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"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." In 1962 the Supreme Court banned this prayer from our public schools. Could there be a link between the removal of that simple prayer and many of the social, economic, and political crises this nation now faces?

Turning Point: 1962
America's longevity alone makes us remarkable. Our constitutional democracy operating under the same governing documents for 200 years is unparalleled in all of world history. However, that is not the most significant legacy left to us by our founding fathers.

More valuable are the ideas and principles on which they founded this nation—principles that have produced the greatest degree of human liberty, freedom, and prosperity than any nation has ever experienced.

But all is not well in America. I don't have to tell you that. Still, of all the challenges facing our leaders today, one strikes at the very heart of our national health and goes to the root of our problems:

We've forgotten what we stand for as a nation. I believe God has a word for us in this hour that will truly set us on the path to restoration.

Asking For The Old Paths
We're not the first nation founded by the agency of God's hand to find herself in the midst of great moral decay. The prophet Jeremiah looked around and saw a similar state of affairs in his day. Listen to his diagnosis recorded in Jeremiah 6:
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall. At the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
(v. 15)
In the next verse, Jeremiah proposes the remedy (v. 16):
"Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."

The prophet is saying, "When things don't go well, when the Lord's blessing isn't apparent, think back to when times were good and go back to those old ways."

America needs to return to the ways that kept the hand of God firmly and obviously upon this great nation. Ways that kept the American dream within reach of anyone willing to work hard enough to pursue it.

The Old Paths Of The Founding Fathers
"But," you may be thinking. "What are the 'old paths' where our nation is concerned?" For us, the old paths are the founding principles on which this nation was built.

One of the things current secular historians would have us believe is that our founding fathers were anything but Christians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that 52 of our 55 founding fathers with a role in producing the Constitution—most of whom also worked on the Bill of Rights—were committed members of either Orthodox or Evangelical Christian churches.

To understand their hearts and what they had in mind for America, let's look at some of the things they said during this founding era.

Let's start with Patrick Henry. He said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians. Not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, said in a speech given on the Fourth of July in 1837, "What is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world (your most joyous and venerated festival), returns on this day. Is it not that in the chain of human events the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?

"That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?"

John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court and one of the three men most responsible for our Constitution said this: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

Can you imagine that statement coming from our Supreme Court today?

George Washington's farewell address is yet another example of the intent of our founding fathers. He said this, "Of all dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars...."

There are literally hundreds of such quotations from our founding fathers that make it seem as if they were all cut from the same spiritual cloth. But let's also take a more secular look at the question of our origin as a nation.

For ten years the University of Houston's Political Science department researched over 15,000 writings from this nation's founding era looking for the sources of the ideas, philosophies, and principles behind our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

They uncovered 3,154 quotes used by our founding fathers for which they could find an identifiable source.

Baron Charles D. Montesque's writings were quoted 8.3 percent of the time. 7.9 percent of the quotes came from Sir William Blackstone and 2.9 percent of the 3,154 came from John Locke.

The real revelation came when they found that 34 percent of the quotations used by our founding fathers were directly from the Bible!

Not stopping there, they traced Montesque's, Blackstone's, and Locke's quotes back to their sources and learned that 60 percent of those were also derived from the Bible.

These scholars came face to face with the fact that nearly half of the source material used in the development of our Constitution and Bill of Rights either directly or indirectly came from the Bible!

Does that speak something about the old paths? It's undeniable.

Although America has turned away from them, this nation was founded on the principles, standards and truths of the Word of God.

Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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