Commentary: Of Christians and the founding of America

On July 4, 2019 our great country was 243 years old. God has blessed this country with freedoms, economic strength, powerful innovation, and opportunities. As a pastor and as a Christian, I do believe it is God who has blessed us with those good things and many more. Since the birth of this great nation, it was evident that we started this journey as a country with God.

Our Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Though the United States Constitution does not reference The God of the Bible in its text, it concludes with “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…..” In the year of our Lord is a direct reference to Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

The first president of the United States, George Washington, in his first inaugural address said these words: “…it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe…..” It is interesting that both President Obama and President Trump took the oath of office for the presidency with the Lincoln Bible. (The Lincoln Bible was used by Abraham Lincoln when he took the presidential oath of office in 1861).

It’s common knowledge that our judicial system is based upon the Judeo-Christian principles of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I’ve given a few examples here, but books have been filled with quotes, documents, and references to the Bible and the God of the Bible being a part of the fabric of this nation’s founding and greatness.

But after 243 years, it seems we have left all of our “In God We Trust” behind us. We don’t think much about God. We don’t pray much to God. A lot of our rights, liberties and the pursuit of happiness have crowded out so much of God in our lives and thoughts. And when Christians, those who are supposed to be followers of the Savior and His Word, try to find reasons as to why we have left God behind in this country; they often point to different groups or parties.

Christians point fingers at some celebrity who is influencing our world in a wrong moral trend. Christians point to a political party or some political leader that is at fault for the fact that we don’t have much of the God of the Bible in our country these days. I do believe that there are powerful voices on the social landscape that advocate very forcefully for moral lifestyles that are opposed to God and the Bible. But even those voices exist because of the freedoms and the liberties guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence.

I speak from the vantage point of a pastor and a Christian. If Christians don’t use their freedoms and liberties to stand for the moral absolutes of the Bible, we have found the main reason why God has been left behind in this country. The Bible speaks of followers of Christ in Matthew 5:13 as “Ye are the salt of the earth” and again in Matthew 5:14 as “Ye are the light of the world.”

Christians must compassionately, carefully, and respectfully live and speak out their convictions on traditional marriage, the sanctity of life in the womb, personal responsibility and many other biblical absolutes.

After 243 years of history, America is still and continues to be a great nation. On this important point of our founding on God and His Word, there is no honest dispute. And Christians all over this country must step up and be salt and light to return us to the founding that has made us great in order to secure a bright future for America. May God always bless the United States of America!

Lance Wager is pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Dover.

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