Whitesburg Baptist Church
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
WHY CHRISTIAN CITIZEN TASK FORCE?
We Hold These Truths *
“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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Two hundred thirty-five years and 13 days ago, 56 of our founding fathers representing 13 colonies approved these words, citing God as the author of life and the sole source of our human rights. But the salient conversation that preceded started 35 years earlier, in 1741, with a call by Jonathan Edwards of Enfield, Connecticut in his seminal writing, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, a call to repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ. Jonathan Edward’s colonial seed grew into an international revival known today as the “Great Awakening”.
This awakening that started in the colonies reached across the Atlantic to a young legal student, William Blackstone. Blackstone eventually achieved acclaimed scholarship in the civic philosophies of Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Locke, and, in particular, British Common Law. In the founding fathers’ debates leading to this Declaration of Independence, and then again in the Constitutional Conventions a decade later, they referred to now “Sir” William Blackstone more than any other American or British source. Why? Because Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England argued God’s law, what Sir Blackstone called natural law, constituted the only basis for man’s law. His exhaustive legal scholarship became the blueprint for the Constitution of 1787 and his Commentaries the basic legal textbook for all American and British students of law for nearly a century. As James Madison, father of our constitution stated, “Religion”, in this case Christianity, “is the basis and foundation of government.”
So in the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers declared God as the source for all rights and freedoms. As a colonial David prepared for full-scale war with the British Goliath, the latter having the most powerful army and the most powerful navy the world had ever known, these 56 men pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to make such an ideal a reality. Five of these men were captured by the British and were tortured before dying. Another 9 died fighting in the Revolutionary Army in battles and extreme hardship. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned by the British. Two had sons who died fighting in the war.
How did we get to where we are today, with the calls by our news media to shred our constitution as outdated? The Declaration of Independence as no longer relevant? To disregard as inappropriate or even bigoted any mention of Judeo-Christian principles in light of man’s “more enlightened wisdom”? How? First, in the late 19th century, our Christian Ivy League schools such as Harvard Law School began to teach a justice system based on case law of man’s wisdom, in lieu of God’s wisdom, in lieu of Blackstone’s “natural law”. Then, in the early twentieth century, our public school systems threw out the Webster grade-school primer because it cited the Ten Commandments and we replaced it with more “enlightened”, then more “progressive”, and then more “tolerant”, and eventually “politically-correct” versions of what passes today for knowledge and values. In the mid-twentieth century, we banished God altogether from the classroom, and increasingly from any public forum. Until, today, truth itself has become an endangered species in our American culture.
Ladies and gentlemen, God raised up the United States of America for His purposes during the Great Awakening. Our biblical history shows us God also puts down nations when they no longer serve His purpose. Is it any wonder that 235 years later we find ourselves in a whole spectrum of crises and disasters? What is the solution?
Before we can begin to craft a solution, we first need to define the problem correctly. The problem is not the socialists, not the anarchists, not the rich, not the poor, not any race, not a gender, nor any political party, nor any religion. “We the people”, the Christians of the United States of America, by our poor citizenship, have allowed the institutions designed to protect our God-given rights and freedoms to become based on other than His word, on other than the truth. We have allowed others to define the civil discourse, we keeping piously quiet in our pews and in our prayer closets. We Christians bear the blame, so we Christians must also bear the solution:
“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.” [KJV]
Quickly now, if you only remember 3 things we say tonight, please make it these 3 things. First, God raised this nation as a result of revival. Let us once again humble ourselves; let us pray as if it all depends upon Him, because it does. Seek God, repent of our sin. Remember to put on the whole armor of God and then stand, “For we do not fight against flesh and blood.” This is spiritual warfare. And if we do not have the helmet of salvation, if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if we have not surrendered ourselves to Him, then we are but mere pawns on the chessboard of this life, and this game will end all too soon. So first, pray revival.
Second, throw open these shuttered windows of the church and let God’s light shine into the marketplace of ideas. His word will not return fallow. Those offended by the light of God’s word are of no consequence to us as Christians. Do not fear. And as we once again become the light of the world as commanded of us, then we will also become its salt, preserving His people through the power of God. If otherwise, what good are we to Him on this earth? We can do all things through Him. So second, share the light and the salt to this lost world.
Third, become responsible citizens. Become knowledgeable of civic issues in general. Become an expert on one issue of interest to you. “For lack of knowledge My people perish.” Seek His wisdom and “hear from heaven.” So third, citizenship.
Why Christian Citizen Task Force? Because “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.”
Pray with us, help us share God’s word, help us become better citizens.
* With grateful acknowledgement to Mr. Kelly Berry for illuminating God’s plan for America with his meticulous research and truthful teaching.
Presented by Charles Orr on July 17, 2011, to the Church Hall Meeting of Christian Citizen Task Force, a Ministry of Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama.