The Way to Be Free Again (Free Indeed)
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The essence of a Christian foundation for civic government — “Righteousness exalts a nation” — is what sustains freedom. One cannot put too fine of a point on this: freedom requires virtue. America‘s fate lies in each generation integrating godly character into her children, generation after generation. Our Founders understood this and sought to ensure that this biblical foundation would be embedded in future generations.
In early America, government promoted Christianity; morality was seen as an anchor of sustainable freedom. Study the Northwest Ordinance (1787) — “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” — arguably the single most important piece of legislation passed by members of the Continental Congress, other than the Declaration of Independence.
The Bible was established by the Founders as the principal textbook in America‘s classrooms for a reason. Fisher Ames — author of the 1st Amendment — later complained, “We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons. We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text of our schools.”
The question has to be “Why?“, why did the Founders establish teaching the Bible as the principle text in public schools? It’s simple, fear of God in conscience is the only thing that keeps one honest, doing right, when no one is looking. Freedom is viable only if its citizens, on the whole, can be relied on to operate with integrity and character. Government is not going to save America.
God’s wisdom — given to those who have “sought”, “cried”, and “searched” for it — places its possessor in positions of high position, society status and authority. Wisdom plunges into the center of the public square where competition is fiercest, the very core of politics, Wall Street and Media. God’s wisdom — and its neighbors: shrewdness, understanding, cleverness, counsel, competence, and power — allows “kings to reign, and rulers to decree justice.”
Spiritually, “Remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:17-19
God will never have it forgotten that the Cross is the basis of all blessing, and that those who toy with God — individuals or nations — do so at their own risk. Sin to God must be a hideous thing, that such a sacrifice was required for its atonement.
David Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project, whose mission is encourage American pastors to rediscover their “black-robed regiment” roots before liberty is lost for good.