IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS FOR ALL AMERICAN CHRISTIANS
(in fact in every issue) -- quote our nation's Founding Fathers and
their expressed views on government, the constitution, religion,
morality, etc. The reason we go back some 200 or more years is
that these are the men who created this nation, and these are the
reasons why they made the decisions they did. Much of our
discussion this week will center on some long-standing, historical
principles which affect us as American Christians today, including
the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and from the
Bible, the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Looking back is
often a great help in looking forward.
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IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS FOR ALL AMERICAN
CHRISTIANS TO REMEMBER: THE DECLARATION
OF INDEPENDENCE, THE U.S. CONSTITUTION,
AND THE GREAT COMMISSION OF JESUS CHRIST
AS RECORDED IN THE SCRIPTURES
Please forgive us for indulging in some remembering of a couple of
items which have some real relevance to our present situation. We
are all familiar with the bit of American folk-lore called "The Midnight
Ride of Paul Revere." It occurred in 1775, and the familiar version is
that Paul Revere, one of America's Founding Fathers, rode through
the New England countryside, warning that "The British are Coming
. . . the British are Coming." Today that warning could be worded,
"The Liberals are Coming . . . the Liberals are Coming." The
second item moves forward almost 200 years to 1973, and the
Broadway musical, "A Little Night Music." Probably the most
memorable song was "Send in the Clowns," and the almost final
lines are so remarkably applicable to the warning about Liberals
just expressed above, "Where are the clowns? Quick, send in
the clowns. Don't bother, they're here." It is amazing how
history relates so accurately to current events.
Now to the documents: (1) The Declaration of Independence.
Although the Constitution is the document by which our nation is
governed, the Declaration of Independence is the document which
brought our nation into Existence. The heart of this document is
expressed in the first definition of the drafters' convictions and
beliefs:"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" -- and that statement of belief and
conviction is followed immediately by the justification for the
Constitution to provide the rules for the new Government: "to
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."
Thomas Jefferson, in 1825 wrote: "This was the object of the
Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles or
new arguments...not merely to say things which had never
been said before, but to place before mankind the common
sense of the subject...It was intended to be an expression of
the American mind..."
That expression of the American mind . . . that we are endowed
by God with some unalienable rights -- including life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness -- and that the power of our government is based
on the consent of the governed . . . may still be as true and as real
today as it was in 1776, but in those days the founders and leaders of
this nation demonstrated their belief in the historic Judeo-Christian
principles upon which this nation was established. On July 4, 1776,
John Adams said, "The general principles upon which the Fathers
achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity,"
and in 1778 James Madison said, "We have staked the whole future
of American civilization ... the future of all our political institutions,
upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according to the Ten
Commandments of God."
(2) The Constitution of the United States. Just as in the Declaration
of Independence, the heart of the Constitution is found in its opening
statement: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a
more perfect Union . . ." Those first 3 words, "We the People,"
are the most important words in the Constitution, and reflect the equally
important words of the Declaration of Independence, that the power of
government comes from "the consent of the governed." Thus these
two founding documents of this nation express the same conviction that
as Abraham Lincoln said, this government is "of the people, by the
people and for the people."
And concerning the people for whom the Constitution was intended,
John Adams, the nation's second president, said in 1798: "We have no
government armed with power capable of contending with human
passions unbridled by morality and religion ... Our Constitution was
made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate
to the government of any other." But through recent years there has
developed a practice by members of the various branches of our
government to consider the Constitution a "living document," subject to
changes dictated by changes in current day culture, customs and morality.
But such developments were foreseen by our Founding Fathers -- first
with respect to those who advocate extreme divergent meanings to the
document's words, Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1823 that it was "made
for men of ordinary understanding and should therefore, be
construed by the ordinary rules of common sense ... their meaning
is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make
anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
In that same year Jefferson wrote, "On every question of construction
carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted,
recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying
what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, conform to the
probable one in which it was passed." And a year later, in 1824,
James Madison wrote, "I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting
to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by
the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And
if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security."
We have seen in our own time how ignoring this advice from our
Founding Fathers has caused so much damage to the nation's Christian
ministry by the misinterpretation by the Supreme Court of the First
Amendment to establish the concept of a "separation of church and
state." As a reminder of actual wording of the First Amendment, it
merely states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
It is impossible to find the word or the concept of "separation" in the
(3) The Great Commission of Jesus Christ. It is interesting that this
aspect of the ministry of the Christian Church has moved into the religious
news in recent days. Next week the Southern Baptist Convention -- by
far the nation's largest Protestant denomination -- will be observing its
annual meeting in Orlando, FL, and one of the major discussions will be
concerning the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report. There
are favorable and unfavorable reactions to the Task Force report, but
the encouraging fact is that the Great Commission has been brought to
the attention of this very large denomination, with the prospect that a
plan or program to fulfill this directive of Jesus Christ will emerge from
the annual meeting.
By way of reminder, the Great Commission is the term used to express
the words of Jesus in His final hours before His ascent into heaven, and
as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (28:19-20) and Mark (16:15).
In total, the Great Commission is as follows: "Go ye into all the world,
and preach the Gospel to every creature, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you." There are some Christians who have emphasized
only the preaching of the Gospel portion, ignoring the emphasis of Jesus
on baptizing and teaching -- in other words, making disciples.
What binds these three documents together? It is very simple and
very obvious: it is the fact that America was founded as, and remains,
a Christian nation. The essential principle upon which the Declaration
of Independence was based was that all men are endowed with certain
unalienable rights by God, the Creator, and that our government was
established to secure those rights.That document was followed by the
Constitution, which included in the very first Amendment, as the principal
element in the Bill of Rights, the guaranteed freedom of worship. And
finally, the Great Commission is the directive given to His followers by
Jesus Christ, the Founder of the Christian faith. It gives us our "marching
orders" as Christians, to preach, teach and make disciples in all the world.
The Christian identity of this nation is not something new. In 1775 Patrick
Henry, one of the Founding Fathers, said, "It cannot be emphasized too
clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by 'religionists.'
but by Christians -- not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Nearly 120 years later, in 1892, in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity
vs United States, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision,
including this statement:: "This is a religious people. This is historically
true. From the discovery of this continent to this present hour, there
is a single voice making this affirmation ... we find everywhere a
clear recognition of the same truth ... that this is a Christian nation."
That Supreme Court decision has never been reversed. A few years later,
in 1898, Dr. Charles Galloway delivered a series of 5 lectures at Emory
College (now Emory University) in Georgia, founded in 1836 as one of
the many colleges established by American churches. His theme for the
series was "Christianity and the American Commonwealth" and the
printed volume of those lectures has been described as "One of the best
summaries of the impact of Christianity on America." (Gary DeMar,
2005) In those lectures, Galloway concludes: "This, then, is a Christian
nation, constructed by a Christian people, and for Christian ends,
their religion the common law of the land."
These facts stand in sharp contrast to the often repeated boast by Barack
Hussein Obama that America is no longer a Christian nation, as he
continues in his catering to those of the Islamic faith, the Muslims among
whom he was raised.
Hard times for the president -- losing in the polls and the press.
The Rasmussen daily presidential rating shows Obama retaining the
negative double digit scores in the -15 (or lower) range he has held
for the past few months . . . down sharply and steadily from the +21
rating he started with on his inauguration day, 2009. And despite the
planned intensive persona appearance tour to try to sell the American
people on the "wonders" of Obamacare, overall 58% of Americans
favor its repeal -- a sharp departure from the principle of the Declaration
of Independence, that Government would operate with the consent of
And it isn't only the public opinion polls where Obama finds himself and
his agenda rejected, even the elite, main-line media which has always
been blindly approving whatever he said and did is now speaking out
against him. Just two examples -- there are more to be discovered --
(1) David Broder, in the Washington Post: "Nothing is going to help
Obama unless and until the engineers come up with a method for
shutting down this gusher of pollution. He clearly couldn't prevent
it, and he was slow in signaling its severity. But he owns it now and
until it is over, the man who aspired to be the next John Kennedy
or maybe Franklin Roosevelt will have to hope he doesn't end up
as Jimmy Carter."
(2) Bob Herbert, in the New York Times: "For a nation that can't
stop bragging about how great and powerful it is, we've become
shockingly helpless in the face of the many challenges confronting
us...When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly? We nearly
wrecked the economy, and we're all but buried in debt... Now we're
fouling the magnificent Gulf of Mexico ... And, by the way, we're
still fighting a futile war in Afghanistan that we've been fighting
with nonstop futility for nearly a decade... All around us is the
wreckage of our failure to master the challenges confronting us ...
What's needed is dynamic leadership ..."
We couldn't pass up a few "One Liners" we found this week:
"They were seemingly the best of times, but they ended up looking
like the worst of times." -- Austin Hill, author "White House Confidential"
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -- Dr. Samuel Johnson,
"The W hite House and State Department are avoiding reference to
'jihadists,' even though terrorists adversaries of the US often call
themselves exactly that." -- David Aikman
"Political correctness causes people to deny reality -- and it causes
its subscribers to reject common nsense." -- Tim Wildman
Some important examples of "What Others Are Saying" -- some
comments you won't find in the elite, main line media, either press or TV.
Carol Peracchio (in "American Thinker"):"When it comes to being
a Great Pretender, Obama is sorely lacking ... Obama has been
playing multiple parts ever since he came on to the national stage ...
The president is a lousy actor ... No matter the crisis, the president
reads his lines the exact same way: cool, calm, detached. He is truly
one of the worst actors I've ever seen. It's too bad there isn't a
director around who can tell our (Not So) Great Pretender: 'I'm
afraid you're just not what we're looking for.'"
David Ignatius (Syndicated columnist): "Several months ago, a
group of logistics officers at the Industrial College of the Armed
Forces developed a national security strategy as a class exercise.
Their No. 1 recommendation for maintaining U.S. global leadership
was to 'restore fiscal responsibility' ... After a decade of war and
financial crisis, America has run up debts that posed a national
security problem, not just an economic one."
Sharon North (retired from Civil Service and the Military): "We
will need to honestly ponder some questions on the selection of our
next president. How did we allow such an American hater to lead
our country? If we are honest with ourselves -- the answer will be
because of our selfish apathy. We have become too complacent,
too comfortable with our own pursuits and too confident our
Government was working for us. It was not."
Gerald F. Seib (The Wall Street Journal): "The more striking
opinion over time has been the erosion of confidence in the country's
big institutions, starting with but not limited to the government.
Twenty years ago, 42% of Americans said they trusted the
government to do what was right... By this month, in the Journal/
NBC News poll, that number was down to 25%. A stunning 31%
said they 'almost never' trust the government to do the right thing."
Sandy Rios (President, Culture Campaign): "Our national debt
is soaring, our borders being invaded by illegals and intruders, the
unemployment rate climbing, home foreclosures rising, our coastal
shorelines in peril, with two wars waging, while our President has
issued a proclamation demonstrating what really garners his
attention: homosexual rights."
Lurita Doan (former head, US General Services Administration):
"Americans have two toxic, spreading slicks that must be cleaned
up. One is in the Gulf where we are haunted y pictures of a never-
ending flow of oil. The other uncapped gusher, of even more
dangerous toxins, is in Washington and flows from a broken pipe
out of the Obama White House. This toxin is going to be even
harder to clean up."
And now here are a few Random Afterthoughts . . .
Some wise (but somewhat scary) words from a Christian leader:
Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious
Liberty Commission warns that American Christians will one day not
recognize their own country if a movement of God does not occur. At
a pastors' briefing in Washington, DC last week Land said, "If we
don't have a revival that becomes an awakening and ripens into
a reformation ... the America we've known will be gone. We'll be
strangers in our own land."
In case anyone was confused by the report about jobs in May,
or Mr. Obama's enthusiastic description of the surge in the creation of
new jobs, here are the facts. Yes, the May report did show an increase
of 431,000 in overall payrolls, which was much higher than the usual
monthly figure. But 411,000 of those were temporary census workers,
and the actual number of new hires by private companies, with all
adjustments included, amounted to 41,000 jobs, down from the
218,000 in April, and the fewest since January. And the reported
unemployment rate estimate dropped from 9.9% to 9.7%, as many
unemployed gave up in their search for employment. There is an old
adage that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." In this instance it
might be said that "Recovery is in the eye of the administration."
And if you wondered what the month of June is officially called,
as he did last year, President Obama proclaimed the month of June
as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month." The
designation was slightly different from his previous proclamation of
June as "Gay Pride Month" -- this year he added Lesbians, Bisexuals
and Transgenders. Looking back, President George W. Bush never
issued such a proclamation, and President Clinton only did so twice
during his 8 years in office, in his second and third years. Obama
included an expression of how homosexuals have enriched American
life, and his pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and to
press for the repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military. (He
apparently ignores the fact that 72% of the American people favor
marriage as between a man and a woman.) In spite of the joyous
nature of the occasion, Mr. Obama expressed regret that he couldn't
do more: "While this memorandum is an important step on the
path to equality, my administration continues to be prevented by
existing Federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners
with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples."
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America, said,
"President Obama seems to be going far out of his way to try
and keep homosexual activists happy, but the problem is, they'll
never be happy -- they'll always demand more."
We have often said: we should not ignore the Founding Fathers.
"If ever a time should come when vain and aspiring men shall
possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand
in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
-- Samuel Adams, 1780
"A popular Government, without popular information, or the
means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy;
or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.
And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm
themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison, 1822
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