Preaching Articles

On this very special holiday we celebrate the independence of our country—a country founded by Christians. Here's a collection of powerful quotes to help support your sermon this weekend. Some of these will make you think; others will affirm and a few will create conversations around the meaning of patriotism in light of the Kingdom of God. We pray your message is filled with God's grace and affirms the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks so much for being a part of the SermonCentral community!

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them."

~ Mark Twain

"America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side." 

~ Ronald Reagan

“True patriotism is not worship of our nation but rather, in the light of our worship of the God of justice, to conform our nation's ways of justice.” 

~ Robert McAfee Brown

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

~ Nelson Mandela

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

~ Thomas Jefferson

"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 gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."

~Patrick Henry

"We're not just a nation, we're not an ethnicity. We are a dream of justice that people have had for a thousand years.” 

~ Craig Ferguson

"I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."

~Susan B. Anthony

"Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty."

~ Abraham Lincoln

“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”

~ Clarence Darrow

“The Kingdom of God wasn't born on the Fourth of July.” 

~ Matt Chandler

"Jesus' example of patriotism perfected can provide a guidepost to Christians. It's an example that's both pragmatic and romantic, shot through with justice, truth, and love. It's not a nationalistic patriotism—it's a love for nation that doesn't pit it against other nations. Instead, it's a recognition of love followed by a mournful recognition of shortcomings."

~ Ryan Hamm

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."

~ George Washington

"With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."  

~ John F. Kennedy

“America is the only country ever founded on a creed.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

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Talk about it...

Lawrence Webb

commented on Jul 4, 2015

In my mind, 13 of the 15 quotes are worthy thoughts, and 13 out of 15 turns out to be 86 percent. But the quotes by Ronald Reagan and Patrick Henry are off base. The nation was NOT founded by Christians. The founding fathers were more deist than Christian. Numerically, we are a Christian nation, but we have never been officially Christian. The Constitution provided a religiously neutral nation, not a secular one and not a Christian one. Consider the first 16 words of the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" and the last 20 words of Article 6, Section 3: ?no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.?

Chris Henderson

commented on Jul 4, 2015

I'm sorry Lawrence but please don't fall into the revisionist history being pushed upon our society. You said that you thought the quote by Patrick Henry was "off base" yet Henry can be considered one of the founding fathers. John Adams is often called a deist because of a phrase taken out of context in a letter he wrote to Jefferson yet Adams (in 1813) wrote "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature." Adams also wrote (in 1816) "Jesus is benevolence personified, an example for all men. . . . The Christian religion, in its primitive purity and simplicity, I have entertained for more than sixty years. It is the religion of reason, equity, and love; it is the religion of the head and the heart." Much has been said about Jefferson's "Bible" the he constructed but in a letter to Charles Thomson in 1816, he wrote "A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." Washington is credited for using a lot of deist terms to refer to God but when he died he was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church and had attended the same congregation for over 25 years. His adopted daughter, Nelly Custis-Lewis, wrote "I never witnessed his private devotions. I never inquired about them. I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or pray, ?that they may be seen of men?. He communed with his God in secret." Hamilton, John Jay, Madison...were all professed Christians.

Lawrence Webb

commented on Jul 4, 2015

I acknowledge your corrections about the fathers, but I do not concede my basic point about the provisions in the Constitution for a religiously neutral nation, rather than either a secular or Christian nation. These exclude any possibility of establishing Christianity as the religion of the nation. There is no mention of God or of Jesus Christ, the One to whom I have entrusted my life for seventy years. This is by design from these men who seem to owe more to the Enlightenment than to the Bible in founding this nation.

Chris Henderson

commented on Jul 4, 2015

Your are exactly correct about the Constitution. The founding fathers were wary of a state religion and careful to separate Christianity from denominational establishments. For instance, Jefferson understood that Christianity is not about ceremony, creeds, and confessionals. These are man-made by-products of religion. They wisely gave us the freedom to choose (or to abandon) these institutions. As far as this country being a "Christian" never has been yet the vary fabric of our system of laws are based on documents and concepts which are Christian influenced. The Declaration Independence, for instance, is heavily influenced by Christian thought; not because of the references to a "Creator" but because of the structure of the moral argument put forth to justify separation from England. I agree with you that these men were products of the Enlightenment. However, the Enlightenment was not just about the rise of humanistic thought. During the Enlightenment, people found a renewed sense of questioning the "do as I say" vise like control of the established religious institutions. Order and reason became tools to examine established doctrine. But this does not mean Enlightened people were not fundamental Christians. Many many Enlightened scholars used their knowledge of science, mathematics, and law to deepen their faith in Christianity (Newton, Euler, Bacon...). Jefferson would certainly fit into this category. Though Jefferson drew from the thoughts of others, like John Locke, the idea of justice, equality, and liberty are rooted in the moral teachings found in the New Testament. I, myself, hold several degrees in mathematics (and a degree in history). I have written several papers in mathematics and mathematical philosophy none of which mention God, the Bible, or Christianity. Yet the absence of these words does not mean that my Christian beliefs does not influence my writing. The absence of the words God or the Bible does not mean that the propositions found in the Constitution are not influenced by Christian thought.

D. Long

commented on Jul 4, 2015

The Pilgrims found a way to harmonize civil and religious freedom, but at great cost. Today our leaders are pitting civil liberty against religious freedom. The only way back to a place of honor and integrity in the world appears to be through another round of ?losses, sacrifices and suffering.? God bless Kirk Cameron (see "Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure") and all the brave who stand for the faith of our fathers.

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