Let us Revive America!
To revive America we must revive her religious convictions. This is a worldview/culture war issue that we can win and we must win. In Texas, we have made some progress; last September a Politico headline blared “Texas textbooks tout Christian heritage.” But, if we hope to reverse our nation’s decline into chaos and anarchy, more progress is needed. British historian Paul Johnson, in the closing paragraph of his classic history of the 20th century—Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, (1991), lays out the task before us. He writes that the chances for the 21st century becoming an age of hope for mankind depends on the eradication of four underlying evils that characterized the 20th century and that resulted in over 125 million citizens murdered by their own governments. He identifies these evils as “the rise of moral relativism, the decline of personal responsibility, the repudiation of Judeo-Christian values, [and] … the arrogant belief that men and women could solve all the mysteries of the universe by their own unaided intellects….”
II. Our Job
As we will see, the only way these evils can be eradicated is by proclamation of our Judeo-Christian religious convictions. In a way, our task is simple. We are advocating biblical principles—the wisdom of God himself; what does the world have to compete with this? Plus, biblical Christianity has a great historical track record; when properly understood, it sells itself. The embrace of biblical principles and convictions has produced the good life—rich and fulfilling individual lives, strong and vibrant families and some of the freest and most scientifically advanced societies in history—especially the United States. There are reasons for this and people need to know them; we have a great story to tell them.
But, “how” shall we tell them? In 1898, Abraham Kuyper in a series of talks at Princeton University—Lectures on Calvinism, stated the “holy mission” of the church was “recommending to others the superiority of its principles.” So, let us do just that; let us identify some key religious convictions and simply recommend them—first to our own children and then to others. We do not even need to claim that these biblical ideas are superior; if presented clearly, others will see it for themselves.
III. America is a Biblical Nation
Before we begin, let us first establish that America truly is a biblical nation founded on religious convictions. When you stand in the center of the Jefferson Memorial facing the White House and look up to your right, you will read these words of President Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberty of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”
Our liberty, according to Jefferson, is not the result of our good nature, our intellect or our good intentions; it is the result of a religious conviction that it is a gift from God. Jefferson’s view was the consensus position of our founding fathers. Religiously, they were ethical monotheists; they believed in an omnipotent God who cared about right and wrong. Interestingly, if alive today, they would probably be labeled “religious conservatives.”
Like Jefferson, President Calvin Coolidge understood the importance of America’s religious convictions. In 1926, on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he reflected:
“A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features, the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration, not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man, these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.”
But even beyond the testimony of these Presidents, the best way to establish our biblical heritage is go back to July 4, 1776, to the actual words of the Declaration. Consider: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The modern liberal believes there is no truth, there is no God and that we just evolved. Yet, the Declaration clearly states that truth exists, there is a Creator and that we are created. So, are we a Christian nation? When you define a Christian nation simply as being founded on biblical convictions then the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.” Continue reading