“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’”
I am finding it more and more difficult to blog. The news is such that there is too much for any one person to keep up with, let alone understand how it fits together and what it all means. Yet, if you look, there are no end of self-proclaimed ‘experts’ willing to tell you what it means. Well, I am not one of them. I used to think I was, but no longer. I simply cannot keep up with it all anymore. But one thing I do know that i know: I know the signs of this season.
The people who will tell you they understand what things mean are liars: they lie to you, to me and – most of all – to themselves. But the worse are the noises I hear from those who point to our founders and the creation of this nation and proclaim they understand the way to correct our ailments. They are liars too, and in the same vein. They may call themselves Patriots who point to the founders and pontificate about the foundations of liberty, but they have missed the key element of that foundation. There is something missing from today’s speech that was painfully obvious in that of our founders, and I tell you now, lest we return to that missing element, all our labors are in vain.
Though he is among the few founders for whom I have little affection, Thomas Paine did offer us a warning:
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
I suppose it is ironic that, in spite of the accuracy of these words, Paine probably did not understand the full implication hidden in them. The irony is that his likely lack of understanding would be directly connected both to the reason he is among my least favorite founders and to the missing element in the words of our modern patriots. Let me see if I can explain the hidden implications in Paine’s words and, at the same time, what it is that is missing today but which our founders boldly and forcefully said is the key to liberty.
If you will read the Old Testament Prophets, you will find that they repeatedly warned Israel to turn back to God, and to follow God’s law. But Israel never learned its lesson. God repeatedly passed His righteous judgment on Israel through the invasion of foreign armies. And now here is an important point to note in reading the accounting of this judgment in the words of the Prophets. God always left a remnant in Israel. Why?
Once again, look to the stories in Scripture. When man becomes evil and corrupt, there is no returning him to righteousness. The only thing that can be done is to destroy him and start over. In the flood, God saved out the last righteous man on earth, Noah, and his family. After that, whenever Israel turned wicked, God destroyed the wicked, but left the righteous. This is the remnant, and it was always small because those who remain true to the Lord’s commands in times of wickedness and corruption will always be few. So the judgments of Israel were nothing less than smaller versions of the flood. God was wiping out the bad seed so that what remained of the good could start anew.
Well, where is the good seed left in this nation? Where are those who will stand in the face of the politically correct tyranny and speak for the Lord? Where are those who will boldly and loudly assert that, lest we repent and beg the Lord’s forgiveness, our liberty is doomed? Where are those who will remind this evil and wicked nation that liberty does not come from a piece of paper, or a political Party, but from God and God alone? You show me where men are speaking such as this in our nation today and I will show you hope for a national renewal:
The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity… The United States of America were no longer colonies. They were an independent nation of Christians.
The Declaration Of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth and laid the cornerstone of human government upon the precepts of Christianity.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING,…
The idea of infidelity [non-belief in God] cannot be treated with too much resentment or too much horror. The man who can think of it with patience is a traitor in his heart and ought to be execrated as one who adds the deepest hypocrisy to the blackest treason
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 Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.
The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite…the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects [denominations of Christianity] were United
We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come. [Uttered upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence]
Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.
they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.
Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters [those who do not believe in God] should be a nation of freemen.
…Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible.
Religion, as well as reason, confirms the soundness of those principles on which our government has been founded and its rights asserted.
Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian.
The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.
Religion is the solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.
Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering contumelious reproaches on our Savior Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the laws of the land
The only foundation for… a republic is to be laid in Religion.
The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations
We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape.
Do Not Let Anyone Claim The Tribute of American Patriotism If They Ever Attempt To Remove Religion From Politics.
If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.
Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence throughout all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely, in the full conviction, that this is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.
Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, not any government secure which is not supported by moral habits…. Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.
If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering.
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty;
The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.
[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.
The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible…All the vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.
The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of governments.
I could go on, and on…. But it doesn’t matter. There are too few who call themselves ‘Patriot’ today who will embrace and publicly assert these words, and this is why I say those invoking the founders are liars. Do you know these words, or who uttered them? Maybe you should stop watching Idol or wasting time on Face Book and paste some of these quotes into your browser and find out. In many cases, you’ll meet people you do not know, but to whom you owe everything this nation has given you. And in some cases, you will know the name, but you will meet an entirely different man than you teachers described. But make no mistake: these men clearly, boldly and forcefully asserted to the world as to what lasting liberty must be founded upon. We’ve just forgotten – nay – we’ve rejected their wise council in favor of our own wisdom: