Tag Archives: Independence Day

O Beautiful!

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)

O beautiful! For spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

Our land truly is beautiful. Arguably, no fairer land exists in all the earth. From the Smokey Mountains in the east, to the rolling plains of the Mid-west, to the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains, to the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert, to the sunny West Coast and the Pacific, our landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful. Our land is rich and productive, feeding not only our people, but much of the world. God has blessed our land tremendously.

America! America!

[May] God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

God has shed His grace on our nation. Beginning with the first settlers of Jamestown to the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, who set pen to paper and wrote: “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”, to the founding fathers who 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.” to the framers who gave us “a more perfect union,” God shed His grace on our nation.

O beautiful! For Pilgrim feet

Whose stern impassioned stress

A thoroughfare of freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

In less than a century, our borders stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and the industriousness of the American people created the wealthiest nation on earth – but not without cost.

O beautiful! For heroes proved

In liberating strife.

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life.

About eighteen months before the end of the Civil War, November 19, 1863, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the crowd gathered for the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery with these words: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The test of the conflict would prove, “whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”

On this, the 240th celebration of America’s birth, the question looms more crucial than at any time in the history of America the beautiful. A land dedicated to “the glory of God and the advancements of the Christian faith,” to the equality of man, and to liberty derived from “nature’s God” now rejects God, advances all but the Christian faith, creates class warfare, and dispenses “liberty” as determined by an elite class of “elected” rulers. “Nature” is now god, and the unnatural is elevated above the natural. We have exchanged “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3), and liberty for tyranny. We call what is evil good and what is good evil. We protect those who commit evil acts in the name of Allah, and demonize those who speak truth in the name of Christ. How long can America the Beautiful endure having abandoned the principles on which it was founded?

tree-trunk-with-damage_medI used to have a huge ash tree in my backyard that looked beautiful on the outside. It extended heavy, foliage-laden boughs reaching for the sun from a massive, well-rooted trunk. The tree appeared as if it would stand forever. Then one day, a big windstorm blew in and broke off one of the heavy main branches. As the limb fell, it that split the tree all the way to the base, and it took half of the trunk with it. Upon a closer inspection, I discovered that the tree was rotten on the inside. It looked great on the outside, but on the inside, it was really sick. So, when the big storm blew it, it could not stand up to the tempest. That is how I picture America today.

America! America!

[May] God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till all success is nobleness

And every gain divine!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)


Filed under Christianity, Current Events, Holidays, Religion

Don’t Pray For This People!

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jeremiah 7:16)

The 238th anniversary of the birth of our nation quickly approaches, and I find my enthusiasm waning as the day draws near. Actually, it has been waning for quite some time now. Please do not misunderstand. I am about as patriotic as the next fellow, perhaps even more than most. Since the Obama Administration ascended to power, I have watched in amazement as the foundations of our nation crumble before our eyes and the Constitution systematically gets dismantled. Obama is not totally to blame. The foundations have been cracking for a long time now – removal of God’s Word and prayer from public schools, the wholesale ejection of God from the public square, the establishment of the Welfare State, the legalization of infanticide (abortion on demand legitimized by the pseudonym of Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice), the dissolution of the traditional nuclear family (husband, wife, offspring), and the acceptance of homosexual unions as equal to heterosexual marriages. But the downward pull of the vortex has increased with the rise of the current administration.

I find little for which to celebrate. Some would be quick to remind me that we are to pray “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2). That is true, and I believe we should, but even God has a limit as indicated by our starting verse. At that time, the people of Judah had fallen into idolatry. Whatever worship they did offer to God was substandard and merely rote ritualism. God was sick of it, and He told Jeremiah, “pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee” (Jeremiah 7:16). There comes a time when a people, as a nation, has so hardened their hearts against God that He will not even entertain an intercessory prayer for them. In fact to do so is to pray against God’s will. I think we have reached that point.

How can I be so sure about that? Romans 1:18-32 describes the downward spiral:

  1. They hold God’s truth in unrighteousness (v. 18)
  2. They reject the “clearly seen” natural revelation of God (vv. 19-20)
  3. They knew God but did not glorify Him as God (v. 21)
  4. Consequently their heart is darkened (v. 21)
  5. They profess themselves to be wise and become fools (v. 22, Psalm 14:1)
  6. They create gods of their own imagination (v. 23)
  7. God gives them over to physical perversions (v. 24)
  8. They turn God’s truth into a lie (v.25)
  9. They value the creation more than the Creator (v. 25)
  10. Consequently, God gives them over to sexual perversions – women with women and men with men (v. 26-27)
  11. As an additional consequence, God gives them over to “reprobate mind,” i.e. a mind that cannot think rationally (v. 28)
  12. They decline into a long list of increasing perversions (vv. 29-31)
  13. Finally they take joy in their perversion and encourage others accept their ways (v. 32)

Is that not the state of our nation? Think about our President praising a professional basketball player for “coming out” and expressing his homosexuality. Think about how he has stifled DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and has removed all restrictions from homosexuals serving in the military. Think about the culture of lies he has engendered in his administration: the IRS scandal, the VA scandal, the Benghazi scandal, Fast and Furious, and on and on. Then we have the mainstream media that offers its support with silence and the entertainment industry that sings his praises as though there is something praiseworthy.

This Sunday morning, Todd Starnes, author of God Less America, spoke at our church. He points out many of the same things I have listed here, but he is far more optimistic than I. I do not believe there is any turning back for this nation. Someone will remind me that God said, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Allow me to point out that the oft quoted verse is taken out of context. It is specific to the Jewish Temple, Jerusalem, and Israel, and it does not have a general application for the Church. The Church is NOT Israel even though some who preach “replacement theology” insist that it is. Let me also point out that God’s people, the Church, possess a heavenly citizenship, not an earthly one (Philippians 3:20 NASB). Our concern should not be for an earthly nation, but for a heavenly one. More often we are exhorted to be law-abiding citizens except for where a human law violates the Law of God (Acts 5:29). There is only one exhortation for us to pray for our leaders (cited above). Beyond that, may God’s “will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our nation has been judged. Should we pray for its healing against God’s will? Although it grieves me to say it, I think not.

What then are we to do? We should remain true to the faith. We must be bold in our witness. And we should never put more faith in our government than we do in God. Our citizenship, our loyalty, and our devotion must be to Christ above all else. Jesus Christ is Lord and our King!

For what it’s worth, Happy Independence Day!


Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Holidays, Politics, Prayer, Religion, Theology