Summary: This sermon explains the Judeo-Christian history of the United States and the Christian beginnings of many national organizations. It also evaluates America’s current status as a Christian nation.
Study more on this topic and other related topics in the American Patriot’s Bible (Thomas Nelson), edited by Dr. Richard Lee, at www.americanpatriotsbible.com.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..." Ps 33:12
Recently a national Radio Talk Show Host and a call-in listener were talking about Christianity in America.
As the conversation continued, the host, who is an avowed agonistic, said, "Why do Christians think they had anything special to do with the founding of this country... Anybody who reads history books knows that Christianity was no more involved in America’s founding than any other religion."
Unfortunately and inaccurately that seems to be the prevalent thought of many Americans today. But the truth of the matter is we are a nation that has been shaped by the Judeo-Christian ethic found throughout the Bible. We are a Biblical nation from our very roots.
But are we a Christian nation? To answer that question we must define the meaning of the question itself. If being a "Christian nation" means that everyone is a Christian, then we are not a Christian nation.
But if it means that Christianity was the religion of the overwhelming majority of our nation’s Founding Fathers and if its influence is undeniably seen in our nation’s Founding Documents, and that Christian ethics and moral codes were accepted as the rule for our social order, then yes, we are a Christian nation!
Certainly those throughout America’s history were not timid about this fact.
The Legislature of New York declared in 1838:
"This is a Christian nation. Ninety-nine hundredths, if not a larger proportion, of our whole population, believe in the general doctrines of the Christian religion."
It was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court in the year 1892 that declared in the court’s opinion the United States was a "Christian nation."
(Refer to APB pg. 448)
Our nation’s twenty-eight president, Woodrow Wilson in his famous address, "The Bible and Progress," stated the following,
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture." (Refer to APB pg. 1278)
Today let’s look at America in the context of Christianity’s influence upon it.
I. AMERICA’S BEGINNINGS
It is safe to say that the Christian faith was involved in practically every aspect of our nation’s beginnings.
Christopher Columbus in 1504 wrote his reason for setting forth to discover a new land to be:
"I was led of the Holy Spirit to carry the message of the Gospel to undiscovered lands."
The purpose of the Pilgrims in coming to America was to establish a political commonwealth governed by biblical standards. The "Mayflower Compact" stated that they had come for "the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."
(Refer to APB pg. I-6)
The Puritans, realizing the backslidden state of the Church of England set forth to America for the stated purpose of showing how a nation could prosper it citizens lived under the laws of God.
(1) Plymouth Charter says the Colony was established: "To advance the enlargement of the Christian religion to the glory of God Almighty."
(2) Delaware Charter defines the purpose of their Colony, "To further propagate the Holy Gospel."
(3) Virginia Charter assures the right for people to live in "Christian peace" and instructs the people to: "Propagate the Christian religion to such people who yet live in ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God."
(4) The Rhode Island Compact: "We submit our persons, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
On July 4, 1776 Continental Congress signed the "Declaration of Independence" which states their belief in Creator God. Before signing they called the signers to prayer and fasting to the God of the Bible.
Now think of the role the Christian Church and its pastors played in America’s early days.
A Preacher named Frances Bellemy wrote our "Pledge of Allegiance."
Another Preacher, Samuel Smith wrote the Hymn "My Country ’Tis of Thee."
John Leland another Preacher wrote the introduction of the first Amendment to the Constitution.
Prior to the War Between the States, 90% of all of America’s College Presidents were Preachers of the Gospel.
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, William and Mary and Columbia were founded by Christian preachers and church affiliations with the expressed intent to educated youth for Christ.
John Harvard a Pastor in Charlestown, Massachusetts and the man for whom Harvard University was named stated that the purpose of the University was, "That every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main ends of his life and studies: to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the foundation of all knowledge and learning, and see that the Lord only giveth wisdom. To let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek Christ Jesus as Lord and Master."