“Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11)
A Brief History of Our Founding
I always get goosebumps when I hear Lee Greenwood sing, “God Bless the USA!” The unabashed declaration of love for The United States of America and the Flag that “still stands for freedom” awakens within me an appreciation for our country. In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers declared: “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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These self-evident truths from God remain the basis upon which our Republic rests. The United States is a Constitutional Republic: a form of government in which officials are elected by citizens to lead them as directed by their country’s constitution. The citizens of the United States elect representative leaders who govern them by vowing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”. The Preamble of our Constitution declares that our reason for existing is “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Many years later, President Ronald Reagan echoed this warning: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” President John Adams also warned: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” His point was that a nation conceived in liberty yet living unchecked by desire dies in chaos.
Times of Trials
The United States of America at one time were divided. The atrocity of slavery was a sin that had to be dealt with. Frederick Douglas said in his Fourth of July Speech in 1852, “You declare, before the world, and are understood by the world to declare, that you “hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that, among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country. He called the country to remember its Constitution: “the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither.”
From 1861-1865, we were engaged in a bloody Civil War for the preservation of the United States and concerning the issue of slavery. This war cost over 600,000 American lives. After the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln said, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” Lincoln called the nation to remember our founding principles and apply them without prejudice—all men and women regardless of age, religion, or color are entitled to the same protections under the law (See 14th Amendment). Sadly, there persisted a time of unrest following the end of the Civil War. So-called “Jim Crow” laws legalized racial segregation in certain states leading to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. In his “I have a Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” While we have not completely eradicated racism and we must always be vigilant against it when it rears its ugly head, thankfully the United States has made great strides in equality for all men and women. Our nation (despite what you may hear otherwise) is one of the least racist and most welcoming nations in the entire world. We have made great progress over the last 244 years.
A Plague Upon Our Land
There is, however, a major Civil Rights issue that plagues our Republic. It is abortion. According to the American Life League, “The total number of abortions in the U.S. between 1973-2018 were approximately 61,800,000. There were approximately 862,320 abortions in 2017 in our Country; resulting in 2,362 abortions per day, 98 abortions per hour, and an abortion occurring every 96 seconds.”[Link] The greatest sin our country is currently committing is the federally sanctioned murder of unborn children for any reason and/or no reason. Unborn children, relegated to second class status, are denied the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and equal protection under the law. Josh Craddock summarizes this well when he wrote, “The Fourteenth Amendment’s use of the word ‘person’ guarantees due process and equal protection to all members of the human species.” In addition to this, Frederick Dyer noted that “from 1860 to 1880 nearly every state and territory passed stringent anti-abortion legislation”; therefore, it is unconscionable that the unborn in our nation are denied their unalienable rights given by God.
America has not always lived up to its founding principles, but when we recognize an injustice, we fight to correct it. We are a nation founded upon the principles of liberty and freedom. We have a Republic for as long as God allows us to keep it. We have a Constitution that rightly guides us if we turn our hearts to Jesus. Now is the time for us to awaken from our slumber. Now is the time for the Church to arise and put our spiritual armor on. We need to stand up for justice and equality for all—including the most vulnerable among us, those who cannot speak up for themselves. We need to take the principle found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and humble ourselves and pray and seek the Lord; turning from our wicked ways and asking Him to forgive our sin and heal our land. We need to seek out those who are considering abortion and show them the love of Christ, calling them to choose life. We need to hold our representative leaders accountable to protect all life. We need to ask God to strengthen our marriages and our families and our churches. We need Jesus and for our neighbors to be born again. It is time for us to take a stand for truth and righteousness. Let us repent of our sin and ask God to bless us and turn our hearts back to Him.