We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. 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. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
These are not my words. In fact, these words were first proclaimed over 140 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln.1 If he were alive today, Abraham Lincoln would be shocked about how worse the situation has become in the United States of America.
Mere mention of God by a public official can bring an onslaught of complaint and derision by the liberal press. For example, Lt. General William G. Boykin, a decorated U.S. Army officer, was castigated for remarks he made about Islam and Christianity.2 Boykin, an evangelical Christian, was quoted discussing a 1993 battle with a Muslim militia leader saying, "I knew my God was bigger than his." Two liberal senators, John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., then urged a probe be conducted into whether Boykin displayed what they called "inappropriate behavior." Previously, Boykin, got in trouble for his statements on why the Sept. 11 attacks weren't worse than they could have been. He said the hand of God stopped two more airplanes from crashing into landmarks in this country. That statement set editorial writers at major newspapers into a frenzy.
In a nation where the freedom to murder unborn persons is a cherished "right," the freedom to express one's religious views is politically incorrect. Christians must not bow to political pressure to be silenced, since acquiescence to this censure will eventually lead to our loss of freedom to express religious convictions altogether.
Lest we think that we are the first generation to abandon God, a previous generation had the same problem:
I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children, but a warped and crooked generation. Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? (Deuteronomy 32:3-6)
Regardless of these transgressions, God is willing to forgive us. If we return to Him, He will return to us and be our God.
"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 3:7)
- Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day
- Keith Peters. 2003. Flap Over General's Comments Tied to Christianity, Focus on the Family.
We are what we think.
- 03/11/2014 02:06 AM
Engaging in Christ-Centered Conversation
Last week, my colleague Krista Bontrager shared her insights into Son of God and the TV mini-series from which the film was derived. Whether or not you choose to see Son of God in theatres (or any of the other … Continue reading
- 03/07/2014 02:30 AM
Quote of the Week: John 15:26
But when the Helper [3rd] comes, whom I [2nd] will send to you from the Father [1st], the Spirit [3rd] of truth, who proceeds from the Father [1st], he will bear witness about me [2nd]. — John 15:26, ESV
- 03/04/2014 02:52 AM
“Son of God:” Representing the Bible on Screen
With the release of the Jesus biopic Son of God in theatres last week, this is a great time to engage in a conversation with others about the historical basis of Jesus. For those of you considering whether to see … Continue reading
- 02/28/2014 02:28 AM
Quote of the Week: St. Augustine
In your great wisdom you, who are our God, speak to us of these things in your Book, the firmament made by you. — St. Augustine, Confessions (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1992), book XIII, section 18, 326.
- 02/25/2014 02:44 AM
Music Points to a Creator
This February marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America. My article “Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?” explored these musicians’ religious views and how believers can navigate choices in popular entertainment. The Beatles in … Continue reading
- 02/21/2014 03:27 PM
Quote of the Week: Restless Heart
The man doesn’t find the truth the truth finds the man. — Bishop Ambrose to Augustine, from the movie Restless Heart (Ignatius Press, 2013)
- 02/18/2014 02:52 AM
Reflections on a War Movie: Lone Survivor
I’ve seen most of the war movies made over the last seventy years (see “Ken’s Top 50 World War II Films”). I rank Band of Brothers, the 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks about the real-life heroism … Continue reading
- 02/14/2014 02:49 AM
Quote of the Week: Paul Helm
The classical Christian theologians, Augustine of Hippo, say, or Aquinas or John Calvin, each took it for granted that God exists as a timelessly eternal being. They accepted it as an axiom of Christian theology that God has no memory, … Continue reading
- 02/11/2014 02:01 AM
Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?
This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first trip to America. I remember how depressed my family was following President Kennedy’s assassination, but how excited my siblings and I were to see The Beatles on our black-and-white television … Continue reading
- 02/07/2014 04:01 PM
Quote of the Week: Louis P. Pojman
In a sense, philosophy is just hard thinking about the important issues of life. — Louis P. Pojman, Philosophy: The Pursuit of Wisdom (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994),12.
Last Modified November 12, 2007