Dear Immanuel family,
July 4th has become a great American holiday. During the weekend as you listen to media outlets I challenge you to take an informal survey of the times you hear any mention of God or Jesus Christ during a discussion of the festivities. You don’t have to look very far in the history of 1776 to realize the majority of the Founding Fathers of our country were devote Christians. 52 of the 56 men who signed the Constitution were evangelical believers. Typical were the words of George Washington who prayed, ““Let my heart gracious God, be so effected with Your glory and majesty, that I may fulﬁll these weighty duties which You have required of me. I have called upon You to pardon me of my sins. Thank You for the sacriﬁce of Jesus Christ, offered on the cross for me. You gave Your Son to die for me and have given me assurance of salvation.”
Many today would have us believe that those who founded our country were secularists and they felt the need to protect our citizens from the influence of religion. In an effort to do this we are seeing the removal of scripture in public buildings, prohibition of nativity scenes at Christmas, and when prayers are allowed at public events, they can’t be done in Jesus’s name. But is this really true? In fact, the idea of separation of church and state came later in 1802 when a group of Baptists in Connecticut wrote a letter (see the attached) when they heard that President Thomas Jefferson wanted to give government backing to one of the Christian denominations. In response (see attached) Thomas Jefferson affirms that the government will provide a “wall of separation between Church and State.
This was done to reassure Christians of their religious freedom. In no way were President Jefferson’s words meant to restrict religious expression. They were written to protect the free exercise of the “Christian” religion. In fact, in 1833, US Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said, “The real object of the [First] Amendment was, not to countenance [approve], much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity [secularism], by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations]. Boy, that is not what we hear today, is it? The Bible tells us that we are a blessed people. Let’s do all we can so this verse will be true: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psalms 33:12) Have a great 4th of July.
(The following was summarized from a message by Dr. Robert Jeffress heard on Pathway to Victory http://ptv.org/radio/radio-broadcasts/ I encourage you to listen to the full message and part two that will be aired on the 4th)