Foreword: In The Beginning

In the beginning, Europeans poured into America, each bringing their own brand of Christianity.   To them religion was not only important, it was a vital part of life.  To them Christianity was the one true religion (John 14:6).  Like the Greeks and Romans in ancient times, the colonialists saw lands as vacant, as the natives were hunters and gatherers rather than farmers.  However, with exceptions like the French in Canada and the Spanish in North America, the driving force of the settlers on our east coast was to practice their Christian religion without persecution.

 Most of us remember, from our early school days, the story of the Pilgrims (1620) and the first Thanksgiving.  Their flight from religious persecution in England led them, first to the Netherlands and finally to America where they practiced liberty of conscience (Romans 14:22-23).  Above all, the colonialists considered themselves Christians and attributed all things to Providence, which to them was the God of the Bible.  However, it was the Puritan influence, in their efforts to purify the church (Matthew 5:8), that set the moral climate for the new nation.

 It was the Puritans that first saw America as "a nation of saints" or "a City upon on a Hill."  Christians in the first century were often called saints (Cf. Acts 9:13, 32, 41etc.).  In other words, they saw America as a Christian nation, as most Americans do today.  Our coins tell us, in God we trust.  Our pledge of allegiance states, "I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which is stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  

 In a world of slavery, it was Thomas Jefferson - the author of our Declaration of Independence  - that visualized a Christian truth.  He wrote, "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 ..."  The Apostle Peter echoed this thought upon meeting the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, in Acts ten.  He said, "I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34-35).  Truly the Gospel (Romans 1:16-18) is for all.

 Yet in today's America, there is this godless movement to remove, from every facet of our culture, the Creator God that is the center of our Life, our Liberty, and the source of our happiness and prosperity.  We Christianized the native Indians; we befriended or conquered, in this pagan land. We Christianized the slaves we imported from Africa.  To cap it off, we sent the U.S. Army to Utah to  enforce the Christian concept of marriage - i.e. one man and one woman - as Jesus said it was thus in the beginning (Matthew 19:3-6). 

 As with Israel of old, let us return to the God of our fathers, to the God of the Bible, that we might turn away His wrath and receive His blessing for truly, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people: (Proverbs 14:34).

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK