Get­ting back to the foun­da­tion of our na­tion

The Morning Call - - RELIGION | FAITH AND VALUES - Wil­liam Chapel Wil­liam Chapel, a for­mer pas­tor in the Up­per Penin­sula of Michi­gan, re­sides and wor­ships in the Le­high Val­ley. [email protected]

At the birth of our coun­try, we were on a solid foun­da­tion. It wasn’t per­fect, but it was rock solid. Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton added four words to his pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony: “So help me, God.” The very first thing that Wash­ing­ton did af­ter be­ing in­au­gu­rated was to stoop down and kiss his Bi­ble, as an af­fir­ma­tion of his sub­mis­sive spirit to­ward the au­thor­ity of Almighty God.

It was John Adams, the sec­ond pres­i­dent of the United States, who said, “for democ­racy to work, the ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple have to be re­li­gious and moral at their core, or it falls apart.” Later, Abra­ham Lin­coln said: “In re­gard to this great book,” — and he held up his Bi­ble — “I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Sav­ior gave to the world was com­mu­ni­cated to us through this book. But for it, we would not know right from wrong.”

The word to de­scribe Amer­ica in those early days would be “re­solve.” Our fore­fa­thers had a re­solve and were not apolo­getic about their faith in the Lord.

Let’s fast­for­ward to present-day Amer­ica. We’ve gone from be­ing a God-fear­ing peo­ple to a na­tion where we can hardly talk about God for fear of of­fend­ing some­one. The change has been slow, so it’s easy to sink into a false sense of se­cu­rity; while all around us our moral stan­dards, our pa­tri­otic values, our bib­li­cal prin­ci­ples, and com­mon sense are quickly fad­ing.

When did the cracks re­ally start to show in the foun­da­tion of our na­tion? Some peo­ple point to a mo­ment in 1962 when the Supreme Court ruled that vol­un­tary prayer at the start of each school day was un­con­sti­tu­tional be­cause it amounted to state spon­sor­ship of prayer.

So, while we think of the word “re­solve” to sum­ma­rize our early fore­fa­thers in our na­tion, the word “rel­a­tivism” de­scribes our cur­rent cul­ture. How do we re­store our na­tion to a level of moral fiber and char­ac­ter? For one thing, we need godly peo­ple to run for of­fice. We need those peo­ple of hon­or­able char­ac­ter to be elected. Once they are elected, we need them to al­ways re­mem­ber why they chose to be a pub­lic ser­vant.

There is so much fin­ger-point­ing to­day:

■ “It’s the House’s fault!”

■ “It’s the Se­nate’s fault!”

■ U.S. pres­i­dents are blamed.

■ “The me­dia and academia are ac­count­able.”

Cer­tainly there is enough blame to go around. But, the spot­light rests on us.

We need to have a con­ver­sa­tion with God and to share our hearts with Him. We need to praise Him for who He is and for giv­ing us a blessed na­tion. We are to pray for our gov­ern­ment lead­ers, our com­mu­ni­ties, and for our coun­try. If the moral ero­sion con­tin­ues, that which was once rep­re­hen­si­ble will be­come ac­cept­able. We’ve got to stem the tide of moral rel­a­tivism, of in­dif­fer­ent Chris­tian­ity, of eth­i­cal de­cline.

This is a piv­otal time in our coun­try. As it was when God spoke long ago to the na­tion Is­rael, so it is with our pre­cious coun­try: “If My peo­ple, who are called by My name, hum­ble them­selves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, will for­give their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron­i­cles 7:14) .

If the word de­scrib­ing the past is “re­solve,” and if the word for this present sea­son is “rel­a­tivism,” then for us to re­store our na­tion, the word is “re­pen­tance.” We have dis­counted the sanc­tity of mar­riage. In our search for the foun­tain of youth, we stopped lis­ten­ing to the wis­dom of the el­derly.

But if we lis­ten closely, it’s not too late. We can still hear the heart­beat of a coun­try that des­per­ately de­sires the faith of our fathers.

So how does this cliffhange­r end? We will write the end­ing through the lives that we choose to live.

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