[CF Devotionals] 2013-07-04 - History

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

There is a great deal of evidence that the original European settlers were Vikings about 1000 AD. They landed too far north and the bitter winters understandably drove them out. Some would say that God preserved this land for His purposes. Since God holds sway in the affairs of men there is some truth to this thought.

The Pilgrims followed. They lost many of their original company in the first two winters as well, but they stayed. They felt a calling to be here where they could worship God freely in spite of the hardships.

The vast majority of the men who met in the sweltering heat of Philadelphia in summer, with the shutters closed and doors locked to their conference were Christians. The founding documents of this Constitutional Convention included references to our "Creator" and that "all men were created equal".

None of these things makes America a Christian nation. In fact the founders avoided pronouncing a national religion to avoid the same thing that had happened in England with the Anglican church. They wanted no entanglements with the government in religious matters.

A very notable exception to those who claimed to be Christians included Mr Franklin who was influential in the proceedings. Most historians call him a Deist while others claim otherwise. He grew up under Calvinist teaching.

At one point the debates had become so contentious and heated that he made a rather interesting, seemingly out of character set of observations and suggestions. The followng is the last suggestion:

Before I sit down, Mr. President, I will suggest another matter; and I am really surprised that it has not been proposed by some other member at an earlier period of our deliberations. I will suggest, Mr. President, that propriety of nominating and appointing, before we separate, a chaplain to this Convention, whose duty it shall be uniformly to assemble with us, and introduce the business of each day by and address to the Creator of the universe, and the Governor of all nations, beseeching Him to preside in our council, enlighten our minds with a portion of heavenly wisdom, influence our hearts with a love of truth and justice, and crown our labors with complete and abundant success!

The doctor sat down, and never did I [General Dayton] behold a countenance at once so dignified and delighted as was that of Washington, at the close of the address! Nor were the members of the Convention, generally less affected. The words of the venerable Franklin fell upon our ears with a weight and authority, even greater than we may suppose an oracle to have had in a Roman Senate! A silent admiration superseded, for a moment, the expression of that assent and approbation which was strongly marked on almost every countenance. 1

While none of these things makes America a Christian nation, we have been greatly blessed. Some would argue that we have become complacent in our faith and in our duty as citizens to be involved in the governing of our nation - a debate for another time. We have been blessed in so many ways as a people. If we would keep those blessings we must be watchful and praying. Whether you agree with or representatives in government or not, pray for them - not just in how they would vote, but for their salvation, for their hearts and minds to be focused on what is best for the nation rather than their agendas.

It is Independence Day. Celebrate and pray for our nation. It is the Christians in the nation will make it a Christian nation whether the government does or not.

  1. A letter from William Steele to his son, Jonathan. Written in September of 1825, the letter contained William's recollection of a conversation with General Jonathan Dayton, a member of the Constitutional Convention (and afterwards Speaker of the House of Representatives)

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com

All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

Lord Jesus - we have been given so much. Open our eyes and hearts to be humble and thankful for what we have rather than a spirit that feels we are entitled. Raise up Your children for Your purposes. Help us walk in a way that brings people to You. Amen.

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