Opening Comment: To our American friends, as you read through this article, think of America when it was at its greatest – Jesus Christ was the center of focus and blessing after blessing seemed to be showered upon a truly Christian nation. And no matter what your political affiliation, think of the great damage caused by the falling away of what made you great in the first place, coupled with the division amongst the nation’s ruling class.
How great you became America. The prophet Isaiah talked of a day that British Ephraim would lose you. (Isaiah 49:20 – “…after thou hast lost the other…” Our patriarch Jacob foretold that you would become a great nation (Genesis 48:19). Moses prophesied that your descendants would be punished for seven times (2,520 years) for walking contrary to God’s commandments. And sure enough, exactly 2,520 years from your Manasseh descendants going into Assyrian exile in 745 BC, you declared your momentous Declaration of Independence in 1776 AD. You were the other that was lost to the British before they began their great colonization drive that created the imposing commonwealth or company of nations Jacob Israel prophesied. Yet, it was a clear signal toward your move to becoming the greatest nation the world has ever known. Along with your sister nation of Britain, Jacob boldly stated you would have the protection of the Lord God Almighty (Genesis 49:24) and over and over through your short history this has proven to be so. The prophet Isaiah said, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) and the prophet Jeremiah stated, “Thou art my battle ax and weapons of war.” (Jeremiah 51:20). Are these still true?
You began your wonderful Declaration of Independence document with, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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 to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” “A decent respect to the opinions of mankind!” What a wonderful statement. What a beginning you had, what promise you reflected. Above all, you had visionary leaders who understood what would make you so great. Men like George Washington who said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.” Or Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration, and was the author of the words, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” And who can forget Patrick Henry’s words, “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.
Great men of vision followed them. President John Adams said this in 1821, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” And what about the 50 states! Without exception, their men of vision acknowledged the Almighty God in their State Constitutions in one way or another.
Way back in the 1830’s, the French statesman, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “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.”
This month, on November 28th, America celebrates its 230th Thanksgiving holiday from when the first nation-wide Thanksgiving was proclaimed on November 26, 1789 by George Washington. It will be a time of parades, special sporting events, social activities and turkey and pumpkin pie.
Yet, what of this America of 2019? Will the name of the Lord God Almighty or the name of the Lord Jesus Christ be high on the lips of the leaders of the nation and its people? Will gratitude to God be genuinely heard, as it was from those state leaders of long, long ago when they drafted their constitutions? Is there any hope that the pulpits of the churches of America will again flame with righteousness and move again from the false reality they have adopted? Sadly not!
On this Thanksgiving, will America and Americans examine why their great wealth has been stripped away or look for reasons for the massive debt that has brought them into servitude? Will anyone examine Woodrow Wilson’s statement, “America is now in the hands of a few people who have the power to create debt and collect interest, without having anything backing it up?”
On this Thanksgiving, will anyone make a correlation between the decline of Christian values and the great upheaval in American society, where sports, pleasure, drugs and new-ageism have taken the place of God in so many households? Where garbage is piped into American homes each day through the medium of television, and is seemingly so welcome? Will anyone reflect on Calvin Coolidge’s statement, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country?” Sadly, this has happened!
On this Thanksgiving, will anyone look at the youth turned out by the educational process and wonder if America did the right thing in ignoring the 1782 Congressional resolution: “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools?”
And on this Thanksgiving, will Americans search their hearts and minds and give an honest appraisal of their leaders. Will they realize that in light of the very fragile state of the world and the great number of enemies poised to exploit weaknesses, that perhaps more then ever before, they must have leaders with the vision of a Washington, a Jackson or a Lincoln? Will there be any thought given to Solomon’s admonition, “Where there is no vision, the people perish?
Finally, at this Thanksgiving, will Americans heed the advice of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, when he said “We cannot do great deeds unless we are willing to do the same things that make up the sum of greatness?” In the view of many, the things that make up the sum of greatness are all laid out in God Almighty’s words in the Holy Bible. Perhaps the “great deeds” to which Roosevelt refers are just too imposing for leaders of today who lack statesmanship like qualities. Indeed, perhaps the problems created through a pluralistic society that have effectively stilled the true voice of Christianity could not even be overcome by the great statesmen of the past. I suppose no more can be done but try, knowing, of course, that in the not too distant future, the true leader, our Lord Jesus Christ, will return to set His entire house in order.
And America will once again be good, and notwithstanding the political slogan of today, will be truly great.