I don’t agree with everything at www.alliance4lifemin.org, which I credit with all the following information, but they recently reminded me again, as they did six years ago when I shared similar information with our Citizen readers, of the very important connection between our Christian faith and the start of our country. As we near the celebration of the Fourth of July, I ask again that we not forget this wonderful connection!
Most people don’t realize what our nation was like at its beginning. Even as late as 1776 — 150 years after a Christian group we refer to as the Pilgrims moved their church to America — statistics indicate that 99.8 percent of the people in America professed to be Christians.
Reverend Jonas Clark was the “parson” of a church in a small town called Lexington. In his church parking lot, only a few feet from the church parsonage, the “shot heard around the world” was fired. The people that were killed were members of his congregation. Clark looked down with great anguish at the bodies of those who had died and made this statement: “From this day will be dated the liberty of the world.” It began in a church. It began with a pastor that was part of the “Black Regiment” because of the black robes they wore. These pastors preached resounding sermons that resonated throughout New England about the evils of tyranny and the importance of liberty.
Revolutionary leaders were devout men who could not have been more empathic in their determination that our national policy rested on Scriptural foundation. Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 52 were Orthodox Christians.
After signing the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, who was called the firebrand of the American Revolution, affirmed his obedience to God by stating, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. From the rising to the setting of the sun may His kingdom come.”
Benjamin Franklin, who signed the Declaration and was often identified as a deist in his younger years, delivered his most famous speech on June 28, 1787, at the age of eighty-one. He said, “I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that 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, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, said, “Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe.”
Governor Morris, who wrote the Constitution in 1787, and wrote in 1790 and in 1791, two commentaries on the Constitution said, “Religion is the solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.”
George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights, exclaimed, “My soul I resign into the hands of my Almighty Creator, whose tender mercies are all over His works . . .”
Nathan Hale, called the “Martyr Spy,” came from a solid Christian foundation and upbringing. He is best remembered for his last words, prior to laying down his life for God and country at the young age of twenty-one, “I only regret that I have but one life to loose for my country.”
John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote, “Unto Him who is the Author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son.”
Patrick Henry, a Christian patriot, golden tongued orator of the Revolutionary period, and the only U.S. Governor to be elected and reelected five times said in a celebrated speech before the Revolutionary War, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Henry also said, “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 Gospels of Jesus Christ.”
One of the great slogans of the American Revolution was “No King but King Jesus!”
Now, I don’t propose we wash out the lines between church and state, but neither do I propose we wash out the reality of our history. We are truly one nation under God!
Have a wonderful and safe Fourth!
Kollmeyer is Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Hwy. 314 in Fayetteville, between Lowe’s and The Pavilion. He invites anyone without a church right now, or anyone “seeking God” to come to Sunday worship at 9:30 (Contemporary), or 11 a.m.(Pipe Organ). For more information log on at www.princeofpeacefayett.com or call 770-461-3403.