Saturday, April 28, 2007

Why Genesis 1 is essential

In contemporary evangelicalism the age of the earth and the nature of Genesis one are no longer thought worthy of real debate. They are considered minor issues. Thinkers like Hank Hannengraff argue that Genesis is not even concerned with the history of the earth, but is a poetic expression of monotheism. Therefore for Hannengraff the age of the earth is a useless debate.
But any time read any great work, we are supposed to study the 3 main parts: the introduction, the climax, and the conclusion. Plus, anytime I have to write a research paper I have to focus the very beginning with a theses statement. Why do we think the beginning of the greatest book, the Bible would not be essential?
Many Christians look at this debate and only think on a shallow level of understanding. (like Hank!) But if we give up the history in genesis one, what are the effects of our understanding of world history? Then what will those effects have on the rest of our worldview. I will show here after learning from critical scholarship the implications of getting rid of genesis one is a logical inevitable path towards apostasy.

If Genesis chapter one is not a historical narrative, then Bible history is not objective.
The history of the Bible no longer provides a complete world view. Whereas a fundamentalist can look at the Bible and declare that this is history and anything else has to conform to it. The Old-earth advocate now must understand that the Bible is really just a history of the Hebrews. The Bible no longer provides the context for Jewish history. Because it is really only Jewish history.

The Bible’s history is insufficient, therefore secular history is valid
If the Bible cannot explain world history and it is just a history, then what is the context? The histories of other groups are valid. Whether, the history of ancient ethnic groups (Egypt, china, Aborigines, Assyria etc.) Even more staggering is that scientific speculations on the origins of the universe are valid. Because, the Bible no longer competes with them. ( after all what do they have now?)

Since secular history is valid, evolutionary history is valid and ordained
The secular history assumes naturalism. Naturalism assumes evolution. Therefore history is arrange in a way that things evolved.
This history already had logical problems of evolutionary gaps. Therefore, evolutionist had to come up with evolutionary leaps. Intelligent design scientist just changed the language so that God had to miraculously make these leaps. Therefore evolution becomes a divine plan and God then endorses evolution.
*I have personally talked with an Old Earth theorist who believes that science is an extension of natural revelation. Therefore, science is divine.
The theistic evolutionary/Intelligent Design picture
Theory: prior to the Bible God started evolution and filled in gaps along the way.
The universe started in the big bang 15 billion years ago.
The earth was naturalistically formed 3 billion years ago
Geology follows a naturalistic scale of dinosaurs and billions of animals who died prior to Adam and Eve. Death suffering are then natural processes unaided by the fall of man.
Man is a product of divine evolutionary leaps as oppose to a true special creation.
The nature of man evolves, (after all God creating man in his image was not historic event, but a poetic declaration) Therefore even though this a divine evolutionary leap, it is still evoplutionary
Therefore, social life is a divine evolutionary process Religion then evolves.
Man starts out polytheistic
Judaism is polytheistic then it has an evolutionary leap into monotheism
Therefore, revelation is subject to evolution
God is behind this evolution.
When he inspires the prophets he also lets his revelation evolve by handing it over to man.
He lets it evolve through oral tradition
God must let evolve through other editors
He then lets it evolve through manuscript transmission (variant changes in manuscripts)
Therefore, divine religion is subject to change
Christianity is an evolution of Judaism
Revelation is no longer immutable or unchanging
The canon of scripture is not static but still open
Religious changes are not apostasy but an unfolding evolution
Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism and New Age are all equally valid divine religions

Henceforth, the end of the Christian worldview.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Israel and Palestine

In the last few years there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the Palestinian Israeli conflict. But the conflict to me tells us more about the world and ourselves than it does about Israel and Palestine. On one hand we want to act like we are indifferent to the whole dilemma but on the other there is not a single world leader that does not put their noses into it.
First, we like to become ignorant of world history and pretend that Israel didn’t have a right to the land. The Bible very clearly teaches that God had an eternal covenant with Abraham giving the rights of the land. (Psalms 105:8-11, Rom. 9:3-4) It was the world that kicked them out and tortured them more than any other society. The “Palestinians” didn’t even exist before the 20th century. The United Nations finally let Israel have rights to the land because of the horrors of the holocaust. They knew that if the Jews had their own nation they would have a better chance at survival. Yet even then Israel had to constantly fight in order to defend its survival. Like in the six-day war where Israel ended up defeating the rest of Arabia in combat. (They gave the Arabs back their countries so long as they were left alone.)
The differences of the rights of survival, concerning Israel and Palestine are literal life and death. The worlds most advanced medical technicians (Israel) verses the world’s largest breeding ground for terrorism (Palestine). Some say we need to protect Palestine because of the innocent children. Yet how can leaving children with madmen, who teach them to blow themselves up, be helping children, not to mention the years of indoctrination of hatred.
Modern conservative Americans and the Bush administration state that they are having a zero tolerance policy towards the terrorist. Yet while this philosophy is used towards most of the war on terror. They encourage Israel to reward Palestinian terrorist with there hard-earned land. The U.S. had given a great deal of money over the years to Palestine to help them feed their children. They never used it for such a cause. Instead they use it on their military. So how does this affect us? Simply, when our troops are in Iraq fighting Al-quaeda most of the terrorist are not Iraqi but foreign. Many of these are Palestinian like the leader Zarqawi. Therefore we are indirectly funding the terrorist for our sympathy for Palestine.
America used to stand up for Israel, yet now we push them aside. This is what Britain did at the beginning of the 20th century, but look at Britain now? Could America be next? Yet none of this is surprising, open up your Bible to Zechariah chapters 12-14. You will find that Israel is prophesied to be hated by the entire world, and that the world will try to destroy them. Yet in the end they will repent of their sins and except the Messiah.
How should we treat the situation? If we did what we ought, we would support Israel. They are a morally good society while Palestine is a very sick society, which has an insane view of the situation. We should stop funding Palestine. Plus, we should start encouraging Israel to stand up for itself. And if there are any more Israelis attack charities should start trying to help them instead of excluding them. (Like Samaritan’s purse cough! Cough!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

The American Dream:"Deliver us from the evil one"

In order to attain the American dream of life liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, Americans must re-establish the foundation of the American society in the form of Judeo-Christian ethics.
I know that people are not like to talk about two things: religion and politics, You may already be uncomfortable with this entire subject. But as, Americans, we have been guaranteed freedom with both, so I think it is important to talk about both. I was not raised to speak on these publicly myself. I do not particularly like politics because one can always find flaws. I would like to tell people about my faith in Jesus but I hate people giving me those ugly looks that we all dread. But the more I have studied these two subjects, the stronger I feel about them. They consume the two most vital pieces of our identity. Who are we in this life and who we are in the next? Without God and country we are empty.

I am truly proud and grateful to God to be an American. I thank God that I was raised in Kentucky in a free country. America has never been just “free”. America stands for giving people freedom and justice for all, believing that all people have the right to pursue happiness. The pilgrims settled our land in order to worship Jesus Christ in the way they thought most biblical. Others settled our land in order that they obtain the opportunity to provide their families things they could never before possessed. Many paid the price of their own lives for their families to live here. Surviving famine, disease, Indian attacks, and the wilderness, the pilgrims fought on and thanked their God for their survival. Today we celebrate this day on thanksgiving, a day when we thank God for all he has given us. In the American Revolution we were part of the miraculous as we became independent from the most powerful nation in the world at that time, in order to posses the impossible dream of freedom. We set about a dream of government that was made by the people and for the people. We had our own freedom, but we would not stop there. Through brave men such as Abraham Lincoln, we resolved that not only should our country be free from tyranny not only for some but all people as well. Through the Civil War no longer would freedom be an issue of race. Later we granted all races and sexes the right to vote in our government. The United States would go on to save the world from the godless regimes of Nazism and Communism.
I have often thought about what a gift living in Americais. I was a boy cub scout and would wear the American patch on my sleeve, when I was a football player and we would salute the flag, even when watching movies like Rocky four and Wrestle mania as the heroes would fight for their country; especially working as a security guard, protecting businesses with the flag on my shield during the time of 9-11. I have always been proud of where I came from. That doesn’t mean that there are things that America has not always done perfectly. Nor does it mean that an American is necessarily a good person. However when we act according to the values that make us “American” (loving freedom, Justice and hard work for ourselves and all others) then we become the most righteous country our world has to offer.
The second piece of my identity that is even stronger than my identity as an American is my identity as a “Born-again” Christian. I grew up with Baptist parents but one major thing that my faith has different from my nationality is that I was simply born American, however it was my responsibility to become a Christian. I made that decision when I was 7 years old. Oddly it was not until I was 17 that I was Baptized. My growth as a Christian has several zigs and zags. I knew more Christianity outside of the local church than inside it. My extended family on my father’s side was highly involved in church. I believed in Jesus and I believed in what Jesus stands for. At the same time when I looked at church I felt that I didn’t fit the mold. I was not as holy as the image that I received from people at church. However, years later I learned how the power of Jesus could change my life. It taught me to forgive and love others. From then on I saw the church as an instrument that Christians use to spread his love. At the heart of both the American dream and Christianity is where I found what I needed.

1. The purpose of Governments according to the Bible

Where did countries come from? When did people start making them? How do they relate to God? Governments are the constructions of nations. Whatever the structure of “government” that a group of people decides to use to govern themselves is the nation.
The origin of nations according to the Bible is that they in fact came out of ultra large families.
Gen 10:32 “These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.”

The first group that God had ever made was the family. The 1st family was Adam and Eve.
Gen 2:20-24 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The nations were granted by God the right to reign over the earth.
Gen 9:1-3 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Nations are accountable to God and specifically Jesus Christ
Psa 2:10-12 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

All nations are ordered to protect and respect human life.
Gen 9:5-6 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whosoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

This implies that nations are to support the family and those without in each society
Lev 18:26-27 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
Lev 18:28-30 That the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
Psa 82:2-4 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
The world rejected God in it’s sinfulness. Therefore God let it splinter in confusion
Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
Gen 11:4-9 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Psa 2:1-3Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain(empty) thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

God is Sovereign and will easily conquer all the nations giving power to Jesus Christ
Psa 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shall inherit all nations.
Psa 2:4-5 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Psa 2:6-9 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shall break them with a rod of iron; thou shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Mat 25:31-32 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:

2. The Christians relationship to the government

Recognize authority
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Kingdom of Heaven
Although we know that Jesus will rule all the nations his Kingdom is currently in Heaven.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Our concern is not in obtaining the kingdom of this world. That will be taken care of later.
Psa 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
Adherence to Law
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
It is very important that Christians understand the Laws of their Governments. Since we understand that God has given them authority we also understand that they can indeed work for us since they are at least attempting to work for good. Many want to take an ‘us against the world’ mentality. We would say were not the apostles and Jesus against the government? However, when we read the Bible we find many examples of believers who were under pagan governments and yet through submission and Judeo-Christian ethics toward them they became successful. In the Old Testament we see this of Joseph and to a point with Moses (under Jethro). We see this with Daniel as well. All of which Obeyed God’s law and being respectful became successful. When the Jews tried to slay the Apostle Paul He was saved by defending his right because of His Roman citizenship. Therefore, he had the right to a trial and have the Caesar judge him. Paul used this occasion to not only save him from persecution but witnesses Jesus Christ before the ruler of the Roman Empire. Christians all across History have discovered the benefits of working with the government. We can’t help if Satan uses the government to persecute us. However we are foolish if we do not fight back with the government that God has Providentially set up.
Moral Accountability
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
We must remember our effect on society means nothing if we do not show love in our actions. I remember a famous story where a Chinese foreign exchange student would work at a fast food restaurant on Sundays and the Christians who came in on Sunday afternoon were so rude that this foreign exchange student would have nothing to do with Christianity. That foreign exchange student would grow up to be known as Mao Zedong the Communist dictator of China who has since persecuted literally millions of Christians.
3. The Biblical roots of America

The Pilgrims were a people that took the Bible to be inspired at its core. Their goals for society were to make a Christian nation that would copy a biblical model like Israel. The whole reason they had left England was not due to the fact that England wasn’t a Christian nation. It was the fact that the English government was not Biblical enough. In fact these pilgrims who founded New England had a stauncher view of Christianity in Government than the traditional American government.
They strictly based their laws off of the Old Testament. It is both ironic and sad that the historic Puritan state of Massachusetts has grown to have some of the most anti-Christians legislation in our country today. The founders of Massachusetts would be more tempted to war with these renegade Judges than to agree with their interpretations.

Declaration of Independence

America’s freedom is based on belief in God. Americans traditionally believe that “all men are created equal”. That we are “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights”. In order that we have equal rights we must have a God who gives us these rights. It should be noted that only a biblical God surely give us these rights. After all if God never revealed himself we can not be sure if he gives us rights or not. Then the truths of human rights could not possibly be any longer “self-evident”
Many people forget that the majority of the founding fathers claimed Christianity. What also little known is that out of the 56 signers, 23 of them were seminary trained ministers.
Constitution federal and state
Many people forget a slight reference to Jesus Christ starting off the United States Constitution.
The dating system used for recording the document was Christian. The year was 1789 “in the year of our Lord’s reign” (anno domini) which Lord could these independent people have but the Savior, Lord Jesus the Christ.
When it comes to State Constitutions it should be noted that every state constitution acknowledges God. Many different phrases have been used most usually “Almighty God” whom they thank for the right to established human rights.

Religious liberty
“The Virginia Baptist, having suffered recent physical persecution for their faith, were even more concerned about the national protection of religious liberty than were the brothers in Massachusetts. Most Virginia Baptist favored the proposed Constitution, but they determined to approve it only if it would protect religious freedom. Realizing that Virginia’s support would be crucial to a successful launching of a new national government, they chose their course of action carefully. With the help of their most influential leader, John Leland (1754-1841), they won assurance from James Madison that he would support the adding of a bill of rights to the proposed constitution. Having done this, they gave both the proposed Constitution and James Madison their full support.
“With the crucial support of the Baptist voters, James Madison was elected to the first session of the House of Representatives under the new Constitution. During the first session of Congress, Madison proposed the Adoption of a bill to protect basic individual freedom, including religious freedom. That Bill began.
“ ‘Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ ”
United States History: Heritage of Freedom 2nd edition
Founding Fathers (and other American Heroes)
Of the 56 signers of the declaration of independence 23 were Seminary educated ministers.

1. “George Washington added the phrase ‘so help me God’ to his inaugural oath, and he later said ‘It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.’”
2. “Thomas Jefferson the primary Author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty; therefore student perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”
3. “John Adams made no secret of the fact that he studied the Bible often and with diligence. “Our constitution,” he said, “was made only for a moral and religious people. So great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectful members of society.’”
4. “Even Ben Franklin wrote ‘A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know the price of the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved.’” And “Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for this is your certain interest. I think Christ’s system of morals and religion as he left them with us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”
5. William Penn, founder and governor of the Pennsylvania colony, said, “If we will not be governed by God, we will be ruled by Tyrants.” (Btw Pennsylvania was the most pluralistic of all American colonies)
6. “Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as “the rock on which our republic rest.”
7. Abraham Lincoln in light of a national fast which he called for “We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.” He felt America had become “too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proudly to pray to the God that made us.” In light of the Civil War “fondly do we hope-fervently do we pray- that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away,” “Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-mans two hundred years of unreqited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, ‘the judgements of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”
8. “Ulysses S. Grant, the nations eighteenth president, urged his fellow citizens to “hold fast to the Bible as the sheer anchor of your liberties; write it’s precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
9. Garfield “While the young James A. Garfield was serving as a teacher and lay minister, the people of chagrin falls Ohio, called upon him to defend the Bible against vicious attacks of an influential professor in that community.”United States History in Christian Perspective After extensive scientific preparation he was able to best the professor “…while he claimed that with further research he could yet establish his theories, he manfully admitted that he was surprised and defeated for the time, by the apparently inexhaustible learning of his opponent. He said it was the first time he had met so gifted an adversary and learned an adversary.” The life, Speeches, and public Services of James A. Garfield by Russle H. Conwell
10. Evangelist James Robison once privately asked President Ronald Reagan “I want to ask you something very personal, and the only way I know to ask it is to phrase it in this manner: Is Jesus real to you? Is He real in your life?’ Mr. Reagan paused and then said in inimitable style, “Well, the only way I know how to answer is to share that my father was an alcoholic. I never really knew him. The strongest influence in my life was my mother. I want you to know that Jesus Christ is as real to me as my mother.” The Absolutes by James Robison
Judeo Christian base
Our laws have historically been based off of Judeo Christian ethics. Many laws that forefather’s historically practice and enforced were Bible based. Our laws concerning sexual conduct. Our laws respecting the Sabbath. (In fact there are a few Sabbath laws left.)
“Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and the Amendments to it… the general, if not universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as it was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedoms of religious worship.”
Justice Joseph Story(1812-1845)

“There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation.” Justice David Brewer
“In 1892, the Supreme Court issue a unanimous decision in the case of Holy Trinity v. United States is a ‘Christian Nation’.” Pat Robertson. Brewer would argue this to be obvious with the following.
“The form of oath universally prevailing concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, Amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of the courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe…” Justice David Brewer

“The secular application of the Ten Commandments is clearly seen in it’s adoption as the fundamental legal code of Western civilization and the Common Law of the United States.” Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist

Christian heritage
When we look at the most popular patriotic songs, we see that they are very religious in nature. In fact most of these songs our so strongly religious that they have doubled as hymns in most mainline protestant churches.
America the Beautiful: verse3
O Beautiful for pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress A thorough-fare for fredom beat across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.
Mine Eyes have seen the glory: Verse 4
In the beauty of the lillies 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 live to make men free, while God is marching on”
My Country tis of thee: Verse 4
“ Our Fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of liberty, In Thee we sing: Long may our Land be bright with freedom’s holy light; Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King!”
The Star-Spangled Banner: Verse 2
O thus be it ever when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the wars desolation; Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!” and the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“Under God” in our Pledge Allegiance has sunk into our culture through the school system. The phrase find’s its origin in the Gettysburg Address. The only thing that could unify a country divided into a civil war was the power of Almighty God.
We see the phrase “In God we trust” that is printed on all our money. Many have used this intending to make a distinction between the American society and the Communist. Communism developed an atheistic state religion. The Government literally becomes the god of the people. America is a free society made free through trust in God.
We also can look at 2 of our national holidays. 1st we have Christmas which celebrates the virgin Birth of Jesus. Then we have thanksgiving regarding the pilgrims who came here for their religious freedom and their thankfulness to God for their survival. There have been many minor holidays throughout American history respecting Christianity such as the recent national day of Prayer.

Christian majority
We must remember the simple fact of the consistent majority of Americans has always been Christian. That means that most of the blood spilt for our freedom was Christian. This means that Christians paid the vast majority of American government money. The majority of American business has been done by Christians (Rockefeller is a good example). If we are a democratic nation that means that are nation is for the people and by the people. If our nation is mostly Christian then our government should be mostly Christian.

4. The American dream of Christian freedom
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights; 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.” Excerpt from Declaration of Independence
Most Americans would agree that the American dream is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The non-Christian Thomas Jefferson along with the founding fathers believed that these were rights. But not rights that had been given to them by the government. They were rights given to them by God. First of all there was no government that was necessarily giving them these rights. Even a government like the United States does that government could one day fall away.
The God of the Bible pursues to bring us all these things and more

Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
It is with this that we should respect human life. This command makes it clear that being created in the image of God gives humanity a unique right to life.
Deu 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
When God sets out a distinction between good and evil man is made responsible for his actions. The more we are held accountable we are the more responsible and therefore free.
Pursuit of Happiness
Gen 9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
Deu 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goes to possess it
Since God gives us a conscious he shows us that by doing the right things he will bless us. If do what is right/good we will be happy. God all distinguishes what will curse us and therefore not make us happy. Therefore God invites us to pursue happiness.

As we look across the following passages we notice the God of the Bible instituting all three. In his covenant with Noah God holds all humanity responsible to preserve life. After all people are created in God’s image and therefore their lives ought to be respected. The penalty of taking human life was death. While people may not respect the life of another person almost everyone would want to save there own lives. God gives people liberty by giving them responsibility. We have freedom to choose Good and Bad and therefore have liberty over our lives.
Now we should notice that is only with responsibility that we are able to choose right from wrong that we are capable of pursuing happiness. Anywhere that we don’t have freedom we will not be capable of the pursuit of happiness.
What is happiness?
hap·py (h²p“) adj. hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est. 1. Characterized by good luck; fortunate. 2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. 3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous. 4. Cheerful; willing. 5.a. Characterized by a spontaneous or obsessive inclination to use something. Often used in combination. b. Enthusiastic about or involved with to a disproportionate degree. Often used in combination. --hap“pi·ly adv. --hap“pi·ness n.
Another way to say happiness is to pursue joy, pleasure and satisfaction. Happiness is a piece of all three. We are not guaranteed happiness however. But we are given the opportunity to pursue it.
When people pursue this goal with their lives they have to be careful to seek out true happiness. Many people throughout America’s history have sought out lifestyles that were alternative to God’s plan. However God’s plan as the Bible shows us is the only way to find true happiness. Many have turned to money, alcohol, drugs and sexual promiscuity in search of happiness. But while these things bring temporary pleasure they never satisfy. In fact quite often these very habits lead to death. They have destroyed lives and families for decades. Only when we pursue the good things of God do we find happiness.

5. What is America’s future? “A tree without roots is an accident waiting to happen”
What is freedom?
I had a standard definition of freedom and an intellectual argument to discuss what is freedom. Ultimately freedom is not found in this world. We grow up all our lives without real freedom. Some people think that freedom just means power. But it is so much better and it is as rare and as sweet as honey pouring down from a beehive without Bees. Freedom means that shackles of this life will be gone. Freedom means that we will no longer have to find acceptance because it will always be there. Freedom means we will no longer a slave to those evil things tortures our past. Freedom means that we will be have all that we need and not be slaves to all those things we spent so many wasted years craving. All the evils of this world… gone. All the suffering of this world… gone. This freedom I can only find in the presents of Jesus my Savior.
Joh 8:33-36 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

How can America keep it’s freedom?
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the government upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, in accordance with the Ten Commandments of God” James Madison(president)
“The nation has a much bigger bill to pay than a paralyzing budget imbalance; it must face the cost of defection from the Deity.” Dr. Carl F.H. Henry

God’s grace and blessing is the only reason we enjoy the freedoms we have today. When we follow his law we find freedom. When we disobey God’s law we find sin which leads to death. Of course there will always be sin and sinners who want to rob us of our freedoms. So again how can we keep our freedoms?
America is free when it’s citizens our willing to sacrifice their freedoms to
Preserve it. Just as Jesus was willing to sacrifice his life for our freedom, We need to be willing to become living sacrifices for others.
The question is not whether that will happen all over, instead it is whether you are willing. Will you make those sacrifices to help others find freedom? Do you really care or like the feeling of speaking your mind? How does Jesus bring freedom?
A. Jesus frees us from evil (the devil)
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
We must recognize that there are forces of evil out there and that Jesus is the only true Savior from them. When the church comes together under his name and fights these evils we will begin to see victory.

B. Jesus frees us from our sins.
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The reason that we cannot fight evil is because in the end we are evil as well. Religion can be a very good thing in the life of the community. But religion will ultimately fail unless it has the power source of the forgiving blood of Jesus Christ.

C. Jesus frees us to free others.

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me
The greatest gift of God is the opportunity to become more like Him. When we find freedom in Christ we seek freedom for others as well. America has not only stood up for it’s own freedom, it stands to free others. Many of the countries that America has conquered are now more free and reformed than before they attacked America. Some have gone so far as to Joke that being invaded by America is a good thing. This is a shadow of the power of Christ to change lives. Living in light of this passage if we embrace Christ we will embrace the American heritage of freedom. If we however do what we want, we will sacrifice the freedoms that men died to give us. More importantly we spit on the Blood that not only gives us freedom here, but freedom from bonds of sin and death.
If you are a Christian, you need to encourage other’s follow God’s law. Jesus wants us to love our neighbor. If you refuse to tell them right from wrong then you are letting the devil invade their lives and you must not really love them. If you are not a Christian; I ask you to at least try following God’s law as laid out in the Ten Commandments and see if it does not change your life. I know it will.
May God bless you and His face shine upon You,

Matt Singleton