Astounding New Proof
William F. Dankenbring
The Stone Edition Chumash tells us that Joseph’s sons were blessed by Jacob, who was inspired by God in his choice of words. They were to be blessed, to carry his name, and to “proliferate abundantly like fish within the land” (Gen.48:15-16). This meant that they would be like fish which are fruitful and multiply, and which are not affected by the evil eye (since they live calmly and are unseen by man).
This blessing came upon them because Joseph was righteous. Says the Chumash, in its commentary: “The Talmud explains that Joseph earned this blessing of immunity against the evil eye because he averted his own eyes from the advances of Potiphar’s wife.”
Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph by placing his right hand on the head of the younger sibling, and his left hand on the older. When Joseph saw that Jacob’s right hand was on Ephraim’s head, he tried to move it, thinking Jacob couldn’t see which son was which. Joseph assumed that the greater blessing would go to the older son. But this was not God’s intent (Gen.48:13-19). Ephraim, the younger son, was blessed by God with the blessing of the right hand, the greater blessing – the blessing of the firstborn. His offspring were to become a “multitude” of peoples.
The Chumash quotes Jacob’s words in verse 19, “I know, my son, I know that he is the firstborn.” It continues: “According to the Midrash, Jacob repeated the expression to imply that he knew many things of which Joseph was unaware, and if he chose to give the primary blessing to Ephraim, it was for good and sufficient reason. Haamek Davar explains that Ephraim’s pre-eminence was not the result of Jacob’s blessing. Rather, it was because Ephraim was destined for more greatness that he required a more intensive blessing, for prominent people need a blessing to carry out their mission successfully. Not Jacob’s blessing but Ephraim’s upbringing was the source of his future greatness, for Ephraim spent his life studying Torah with Jacob (see Rashi to 48:1), while Manasseh was Joseph’s assistant in governing the country” (p.273, emphasis mine).
Notice! The boy Ephraim grew up dandled on Jacob’s knee, studying the Word of God, listening to the sage wisdom of his grandfather, learning the Torah and the teachings of God. He therefore grew up to be the “more religious son” of Joseph! This characteristic, then, should be evident in the offspring and descendants of Ephraim!
What does the history of our peoples tell us?
During the age of the founding of
the American colonies, the world of
The Inquisition was still a strong
memory in the minds of men. Religious
persecution was still running strong during the seventeenth century, compelling
many men and women of conscience to flee the “
The beginning of the story of
In 1782, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a pamphlet entitled “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” that “Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.”
Today, as a whole,
If you visit
If you attend a session of Congress, you will notice that every session begins with a prayer, said by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.
It is a fact that religion has always been important to Americans. Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of established churches in the colonies.
It is also a fact that the first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, declared: “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”
James Madison, the nation’s fourth president, observed, “We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
It makes you wonder: How is it, then, that our nation has got to
the point, in the beginning of the 21st century, that the Supreme
Court has outlawed prayers in schools, and declared that a monument of the Ten
Commandments which had been placed in the supreme state court building in
The history of the
In fact, according to a new Gallup
poll, six out of every 10 Americans say religion is “very important” to them in
daily life – a steadfast figure that has remained virtually unchanged during
the past decade, says the Gallup poll.
Twenty six percent said religion is “fairly” important, while just 15
percent said it doesn’t matter. The
survey was conducted June 3 to
According to the survey, 61 percent
found faith to be practical and religion can solve “all or most of today’s
problems,” whereas only 24 percent said faith was “old-fashioned and out of
We are the most religious nation on
the face of the earth. The nation was
originally founded largely by Puritans, called Pilgrims, a break-away group of
devout Christians who were known as Separatists, because they separated from
the Church of England to follow the precepts of the Bible. Because of intense persecution, they sailed
About 150 years later, he declares,
the “Founding Fathers” of the nation created a new national compact
guaranteeing that the state would have no voice in determining religion or
matters of conscience. During the 1740s,
the colonies were swept by a powerful religious revival called “The First Great
Awakening.” It emphasized individual
religious experience and conversion.
When the Founding Fathers gathered in
Nathan Hatch, provost of
The Second Great Awakening, around 1845, saw revivalist Christianity and evangelicalism spread hand in hand with Jacksonian democracy, bolstering the American creed of liberty, individualism and equality.
The Third Great Awakening came toward the end of the 19th century, inspiring many cultural and political reforms in the nation. This was the era when Teddy Roosevelt led the fight against business monopolies, such as Standard Oil, and initiated new laws governing corporations, the nation’s first food and cosmetic laws. This was the age of reformers seeking to create a just and equitable society, eliminating the gap between institutions and ideals.
In the Eisenhower era, when the
What do these facts have to do with ancient Ephraim, the second son of Joseph?
It is very interesting – and
significant -- that of the two peoples, the British and the Americans, it is
the AMERICANS who are far more religious as a nation, believe in God, and
attend a Christian church! It is
interesting, too, that the British have a proclivity to rule and govern nations,
The Star-Spangled Banner and Other Songs
the British fleet bombarded
Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight in that “hour of joy and triumph,” as he put it, that his heart was stirred to write the poem – a song of deliverance.
played a very important role in the founding, and the history, of the
official national anthem of the
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just –
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust!”
In its unofficial national anthems that strong religious faith is even more affirmed, even intensified, as in Samuel Francis Smith’s great song, “America,” or as it is also known, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” sung to the tune, let it be remembered, of “God Save the King!”
My country ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrims’ pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!
Our father’s God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
Civil War began, in 1860, the
He suggested the title, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was published in February 1862 and became an instant sensation!
Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning
of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom
that transfigures you and me,
As he died to make men holy,
let us die to make men free
While God is marching on.
American favorite, especially in times of war and trouble and unrest, is Irving Berlin’s
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
inspiring folk song in
This land is your land – this land is my land –
Cal-i-for-nia – to the
the red-wood for-est – to the
This land was made for you and me. ––
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway,
saw below me that
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and rambled, and I followed my footsteps,
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
All around me a voice was sounding,
This land was made for you and me.
“When the sun came shining, then I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving, and the dust clouds rolling,
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
Perhaps the most transcendent song of all, with echoes from both Augustine’s City of God and the Book of Revelation – we have the patriotic hymn “America the Beautiful”:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain
For purples mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare from freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self
Their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
Till all success be nobleness,
And every grace divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
Writes Jaroslav Pelikan of Yale University, “In each case, significantly, the credo comes in the closing stanza of the anthem; only the ‘Battle-Hymn of the Republic’ keeps up the apocalyptic tone from beginning to end. But each poem expresses something special about the American faith experience: ‘In God is our trust’; ‘Great God, our King’; ‘While God is marching on’; ‘Thine alabaster cities gleam’” (Foreword, Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, by James H. Hutson, Library of Congress, University Press of New England).
In this remarkable book, prepared as a companion piece for the Library of Congress exhibition, which opened in 1998, and toured the nation, the strength of early American religious experience and faith is clearly revealed. The book tells the story of the relationship of religion to the government during the Founding Period of the nation, and the part played by the forces of evangelism during the 1730s through the 1830s, when it became the dominant feature of American religion.
George Washington, in his farewell address of 1796, declared that religion, as the source of morality, was “a necessary spring of popular government.”
Toqueville observed in 1845 in Democracy in America that Americans believed religion to be “indispensable to the maintenance of republican government,” and was somewhat surprised at how it worked in so large a country.
to recent Supreme Court decisions which have emasculated the role of religion
in government in modern-day
Writes James Hutson, “Many of the people
shows that most of the American colonies of
During the 17th century English Civil War, Puritans were Protestant funda-mentalists who wished to purify the Church of England. The Puritans felt that Parliament, and not the King, should have the final say and that the moral guidance for all legal decision should come from the Bible which they considered to be the highest authority in all matters.
Writes Hugh Fogelman, a Jewish
historical writer who has studied at length the origin of the Puritan movement
He continues, “In 1620, the
‘Separatists’ sailed for
ones who became American Pilgrims were actually a small minority of the Puritan
movement, but they believed the Anglican church had
become so corrupt as to be irredeemable.
They felt they must withdraw immediately to seek the Lord while He may
be found. Taking as their motto, the
title of a pamphlet, Reformation without Tarrying for any, they set sail
influence of the Hebrew Bible marked every step of the Puritan exodus to their
The early founders of
Fogelman continues, “The next
major group of Puritan settlers to arrive in
The Puritans applied the lessons of the Exodus to their own situation. “They firmly believed that the Hebrew prophets were speaking to them as directly as they had spoken to the Israelites. Thus the history of the Israelites as related in the Bible served, according to the ministers of the day, as a mirror in which the Puritans could see their own activities reflected. Still considering themselves as Christian Protestants, the Puritans related to the Israelites and their Jewish belief for their fundamental ‘grounding.’”
goes on, explaining: “In this respect they differed sharply from the majority
of traditional Christian theologies. To the Puritans the primary lesson of the
Old Testament was that a nation as well as an individual could enter into a
covenant with God. The Puritans reasoned in
“The Bible was in all circumstances and for all occasions the ultimate source of knowledge and precedent. The Jewish Bible was the inspired word of God which was for them a matter of absolute conviction, and, hence, indisputable. Accordingly, failure to abide by the strict reading and literal interpretation of the Scriptures was severely punished . . . Laws and regulations adopted by them, which, at the present day, are stigmatized as singularities, were in many instances, the legitimate fruits of their strict adherence to the teaching of the Bible.”
Fogelman observes that most of
the official acts of the colonies were determined by the Jewish Scriptures. The
Connecticut Code of 1650 adopted a near Mosaic form of government. Its fifteen
Capital Laws, Pentateuchal citations and language are
later found in the Massachusetts Code of 1660. The leader of early
The Puritans incorporated the
Mosaic code and commandments from the Old Testament into their own legal
framework. Fully half of the statutes in
the Code of 1655 for the
Puritan settlers in
cities, towns and settlements likewise derived from Hebraic sources. Fogelman points out, “This
widespread use of biblical names, however, was not confined to the naming of
offspring, cities and towns – names of many biblical heights were eventually
bestowed upon the great mountains of
look at a map or an atlas of the
Fogelman, “The majority of the earliest settlers were Puritans from
Hugh Fogelman asserts, “At the first assembly of New Haven in 1639, John Davenport clearly declared the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral foundation of the colony: ‘Scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men as well as in the government of families and commonwealth as in matters of the church . . . the Word of God shall be the only rule to be attended unto in organizing the affairs of government in this plantation’” (Hugh Fogelman, “Puritans More Jewish than Protestant,”).
Early in 1620, the very year of
the Pilgrims’ landing in the new
The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native Americans. The Pilgrims invited Squanto and the other Indians to join them in their celebration. Their chief, Massasoit, and 90 braves came to the celebration which lasted for 3 days. They played games, ran races, marched and played drums. The Indians demonstrated their skills with the bow and arrow and the Pilgrims demonstrated their musket skills. Exactly when the festival took place is uncertain, but it is believed the celebration took place in mid-October .
The following year the Pilgrims’ harvest was not as bountiful, as they were still unused to growing the corn. During the year they had also shared their stored food with newcomers and the Pilgrims ran short of food.
The 3rd year brought a spring and summer that was hot and dry with the
crops dying in the fields. Governor Bradford ordered a day of fasting and
prayer, and it was soon thereafter that the rain came. To celebrate,
November 29th of that year was proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. This date is
believed to be the real true beginning of the present Thanksgiving Day in
“A Day of Fasting and Prayer”
May, 1774, shortly after the Boston Tea Party, where patriots dressed as
Indians dumped the tea carried on British ships into the
a consequence, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other Virginians resolved
to immediately proclaim a day of fasting and prayer for the intervention
of Almighty God. The
we look, in Colonial America there was a very strong reliance on the divine
blessing and intervention of Almighty God.
above depicts the first prayer in Congress,
The Declaration of
The preamble to this document states unequivocally:
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.—
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,
The Congress appointed a
committee of five men to draft the Declaration, and they chose Thomas Jefferson
to write it. Benjamin Franklin and John
Adams made a few literary changes, and the final draft was adopted on July
4. The Declaration reveals that the
Testifying to that supreme truth
is the Liberty Bell, a treasured relic from the early days of American
Independence. It was rung
George Washington – Man of Destiny
Many modern revisionist historians have distorted the truth about George Washington, the “father of our country,” by referring to him as a “deist” – one who advocates a religion based on human reason as opposed to divine revelation, and who denies that the Creator ever intervenes in the laws or operation of the Universe.
In his Farewell Address to the
nation, when he left the office of president, after serving two terms,
Washington’s dependence on divine
Providence throughout his life is attested to by the fact that when he was
appointed commander of the Continental Army, his response was that he would
only accept if the Continental Congress also appoint and fund chaplains for his
Early in his life,
An Indian chief, who
fought on the other side as an ally of the French, later declared in amazement,
“Our rifles knew not how to miss except for
Thomas Jefferson wrote of the character of this great man: “His mind was great and powerful . . . no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. . . . Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining when he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known . . . He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good and a great man . . . On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect . . . it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great.”
Washington once declared:
“In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and
private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than
my own; nor of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and
adore the Invisible Hand which conducts affairs of men more than the people of
George Washington, known as the “father of our country,” when he was president, in 1789, issued a proclamation showing the religious nature of our people – and his own heart. He declared,
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God . . .” Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the benevolent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country . . . . And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions . . .”
“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were
in the dark to find political
truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it
happened, Sir, that we have not once hitherto thought of humbly applying
to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning
of the contest with
“All of us who were
engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances
of a superintending
“And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?
“I have lived, Sir, 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. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
“We have been assured,
Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build
the house they labor in vain that build it.’
I firmly believe this; and I
also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better
than the builders of
“I therefore beg leave to move – that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”
President John Adams
John Adams, the second president of the United States, issued two
proclamations during his term of office calling upon the people of the nation
to observe a day of “solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer,” in 1798 and
1799. Relations had deteriorated between
President Adams proclaimed, March 6, 1799: “AS NO TRUTH is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, nor any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and due acknow- ledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountable- ness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributor of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well-being of communities; as it is also most reasonable in itself that men who are made capable of social acts and relations, who owe their improvements to the social state, and who derive their enjoyments from it, should, as a society, make their acknowledgments of dependence and obligation to Him who hath endowed them with these capacities and elevated them in the scale of existence by these distinctions; as it is likewise a plain dictate of duty and a strong sentiment of nature that in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger earnest and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs and insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles, subversive of the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations that have produced incalculable mischief and misery in other countries; and as, in fine, the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities is happily calculated to avert the evils which we ought to deprecate and excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge by calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate them by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national act:
For these reasons I have thought proper to recommend, and I do hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the 25th day of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain as far as may be from their secular occupations, devote the time to the sacred duties of religion in public and in private;
that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the
Great Mediator and Redeemer for our past transgressions, and that through the grace
of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience
to His righteous requisitions in time to come; that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible that ‘righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people;’ that He would
turn us from our transgressions and turn His displeasure from us; that He would with-
hold us from unreasonable discontent, from disunion, faction, sedition, and insurrection; that He would preserve our country from the desolating sword; that He would save our cities and towns from a repetition of those awful pestilential visitations under which they have lately suffered so severely, and that the health of our inhabitants generally may be precious in His sight; that He would favor us with fruitful seasons and so bless the labors of the husbandman as that there may be food in abundance for man and beast; that He would prosper our commerce, manufactures, and fisheries, and give success to the
people in all their lawful industry and enterprise; that He would smile on our colleges, academies, and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science,
morals and religion . . . . that He would put an end to the effusion of human blood and the accumulation of human misery among the contending nations of the earth by disposing them to justice, to equity, to benevolence, and to peace; and that He would extend the blessing of knowledge, of true liberty, and of pure and undefiled religion throughout the world.
And I do also recommend that with these acts of humiliation, penitence and
prayer still continuing to the
people of the
as a nation eminently happy when compared to the lot of others.
-- JOHN ADAMS.
What other nation has on several momentous occasions issued such astounding proclamations to their people to call on God in fasting, prayer, and humiliation?
About sixty years later, in 1861, another similar proclamation was made by a sitting president during a time of national crisis and upheaval.
“I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me
which is perhaps greater than that which has devolved upon any other man
the days of
the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that
I cannot succeed without this same Divine Aid which sustained him, and
upon the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support. I hope
you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine Assistance
without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain.”
Abraham Lincoln was perhaps
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming
conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that
of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
During the terrible ordeal of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln also directed the attention of the country and its citizens to the need for a national day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting. In 1861, he issued a proclamation as follows:
“WHEREAS a joint committee of both Houses of Congress has waited
on the President of the
a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting to be observed by the
people of the
of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these
States, His blessings on their arms, and a Speedy restoration of peace,’ and
Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge
and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission
to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions
in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past
offenses and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action; and
Whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessing of God,
united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it
is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation,
and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and
as individuals to humble ourselves before Him and to pray for His mercy – to
pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved;
that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reestablishment of law,
order and peace throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the
inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and
blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its
Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln,
President of the
Last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for
all the people of the nation. And I do earnestly recommend to all the people and
especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations and to all
heads of families, to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds
and modes of worship in all humility and with all religious solemnity, to the end
that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace and bring
down plentiful blessings upon our country.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
-- ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
God heard these prayers of a sorrowful, repentant people, and He guided our nation through peril and sword and brought us to a position of international greatness and power such has never been enjoyed by any other people on the face of the earth.
“We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
“It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Most of his life,
After the time his son Willie died in 1862, the greatest grief of his
life, and before
In President Abraham
Lincoln’s second inaugural address, he showed his deep spiritual insight into
the causes of the Civil War and the people’s true need. It was
“Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration
which it has already attained. . . . Each looked for an easier triumph,
and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same
Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against
the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just
God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s
faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The
Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the
wealth piled up by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”
the closing words of his address,
“With malice toward none, with charity toward all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the
work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among our- selves and with all nations.”
When questioned about
his last words, his wife replied: “He
said he wanted to visit the
During his second campaign for president,
when World War I was threatening to break out in
“In the long fight for righteousness the watchword for all of us
is spend and be spent. It is of little matter whether anyone man
fails or succeeds; but the cause shall not fail, for it is the cause
“We, here in
presidency and political life, Teddy Roosevelt was assailed by critics,
vilified by the press, and condemned vehemently by his political
opponents. He learned to stand up under
stress and persecution. Expressing his
own philosophy of life, and life’s experience,
“Its not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the
strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done
them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the
arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there
is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually
strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the
worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither
victory nor defeat.”
During his tenure as
president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was also vilified and excoriated
by the press, hounded and harassed by his critics who accused him of being
shallow in his thinking, too old for the job, and who were horrified by his
blunt, direct, and to them “unsophisticated” foreign policy. His critics accused him of being an
“intellectual lightweight.” The French
and much of
was right and his critics in high places were wrong. As a result of his “simplistic” policy – “We
win, they lose,” as he once said – the Evil Empire of the
Ronald Reagan restored
the prestige and the might of
What kind of man was Ronald Reagan? What were his roots? What were his beliefs? Why was he such an effective leader and statesman? How could one man stand up to and demolish by his courage, convictions, and actions, the greatest threat to world peace the world had ever known?
Reagan’s Spiritual Beginnings
Ronald Reagan’s mother Nelle was an amazing Christian woman whom President Reagan credited for truly influencing him and his brother Neil. He wrote, “Nelle Reagan, my mother, God rest her soul, had an unshakable faith in God’s goodness. And while I may not have realized it in my youth, I know now that she planted that faith very deeply in me. She made the most difficult Christian message seem very easy” (Hand of Providence, Mary Beth Brown, p.18).
In An American Life, Reagan wrote, “I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all part of His plan. My mother – a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos – told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s Plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, she said, you didn’t let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she said, something good will happen and you’ll find yourself thinking – ‘If I hadn’t had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn’t have happened to me” (p.20).
Nelle prayed like she had a direct connection with God. President Reagan declared, “I’ve always believed that we were, each of us, put here for a reason; that there is a plan, somehow divine for all of us. In an effort to embrace that plan, we are blessed with a special gift of prayer, the happiness and solace to be gained by talking to the Lord.” He went on, “Many of us have been taught to pray by people we love. In my case, it was my mother. I learned quite literally at her knee. My mother gave me a great deal, but nothing she gave me was more important than that. She was my inspiration and provided me with a very real and deep faith” (p.28).
Ronald Reagan lived by a little saying Nelle had written in her Bible many years ago: “You can be too big for God to use, but you cannot be too small.”
A fellow worker with
Reagan when he broadcast sports events at radio station WHO in
Adrian Rogers, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, met with Reagan in 1980, during the presidential primaries. He cross-examined him extensively and came away reporting, “Governor Reagan said that his faith is very personal, that God is real to him. He had a personal experience when he invited Christ into his life. I asked him if he knew the Lord Jesus or just knew ‘about’ Him. Reagan replied, ‘I know Him” (Brown, p.88).
In the magazine Modern Screen in 1950, May issue, Reagan talked about prayer and dealing with hardships. He had lost a daughter, just days old, had almost died himself, and his first wife had departed from him. He knew personally the assurance promised in Psalm 34:18 – “The LORD is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Ron confided to the reporter, “Unfortunately, my rate of prayer increases with my troubles. There hasn’t been a serious crisis in my life when I haven’t prayed and when prayer hasn’t helped me.” He went on, “There was a wonderful line in Kings Row – ‘Some people grow up and some people just grow older.’ I believe God intends us all to grow up, and that there are times when all of us ought to take stock and see if we are growing up or if we are merely growing older. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us grow up.”
Throughout his life, Ronald Reagan has “always felt hands on his shoulders, keeping him safe, and he has never doubted that they belong to God,” says his daughter Patti. He would frequently tell her, “God always listens, and He’s always watching.”
Reagan put a lot of stock in the power of prayer. When governor, people would stand across from his desk and say, “We have a problem.” Reagan commented on this in a letter to a young lady, saying, “The help I have found is in turning to God and asking His help in prayer. I believe very much in the power of prayer and feel if you ask sincerely for His help, it is forthcoming. For me that has been the answer.” He declared, “I have spent more time in prayer these past months than any previous period I can recall. The every day demands of this job could leave me with many doubts and fears if it were not for the wisdom and strength that come from these times of prayer” (ibid., p.143).
Reagan’s faith itself was deep, personal, and
strongly influenced his political beliefs and activities. It was much more complex and embracing than a
simple funda-mentalist faith. His son, Michael Reagan, says, “My Dad was
always religious. I remember him pointing to the lovely landscape and
Michael Reagan wrote in the “Foreword” of the book Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan, written by Mary Beth Brown, “My father is a godly man. He loves God. When he decided to run for president, he didn’t do it to raise himself up, to be admired, or to have others think he was great. He didn’t do it out of selfish reasons or because it is the most powerful position in the country. He did it out of duty. He believed God had called him to run for president. He believed God had things for him to do” (p. x).
In his eulogy at his father’s state funeral, Michael declared:
“Throughout it all my father never lost his sense of humility, his innate
decency, his love of country, and his love of the American people. In
an age of incivility he was a gentleman to the tips of his fingers. In all
my life with him I never saw him do anything to hurt another person.
He would have rather cut off his hands than offend a fellow human
“Above all, my father lived close to his Maker. He accepted whatever
happened as the will of the Lord with absolute confidence. And he
believed that he would receive what he needed to cope with whatever problems arose. This was the source of his great optimism
“. . . [M]y father prayed and meditated wherever he was. He especially
liked to worship at his beloved Rancho del Cielo, his ‘open cathedral,’
as he called it, saying it reminded him of the line from Scripture: ‘I lift
up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes
the Lord” (U.S. News & World Report,
Says author Mary Beth Brown, about Reagan’s faith, “Current biographers have looked at Ronald Reagan through jaded eyes. When you see someone through the eyes of a secular humanist, you will fail to see the vibrant Christian faith and fruits of the Holy Spirit that were evident in the life of Ronald Wilson Reagan. To understand this man, his decision-making process as president, and the unprecedented success it produced, you must understand his reliance on God.
“The writers who have attempted to explain Ronald Reagan have ignored this most important aspect of his life: his faith in God, who rules in the lives of men and women who are committed to Him. Reagan believed he had a calling upon his life from God, and he wanted to fulfill that calling” (p.xiii).
When asked about his personal faith, Reagan himself told a questioner, “Having accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I have God’s promise of eternal life in heaven, as well as the abundant life here on earth that He promises to each of us in John 10:10.”
In 1984, Reagan showed his indefatigable spirit of faith, when he declared:
“If we trust him, keep his work, and live lives for his pleasure, he’ll
give us the power we need – power to fight the good fight, to finish
the race, and to keep the faith.”
Reagan believed that acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior is paramount to salvation. He accepted Christ as Savior as a teenager, and continued to profess that belief throughout his life. He credited God and divine intervention for his survival of the assassination attempt on his life in 1981. He wrote during his recuperation, “Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him every way I can.”
Ronald Reagan truly believed in the power of prayer. He was almost constantly in prayer. Biographer Edmund Morris saw him sitting down mumbling to himself and was surprised to learn that he was talking to God. Reagan once told Jerry Falwell that he tried to begin every day as president praying, “O God, not my will, but Thine be done.”
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese worked with Reagan since he was governor and was a close, personal friend. He observed, “The president feels a person’s religious beliefs are a very private matter. He has never tried to exploit them or utilize them for political purposes. At the same time, he feels a Christian has an obligation, when the opportunity comes up naturally, not to be reticent about professing his faith.
“Of all the people I’ve ever known, I have never known anyone less uncomfortable about discussing religious matters in a very matter-of-fact and confident way. To him, this is an important part of his life, and when the subject comes up, he is not at all hesitant to talk about it – and this was true way back in California” (Brown, op. cit., p.183).
The Assassination Attempt
John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan, in March of 1981, soon after he became president. It was a very close call.
The bullet was found within an inch of the president’s heart. It was a specially designed bullet for use in big game hunting, called a “Devastator,” because it was made to flatten out and cause maximum damage as it ripped through a body. Its tip was filled with lead azide, a chemical designed to explode on secondary contact with something hard. The chemical is a toxic poison. Amazingly, the bullet did not explode when it hit Reagan’s chest.
Writes Mary Beth Brown, “Many ‘miraculous factors,’ as the president called them, added up to the saving of his life. And if any one of them had occurred differently, he most certainly would have died that day in March 1981. President Reagan points out in his autobiography that most of the doctors that practiced at the hospital had been attending a special meeting that afternoon: ‘Within a few minutes after I arrived, the room was full of specialists in virtually every medical field.’ He had turned to the reporter at just the right time when he was shot; otherwise, the bullet might have hit directly into his heart. Reagan biographer Edward Morris points out that the limousine miraculously reached the hospital, although driving in uncontrolled traffic, in just three-and-a-half minutes. And the bullet didn’t explode while Dr. Aaron was exploring for it – or at any other time since it had entered Reagan’s body. ‘Jerry’s decision [Jerry Parr, the lead of the security detail with the president that day] to go directly to the hospital was the difference between my dad living or dying,’ Michael Reagan says in his autobiography, On the Outside Looking In. Michael also says his father told him ‘that it was only divine intervention that kept him alive’” (p.14).
Says Brown, after this close call, “Recovering in the White House, President Reagan recommitted his life to God, writing in his diary, ‘Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can’” (p.15).
Michael Deaver, a presidential aid, later told Peggy Noonan, “I know from conversations he and I had after the assassination attempt that there was no question in his mind that his life had been spared. He absolutely believed it. He felt the Lord had spared him to fulfill whatever mission it was that he was supposed to fulfill. And he was gonna make sure that he lived his life to the fullest and did whatever he considered to be the right thing for the rest of his life.”
God and Ronald Reagan
Paul Kengor in God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life, tells a side of
As he began to write the book, the story of Reagan’s faith “overtook the rest of the book,” Kengor wrote. Reagan’s mother was the greatest influence in his life, and she was a devout Christian who tithed faithfully and devoted her life to the poor and helpless, regularly visiting local hospitals, mental asylums, jails, carrying her Bible, apples, and cookies. She was fearless in her Christianity. She tithed scrupulously and taught her son to do the same.
Reagan believed that acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior is paramount to salvation. He accepted Christ as Savior as a teenager, and continued to profess that belief throughout his life. He credited God and divine intervention for his survival of the assassination attempt on his life in 1981. He wrote during his recuperation, “Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him every way I can.”
When Ronald Reagan was
sworn into office, the world was in crisis.
People had lost their confidence in the country and its leadership. American hostages were being held in
Eight years later,
when Reagan left office, the scene had changed – dramatically. The
Reagan’s Farewell Address
Ronald Reagan understood that
faith is what made
Reagan declared 1983 to be “The Year of the Bible. That same year he gave his famous speech to the National Association of Evangelicals about the “evil Empire.” Reagan knew that the Christian audience he was speaking to that evening fully understood the true significance of Independence Day – and the unique place the American people had in the world. But he wanted them to understand his own heart on these matters – and to take comfort in knowing their president also understood the dangers of secularism, which even back then was undermining our religious heritage at every opportunity.
Reagan told the audience, “I
want you to know, that this administration is motivated by a political
philosophy that sees the greatness of
He went on, “Now, I don't have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to, or at least out of step with, a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they’re freeing us from superstitions of the past, they’ve taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.”
Ronald Reagan was the “Last Great Lion” of
the 20th century – the man credited the most for the fall of the
Soviet Empire. He was a deeply spiritual
man, as all of
Undoubtedly this is because we are at heart a deeply religious people. We are descended from Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph, who was taught the Torah at the bended knees of Jacob, his grandfather, and who absorbed this teaching deep into his inner being.
In 1984, on the 40th
anniversary of the landing of the Allied forces at
“Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young
the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.
“The men of
“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
else helped the men of D-day, their rock-hard belief that
“These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.”
The heart and soul of
Ephraim is manifest in these stirring words.
They describe our nation and our people in their best and brightest
moment. These same motives are manifest
in the devotion and loyalty and purpose of American and British fighting men
now serving their country in
Willingness to sacrifice self for their country, which they love, and for the principles of freedom and liberty, for others – is it any wonder why God loves the American and the British peoples?
The Boy Scouts organization, which began in
1907 by Sir Robert Baden-Powell of
“On my honor I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and my country;
To obey the Scout law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
The Scout Law is also based on sound religious principles, and promotes solid citizenship and moral conduct. Its twelve points state that a Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
The institution of Scouting promotes sound character development among young people. It teaches boys to get along, to become good citizens, to participate with others, and to learn skills of survival and leadership qualities. The Scout motto is “Be Prepared,” and its slogan is, “Do a good turn daily.” Its foundational principles are clearly based on the Bible – the Torah and Christian ethics. Scouting teaches by giving young people “hands on experience” – teaching by doing is the active principle underlying its program and activities.
These character traits are certainly the same traits exemplied by Joseph, the son of Jacob, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh!
The American Soldier
James Dobson, in a special message on Memorial Day 2004, to American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guardsmen, described the beating heart in every true American. His words give us deep insight into the heart of our people.
“Since the dawn of our nation’s founding, every generation has endured a time of testing. From the first skirmish at Lexington, to the burning of the White House in 1812, to Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill, to the carnage and human cost of the Civil War to the death and destruction of World War I to the surprise attacks and subsequent liberations of World War II, to the wretched winter campaign of Korea, to the stalemate in the jungles of Vietnam and to the more recent war against terrorism and tyranny in the Middle East, this nation has been through the types of trials and conflicts that, as Thomas Paine suggested, ‘try men’s souls.’ We are also facing our challenges and dangers. The cast of characters may change, but the goal of the enemy has always been the same – to take away the freedoms of others who could not defend themselves. Last month, in an address to the American people, President Bush summed up the significance behind our tireless fight and the source of our
liberties by stating, ‘. . . freedom is not this country’s gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty’s gift to every man and woman in this world.’
“You might be familiar with a favorite author of mine who writes on issues related to American military history. The late Stephen Ambrose wrote numerous best sellers, ranging from biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon to various works related to World War II. In Citizen Solider, Mr. Ambrose spoke eloquently to the noble and pure nature of the American warrior. All throughout history, he said, conquering soldiers looted, raped, pillaged, plundered and even murdered the people they had subdued. Americans in uniform, however, served as a significant exception. ‘Everywhere in the world,’ wrote Ambrose, ‘whether in Belgium, the Philippines, Germany, or Japan, the sight of a twelve-man squad of GIs brought joy to people’s hearts. . .the sight of those American kids meant cigarettes, candy, C-rations, and freedom. They had come, not to conquer, but to liberate.’”
This nobility of character and purpose God foresaw in the days of Jacob, when he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh. This noble character is why Ephraim was given the choicest and greatest of the blessings of the birthright!
Other Presidents and Patriots
The theme of religious
faith and Biblical foundation runs throughout the history of the
Patrick Henry, the
famous patriot and one of the founding fathers of the
President Grover Cleveland declared, “Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower professed, “Without God there could be no American form of government nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism.”
Why is this nation so unique in this regard? Why are the American people, throughout their history, at heart, in their innermost being, so religious?
Why, indeed! The answer lies in the upbringing of Ephraim, who learned the ways of God, the teaching of the Torah, from his grandfather Jacob, as he sat upon his knees as a little child.
The American, Anglo-Saxon people are descended in no small part from Ephraim, the second son of Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham! When all is said and investigated, we have been a very religious, moral, and morally aware nation. We have had our many faults, to be sure. We have repeatedly transgressed the laws of God, and have had to repent and turn back to Him in heart-felt repentance, sorrow, and contrition.
Our religious heritage
testifies on our behalf, that we are a much more religious people than other
nations around the earth. We are
Says Doughty, “
Declining church attendance is
matched by declining moral standards, and a terrible
increase in promiscuity and profligate behavior among young people. These problems are increasing throughout the
Western world, even in
But while Great Britain is navigating the slippery slope of diminishing faith and religious convictions, with declining interest in Christianity by the population, it is significant to observe that on March 20, 1992, President George Bush signed a historic Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, recognizing the Seven Noachide Laws as the “bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization.”
The Resolution urged
This strong religious
Steve Bonta, in “
Even so, we have entered a critical
time in our history. Without any shadow
of a doubt,
The difference between the approach
to religion and faith by Americans and Europeans is fundamental. Americans are descendants of men and women
who fled religious persecution in
The writer is a Leone Ginzburg Research Fellow in Israel Studies at
The writer contrasts the two
approaches toward religion and faith.
American liberalism proclaims “In God we trust,” he points out, whereas
This is another vital factor
illustrating the fundamental difference between
A prisoner in
“I would like to commend you for the Jan-Feb.04 issue of the PF. You hit the
nail right on the head, especially in the article ‘The Ugly Christian.’ You are
exactly right in pointing out the hypocrisy of so-called ‘Christians’ and how
great God-fearing leaders in our past such as George Washington and Abraham
we done for God lately? Where are the true Christian leaders now? You men-
tioned in Prophecy Briefs of this very issue about how one would think if there
were any other true Christians in high offices that they would have come to the
aid of Judge Roy Moore. Well, even as I write this letter the mayor of San Fran-
cisco is illegally issuing same-sex marriage licenses. He is clearly breaking the
President and the governor
state and most assuredly the President intervene? This clearly shows once again
that there is no true Christian leadership in this country.
“The main reason that people
want to see that there is anything wrong with this country. Take for example some
sins and acts that are rampant
uality (Rom.1:26-27). Rich getting richer on the backs of the poor (Amos 2:6-7).
Strangers devour our strength and we know it not (Hosea 7:8-9). A lot of people
including so-called ‘Christians’ don’t see anything really wrong with these things.
We have all heard comments like, ‘The more diversity the stronger our nation is,’
and, ‘It’s just business.’
“Yet anyone who studies the Bible knows that God condemns homosexuality and
greed. The Bible states that we have mixed ourselves among the people. Not only
do we fail to realize that strangers are devouring our strength, we think that this
makes our nation ‘stronger.’ Most people in
is good, yet the Bible states that a house or kingdom divided cannot stand (Matt.
). One thing is for sure, and that is
“There is an old saying which is 100% true, that is the first step in overcoming a
problem (addiction) is to admit that you have a problem. It is the exact same way
when it comes to repentance. The first step in repenting is to admit that you have
sinned and therefore have something to repent of. If a person or nation does not
believe that they have something to repent of or that their way of life is wrong they
will not repent.
“In the weeks following the attacks of 9-11 all we could hear was ‘God Bless
Court outlaws the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ because of the phrase ‘One nation under
God,’ and even now this issue is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. What
utter hypocrisy! One minute it’s ‘God bless
the name of God from all mention! Also, whenever anyone would suggest that
God allowed the attacks of 9-11 because of our great sins they would be told,
‘There’s nothing wrong with our way of life!’ This attitude shows exactly what
I mentioned earlier, and
that is, people refuse to believe that
greatly against God Almighty. . .
“I tell you that the words of Paul in II Timothy 3:1-5 certainly describe our nation.
‘Having a form of godliness (we claim to be a Christian nation) but denying the
power thereof (we put God out to pasture at every turn). From such turn away.’
“May God help all of us to acknowledge that our country is wicked and has turned
its back on God. If doing this makes ‘
God and His Word first instead of covering up sin in order to maintain the idea
even a name is idolatry. Yes, this country used to be at one time the most God-
fearing nation on earth, but the
sad truth is that
different nation.” Those are
Judge Roy Moore is the former Chief
Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He achieved notoriety for his resistance
to a judicial mandate to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the
judicial building in
Judge Moore was removed from office
because of his strong Judeo-Christian stance, but never apologized for his
beliefs. In the course of his trials and
tribulations, Judge Moore wrote a tremendous poem, entitled “
Land of the pilgrim’s pride; I’m glad they’ll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty, your house is built on sand.
“Our children wander aimlessly, poisoned by cocaine,
Choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.
From sea to shining sea, our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God’s love and a need to always pray.
“So many worldly pastors tell lies about our Rock,
Saying God is always broke so they can fleece the flock.
We’ve kept God in our temples, how callous we have grown,
When earth is but His footstool, and Heaven is His throne.
“We’ve voted in a government that’s rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges who throw reason out the door,
To soft to place a killer in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby before he leaves the womb.
“You think that God’s not angry, that our land’s a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait before His judgment comes?
How are we to face our God, from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do, but stem this evil tide?
“If we who are His children, will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face and mend our evil way:
Then God will hear from Heaven and forgive us of our sins,
He’ll heal our sickly land and those who live within.
A sad but Holy God withdraw His hand from thee.”
At the present time, the struggle to
Last year (2003), the Ninth Circuit Court
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga humanities professor Wilfred McClay, coeditor of Religion Returns to the Public Square, believes that hard-line secularists are determined to see “unbelief established as the only permissible expression by the state of any disposition toward ultimate things.” Says McClay, “Expression like ‘under God’ in the pledge suggest that the nation is under judgment and subject to higher moral principles” (quoted in U.S. News & World Report, “The Faith of Our Fathers,” June 28/July 5, 2004).
J. R. Church, of Prophecy in the News, wrote in the July, 2004 issue: “A generation has been raised with the notion that prayer and Bible reading are forbidden. Uncle Sam said it was! The laws of our land are no longer founded upon the Ten Commandments. Therefore, the politicians can become as corrupt as they want, and society can plunder the assets of what was once a great nation.
“As a minister, I am tempted to lay
the blame at the feet of every pastor and every Christian in
“The real blame must be laid at the
doorstep of evey politician . . . from the bully
pulpit of the mayor’s office, to the courts, to the governors, to the state
legislatures, to the Congress, and finally, to the bully pulpit of the American
president. I point the finger of
accusation and say, ‘It’s your fault!’” (“Preparing
J. R. Church has a point. However, one must also point the finger to
many ministers and pastors who also have joined forces with the secularists to
minimize the influence of religious faith based on the Bible in
This spiritual malaise was prophesied long, long ago, in the pages of Holy Writ. Isaiah the prophet, about 713 B.C., eight centuries before Christ, was led by God’s Spirit to prophesy, “Go now, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, so that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. For they are a rebellious people, faithless children, children who will not hear the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see’; and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel’” (Isa.30:8-11, NRSV).
Because of this widespread attitude of rejection and ignoring of the Word of God in the conduct of life by people, God thunders, “Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: Because you reject this word, and put your trust in oppression and deceit, and rely on them; therefore this iniquity shall become for you like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant; its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a sherd is found for taking fire from the hearth, or dipping water out of the cistern” (Isaiah 30:12-14).
God says to His people, “For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength” (verse 15).
The sooner we return to God and His laws, the better it will be for us. Denial only means more suffering, more punishment, more pain and agony, because of the fruits of rebellion and transgression.
The apostle Paul also warned of this rebellious end-time generation. He wrote, “You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!” (II Tim.3:1-5).
Paul went on, in the next chapter, warning us, “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths” (II Tim.4:3-4).
Hosea the prophet declares, “Hear
the word of the LORD, O people of