Friday, September 25, 2009

In the Beginning... (Part 3)

Ahhh... admit it: you knew that sooner or later I'd pick this famous pose. This is a picture of a monument, based on the famous WWII photo of American soldiers, planting the Stars and Stripes, after winning the Battle for Iwo Jima. Turns out that the original photo, which was instantly iconic of the war effort, was a little staged by the photographer. After watching a group of soldiers plant the flag, he asked if they could take it out and do it again, so he could take a picture.

But to get back to my story, here is the first half of the tract I wrote:

Lift Up the Standard in America!
Isaiah 59:19

Throughout the course of history, nations used banners, flags, and objects of worship, collectively called “standards,” as symbols of what they stood for and a focal point to rally their armies in battle. While the Israelites of Old Testament times took the Ark of the Covenant with them into battle, most modern armies use flags. As long as the soldiers can see the flag flying high, they know the battle is not lost. But if the flag falls, so do the spirits of the fighting men, and the enemy overcomes them. But, oh, the glory and the blessings that are bestowed upon a country founded on God, which lifts up high the standard of His Holy Word! “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).

At one time, being an American was almost synonymous with being a Christian. Our nation was founded by people who were devout believers and active in their congregations. The constitutions of the Fifty States not only acknowledge God as the Supreme Being and Creator of everything, but also borrow basic principles from His Word. The Bible was a standard textbook in schools and read in most homes. People’s lives were not easy, but they strove to live by the high moral standard set forth in the Holy Scriptures. Unfortunately, this country has forsaken the underlying principles that forged its Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and even taken action to remove God from our schools, our courthouses, and our Pledge of Allegiance. God is being replaced by a misguided spirit of political correctness, and blind acceptance is becoming the new moral standard. This path can only lead to the decline, fall, and ultimately, self-destruction of our great country. I urge every American, regardless of age, race, creed, occupation, or status in life, to return to the standard by which this nation was forged.

The First Amendment implies a separation between Church and State, when it states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This reinforces Article VI of the Constitution, which declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Many take this a step further, wanting to remove all mention of God from government practices, literature, and materials. If they succeed, they will have managed to entirely remove the United States from the foundation on which it was built. The simple fact is that one of the primary reasons Europeans emigrated to the New World was to worship God, free from the influence of oppressive and corrupt churches. Many of our nation’s founding fathers were devout believers and active in their congregations. This is self-evident in the words of our country’s earliest legal documents.

Declaration of Independence, 1776

    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….

    We, therefore, …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do… solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States….
Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776 (after which the U.S. Constitution was modeled)

    That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

    That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.
Massachusetts Constitution, c. 1790

    We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity… of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.

    As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, … the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.

    "I, A. B., do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seised (sic) and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the constitution as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected."
Today, the government as a whole and people in general are afraid of religion. They are afraid of the very mention of God or the Bible. They strive to delete all references to God from our Pledge of Allegiance and our schoolbooks. They remove the Ten Commandments from prominent locations in courthouses. They push to loosen the restrictions on the entertainment industry, for the sake of freedom of expression. And we wonder why there seems to be a general degradation of morals. We, as a nation, are setting ourselves up for a fall.

Some would argue that morality and ethical principles are subject to change over time, and that those who refuse to accept the changes are old-fashioned, stubborn, or prejudiced. Those who believe this are living on a slippery slope. If they’ll accept, for example, two men getting married, why not two brothers? If two brothers, why not a man and a boy. If a man and a boy, why not a man and his pet? Where do you draw the line, and on what basis? “Feelings change, people change,” so a song goes, but the Word of God never changes. It is timeless. It is never amended, and none of its edicts are ever repealed.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Tamela's Place said...

but the Word of God never changes. It is timeless. It is never amended, and none of its edicts are ever repealed.

All i can say is Amen and Amen.. that will preach!