August 28 – Our Churches: Christian Heritage

America’s Christian Heritage Under Attack 

Vital Sign Religious Freedom

An article in the July 16, 2022 issue of the Chattanooga Times Free Press suggests there are quiet battles being waged for the soul of America. There are challenges to the biblical and Christian underpinnings of the freedoms the rest of the world doesn’t have. “A few generations of damage have already been done, and most people were unaware it was even happening,” the author says.  

A September 2019 piece in The Atlantic begins, “The idea of American exceptionalism has become so dubious that much of its modern usage is merely sarcastic. But when it comes to religion, Americans really are exceptional. No rich country prays nearly as much as the U.S. and no country that prays as much as the U.S. is nearly as rich.” 

In another article that appeared nearly 20 years ago in Forbes, the author acknowledges that “few matters ignite more controversy than America’s Christian roots. The issue reverberates anew this electoral season where the faiths of both major candidates have been questioned. Religion imbues politics.” 

A blog from the National Center for Constitutional Studies lays out the Judeo-Christian roots of America’s founding ideals and documents. It points to reliance on the providence of God, and the principle that the law of God forms the basis of good human laws. Further, they say that religion and morality form the basis of liberty and that there are Judeo-Christian principles that cover the equality of humankind that, in turn, promote God-given human rights. 

So what has happened? There was a time in the United States when the Bible was held in high regard. The rise and progression of secularism and moral relativism have caused societies to lose reverence for God’s Word and to become openly hostile to it. In February 2017, Senator Ted Cruz stated, “We are seeing an assault on Judeo-Christian values and religious liberty.” 

A social commentary by Dennis Prager in March 2021 said there is a current civil war in the United States and the rest of the West—a battle between Judeo-Christian values and those who reject them. He concludes, “The current assaults on personal liberty—unprecedented in American history—emanate from those who reject the Bible as their moral guide (including more than a few Jews and Christians who have joined the assault, having been indoctrinated with anti-religious views in high school and college).“ 

He continues, “When Judeo-Christian principles are abandoned, evil eventually ensues. One doesn’t have to be a believer to acknowledge this. Many secular conservatives recognize that the end of religion in the West leads to moral chaos—which is exactly what we are witnessing today and exactly what we witnessed in Europe last century.” 

Prager adds, “When Christianity died in Europe, we got communism, fascism, Naziism. What will we get in America if Christianity and Judeo-Christian values die?” 

Psalm 11:3 asks, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”   

Dr. Richard Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church in Atlanta and former general editor of The American Patriot’s Bible published by Thomas Nelson, has some thoughts on what you, as an individual, can do to keep the Judeo-Christian heritage alive. First, promote the dignity of human life. He sees this as the beginning principle of any civilized society. Then, promote and protect the biblical view of marriage and family as the backbone of a healthy social order. The third is to maintain the American spirit of willingness and desire to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Such a national work ethic has allowed America to create the greatest and strongest economy in the history of the world. 

Lee’s fourth point states, “The youth of today are tomorrow’s future.“ Few would argue that, which is why it is important to stand for the right to a God-centered education. His fifth principle is to follow God in obedience to His laws and commandments and attain the blessings He gives. Sixth is the practice of common decency. Finally, every person and every nation of people, knowing they will one day give an account of their actions to Almighty God, need to be accountable today for what they do or don’t do. 

Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.“

How then should we pray? 

  • For the governing officials of this nation to recognize the godly foundation that has led to stability, peace, and liberty.
  • For the Lord to lead you into a deeper relationship with Him through through the truths of His Word.
  • For the citizens of the United States to learn the truth that has been hidden or omitted regarding the nation’s Judeo-Christian founding and heritage. 
  • That U.S. educators and administrators would opt for curricula that teach American history honestly and factually to school children. 
  • For Christian school superintendents, teachers, and administrators to uphold the values taught in Scripture and model them for their students. 

See previous Pray 7 daily featured readings.

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