Summary: This message compares and contrasts that godly national conception which our founders handed down, with that which is being foisted off by the revisionists of today.
Pastor Eric J. Hanson.
July of 1999
Read Romans 1:18-32, especially 24-27.
The bad direction our country and our state has been headed in for over 35 years has been well documented and chronicled from this pulpit across the last twenty years. In the last year, there have been the two messages entitled Which Way Maine? & 35 Years on the Slippery Slope. Both of these are available through our church office for your enlightenment regarding the historical context of the way things currently are in our state and national government and culture.
The Original United States of America
There is no doubt that there have been two United States of Americas for the last twenty plus years. National moral leaders such as Beverly LaHaye, James Dobson, and Chuck Colson, and historians and teachers such as Peter Marshall Jr., David Manuel, and D. James Kennedy currently speak clearly for the original United States of America.
Bible believing churches adhere to this vision of America, and no wonder, since 52 of the 56 framers of the Constitution were active members of their churches. (It is good to note at this point that there were no modernistic churches in this land in the 1700s. Modernism as we now know it, invaded many of our American seminaries in the 1920s.)
In the original United States, man’s law must be rooted in and subject to God’s law. Submission to God’s word and standard is clearly stated in the founding documents of this nation. The constitution builds upon the bedrock that man is a created being, who has been endowed by his creator with certain inalienable rights. These rights are "inalienable" because they were given by God, not by puny men. Therefore, men cannot take these rights away.
Our Constitution stands on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly articulates that God, (not a king) is the Sovereign. Indeed, a just society must be built upon the rule of law and not of personalities. The Declaration of Independence, in turn, owes much to the Mayflower Compact, which itself could not have come to be without the great unshackling of people brought about by the Reformation of the Church.
Our documents of government also owe much to the Magna Carta, which put limits on the power of kings, and to the great writing Lex Rex which established the principle of law over the whims of individual rulers.
Historically in the United States, no one could hope to be appointed to a federal judgeship if they did not believe in the great principle known as "natural law". This important precept simply states; "God’s law stands above man’s law. All laws of man must be judged according to God’s immutable, just, and perfect word. Man has no right to establish any law contrary to that which God has already established."
This precept, enunciated by the great legal scholar and organizer Blackstone, was totally understood by the founders and the framers of this great nation. Why else would witnesses in court pledge "on the Bible” to tell the truth. Why else would the words "so help me God" be part of that same process.
In this era however, we have seen Clarence Thomas laughed at by certain senators simply because he believes in Natural Law. As part of His confirmation hearings, this question, "Do you believe in the principle of "Natural Law" was asked, as it has always been asked on such occasions. How things have changed in this land. In former generations, no prospective justice would have dared to not adhere to this bedrock legal principle. Now, it is hard to get confirmed as a justice if you do believe it!
In short, the original United States of America believes Proverbs 14:34 which states "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." and believes that we had better order our national life around this. This is a major reason churches are not taxed in this land. The founders well knew that the church used its money for things of greater importance than the funding of temporal government, namely the propagation of (1) the Gospel of Jesus Christ and (2) concepts of righteous living!
The Revisionist United States of America
The other United States of America started out to be embodied in the ethic of "Do your own thing Baby. Don’t let anybody tell you what is right or wrong for you. You decide." This vision of ethics and human behavior has become fully embraced over the last thirty years by the National Council of Churches which represents many denominations in our country who have rejected the bedrock authority of God’s book, the Bible. They have replaced that authority with "human reason", or "human emotion, or feelings".
In the seventies, the hippies and college radicals of the sixties began to enter governmental and educational life as low level elected officials, congressional staffers, actors, reporters and writers, and teachers in the school systems. Throughout the eighties they kept coming up through the ranks, some becoming governors, representatives, senators, school principals, etc. Then, in the nineties, many of them reached the top of their arenas as publishers, college professors, judges, television and movie producers, and even president of the United States.