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Summary: We could mention many things going wrong in our country. But instead, let’s recall some of the things that have made her great & called down the blessings of God upon her. (Powerpoint Available - #236

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MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, kANSAS, OK

(Powerpoint slides used with this message are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at mnewland@sstelco.com with your request - #236.)

A. There are two verses of Scripture that I think are very important for us not only to hear, but to remember. The first one is Proverbs 14:34 - “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

And the second is Psalm 33:12 - “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.”

ILL. Some of you may remember that 11 years ago last week, by a 2-1 vote, a 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional.

They ruled that the phrase “one nation under God” in the pledge was an “endorsement of religion” & thus violated what those 2 judges stated was the “constitutional mandate of a wall of separation between church & State.”

Now, folks, there are several things that are absolutely & historically false about that statement. And I want to deal with that in just a few minutes.

But first, it was interesting to witness the reactions throughout our nation to their ruling. I’ve never seen the vast majority of Americans so united against a judicial ruling as it was against that one.

President Bush was the first to speak out, & he called it “ridiculous.” Not to be outdone, a number of Senators called for a vote on it. And whenever the Senate votes 99-0 about anything it is time to take notice! Then the House of Represen-tatives voted unanimously to condemn the ruling also.

To top it all off, Judge Alfred Goodwin, one of the two judges who issued the ruling, decided to order a “stay” on its implementation – which meant that until the court said differently, everything went back to the way it was before the ruling was made.

All of this uproar started because a California atheist claimed that his daughter was being traumatized by hearing her classmates say the word “God” in her presence.

Then it was discovered that the daughter wasn’t bothered by the word at all. In fact, her mother said that she & her daughter regularly went to church together. Also, that her daughter readily joined in with other students in saying “one nation under God” when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance!

B. Now this reminds me of that time in the Bible when the brothers of Joseph, after the death of their father, were so afraid that Joseph would take revenge upon them for the terrible things they had done to him when he was young.

They begged for his forgiveness & the Bible says in Genesis 50:18-20 that they “…came & threw themselves down before him. ‘We are your slaves,’ they said. But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?

‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…” (Genesis 50:18-20)


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