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The well-being of this nation is on the heart of every sober-minded American these days. Each of us may hold a different political view. Each may have his own idea about what changes need to be made in government and who should make them. But one thing everyone seems to agree upon is this: something has gone wrong in the United States of America and the time has come to make it right.

If you were to look at all the problems this country is currently facing—problems such as the economy, war, terrorism, violence, drug use, teenage pregnancy, government shutdowns and deficits—you might throw up your hands and say it's impossible for us to handle them all.

A Word From The Lord
But with God, all things are possible. And I believe He has a word for us that will set us on the right path once again. You'll find it in Jeremiah 6:15.

There, the prophet of God is speaking to a nation of people who have grown so calloused in their hearts that their immoral ways have not even embarrassed them. When they committed abomination, "...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."

Jeremiah was actually talking about the children of Israel when he said that. But overall, the same could be said of Americans today. As a nation, we aren't blushing about the shameful things happening among us.

We find a remedy for that condition, however, in the very next verse.
Thus saith the Lord, 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.
(Jer. 6:16)
It's become popular in recent times to mock old ways. As a society, we've come to believe that new and different are always better. But that's not true, especially where this nation is concerned.

As Americans, we have an outstanding heritage. The government designed by our Founding Fathers has lasted longer than any other in history. While other nations have changed constitutions and governing documents again and again (as many as 52 times in the past two centuries), the government of the United States has remained the same for 200 years.

Our Founding Fathers
Secular historians would have us believe that the founders of this nation were either agnostics, atheists or deists—anything other than Christians. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is that 52 of the 55 men who produced the Constitution and worked on the Bill of Rights were committed members of either orthodox or evangelical Christian churches. Just look at some of the comments they made as they labored and prayed over the foundational documents of this nation!
"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."
- Patrick Henry

"We have no government armed with power capable of dealing with passions unbridled by morality or religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and Christian people."
- John Adams

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
- James Madison

"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."
- George Washington
There are hundreds of such statements from our Founding Fathers. It seems they were all cut from the same piece of cloth.

These were men who believed that the success of this nation and the gospel of Jesus Christ were inextricably woven together, and to separate the two would destroy the very fabric that holds together these precious United States.

It is no wonder then, when the political science department of the University of Houston did an in-depth study of the ideas, philosophies, and principles our Founding Fathers used to form the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, this is what they found: nearly half of the source material used in the Bill of Rights came either directly or indirectly from the Bible.

Keep in mind, that study wasn't done by a Christian group. It was done by a secular organization. Yet it came to the conclusion that this nation was founded on the Word of God!

The Mythical Separation
"Don't such findings violate the separation of Church and State as called for in the First Amendment?" you may ask.

No, it doesn't because the First Amendment says nothing about separation of Church and State. It simply says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The sole purpose of the Founding Fathers in writing that statement was to ensure that there would be no federally established or sponsored denomination. That's all they were after.

Where, then, did the term "separation of Church and State" originate?

It was used in a personal letter written by Thomas Jefferson, a man who had nothing to do with writing the Constitution or with drafting the Bill of Rights. He wasn't one of our Founding Fathers in that regard.

In 1947, a Supreme Court justice dredged up Jefferson's letter and used it as the basis for a ruling that, "The First Amendment erected a wall of separation between Church and State...."

Before long, the term became so popular that in 1958, one Supreme Court justice warned that if the talk about separation of Church and State continued, the American people would eventually think it was part of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, his warning came too late. Our nation had already begun to turn away from the old paths, and on June 25, 1962, for the first time ever, the Supreme Court separated Christian principles from public education. It outlawed prayer in public schools.

Although that ruling has become the precedent for many subsequent rulings, when it was made in 1962, the Court did not give one single legal or historical precedent for it. The reason was simple. There was none to give.

Demise of the American Dream
That year, 1962, marked the turning point for this nation. It was the year the American dream started to die.

That is not just my opinion. It is a statistical fact. Up until 1962, for example, violent crime was of almost no concern to most Americans. But in the 30 years following, the rate of violent crime increased 800 percent. Prior to 1963, divorce rates were declining. Afterward, they shot up so rapidly that now the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world, with more than half of all marriages ending in divorce—including marriages among Christians!

If I could show you a chart, you would see that beginning in 1963, we have witnessed a dramatic rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, premarital sexual activity and unmarried couples living together.

Also since 1963, our nation has become the leader of the industrialized world in the rate of teen pregnancies (up 553 percent since 1963), voluntary abortions and illiteracy.

You may not think academic achievement has anything to do with the godliness of a nation, but statistics prove differently. Consider, for instance, average scores on the SAT test. The average high school student scored 980 on that test up till 1963. As soon as we took God out of the classroom, the average score dropped by more than 80 points.

Interestingly enough, students in private Christian schools score higher on the SAT than public school students. How much higher? An average of 80 points.

Clearly, none of these statistics are a coincidence. They are a reflection of what happens to a nation when it banishes God from government. They reveal to us the price we have paid for departing from the old ways.

Don't Just Get Mad—Get Busy!
But, praise God, that's not the end of the story. We can take steps to turn this nation around and take it in the direction our Founding Fathers intended. We can use these alarming facts not to grieve us, but to motivate us to do the things we know to do.

First and foremost, we can use them to stir us to pray! First Timothy 2:2 exhorts us to pray:
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Don't under-estimate the power of prayer. Stir yourself up to pray for this nation every day. God promised that if we would pray for our land, He would heal it (2 Chron. 7:14).

Then put feet to your prayers. James 2:17 tells us that faith without action is dead, so get involved politically. Follow the admonition of John Jay and work to put Christians in political office. Participate at the grass-roots level. Be involved in your precinct activity, and the caucus activity. And above all, at every opportunity, VOTE!

Thirdly, raise your children in the ways of the Lord. Instill the Word of God in them from a young age. Seriously consider putting them in a school that reinforces rather than subverts Christian values. Do whatever it takes to see to it that your children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Finally, be committed to increase the Body of Christ. In other words, support your local church. The stronger our churches are, the more influence they will have on this nation. So give of yourself, your time and your finances!

We sing of America, the beautiful...and truly, in days past she has been so. If we will each be determined to do our part to continue that legacy, America will indeed be beautiful again!

Copyright © 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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