Over the next few weeks, Shane is revisiting articles that drew the most feedback in 2010. Here is number five…
This article has special significance for me. I was able to pray in Jesus’ name last Tuesday, Jan. 25th, at the City Council meeting in Lancaster. This is a priviledge that should not be taken lightly.
In the last few decades, we have seen a calculated attempt to remove God from government. Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what we are becoming today. Many gave their lives in order that we would be “one nation under God,” not above God. A Fifth Division graveyard sign in Iwo Jima, Japan, states it well: “When you go home, tell them for us and say, ‘For your tomorrows we gave our today.’” What a travesty when we fail to honor those who gave their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy; one of those freedoms is to pray in Jesus’ name.
Apparently, the ACLU is requesting that City Councils across our nation stop praying in the name of Jesus because it offends people. Granted, some may be offended by America’s Christian heritage, but that does not give them the right to remove God from America’s history.
The first part of the First Amendment (which the ACLU loves to misquote) clearly reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Note the words, “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The government cannot establish a national religion, but it can openly and unapologetically acknowledge the sovereign hand of God.
Acknowledgment is not establishment. Did you catch that: Acknowledging God is not establishing a religion. That’s why arguments such as, “If you pray in the name of Jesus you should also honor the prayers of other religions,” are absurd. We can pray in the name of Jesus in government offices and in schools without offering alternative messages. I’m not being narrowed minded or arrogant—I’m speaking the truth. We can openly acknowledge God in all areas of civil government because our government was built on His Word, His precepts, and His principles. We must acknowledge Him as the source of our nation’s strength.
Let’s get brutally honest: Why are so many disturbed when the name of Jesus is mentioned? The answer is simple: There is power in His name—power that shakes the spiritual realm. Philippians 2:9-11 says that God has highly exalted Him and has given Him a name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Make no mistake—He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life! This no doubt offends people. It takes a humble person to admit that they need a Savior. Pride is at the heart of this movement.
The ACLU has used the infamous “separation of church and state” phrase to ban religious activities, primarily those promoting Christian principles. Sadly, many believe that “separation of church and state” appears in the Constitution, when, in reality, the phrase does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. Did you catch that? “Separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution. So where did it originate? Thomas Jefferson used the phrase in 1802 in a private letter written to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. The Baptists feared that the government might someday try to regulate religious expression. Ironically, the ACLU is trying to do this today. Remember, that’s one reason why the Pilgrims left England for Holland before coming to America. This is crucial in understanding the spirit in which the First Amendment was written. In other words, the Colonists, like the Pilgrims, did not want the government imposing a national religion or denomination on the people—they wanted to worship freely.
The City Council is definitely staying within the perimeters set forth in the Constitution—legally, biblically, and historically. In Richmond v. Moore, the Illinois Supreme Court said this in 1883: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
Noah Webster added, “Our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.”
History, as well as the original intent of the Founders, does not allow us to separate God’s Word from governing our nation. The Founders chose a republic for this very reason. Representatives were to vote and administrate according to unchanging biblical principles, not by feelings or opinion polls.
Unlike today, many early political leaders were not ashamed to admit the true source of America’s strength—they were biblically correct, rather than politically correct. The council is doing what is right, not what is “popular” or “politically correct.”