America's Godly Heritage
by Ken Swiger
As Biblical Christians
we spend a lot of time studying and learning from the memorial
days, the holy days, of the Eternal. This is an appropriate
thing to do as there is much that we can learn from these studies.
There are other memorials days that are worthy of
our consideration as well. For instance the months of
June and July have two great examples – Memorial
Day and Independence Day.
I want to take some time today to remind ourselves about
the Godly Heritage of our nation. I want us to be aware
of the words of our founding fathers and to understand
their reliance on the God of the Bible. What follows
is actually my notes from a sermon from a few years ago
on the subject of America as a Christian nation. I think
you will find the quotes from notable persons to enlightening.
FROM THE BEGINNING – AMERICA
WAS FOUNDED UPON CHRISTIANITY
The Mayflower Compact was adopted by the Pilgrims when they
landed at what is now Cape Cod on November 9, 1620. The Compact
clearly states that their purpose in establishing the colonies
was for "the glory of God and the advancement of the
Christian faith, and honor of our King and country."
The Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Second Continental
Congress consisting of 56 delegates, authored by Thomas Jefferson
on July 4, 1776 underscores our trust in God: "We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit
of Happiness . . . And 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."
MODERN PERVERSION OF HISTORY AND
Revisionist historians have managed to largely purge our text
books of the facts regarding the Godly character of the great
majority of our founding fathers. They hide behind the rhetoric
of the false notion of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. I say
it is false because – SEPARATION CHURCH AND STATE is
not found in the United States Constitution.
Most people do not realize that the First Amendment says nothing
about the "separation of church and state." It simply
states that "Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
“SEPARATION CHURCH AND STATE ” - Those words became
associated with the constitution because of a Supreme Court
decision which quoted a line from a letter Thomas Jefferson
wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association. The letter was a
response to their concern about rumors that the “Congregationalist
Church of America” was going to be declared the national
The concept of separation of church and state in
our Constitution is not there to protect Americans from religion.
It is there to protect Americans from the government. But in
their desire to promote their secular humanist philosophy using
the power of government, many liberals today want to alter
America's heritage and remove religion from its history. Their
desire is not to safeguard denominational neutrality by the
state. It is to eradicate every vestige of religion from our
Those who want a GOD-FREE, RELIGION-FREE America would do
well to remember the words of William Penn (1644-1718) English
Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, who stated, "If we
are not governed by God we will be ruled by tyrants."
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political
prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and
George Washington – 1 st US
THE EVIDENCE – AMERICA WAS ESTABLISHED AS A
|The Supreme Court ruling in the 1892
case of The Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S. stated, "Our
laws and institutions must necessarily be based upon
and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.
It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this
sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions
are emphatically Christian . . .This is a religious people.
This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent
to the present hour, there is a single voice making this
affirmation . . .we find everywhere a clear recognition
of this truth . . .
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."
“The highest glory of the American Revolution
was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the
principles of civil government with the principles of
John Quincy Adams – 6 th US President
“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, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
Henry – US Founding Father
Joseph Story, in his 1829 inaugural address
as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University, stated: "There
has never been a period in which common law did not recognize
Christianity as laying at its foundation."
OUR INHERITANCE - A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC
History tells us of a brief, but important conversation which
took place at the close of the Constitutional Convention in
Philadelphia on September 18, 1787. A lady named Mrs. Powell
anxiously awaited the results of the convention, and as Benjamin
Franklin emerged from the long task now finished,
asked him directly:
"Well Doctor, what have we got; a republic or a monarchy?"
"A republic if you can keep it" responded Franklin.
Why a representative republic is better than a democracy
- Our representative republic is based upon a constitution,
a set of ABSOLUTES. Every decision is weighed against the set
of moral principles contained in the constitution.
This is parallel to the constitution of the Israel of God,
the Ten Commandments. All decisions, judgments, plans, and
national dreams of God’s people must be filtered through
the commandments of God. Anything found in opposition to God’s
way would have been declared ungodly. Today we judge our laws
and actions against the US Constitution. But unfortunately,
our judges and lawmakers have forgotten the foundation upon
which this nation was built – GOD and his Ten Commandments.
“The Bible is the rock on which our Republic
Andrew Jackson 7 th US President
Pure Democracy is simply organized mob rule. All you
have to do to effect radical change in a democracy, and
even the suppress personal rights of others, is convince
a majority, or even an energized vocal minority (because
many folks will not stand up for their rights and beliefs
and will vote for the side they think will likely win)
own , that they are free to do their pleasure. Because
that is what democracy is about, pleasing the most people.
|“A democracy cannot exist
as a permanent form of government. It can only exist
until a majority of voters discover that they can vote
themselves largess out of the public treasury.”
Alexander Tytler – Scottish Jurist, Professor and Historian
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to
have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the
“The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work and give
to those who would not.”
“When the people find they can vote
themselves money; that will herald the end of the republic.”
Have we ever seen any indications that the majority can wrong?
- A vast majority of the people of Sodom were convinced
that free-love and alternative lifestyles were not only OK,
but were in fact their right to impose on everyone else.
- It was a vote of 11 to 1 that caused Joseph to be sold
as a slave.
- A vocal minority of Israelites swayed the majority to
abandon the true and living God in favor of an idol of their
- A majority of the 12 spies convinced the Israelites not
to trust God and caused them forty years of wandering in
- A majority of the council declared that Yeshua Messiah
(Jesus Christ) was a blasphemer and should die.
Yes, the majority is frequently WRONG.
NO. We our nation is not a
nation was based upon the moral rock of the Bible. The declaration
of Independence and the constitution both explicitly recognize
God as the giver of life and liberty.
Franklin was not alone in his concern that our form of government
would be hard to hang on to. In a letter to John Adams,
Thomas Jefferson said: “Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic.
But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty,
lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character
is the path of destruction.”
3 rd US President
WHY DID THE FOUNDERS THINK WE MIGHT NOT HANG ONTO THE REPUBLIC
THEY BIRTHED AND LEFT TO US TO INHERIT? Because they understood
the absolute REQUIREMENT of righteousness and morality for
a people to live free. Jefferson alluded to this in the previous
quote when he said “material abundance without character
is the path to destruction”.
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As
nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of
Benjamin Franklin – US Founding
“A general dissolution of the principles and manners
will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the
whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous
they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they
will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external
or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused
among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be
their great security.”
Samuel Adams – US
Founding Father, who was also known as the "Father
of the American Revolution."
Consider some of the great paradoxes of the America of today:
- On our money we read in God we Trust, and
the president usually ends addresses to the people with the
words God Bless America. Yet in
1963 the Supreme Court ruled that reading Bible devotions
in public schools was unconstitutional.
- Congress opens every session with prayer. Yet we have
allowed our children to be denied the right to pray in the
public classrooms. Effectively denying them right to free
exercise of religion as guaranteed in the constitution.
- The President of the United States is sworn into office
with his hand on the Bible. Yet we will hear of the firing
of a teacher for having a Bible on school property, or for
mentioning the Bible in a classroom setting.
- The United States Supreme Court clerk opens sessions daily
by announcing "God save this honorable court." Yet
the same court constantly rules in favor of casting God,
and especially Christianity, out of public life.
- The Liberty Bell has these words from the Holy Bible
inscribed upon it: "Proclaim liberty throughout
the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Lev
25:10). Ye we have largely abandoned the commandments
of God which the Bible calls the “perfect law
of liberty” in favor of an “I’m OK,
you’re OK” type of secularism.
- The Ten Commandments are inscribed in the marble façade
of the United States Supreme Court. Yet that same Supreme
Court has consistently ruled that the Ten Commandments
must be removed from other courthouses throughout our nation.
- There is a beautiful stained glass window in the U.S.
Capitol depicting President George Washington kneeling in
prayer. But our history books no longer print the many quotes
from our founding fathers that reveal just how fervent those
men were in their faith in the God of Israel.
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, the French historian, upon visiting
America in the early 19th Century, observed: " America
is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to
be good it will cease to be great."
The only true measuring sticks of GOOD, and of RIGHTEOUSNESS,
are God’s holy word and the example of the Messiah. Yeshua
(Jesus) obeyed the commandments and taught his disciples to
do the same.
Founding Father James Madison wrote: "We
have staked the whole future of the American civilization,
not upon the power of government, far from it. We have
staked the future...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."
God gives us a pattern by which to live, and a method to return
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall
and pray, and seek my face, and
turn from their wicked ways; then
will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
You have likely noticed the increasing number of placards
and signs in the yards of American home; signs which signify
that those who live in that house are guided and governed by
the Ten Commandments. You may be unaware that this posting
of God’s holy commandments is a Biblical precept.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and
all thy soul, and with all
words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children, and shalt
talk of them when thou sittest
in thine house, and when thou
walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign
upon thine hand, and they shall
be as frontlets between thine
shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy
I see this grassroots effort
to remember our Godly Heritage as a positive thing. But I pray
that we may go beyond only posting the commandments; and begin
to actually OBEY them. That will honor our founding fathers.
Nothing could be more appropriate as we observe and celebrate
our memorial of America’s
OUR FOUNDATION OF FREEDOM