Summary: Christian thought and biblical morality have an important historical and practical place in American society. This sermon examines the historical evicence that demonstrates America's strong religious foundation and calls Christians today to reclaim oru s

Religious intolerance is growing in our country. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, an Americans for Separation of Church and State have brought lawsuit upon lawsuit against the placing of religious symbols on public property, against churches and clergy who speak out against cultural issues, against the promotion or mention of creationism, and against groups like the Boy Scouts who hold high moral standards for their members. The intended result of these actions is to insure that America becomes a completely secularized nation.

Does Christian thought and biblical morality have a place in American society? The answer to that question is YES!

First of all, The BIBLE demands it.

(Psalm 127:1, NIV) "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."

(Proverbs 11:11, NIV) "Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed."

(Isaiah 33:22, NIV) "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us."

(Acts 4:28-29, NIV) “We must obey God rather than men.”

Secondly, Our FOUNDING FATHERS practiced it.

JAMES MADISON the “Father of the Constitution wrote: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future. . .upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON wrote: “The people know it is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.”

President ANDREW JACKSON stated: “ The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

And THOMAS JEFFERSON, who is regarded by secularists as a proponent of a secular society, actually supported religious involvement in government. In a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, Congress provided for a church building and a Christian chaplain. President Jefferson signed the bill into law and authorized that the government pay $300 to build a church for the indians!

Our Founders authorized the printing of Bibles with tax dollars. They provided for chaplains for various branches of government and the military. General George Washington demanded that his officers and enlisted men attend church service when not in battle. Presidents and congress routinely called for days of prayer, and fasting and national thanksgiving. References to God and quotes from the Bible appear throughout their writing, speeches and laws. Many states required Christian faith as a pre-requisite for holding elected office. School children were taught to read from the Bible and public schools taught Christian doctrine up until about 50 years ago.

Where does the term “separation of Church and State” come from? That phrase is NOT in Constitution, Declaration of independence or US law. It was first used in the 1947 Supreme Court decision, Everson vs. Board of Education. Justice Hugo Black, for the majority opinion, wrote: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve of the slightest breach.”

It is interesting that the case was brought by NJ resident Everson, who objected against State money being used to transport students to a parochial HS in Trenton. Everson’s objection was denied, but the wording has stuck ever since. The case used to support the “non-involvement” of a government agency toward a religious institution actually supports the use of public money to assist a church run school! How many secularists know or understand this important fact?

As we look at the wording in question, Justice Black quoted from Thomas Jefferson. But he quoted Jefferson out of context! President Jefferson wrote to reassure the Baptists of Danbury Ct. that the government would not establish an official religion in their state. He was NOT opposed to government support of religion. He was opposed to the government establishment of one religion over another.

Since Everson, the phrase “wall of separation between Church and State” has been quoted to a degree that many Americans assume it is part of the First Amendment, which reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Since the Everson decision, state and federal courts all the way to the Supreme Court, have been practicing a form of judicial tyranny, ignoring or twisting the original intent of the Constitution and imposing a judicial form of legislation on our entire nation.

In 1962, the case Engle vs. Vitale, any form of school sanctioned prayer was ruled an “establishment of religion. The NY State sanctioned prayer read “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.” It is hard to see how this simple prayer establishes any religion. It was a generic prayer, one that was designed to be inoffensive. The reality is, that to the secularist, any acknowledgment of God threatens their atheistic preference.

Another Supreme Court decision in this arena was Sante Fe Independent School District vs. Doe. In 2000, the Court struck down a Texas school district’s policy that allowed a student, elected by his classmates, to deliver a public invocation before the home high school football game. Nativity Scenes are OUT, Christmas carols are OUT, Students have been barred from wearing T-shirts promoting traditional family. Students are banned from bringing their Bible, banned from handing out candy canes (too religious!). In England, Hot Cross Buns were ordered contraband in one community!

And most recently, the Supreme Court ruled in McCreary Co, KY vs. ACLU that the Ten Commandments have no place in a court of law. The display in question was part of 9 documents: the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner, theMayflower Compact, the National Motto, the Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, and a picture of Lady Justice. The collection is entitled “The Foundations of American Law and Government Display” and each document comes with a statement about its historical and legal significance.

This ruling poses two large problems for American citizens. First, it was the INTENTION of the county that caused the problem. The court declared that their intention was to promote religion. According to Justice Roy Black, who originally placed the Ten Commandment monument in the court, “It’s a devastating blow to Christianity in this country. You can post an acknowledgment of God as long as you say you don’t believe in it.” This leads us to the future where we can expect that the court will have to establish thought police to ensure that citizens are protected from the intentions of religious fanatics like you and me!

A second problem is the inconsistency with how the Court applies separation issues. Justice Scalia claims that the Court went as far as it believed it could in limiting religious expression, allowing some religious reference to remain while others are banned. We can expect further discrimination by the Court in the future.

Now, the is nothing magical about the posting of the 10 commands. BUT REFUSING THEM IS AN ADMISSION THAT religious thought has no place in the public square.

In Justice Scalia’s brilliant and compelling dissent he writes: “Those who wrote the Constitution believed that morality was essential to the well-being of society and that encouragement of religion was the best way to foster morality. The “fact that the Founding Fathers believed devotedly that there was a God and that the unalienable rights of man were rooted in Him is clearly evidenced in their writings, from the Mayflower Compact to the Constitution itself.” Scalia quoting from “School Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203, 213 (1963)”.

OUR FOUNDERS NEVER INTENDED TO SEPARATE RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION from PUBLIC LIFE. We know this from the following historical examples: President Washington began his presidency with prayer, concluded it with prayer. Washington’s first inaugural address a testament to his faith in God.

Our second President, John Adams wrote “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Jay, first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court wrote “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John Jay was also the PRESIDENT of the AMERICAN BIBLE SOCEITY.

The Supreme Court is SUPREMELY WRONG.

Justice Sandra Day O’Conner writes in support of this decision: “At a time when we see around the world the violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority by government, Americans may count themselves fortunate: Our regard for constitutional boundaries has protected us from similar travails, while allowing private religious exercise to flourish.”

How terribly insulting to equate the Christian foundation of our country with the religions of the world that have produced terrorism, fascism, and communism.

It was not Christians who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, it was Muslims.

It was not in the Name of Jesus that Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini ravaged the world.

The religion of atheism promoted the communist dictatorships of Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot to murder tens of millions of people. And today, Islam threatens the world with death and destruction through it’s jihad suicide bombers. It is the Islamic Government of Sudan that has killed tens of thousands of black Christians. It is the Islamic government of Mugabe that has slaughtered and displaced tens of thousands in once peaceful and productive Zimbabwe.

O’Connor writes that American’s may “count themselves fortunate.” OUR FOUNDING FATHERS SAID IT BETTER! James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” in his first inaugural address, placed his confidence “in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.”

President Washington wrote “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

These and thousands of other statements are NOT ISOLATED or taken out of context

Bible is the most quoted document in the writings of the Founders of our country.

How should we live? Four life characteristics are required of believers in this day if we are to fulfill the instruction of our Savior: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14, NIV)

First, PURITY. (Philippians 2:15, NIV) "so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

Second, PREPARATION. (1 Peter 3:15, NIV) "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Believer, know what you believe. Know your history and defend the truth wherever you can!

Third, PRAYER. The most important action we can undertake for our nation is prayer. (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV) " I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."

Fourth, PREACHING. (Acts 8:4, NIV) " Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went." Every Christian is a preacher of the gospel! The early church understood and lived this, and they changed their world for Jesus!

These three characteristics ought to be consistent in the life of every Christian. We cannot abdicate our responsibility of proclaiming Christian principles just because certain godless individuals are offended by the truth. We cannot silently stand by while secularists re-write American history or distort the original meaning of the Constitution. Know the truth about these issues and proclaim it with confidence!

Our religious heritage is the greatest source of the freedom we possess in sharing the Gospel. It is worthy of being protected and defended!