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America has a long history of upholding biblical values

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Unsplash/ Aubree Herrick

In our democratic republic, the people rule through their representatives. Our pledge of allegiance to the flag and the republic is our commitment to being in charge of ourselves. It is a responsibility we cannot dismiss or ignore simply by saying we don't like politics.

From the beginning of time with Adam and Eve in the Garden, God has set clear moral standards for humanity. These standards were codified in law throughout the Old Testament, and though the people of Israel often failed to uphold them, God’s expectations did not change. Severe punishment came upon the Israelites for their shortcomings and disobedience to the law. Yes, Christians are no longer subject to the punishment of the law because of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ; however, God did not abolish ethical expectations on the believers. Here are a few examples of how strongly the New Testament speaks about morality and sin.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21).

“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire” (Mark 9: 43).

“Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:15).

There is tension in Christianity between those who did not engage in the affairs of the “kingdom of the world” because they are “citizens of Heaven” and those who believe Divine citizenship is the reason to espouse righteousness here on Earth. It is important to remember that the former led thousands of Germans Christians to stay tragically silent as the Nazis sent millions to the gas chamber. Silence in the face of sin is tacit acceptance. Christians must reach a consensus that prevents that kind of dangerous passivism from happening again.   

Here in the United States, we now face laws — to imprison parents who do not consent to the sexual mutilation of their children; the codification of more than 50+ genders; the murder of unwanted babies at birth; and forced medical treatments that alter our God-given genetic composition. How many more abominations would it take to reach that tipping point that demands all Christians to speak out?

Regardless of how lost or debased the actions of our leaders may be, every believer is personally accountable to God for preserving His commandments. This obligation also includes protecting freedom of speech, religious liberty, and the moral imperative to be a voice for the voiceless.

Recall the Lord's warning to the church at Thyatira:

“I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel … to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality ... I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds … and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works” (Revelation 2:20-23)

America has veered from its long and cherished history of maintaining biblical values. The pilgrims fled persecution from the kings of Europe who imposed strict control over the Church. These early Americans envisioned a government accountable to the people but ultimately beholden to God’s moral commandments.

These ideas were outlined in the Mayflower Compact and enshrined in our Constitution. “We, in the presence of God, covenant ourselves into a civil body politic.” They set up a congregational model of government, where the citizens convene to discuss societal matters under the auspices of God’s law. In Greek, this congregational body is known as Ekklesia — the same word for the Church in the New Testament. So when we say it’s one nation under God, it’s more than just an expression. It is an awareness that He exists and is watching us, and we will be accountable.  

In the 1600s, pastors and their churches formed cities and communities with the laws to govern them, stemming from their religious teaching. Pastor John Latham and his church founded Barnstable, Massachusetts. Pastor Roger Williams and his church founded Providence, Rhode Island, which later became the First Baptist Church in America. Reverend John Wheelwright and his congregation founded Exeter, New Hampshire, and Pastor Thomas Hooker founded Hartford, Connecticut, with his congregants. It was in 1638 when Pastor Hooker explained in a sermon that the foundation of government authority relied on the free consent of the people. The principles he preached became the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which was Connecticut’s Constitution from 1639 until 1818. Thomas Hooker, the founder of the state of Connecticut and father of American democracy, was also a Puritan clergyman.

In 1789, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, a Lutheran minister from a distinguished family in Pennsylvania, was elected the first speaker of the House of Representatives. Together with his brother John Peter also a devoutly religious man, they passed the First Amendment in that first session of Congress. Both gentlemen understood that the free exercise of their faith required protection from the potential abuse of federal power.

The churches formed themselves into a public state to preserve liberty and the purity of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They created a form of governance that would best preserve the freedom to preach the Gospel. They found no inconsistency in securing their rights politically and living righteously. They also had no intention of removing the Church from the state. Quite the contrary, they enacted laws to preserve religious liberty, not destroy it.   

“It was early colonial clergy … [that] preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man — these are … ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.”  – President Calvin Coolidge’s speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel.  She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.

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