Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Call for Biblical Restoration

On August 11, 2013, David Miller posted an article on SBC Voices titled, 'We Need to Stop Talking About "Restoring America"'.  In his concluding paragraph he states:
"But I think, for the sake of our brethren from different ethnicities, and for the sake of our testimony in this world, we ought not talk about restoring America to what it was, as if that perpetrated on Blacks, Native Americans and the other ethnic groups was insignificant."

So he's saying that we can't go back to the Christian foundation of our forefathers because it might offend someone, even though it was the moral foundation of Christianity that spurred the Civil War which ended slavery in the U.S.  It's important to note that slavery existed world-wide; it was not isolated to the American colonies alone.  Slavery, as with all sin, has been a part of the world since The Fall.  Restoring a biblical worldview in American leaders is not synonymous to restoring slavery to our economic system.  To make this claim is an informal fallacy called post hoc ergo propter hoc or faulty cause/effect (X happened then Y happened; therefore, X caused Y).

So what did our forefathers actually say?

First, let's look at what George Washington said in his 'Farewell Address' of 1796:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Next, Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated the following in 'A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book' in 1798:
"The only foundation for...a republic is to be laid in religion.  ...Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy."

Also, Daniel Webster said the following at an oration in Hanover, New Hampshire, on July 4, 1800:
"To preserve the government we must also preserve morals.  Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation the super structure must fall.  When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste papers.

Finally, Charles Carroll, another signer of the Declaration of Independence wrote the following in a letter to James McHenry dated November 4, 1800:
"Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government."

Our country was founded on Christianity and morality to produce a republic that is governed by a proper agent of God to punish evil and condone good by aligning its laws to the word of God, (Rom. 13).  Not all of the American forefathers were Christian, nor have we always had Christian leaders nationally or locally; but generally, our past leaders were influenced by Christian principles.  We can see the difference in our laws and court decisions as we continue to elect men and women who are not Christians and/or do not hold to Christian principles.  "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil," (Isa. 5:20).

The Christian religion is foundational to the success of our country.  However, the solution is not to focus on promoting America or even American history, but to focus on Jesus Christ.  Specifically, American Christians need to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, to pray for leaders with a biblical worldview, and to live as a witness Jesus Christ's work in their life.  We can throw out the baby with the bathwater as Mr. Miller suggests, but we will continue to reap the consequences of an ungodly nation.

"If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3).  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose," (Romans 8:28).