October 2021 Viewpoint
Does God have a place in American history? A recent visit to Washington D.C. reminded Debbie and me that the Founding Fathers believed so. Evidence of their God-fearing attitudes still exists. While many in our current culture attempt to remove God from America’s past, they face a literally monumental task in their efforts to do so. Eliminating God from our founding will require tearing down one Washington Mall monument, memorial, and museum after another.
“Laus Deo” are the Latin words inscribed on the cap of the 555-footWashington Monument. The English translation is, “Praise be to God.” At the first inaugural address of this new country, President George Washington declared, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.” In the National Archives Museum, an image of the Ten Commandments is engraved on the floor of its entrance. Displayed inside that museum is the Declaration of Independence, the signers of which recognized God’s beneficence with the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Our historical buildings and documents are replete with imagery and direct Scriptural references that bear out the truth that American history cannot be accurately understood when it ignores our Maker. Yet, we cannot declare that all our Founders were Christians, especially not in the sense we expect of holiness people. This is proof that a culture rooted in Judeo-Christian values does not liberate people from the condition of carnality. A group of Jews once exclaimed to Jesus, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man” (John 8:33), but those same individuals were servants of sin. Jesus proclaimed that the freedom which matters most could only be found in Him. Each person must experience a life-changing, crisis encounter with Jesus that gives the assurance of sins forgiven. That was true at the founding of this nation and it remains the case in our day as well.
Whether good or bad, a national heritage does not grant us greater or lesser standing before God. This reality is seen in the testimonies in this magazine, including a troubled young Peruvian who was rescued by God from the darkness of witchcraft and a Zimbabwean woman who was taught to worship ancestral spirits before learning of God’s plan of salvation. May this edition of The Apostolic Faith remind us that God is interested in saving sinners of all nationalities and backgrounds. Therefore, a more important question than asking if God has a place in our nation’s history is this: Does He have a place in your personal history?