AMERICA, A Christian and a Bible Nation?

I realize that I am writing to a varied readership and some who read are devoted followers and defenders of Freedom and Liberty but are not Christian.  Some are both a follower of Christ and a staunch defender of our Republic, our inalienable rights, and our Freedom.  The blend is often interesting and although we have differing views regarding some details we are united in our desire and dedication to America and preserving this Republic as the Free Constitutional Republic that had its birth in the late 1700s. 

The Dream of that band of patriots should be a rallying cry for us. Those patriots were willing to were willing to sacrifice everything in an effort to win Liberty and establish a nation that recognized the Creator and embraced the idea of inalienable rights.  That band of brothers and sisters paid prices far beyond what history records and won a victory that could only have come with the aid of the Almighty.  They expressed that on many occasions and in many of their writings.  It is interwoven in our Constitution, System of Government, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.  What they won is a prize whose, worth we need to be continually reminded of and a rekindling of the flame of freedom. 

My title poses a question and it is a question that I have debated, discussed, and even argued over my lifetime.  As I have become more aware of the importance of freedom, the value of faith, and the foundation of family, I have become a student of history and the Bible.  For me, the two meld into an unbreakable cord that inspires me to continue sounding the alarm when it would be easier to pack it in and go into isolation. 

I contend that in the formative years of the Republic known as the United States of America, comprised of thirteen colonies or states had the unmistakable and undeniable influence of God, the Bible, and Christianity.  The influence the Bible had on the Founding Fathers is conspicuously apparent to the honest heart and student of history.  The Bible continues to hold an unchallenged place as the most loved, most read, most quoted, and pondered of all the volumes in existence.  It is impossible to study American history and not see the place the Bible had in our development and establishment.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined in our whole civic and social life that it would be literally – I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally – impossible for us to figure to ourselves what life would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals – all standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves.  Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud – of which our people are proud – almost every such man has based his life-work largely on the teachings of the Bible.”  What a powerful declaration from the leader of the greatest nation in the Free World.  Today that would receive such an outburst of vitriolic hate most politicians avoid the conflict.

It is interesting that our society and government took steps to promote the Bible.  In 1809 the first American Bible society was begun by a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Following that, in less than 8 years there were 121 state and local Bible societies formed, many by other signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

In 1816, America’s first national Bible society was formed, the American Bible Society.  The first president of that organization was Founding Father Elias Boudinot. He was a president of Congress during the American Revolution, and one of the framers of the Bill of Rights.  He was also the first attorney admitted to the Supreme Court Bar.  He said, “Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant.  Were you to ask me for one book affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible!  And should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy, or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible.  I would make it, in short, the alpha and omega of knowledge.”

The American Bible Society included, John Jay, Caleb Strong, John Langdon, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Smith Thompson, Bushrod Washington, John Marshall, Matthew Clarkson, William Wirt, and John Quincy Adams.  That is a very impressive list of men who embrace the value of the Bible and its influence on our Republic.  Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer said, “The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.  By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing their moorings upon all moral subjects… It is the only correct map of the human heart that has ever been published.” 

John Adams one of the key figures in the Revolutionary War and the formation of our Republic said, “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited… What a Utopia – what a Paradise would this region be!  The Bible is the best book in the world.” 

This nation’s commitment to the Bible was unwavering in our formative years and continued so for more than a hundred years if not more than one hundred and fifty years.  In 1781 Congress advanced a plan and printed America’s first English-language Bible.  On September 12, 1782, the full Congress approved that Bible, and it soon began rolling off the presses.  In the front of that Bible is a congressional endorsement: “Resolved that the United States in Congress assembled…recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.”  That obliterates the theory that those men want an impenetrable wall of separation between the church and the government. 

One historian reflected on that event saying, “Who…will call in question the assertion that this is a Bible nation?  Who will charge the government with indifference to religion when the first Congress of the States assumed all the rights and performed all the duties of a Bible Society long before such an institution had an existence in the world?”

The Bible was influential, and I believe the basis of our development into the great nation that we have become.  Our departure from its precepts and principles will be the catalyst to our downfall.  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”  (Proverbs 14:34).  “By the blessings of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.”  (Proverbs 11:11).  “In righteousness, you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror for it will not come near you.”  (Isaiah 54:14).  “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.”  (Proverbs 29:2).

America, my fellow patriots, and fellow believers our departure from the principles of the Bible, as a nation, has brought about many if not most of the ills that we now face.  I call upon all of those who believe in God and are called by His name to embrace the directive of 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  That is a promise from God that must be regarded.

God bless you and God bless America!                                                                                           

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