One Nation Under God

Like most Americans I celebrated the Fourth of July watching fireworks exploded in the distance sky. Independence Day offers the citizens of this great land the opportunity to mark what stands out as good and best about the United States. Yet a growing cloud of disillusionment has settled on the horizon.
On the 4th of July the Gallop polling institution released the findings of their most recent random survey of Americans. In the poll, 71% of those who responded stated that the “Founding Fathers” would be disappointed with how our nation turned out. However, in a typical hypocritical moment, 85% also reported being extremely proud of being Americans. To the distant observer this would sound about right about the path our nation has chosen to take. Instinctively we know we are going the wrong direction, but you have to admit we are making good time!
It appears most Americans realize that from our earliest days there has appeared to be a pact between the Almighty God and this nation. Even though it would appear to call the United States a “Christian Nation” would be a stretch at any time in our history, there is no doubt Christianity has had a major impact on the vision and self-determination of the leaders of this land.
For instance in 1620, the “pilgrims” safely arrived on the shores of Massachusetts and immediately signed a covenant with these following lines:
“Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia…”
As any secular historian can see these men and women considering themselves on a sacred crusade to advance the “Christian faith” which seems out of place and almost “unconstitutional” in the climate of today.
In the 1950’s as our nation struggled in the “Cold War” against the godless atheist of the Soviet Union, the elected leaders of our land took drastic measure to reinforce this idea of dependence on God. In 1954, President Eisenhower sat in the pew used by Abraham Lincoln in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and heard the pastor George MacPherson Docherty challenge him to insert the words “under God” into the pledge of allegiance. Docherty pointed out that Lincoln used these very words when he spoke of the new birth of freedom in the Gettysburg Address. The president took his challenge to heart and Congress enacted his addition.
Two years later, the word “In God We Trust” appeared on the currency. As once again in a struggle for existence Congress called on the Almighty.
Stories like these seem so out of place today. So our plight begs the question. In light of our history, where do we go from here?
The writer of Proverbs cut to the chase when he wrote:
“Righteousness exalteth a nation:
but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34 KJV)
Simply put we need to get back on the straight and narrow path. We need to humble ourselves before the Almighty God seeking His forgiveness and pleading for His help. Amazing grace still has a sweet sound.


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