In 1517 Martin Luther posted "The Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. With this one posting God changed the direction of all of Europe. Protestantism was born. Only one hundred years later peoples in Germany, England, and Scotland, seeking to worship God without persecution and according to scripture and not according to organized religion set out to establish colonies in America where they could accomplish their goal, always affirming and testifying it was God who brought them and it was God who sustained them.
These first settlers gave birth to a people who were instilled and engrained with the knowledge God’s guidance was necessary to live. These were people of fortitude and courage. They laid down their lives and their fortunes to create a new nation.
Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense, described the character of this new people in comparing them against the ancient Hebrews…"The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, through the divine interposition, decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son's son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but an hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you, THE LORD SHALL RULE OVER YOU. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor but denieth their right to give it; neither doth be compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper sovereign, the King of Heaven."
About one hundred and thirty years after this, they fell again into the same error. The hankering which the Jews had for the idolatrous customs of the Heathens, is something exceedingly unaccountable; but so it was, that laying hold of the misconduct of Samuel's two sons, who were entrusted with some secular concerns, they came in an abrupt and clamorous manner to Samuel, saying, Behold thou art old and thy sons walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the other nations. And here we cannot but observe that their motives were bad, viz., that they might be like unto other nations, i.e., the Heathen, whereas their true glory laid in being as much unlike them as possible. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "...give us a king to judge us; and Samuel prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, THEN I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM."
Paine went on to describe the thoughts of these Americans when he said "But where says some is the king of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal of Britain." *
These patriots, these few men in number first met in Philadelphia and composed the Declaration of Independence and then 11 years later met at the Constitutional Convention to draft a new frame of government for this new nation. A government such as not seen in the history of mankind. This was to be a republic, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. These delegates and patriots met for months, discussing, debating, arguing and compromising. Our history lessons in elementary school tell us of "The Great Compromise", the working together to overcome an obstacle that almost collapsed the whole process. But what was not taught us was what these men believed, wrote about, and spoke; that this nation would not survive without the rule of God in our midst.
John Adams knew this and on October 11, 1798 spoke of it, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Benjamin Franklin, in addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 said, "God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel."
Then Alexander Hamilton after the Constitutional Convention wrote "For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests."
But it was Patrick Henry, in a Speech to the House of Burgesses in May of 1765, that spoke of what we still now see today; "It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, 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."
It is irresponsible to refer to our founding fathers and not include their faith in God to lead them and this nation. It is also irresponsible to assume this country was founded and exists apart from God’s will and purpose. This faith, this hope in God is still embedded in our founding father’s descendants. It the still heard today, in the midst of these trying times. This hope will not be denied until it sees what our forefather’s came here for and what their children will see and have a responsibility to fulfill: the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:29)
Written by Kathie Davidson.
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