We at Grace Bible Church have endeavored, in partnership with many in our nation, to re-introduce our town to the true foundations of our country and the leaders that conceived this great experiment in Liberty that we call the United States of America. In this effort, we have received the honor of having a number of articles published in our local paper, the Lander News Journal. We thought we would share these articles with you. The first article was an effort to create a more critical thought process with respect to reading our Constitution, specifically the first amendment thereof. We also endeavored to interest people in our founding documents such as the Journals of the Continental Congress.
This first article was published January 6, 2010 and is labeled, originally as simply “Letter to the Editor.” The Lander Journal’s editor re-titled this “First Amendment: Freedom to exercise, not limit, religious belief.” Though that is much of the discussion, reading the article you will also note that it discusses exegesis or the process of extracting truths from literature. A more proper title might be, “An exegetical exercise concerning the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” I know, that is much longer, but far more accurate with respect to the proposition which was to consider reading material from a standpoint oriented toward removing concepts unsupported by the original document. In this instance, we should divorce the phrase “separation of church and state” from our thought process when we read the Constitution’s First Amendment.
The second article is titled “Our Nation, the Constitution and Its Founders” (published February 17, 2010). This is a very abbreviated compilation of alternative periods of thanks and pleas for the people of the United States to seek God, and repent through days “of public humiliation, fasting and prayer.” This idea developed from a Thanksgiving sermon delivered in 2009 (link here). This was simply a discussion that listed these various periods and the Christian verbiage the founders used in these national proclamations that beginning in 1774 and running through 1782.
The third and following articles mostly contain short biographies of founding fathers. These are still ongoing. The latest one submitted was about Patrick Henry, and has yet to be published. These are very brief, but they are developed to highlight the founder’s life testimony and the brightest light that shines for Christ that we can find with our meager resources and references. We hope you can enjoy our small efforts. The names of these founding fathers is followed by their publication date. Let us be clear. We understand that these men were not perfect. Richard Henry Lee was married at least twice. James Madison was a strong opponent to any nationally sponsored religion, standing with Thomas Jefferson (we would agree by the way). Still, these men were Christians and had clear testimonies of their Christianity. This is an effort to highlight what “giveth light unto all that are in the house” through their lives.
What is often missed in the Christian testimony and desire is that we do not want national power or dominance to promote our specific belief. Any true, honest and complete consideration of Christianity will win out against any religion. Our founders knew that. They simply wanted the opportunity for Jesus to be presented to everyone. Christians have never wanted political power. They simply want to live through faith.
The freedom of religion clause has this understanding at its root. What many do not understand is a nation established in Christ is free. Just as Jesus does not demand we all believe in Him, but simply invites everyone into His kingdom if they do believe, our nation invites all to believe in Christ, but does not require you to be Christian. Granted, without faith in Christ you will not enter Heaven, but you do not have to have faith in Christ to live in America.
Click any of the following links:
Letter to the Editor (January 6, 2010)
“Our Nation, the Constitution and Its Founders” (February 17, 2010)
John Jay (March 10, 2010)
John Adams (April 28, 2010)
James Madison (July 21, 2010)
Noah Webster (September 1, 2010)
John Witherspoon (December 15, 2010)
Richard Henry Lee (submitted November 5, 2010)
Patrick Henry (submitted December 21, 2010)