A new young UNC grad calls her mother in tears. She sobs, "Robert doesn't appreciate what I do for him." "Now, now," her mother comforted, "I am sure it was all just a misunderstanding." "No, mother," you don't understand. "I bought a frozen turkey roll and he yelled and screamed at me about the price!" "Well, the nerve of that lousy cheapskate!" says her mom. "Those turkey rolls are only a few dollars." "No, mother it wasn't the price of the turkey, it was the airplane ticket." "Airplane ticket.... What did you need an airplane ticket for?" "Well mother, when I went to fix it, I looked at the directions on the package and it said - 'Prepare from a frozen state,' so I flew to Alaska!"
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This country was founded to be a nation based on Judeo-Christian principles – even though some atheists and liberals try to convince us that the Founding Fathers were mostly all “Deists.” If they were all “Deists” – and don’t believe for a moment that they were -- they certainly had a strange way of expressing their “Deism.” In 1620, when the Mayflower was moored off the East coast, before they had ever set foot on North American soil, they drew up and signed the “Mayflower Compact,” which began as follows, “Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together …”
On July 4, 1776, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, George Washington’s vice president and the second president of the United States, wrote “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” And a few years later, on October 11, 1798 added, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.” James Madison, the fourth president and called the “Father of the Constitution” said in a speech in 1778, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of Government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all of our political institutions upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Long before the onsets of the Liberals, homosexuals, atheists, the ACLU, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi, this nation was established on historic Judeo-Christian principles. To the extent that such a designation is possible, in its early days, certainly during its first 100 years and into the 20th century, America was a Christian nation.
For example, during the Civil War, the best known war song of the Union Army was Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Every stanza expressed Scriptural truth, such as this one: "In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free, while God is marching on…” It is certainly clear that the Christian faith was important to the American people in the mid-19th century.
As this nation was on its way to becoming the global superpower, taking over the position Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and others had held in years past, the relationship between its Christian faith and military might continued to manifest itself. In 1914 World War I – “the war to end all wars” – began with Germany launching attacks on various countries in Europe, leading to near defeats of Great Britain and France, until America came to the aid of their friends by entering the war as the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) teaming essentially with Great Britain, France and Italy. Only a nation acting under the Christian conviction of helping others in need would have sent so many of its young men into a conflict which had not touched American soil, property or lives. During the two years in which American troops fought in Europe, the deaths numbered over 117,000 – but our nation was proud of its part in stopping the onslaught of a vicious enemy.
Again in 1941, after the attack on American soil at Pearl Harbor and the entry into war with Japan, when Germany once more began to move across Europe, attacking America’s friends and former allies, the convictions of a Christian nation rose to the fore, and again American troops entered a conflict which was far removed from any direct impact on its soil, property or lives. Again this nation responded with enthusiastic support. During the 4 years of World War II more than 400,000 Americans lost their lives. But the nation was proud of its soldiers and our part in stopping Germany’s efforts to dominate Europe.
In 1950, just 5 years after the end of World War II, the communist forces of North Korea invaded South Korea, and again America responded in defense of liberty, and over 34,000 of our troops gave their lives. There was not quite the enthusiastic support as had been so evident in the previous wars; already liberalism was affecting the patriotism and attitudes of the American people. In 1964 when communist North Vietnam attempted to take over all Viet Nam, American troops stepped in to stop their advance, and some 58,000 American servicemen paid with their lives. But now pride in our troops and their accomplishments was replaced with ridicule and antagonism as liberal political thought began to dominate thinking.
The outworking of this liberal trend has become very evident in the present war in Iraq, as patriotism and pride in the American military has given way to political rancor, as some of our national leaders seem poised to “cut and run” and admit defeat. Any casual survey of the daily news gives solid evidence that the European nations from where so much of the world’s leadership came, have declined in recent years militarily and economically as a result of liberal thought eradicating the Christian faith from those nations. And make no mistake about it: as the Christian church fades from the scene, Islam stands ready to take over across Europe. An interesting comparison has been made -- when the Communists took over China in 1949 there were an estimated 2 million Christians in China. Today there are 100 million. These facts open the door for two thoughts: (1) Could this resurgence of the Christian faith be an underlying reason for China's rise to being a major world power? (2) Could exactly the opposite be true for America?
Sadly it must be admitted that America is not the Christian nation it once was, even as late as the mid-twentieth century when the ACLU and atheists and homosexuals drove God out of our classrooms, banned public displays of the Ten Commandments, encouraged liberal courts to legalize sodomy, promoted same-sex marriage and continued to support the right to murder millions of babies through legalized abortion.
Where does America stand as a Christian nation today? There are so many polls and surveys on this subject, but it would appear that 85% of Americans label themselves “Christians.” But only 33% indicate they go to church once a week. And that makes some of the other statistics sound reasonable – that only 40% of Americans can name more than 4 of the Ten Commandments – do the math: 60% can’t name 5 of them. Barely half can name the writer of any of the four Gospels. 12% believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. One survey of graduating high school seniors disclosed that 50% thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. And this is an oft repeated statistic, that 75% think “God helps those who help themselves” is a verse in the Bible. (It isn’t.)
But with all of our background in the Christian religion, and with 85% of our people claiming to be nominally Christian, it is difficult to understand why our murder rate is four to five times that of the European countries where so many of us have our roots. Our prison populations are greater by a factor of six or seven over the other “rich” nations of the world. Despite the Bible teaching on marriage and family, our divorce rate of over 50% is the highest in the world, as is our rate of teen-age pregnancy.
And as bad as it is, the trend is for it to get worse. With God and religion and prayer banned from our schools, a whole new generation of totally secularized children will be increasingly ignorant about Bible teaching.
Pastor James Hughes of Greenwood (Indiana) Wesleyan Church summarized it well: “Even now historians are coming to realize that the Bible, even more than the Constitution, founded this great nation of America. If only Christians would get involved in our culture and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, and start getting God back into our culture … our nation could be turned around.”
Quote for the week: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” – French scholar, Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859
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A women's lib speaker was addressing a large group and said "Where would man be today if it were not for woman?" She paused a moment and looked around the room. "I repeat, where would man be today if it were not for woman?" From the back of the room came a voice, "He'd be in the Garden of Eden eating strawberries."