July 4, 2004
I have a very simple message this morning--nothing profound, and I'm sure, nothing you have not heard before. The purpose of this message is to cause us to think about the things that have made America great--to reaffirm the principles and standards that have been the very foundation of America's soul.
Let me say at the outset, America's greatness has not been because of technological advancement or medical discovery. America's greatness has not been the result of powerful and influential leaders, nor is it because of great presidents, though we have had a few. I thank God for the memory of President Ronald Reagan--a godly man, with a godly vision. He inspired America to greatness. I thank God for President Bush--a man who is not ashamed to come out and simply say, "I am a Christian--born again, with Jesus in my heart."
Let me tell you what lies at the foundation and heart of America's greatness (and at the same time, I must also say, we are witnessing the destruction of this foundation before our very eyes). There are two things that have made America great: The Christian faith and God's Holy Word.
George Washington said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
Our thirtieth President, Calvin Coolidge said, "The foundation of our society and of our government rests so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings should cease.
Here's an interesting bit of information: In 1836, the State of North Carolina said in their Constitution, "No person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Christian religion, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit." It's too bad those aren't the rules today...and for every state in the nation."1
Today, on the 4th of July, we celebrate the signing of The Declaration of Independence. The signing of this document signified America's official split from Britain's rule and marked the beginning of the American Revolution. Let me read one paragraph: "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.
Thomas Jefferson penned those words, and they were ratified and signed by representatives of the 13 original colonies at the meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. These patriots and proud Americans, in this document, recognized that God, our Creator, is the One who has given us life, liberty, and the opportunity to pursue happiness. Let me be quick to add; contrary to what Michael Newdow thinks, we still pledge allegiance to the flag, with the belief that we are "one nation, under God."
As we consider the message, "America's Greatness," allow me to give you two points:
I. A Guiding ...
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