right
to practice their religion publicly. The ultimate result of the myth of
separation has been the creating of a state-mandated religion, best known as
humanism.

      In two different cases, the United States
Supreme court has written in footnotes to decisions handed down that humanism
has a religious tone. Today, this religion is not excluded but promoted
aggressively in our nation’s government schools at your expense.

      My friend and mentor, Dr. D. James Kennedy,
put it best when he said,

The idea of separation
of church and state has been abused by judges and juries for the past 50 years,
but one thing is undeniably clear: If teachers in public schools can’t teach
Johnny about Christianity and if they can’t say that Jesus Christ is alive
today or that faith in God is a good idea, then they certainly cannot teach
their students the exact opposite, either.
      Yet,
our schools continue to promote and teach the humanist religion that denies God
as the Creator and sets man up as his own god.

      Despite what the liberal American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) says, the religious foundation of our nation gave more
liberty to everyone, not less as they would have us believe. Our founding
fathers did so for good reason. They knew the lessons of history, as Dr. D.
James Kennedy writes:

History teaches that
great nations are seldom if ever destroyed by invaders or other outside
forces. Wars and invasions may be involved in their final collapse, but
nations fall because of compromise of their own foundational beliefs, loss of
faith in the values that made them great, and the lawlessness and disorder
that arise as a result.
      Public
schools are now government schools that forbid the posting of the Ten
Commandments. Bible reading, even from a historical standpoint, is prohibited,
and prayer is banned along with any Judeo Christian symbols.

      We have compromised our foundational
beliefs as a nation and a people, creating a society on the verge of moral
collapse – one where crime is rampant in our streets, babies are legally
murdered in their mothers’ wombs, and divorce is as common and easy as ordering
a pizza.

Safety Net or Hammock?

      Part of our Christian heritage has always
been personal responsibility and morality. With these two characteristics
missing, America has become a welfare program out of control. Unwed mothers are
financially rewarded for having more and more children out of wedlock. Couples
who get married and have children are assessed a heavy tax for simply choosing
to do the respectable and responsible thing.

      Untold numbers of welfare and entitlement
recipients are having their immoral and irresponsible lifestyles funded by a
government that has chosen not to hold individuals to a high standard of
personal responsibility and decency.

      Psychologists and other misguided
“professionals” only worsen the problem by “discovering” a
new disorder or disability for every negative human failing. Sure, there are
those who have problems and disabilities, but such real problems end up being
ignored or not taken seriously by the general public because of the over-use of
psycho-babble terms and victimization grouping and labeling.

      This nation is being destroyed from the
inside. How much longer can our nation continue down this road before we
realize that the damage we are doing is increasingly irreversible?

      America needs to recommit itself to the
heritage that made it great – a heritage that was clearly based on a Christian
worldview, a strong faith in God, and in His moral principles and standards of
hard work, personal responsibility, right and wrong, good and evil, just and
unjust.

      Certainly we need to have compassion, but
today’s welfare programs are based not on compassion but on socialism. At times
there are those who need a little help to get back on their feet, but as one
talk show host has said, “The safety net has turned into a hammock.”
There is a clear difference between compassion and encouraging and rewarding
irresponsibility, immorality and laziness.

Rights Without Responsibilities

      The same individuals who scream that you
and I are not compassionate enough are the same group of liberals who have been
behind cases where compassion, understanding, and the protection of
Constitutional rights have been extremely absent.

      The rights of many Americans – which are so
basic that the framers of the Constitution called them self-evident – have been
denied. Yet, if you and I are in favor of welfare reform, we are accused of
depriving certain individuals of their so-called “rights” even though
these “rights” are not granted nor protected by the Constitution.

      As Dr. D. James Kennedy has written,
today’s young people “have been taught that their heritage of freedom
gives them plenty of ‘rights’ but very few responsibilities.”

      Liberals who steal our Constitutional
rights are hailed by the liberal press as being advocates for equality. Yet,
when a conservative tries to defend the Constitution and limit special
privileges and treatment for a few, which is often times not in the best
interest of the majority, we are called mean-spirited hate-mongers.

      In some cases, states and/or the federal
government has aggressively attached and harassed conservative groups or
individuals with audits, law suits, and threats. Often such harassment is
leveled at those who have – with great strength and courage – dared to stand up
and defend the Christian worldview on which this nation was built.

      Why should America be forced to become a
secular nation when the majority of Americans are not secular in their
religious beliefs? In addition, there is nothing beneficial about being a
secular nation. In fact, history proves that it is detrimental to the future of
a nation to reject certain principals and standards just because they can be
traced back to a religious foundation.

      Time magazine published
a cover story on December 9, 1991, titled, “One Nation, Under God,”
in which they asked the question: “Has the separation of church and state
gone too far?” The writer for Time obviously felt it
had when he wrote:

For God to be kept out
of the classroom or out of America’s public debate by nervous school
administrators or overcautious politicians serves no one’s interests. That
restriction prevents people from drawing on this country’s rich and diverse
religious heritage for guidance, and it degrades the nation’s moral discourse
by placing a whole realm of theological reasoning out of bounds. The price of
that sort of quarantine, at a time of moral dislocation, is – and has been –
far too high. The courts need to find a better balance between separation and
accommodation – and Americans need to respect the new religious freedom they
would gain as a result.
      Religion
plays an important part in every nation’s history and destiny, as Dr. D. James
Kennedy explains in his book, Character and Destiny:

Every nation that has
ever existed has been built upon some sort of religious foundation. Whether
it is the Hinduism of India, the Islam of Saudi Arabia, the Confucianism of
China, the Shintoism of Japan, the Judaism of Israel . . . every nation had
some form of religious commitment that contributed to its greatness. But
while the government, the courts, the ACLU, the liberal American Bar
Association, and the Trial Lawyers of America are doing everything in their
power to strip away our moral values and religious rights, the government is
stripping Americans of their property, their incomes, their rights of
self-determination, and ultimately their hopes for the future.

      This
is exactly where we find ourselves today.

3 thoughts on “America is at a Crossroads

  1. Pastor Mitch,

    A very moving and timely post. But I do have a question about the coming "awakening or revival" as we charismatics are always talking about.

    did you ever notice that we are never ready for it? It always seems to be "right around the corner" or "God is getting us ready…"

    Yet, we also say that Jesus could return at any minute. I do not see an end time revival in the New Testament. Evil men and seducers are waxing worse as the scriptures state. But on what basis are we to expect a great revival–from the New Testament?

    The charismatic branch of the church declares out of one side of its mouth that our best days are ahead of us and that revival is just around the corner…but it never seems to get here. Why? It isn't God who is withholding revival is it? Of course not.

    Meanwhile, we are teaching that Jesus could come at any moment.

    Which is it?

    If we have to have a revival before Jesus returns to fulfill some scriptural or prophetic word, we are no closer to it now than we were ten years ago. But those evil men and seducers have definitely gotten worse.

    And if we have to have this great revival before Jesus can return, it may be awhile before we see Jesus.

    We both know that His coming is very close–even at the door. I think we have to focus more on preparation rather than "revival" because the time is getting shorter and shorter but "revival" seems to tarry and tarry.

    Just thinking out loud here…

    Ju

  2. After much prayer and study, Gary, I've changed my position on the timing of the rapture of the church. I've explained in fair detail my position in my posts October 24-28. Bottom line, I believe that the church will be here during a portion of what is commonly and wrongly termed the tribulation. It's actually Daniel's 70th week according to Daniel 9:27. I believe that the church will be here during the breaking of 6 of the 7 seals mentioned in Revelation 6-8. After the breaking of the 6th seal, cosmic disturbances occur; the sun is darkened, the moon gives no light, the stars are affected. This is an indication that Jesus will come soon in the "rapture" of the church (Revelation 7:9-16)See also Matthew 24:29 through the end of the chapter. And it's during this time right after Israel signs the peace treaty, and during the first 3 and a half years of Daniel's 70th week, and then after the Anti-Christ turncoats on Israel and the Great Tribulation mentioned by Jesus begins, that revival will consummate worldwide. There will be terrible persecution and slaughter during this time, and at the same time God begins to move in a sovereign way by the Holy Spirit. This is the LAST harvest prior to the rapture. It's mentioned by Joel clearly in Joel 2:28-32. I believe it's also mentioned by Isaiah in Isaiah 60:1-3. It will be a time of peril, and at the same time God's GLORY will be upon the true church of the Lord Jesus. Again, go read my blogs from OCtober 24-28. If I'm wrong, then the rapture occurs right around the time of the peace treaty signing("pre-tribulation"), we miss all this "bad," and there is no revival. I think we'll see in real time who is correct.

  3. Pastor Mitch,

    I am very aware of your position concerning the order of events as I frequently stop by to keep up with your posts and messages!

    I understand the theory of the pre-wrath position but one thing that has never been explained is how the time of the Gentiles can spill over into this 7 year time period?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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