It has been said that our “Heritage” is made up of all the positive past values that hold a civilization together. This is so true. It is with this thought in mind that I would like to pass along some information that many people in our nation do not know or truly understand.
What I am referring to here is our nation’s Christian heritage. Our very roots came from our forefathers who made no apology for their faith in God, and the vast majority had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we don’t teach this in the public schools, where most children attend, and the majority of American families do not attend church, where will our nation’s youth learn this important information? When the final chapter of our lives has been written and we stand before a Holy and righteous God, we will be judged as an individual for what we passed on, not as a group or a people.
It is because I deeply love America and fear that we have strayed from our roots that I share these thoughts with you. Please consider this: 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same congress that formed the American Bible Society immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.
Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he said: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not of the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Was Patrick Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded the freedom to worship here.”
Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible: “I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also.”
Consider these words from George Washington, the father of our nation, in his farewell speech on Sept. 19, 1796: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Again you may ask, was George Washington a Christian? Consider these words from his personal prayer book: “Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thy son, Jesus Christ.” Most Americans will agree that we do have a Christian heritage.
(Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)