America, A Christian Nation
by Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer
Weclassify nations in various ways, as, for instance, by their form of government. One is a kingdom, another an empire, and still another a republic. Also by race. Great Britain is an Anglo-Saxon nation, France a Gallic, Germany a Teutonic, Russia a Slav. And still again by religion. One is a Mohammedan nation, others are heathen, and still others are Christian nations.
This Republic is classified among the Christian nations of the world. It was so formally declared by the Supreme Court of the United States. In the case of Holy Trinity’ Church vs. United States, 143 U.S. 471, that Court, after mentioning various circumstances, added, "these and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation." (Unanimous opinion, Feb. 29,1892).
But in what sense can it be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or that the people are in any matter compelled to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within our borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in the public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact the Government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.
Nevertheless, we constantly speak as a Christian nation - in fact, as the leading Christian nation of the world. This popular use of the term certainly has significance. It is not a mere creation of the imagination. It is not a term of derision but has a substantial basis-one which justifies its use. Let us analyze a little and see what is the basis.
Its use has had from the early settlements on our shores and still has an official foundation. It is only about three centuries since the beginning of civilized life within the limits of these United States. And those beginnings were in a marked and marvelous degree identified with Christianity...
Christianity Inspired Colonies
It is not exaggerated to say that Christianity in some of its creeds was the principal cause of the settlement of many of the colonies, and cooperated with business hopes and purposes in the settlement of the others. Beginning in this way and under these influences it is not strange that the colonial life had an emphatic Christian tone...
In Delaware, by the constitution of 1776, every office holder was required to make and subscribe the following declaration: "I A.B., do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forevermore: and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."
New Hampshire, in the Constitution of 1784 and 1792, required that senators and representatives should be of the "Protestant religion," and this provision remained in force until 1877.
The fundamental Constitutions of the Carolinas declared: "No man shall be permitted to be a freeman of Carolina, or to have any estate or habitation within it that doth not acknowledge a God, and that God is publicly and solemnly to be worshipped."
The Constitution of North Carolina, of 1776, provided: "Than no person who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority, either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State." And this remained in force until 1835, when it was amended by changing the word "Protestant" to "Christian," and as so amended remained in force until the Constitution of 1868. And in that Constitution among the persons disqualified for office were "all persons who shall deny the being of Almighty God."...
Christianity Fundamental to Office Holding
In Maryland, by the Constitution of 1776, every person appointed to any office of profit or trust was not only to take an official oath of allegiance to the State, but also to "subscribe a of his belief in the Christian religion." In the same constitution of 1851, it was declared that no other admission to any office of trust or profit shall be required than the official oath "and a declaration of belief in the Christian religion; and if the party shall profess to be a Jew the declaration shall be of his belief in a future state of rewards and punishments." As late as 1864 the same State in its Constitution had a similar provision, the change being one merely of phraseology, the provision reading, " A declaration of belief in the Christian religion, or the existence of God, and in a future state of rewards and punishments."
Mississippi, by the Constitution of 1817, provided that "no person who denies the being of God or a future state of rewards and punishments shall hold any office in the civil department of the State."
Another significant matter is the recognition of Sunday. That day is the Christian Sabbath, a day peculiar to that faith, and known to no other. It would be impossible within the limits of a lecture to point out all the ways in which that day is recognized. The following illustrations must suffice. By the United States Constitution the President is required to approve all bills passed by Congress. If he disapproves he returns it with his veto. And then specifically it is provided that if not returned by him within ten days, "Sundays excepted," after it shall have been presented to him it becomes a law. Similar provisions are found in the Constitutions of most of the States, and in thirty-six out of forty-five is the same expression, "Sundays excepted."...
By decisions in many states a contract made on Sunday in invalid and cannot be enforced. By the general course of decision no judicial proceedings can be held on Sunday. All legislative bodies, whether municipal, State or national, abstain from work on that day. Indeed, the vast number of official action, legislative and judicial, recognize Sunday as a day separate and apart from the others, a day devoted not to the ordinary pursuits of life....
God’s Name Prevails
While the word "God" is not infrequently used both in the singular and plural to denote any supreme being or beings, yet when used alone and in the singular number it generally refers to that Supreme Being spoken of in the Old and New Testaments and worshipped by Jew and Christian. In that sense the word is used in constitution, statute and instrument. In many State Constitutions we find in the preamble a declaration like this: "Grateful to Almighty God." In some he who denied the being of God was disqualified from holding office. It is again and again declared in constitution and statute that official oaths shall close with an appeal, "So help me, God." When, upon inauguration, the President-elect each four-years consecrates himself to the great responsibilities of Chief Executive of the Republic, his vow of consecration in the presence of the vast throng filling the Capitol grounds will end with the solemn words, "So help me, God." In all our courts witnesses in like manner vouch for the truthfulness of their testimony. The common commencement of wills is "In the name of God, Amen." Every foreigner attests his renunciation of allegiance to his former sovereign and his acceptance of citizenship in this Republic by an appeal to God.
These various declarations in charters, constitutions and statutes indicate the general thought and purpose. If it be said that similar declarations are not found in all the charters or in all the
constitutions, it will be borne in mind that the omission often times was because they were deemed unnecessary, as shown by the quotation just made from the opinion of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, as well as those hereafter taken from the opinions of other courts. And further, it is of still more significance that there are no contrary declarations. In no charter or constitution is there anything to even suggest that any other than the Christian is the religion of this country. In none of them is Mohammed or Confucius or Buddha in any manner noticed. In none of them is Judaism recognized other than by way of toleration of its special creed. While the separation of church and state is often affirmed, there is nowhere a repudiation of Christianity as one of the institutions as well as benedictions of society.
In short, there is no charter or constitution that is either infidel, agnostic or anti-Christian. Wherever there is a declaration in favor of any religion it is of the Christian. In view of the multitude of expressions in its favor, the avowed separation between church and state is a most satisfactory testimonial that it is the religion of this country, for a peculiar thought of Christianity is of a personal relation between man and his Maker, uncontrolled by and independent of human government.
Notice also the matter of chaplains. These are appointed for the army and navy, named as officials of legislative assemblies, and universally they belong to one or other of the Christian denominations. Their whole range of service, whether in prayer or preaching, is an official recognition of Christianity. If it be not so, why do we have chaplains?
Christ Honored in All States
If we consult the decisions of the courts, although the formal question has seldom been presented because of a general recognition of its truth, yet in The People vs. Ruggles, 8 John. 290, 294, 295, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said; "The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice."...
The New York Supreme Court, in Lindenmuller vs. The People,
33 Barbour, 561, held that: "Christianity is not the legal religion of the State, as established by law. If it were, it would be a civil or political institution, which it is not; but this is not inconsistent with the idea that it is in fact, and ever has been, the religion of the people. This fact is everywhere prominent in all our civil and political history, and has been, from the first, recognized and acted upon by the people, as well as by constitutional conventions, by legislatures and by courts of justice."...
In Arkansas, Shover vs. The State, 10 English, 263, the Supreme Court said:
"This system of religion (Christianity) is recognized constituting a part and parcel of the common."...
If now we pass from the domain of official action and recognition to that of individual acceptance we enter a field of boundless extent, and I can only point out a few of the prominent facts:
Notice our educational Institutions. I have already called your attention to the provisions of the charters of the first three colleges. Think of the vast number of academies, colleges and universities scattered through the land. Some of them, it is true, are under secular control, but there is yet to be established in this country one of those institutions founded on the religions of Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed, while an overwhelming majority are under the special direction and control of Christian teachers....
The Bible, the Guide to life
You will have noticed that I have presented no doubtful facts. Nothing has been stated which is debatable. The quotations form charters are in the archives of the several States; the laws are on the statute books; judicial opinions are taken from the official reports; statistics from the census publications. In short, no evidence has been presented which is open to question.
I could easily enter upon another line of examination. I could point out the general trend of public opinion, the disclosures of purposes and beliefs to be found in letters, papers, books and unofficial declarations. I could show how largely our laws and customs are based upon the laws of Moses and the teachings of Christ; how constantly the Bible is appealed to as the guide to life and the authority in questions of morals; how the Christian doctrines are accepted as the great comfort in times of sorrow and affliction, and fill with the light of hope the services for the dead. On every hilltop towers the steeple of some Christian church, while from the marble witnesses in God’s acre comes the universal but silent testimony to the common faith in the Christian doctrine of the resurrection and the life hereafter.
But I must not weary you. I could go on indefinitely, pointing our further illustrations both official and nonofficial, public and private; such as the annual Thanksgiving proclamations, with their following days of worship and feasting; announcements of days of fasting and prayer; the universal celebration of Christmas; the gathering of millions of our children in Sunday Schools, and the countless volumes of Christian literature, both prose and poetry. But I have said enough--to show—that Christianity came to this country with the first colonists; has been powerfully identified with its rapid development, colonial and national, and today exists as a mighty factor in the life of the Republic.
United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story --
"The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government."
Patrick Henry --
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum...here."
"The Americans Who Risked Everything"
"OUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES, OUR SACRED
It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall, bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.
Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72 and the horseflies weren’t nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.
The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stocking was as nothing to them." All discussion was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.
On the wall at the back, facing the President’s desk, was a panoply--consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"
Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."
Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole, The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.
A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.
Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, Sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.
Much to lose...
What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the Crown? To each of you the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock, and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?
I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.
Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56, almost half--24—were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, 9 were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.
With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th century.
Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a-- price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so "that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward." Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately." Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone "
These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember: a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics, yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.
It was principle, not property that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United Status. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as Vice President of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers (it was he, Francis Hopkinson--not Betsy Ross—who designed the United States flag).
Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic is his concluding remarks:
"Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American legislators of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."
Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.
William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers’ faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephen Hopkins, Ellery’s colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
"Most glorious service"...
Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.
Francis Lewis, New York delegate, saw his home plundered and his estates, in what is now Harlem, completely destroyed by British soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home, they found a devastated ruin.
Phillips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.
John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.
Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton’s parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.
Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington’s appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.
George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.
John Morton, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When be came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I rendered to my country."
William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage he and his young bride were drowned at sea.
Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston, They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large land holdings and estates.
Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson’s palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched.
Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson’s sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson’s property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
Lives, fortunes, honor...
Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create, is still intact.
And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark. He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to the infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York harbor known as the hell ship "Jersey," where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered his sons’ lives if he would recant and come out for the King and parliament. The utter despair in this man’s heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."
The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
"Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." -- Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian
By Timothy Fellows, Sr.
America is suffering the judgment of God. God’s wrath is being poured out upon our land and the church is not even cognizant of it. The people of God sleep. Judgment has already come. It is even at the doors.
In the past decade two major hurricanes have slashed through the eastern seaboard leaving scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless. Scripture declares, "The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm" (Nahum 1:3). The winds performed the will of God.
Fifteen years ago this country suffered unprecedented drought.
Rivers ran dry. Vineyards in California shriveled, and in Florida massive sinkholes opened. Who withheld the rain? What is his name? "I have withholden the rain from you," says the Lord God (Amos 4:7).
Since then, the nation has reeled under floods from California to Maine. When Scripture says, "The Lord sitteth upon the flood" (Psalm 29:10), it means the flood is no accident: it is for a reason and is designed with a purpose. It is under the control of God who "sitteth King forever."
The waters off the coast of Florida are teeming with sharks unlike ever before. This year there has been over 30 cases of shark attacks in Florida alone, while only 50 worldwide. The Lord states, ‘Surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it" (Genesis 9:5).
It is sheer atheism that cannot see the hand of God behind the acts of God. God is angry: this is the cause of His dealings with our nation after this manner, and if America will not turn from her course of wickedness, He will "whet His sword; He hath bent His bow and made it ready." "Prepare to meet thy God," America (Psalm 7:11,12, Amos 4:12).
What is God’s purpose in sending to our country such manifestations of judgment? In Amos 4:6, the prophet declares God sent Israel "cleanness of teeth" and "want of bread" in all her places, yet she did not repent of her sins and return to Him. Has the recent increase in soup kitchens and the massive unemployment humbled Americans and caused them to turn from their wickedness?
In verses 7,8 Amos testified God sent Israel drought. Still she didn’t repent and return to the Lord. Therefore, in verse 9, the prophet declares God sent "blasting and mildew" and the "palmerworm" to devour her gardens and vineyards. "Yet have ye not returned unto Me," says the Lord. God has smitten America with fungi and pests of sundry descriptions, but instead of turning to the Lord, she has spread her fields with fungicides and pesticides. Her attempt to negate the judgment of God has resulted in a more severed judgment: the poisoning of herself.
Amos prophecies in verse 10 that if is God who has afflicted Israel with disease. Has this nation ever had a higher incidence of cancer or heart disease? Yet America has shown no willingness to repent. As Isaiah said of Judah, "The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores..." He asked "why should ye be stricken any more?" God then concluded, they would revolt more and more (1:5,6). As Micah wrote of Samaria and Judah, I believe that the wound of America is incurable (1:9). Judah, might reform under the leadership of King Josiah, but on account of the innumerable murders of innocent people under the hand of King Manasseh, God’s anger could not be stayed, but issued forth as water from the womb (II Kings 23:26).
According to the prophet Amos, it was God who brought defeat to Israel on the battlefield (verse 10); still she did not return unto the Lord. America did not win World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War. She parceled out Europe to godless communists at the end of the World War, accepted a compromise with them in the Korean War, and retreated in the face of Communist forces in the Vietnam War. Atollah Khomeini was right: the desert sands imprisoned American aircraft in the rescue attempt. God was not with us.
As God made the stink of Israel’s camps to enter her nostrils, so America’s industrialization has made a stench of her cities. Yet America has ventured more and more in to the doctrine of humanism, sodomy, fornication, and abortion.
Amos declared it was God who overthrew some in such a manner as it was obviously the judgment of God. Yet they did not return unto Him (11). Therefore He tells Israel that He has prepared instruments of death. "Button-down-the-hatch" America, and "Prepare to meet thy God."
When people dishonor their bodies between themselves, it is evident God has given them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts (Romans 1:24). When a society is given to sodomy and men "burn in their lust one toward another" and women change the "natural use into that which is against nature," they do so because God has given them up to vile affections (26,27).
Why is God angry with this nation? While some would begin with drunkenness, covetousness and the like, I believe there are three grossly overlooked reasons.
First, this nation exists by debt. Federal and state governments spend money they do not have, then expect the laboring man to indenture himself to pay it. Mr. Average American is shackled by such immoral banking practices, and has also harnessed himself with personal debt. He buys things with money he does not have, and to do so he enslaves himself with debt chained by 18-24 percent interest. He lives by debt; and as the "borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7) so he ceases to be free man. He is willing to sacrifice his family, his church, and his principles because debt enslaves.
Second, there is a wholesale forsaking of public worship. Rare is the person living on any street in America who attends public worship with any regularity. Most who attend church care little about "What saith the Lord?" instead they prefer to "feel good." They want to enjoy their religion and have a good time while their nation is in mortal danger. Reader, there is no meaner person in all the world than the preacher who entertains sinners on their way to Hell!
Third, I believe the greatest cause of God’s anger against this nation is the people of God themselves; for they lift up their voice and cry against sodomy, abortion, adultery and the like, then turn around and finance such abominations through voluntary taxation. In a newspaper editorial, syndicated columnist Walter Williams quoted the Washington Dateline stating the Labor Department under its CETA program (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) gave 41,000 to a feminist group to perform in the nude the "Leaping Lesbian Follies." In the same article, the Los Angeles CETA was said to have given Gay Community Services $64,000 to provide education about gay life styles.
In his book, The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policies, Enrique Rueda declares, "The main source of funding of the homosexual movement is the American taxpayer." He contends, "The federal government provides 18.43 percent of the funding, the state and local governments 27,20 percent, The total funding from tax sources amounts to 45.63 percent." He goes on to say the Internal Revenue Service has helped their cause by recognizing homosexual organizations as eligible for the 501© (3) tax-exempt foundation status—the same given to churches!
Since January 22, 1973, when the United States Supreme Court ruled unborn babies are non-persons, over 40 million innocent children have been murdered on the altars of lust and expediency. Millions of children have been murdered by abortions which were funded by voluntary contributions in the form of Federal and state taxes.
The interpretation of the Ten Commandments does not belong to Caesar. It would appear as though the black robed Supreme Court Justices have become a new priestly order or, have they upheld man’s laws in complete disregard of the Law of God?
Can Christians plead innocence when they knowingly support sodomy and abortion with their taxes? What will God say to them when they explain to Him that they did it because the government threatened them if they did not comply? Can a Christian be guiltless who opposes such wickedness but who "toes the mark" when he hears the sound of the "cornet, flute, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer" playing to the tune of "April the 15th"? TO do so is to support the very things God condemns. What hypocrisy! Can the people of God drink the "Cup of the Lord and the cup of devils"? (I Corinthians 10:21) It would be easier for a fountain to send forth at the same place sweet water and salt water.
Will God accept our tithes and offerings when we are willing to support with our taxes the perversions of the Law of God? What abhorrent, what blatant hypocrisy!
How can we sing, "God Bless America"? Is it not a farce? And how can we pray God to bless our land? Will we not be made partakers of her evil deeds? (II John 9-11)
Too many preachers are so by the power vested in them by the state of -----! Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego answered king Nebuchadnezzar in no uncertain terms: "We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up" (Daniel 3:16-18).
"All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors and the princes, the counselors, and the captains...consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of God or man for thirty days," except of the king, he should be cast into a den of lions. "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed" that it was an unalterable law of the Medes and Persians, "he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times, a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime" (Daniel 6:7-10).
Dare to be a Daniel; Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!
In his publication Temple Times Pastor Robert McCurry of Sharpsburg, Georgia, rightly observes "Political action will not solve the sin problem. No political party, or platform –however conservative or moral –will solve the sin problem. No political personality- however charming- will solve the sin problem. No legislation- however good and moral- will solve the sin problem." The cries of 40 million babies address the throne of a righteous God demanding to be avenged and they shall be avenged!
"Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you that HE will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity" (Isaiah 59:1-3).
America, "Prepare to meet thy God!"
It is significant to note that this article was written long before the most recent national calamities, which can simply be added to the ever growing list.
I submitted the following letter to the editor of The Augusta Chronicle, which was published and resulted in death threats and hundreds of angry letters of opposition, so much that the newspaper could not print them all. I was interviewed on the local talk show radio station the next day and had a great opportunity to give the one perspective missing today – God’s perspective.
George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights, declared, "Providence punishes national sins by national calamities." When a nation so completely rejects God in every aspect of government, education, family and life, they show themselves to be fools to expect God’s protection from trouble. He laughs at such hypocrites.
Our nation deserves much more evil than it has presently endured, and it is going to get much worse as America’s sins continue to find her out. The blood of millions of brutally-murdered American children cries out for the vengeance of a holy God.
The increased perversion of America by Sodomites, endorsed and promoted by government and big businesses, such as American Airlines necessitates the fiery judgment of a righteous God. America is going to hell, while heaven is singing the praises of almighty God. We ain't seen nothin' yet. Sincerely, Rev. Timothy Fellows (Jr.)
Have you fallen upon your face?
Many people have fallen on their faces before God in fear, prayer, and worship. I gather that it is the natural reaction to the Holiness of God.
Genesis 17:3 Abram fell upon his face
Numbers 16:4 Moses fell upon his face
Numbers 14:5 Aaron fell upon his face
Numbers 22:31 Even Balaam fell flat on his face,
Joshua 5:14 Joshua fell on his face
1 Samuel 20:41 David fell on his face
Ezekiel 1:28 Ezekiel fell upon his face
Daniel 8:17 Daniel felt upon his face
Matthew 17:6 The Disciples fell on their faces
Luke 5:12 a leper, who seeing Jesus, fell on his face
Luke 17:16 a Samaritan fell on his face
(Revelation 7:11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.)
Even Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane fell on his face in prayer. (Matt. 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will. but as thou wilt.)
The way I see it, you have a choice, fall on your face before the Almighty God voluntarily or do it the way Goliath did it. (I Samuel 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it. and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.)
It’s up to you... Fall on your face before God, and cry out with the angels in heaven, "Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."
(I Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.)
--- By Paul Paytonhttp://www.JustBible.com