The air was filled with controversy; there were many disagreements and opinions were strong and vigorously debated… sounds like the year 2020, now doesn’t it? Actually, the year was 1787 and the setting was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where august leaders from each of the newborn nation’s states had convened to create a form of government for the people who called themselves Americans. At an impasse, as it were, a senior statesman of the group assembled stood to address the President of the assembly.
Benjamin Franklin began his scholarly observation taking into account the occurrences of the previous 4-5 week’s fruitless efforts. He reminded the members of their need for wisdom as they searched for political truth. Franklin then observed, “In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.” The remainder of his remarks underscore incredible Biblical truth and call for God’s immediate and future assistance in their gatherings.
John Adams, regarding the byproduct of their collective efforts recognizes one of the most important and unique characteristics of who we are designed to be as a nation once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” This was the grand design and the truth of his remark is revealed in the chaos of today’s political climate when the vacuum created by a lack of biblical influence.
“The Decay of Conscience,” a very poignant piece written by Charles G. Finney observed, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible
for Christian influence, a Christian’s voice at the ballot box and good old-fashioned Christian Courage are as important today as they have ever been in the history of our Republic.”
Today religious liberty in America is in peril Recently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered an unusually blunt warning about the future of religious liberty and free speech in the United States, saying both were in danger if the justices don’t step in and protect them. “It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right,” In addition there is a concerted effort to rewrite the Godly heritage we are blessed to call ours in the United States. I refer to the widely popular notion that our nation is irredeemably flawed, that America has been unjust and evil from its founding. The purpose of promoting this falsehood is to sever Americans’ patriotic attachment to our country and its founding principles in order to replace our limited government Constitution with a radically different form of government.
It was suggested to me this week that the Pastors of America should not be a Lightning rod and keep a low profile. The purpose of a lightning rod, by the way, is to divert lightning harmlessly into the ground. May the Pastors of America remember the words of Dr. Henry Blackaby who said, “Do you not already hear the warnings of God? Do you not see that the enemy is coming in like a flood? And God is trying to raise up a standard against it. And you and I are that standard.” Remember, the problems we face in our communities and our nation are not just political and cultural, they are spiritual in nature. Consequently, these problems ultimately require a spiritual solution administered by spiritual leadership.
In Washington DC this past week I was moved by the observation of Pastor Rob McCoy regarding the Church in America, “A Godless culture shoves them into the river and the church waits downstream after they struggle to survive and pulls them out!” May I suggest, our place is upstream, influencing and shaping culture so that precious souls are not thrown into the river in the first place! Franklin’s question still looms before this nation… Have we now forgotten this powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance. May it never be so!
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council. He can be reached at 740-935-1406