We today must be persistent in prayer

as Washington was both as General & President. 

 

FAITH THAT WORKS

       America has lost sight of the power of faith. Her first hundred years or more America was a fountain of faith with explicit understanding of the unfailing power of God. The church was favored and allowed free-rein, leaving government to do what government does best, which is to protect, and the church to do what it does best, which is being the “salt of the earth”. It does not take much faith, the size of a mustard seed, to move mountains! 

        It was by faith that the Thirteen Colonies put the British Empire to flight and proceeded to build a nation. It was by faith that the magnificent U. S. Constitution was drafted, with the intent of keeping the government out of the church and keeping America, with the church as a guide-post, within the will of God. 

       Faith led various presidents to lead in the purchase of various territories thus expanding the land mass of America. 

       Through faith President Lincoln led America through the throes of a dreadful Civil War, setting the slaves free, by a Presidential Emancipation Proclamation. 

       For 150 years America was known as “THE BREAD BASKET OF THE WORLD”. As Americans began moving across the American continent they built productive farms raising life sustaining and life preserving crops of all sorts. Among them were cotton, a wide assortment of grains and a bountiful assortment of numerous kinds of crops. 

       During this time came the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, when America METAMORPHOSED from being a farming community to an industrial one. The farm land gradually decreased and factories sprung up and expanded into more and more land. 

       America became the industrial power house of the world building a mass array of equipment and appliances. Then greed set in, as working Americans organized Labor Unions demanding more pay per hour, fringe benefits, paid vacations, paid sick leave, 8-hour days and 5-day work weeks. Eventually factories began moving to other countries seeking relief from these  demands. Eventually America imported more than it exported, thus losing jobs for Americans. 

       How well I remember my days of growing up on the family farm in Louisiana. Dad never faltered in his faith. He knew that each spring when he went out and planted acres of cotton seed that come autumn there would be an ample harvest of cotton to supply money for all that was needed for his little family until the next harvest. Dad never felt insecure. He never felt poor. Along with the money crops we always had large plots of ground planted in corn, peanuts, potatoes, all kinds of melons, a wide variety of peas and beans as well as a wide variety of vegetables.  In addition to vegetables, we had cows for milk and butter and chickens for meat and eggs. The pasture and wooded area were filled with a variety of wild berry vines and Huckleberry trees that Mother, my brother and I picked from for delicious pies and cobblers that Mother made. 

       Mother bought sugar and spices and a list of items she needed for canning. She also bought flour for biscuits and pastries, as Dad did not raise wheat. 

       The subject of FAITH came to my attention as I was earlier reading the third chapter of Joshua. Then this brought to my thoughts that one of the special marks of the apostolic church was the spirit of boldness. Boldness is an essential quality of the faith of God’s people to do great things for God, while expecting great things from God!  Christ working through 12 bold men turned the world upside down, bringing the Roman Empire to its knees. (Mk. 12:10; Psalm 118:22; I Peter 2:5 – 8). Note especially Vs 8. 

       One thing stood predominantly in my mind: The Levite's and the 12 men, one from each tribe did not falter, but moved forward boldly. As they approached the shores of Jordan they looked neither left nor right and did not stop. As their feet stepped into the water, the water stood tall and the ground was dry!! 

      That was the faith of early America! For decades, nearly 150 years, the church spoke out boldly in America. Then as government began to flex its muscles and seek to usurp authority not given it by the Constitution, the church began to lessen its boldness and not speak up so boldly. Ultimately the church began to lose its place of prominence. The Ten Commandments can no longer be in public display. Prayer is no longer allowed in a public setting such as graduations and other occasions. America is now under attack from both without and from within. 

       It is very important that America be militarily and monetarily strong, but these have not been the source of America’s strength. America’s strength has been in her churches. About 50 years after the United States declared its Independence, a Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to the U. S. to study what made America great. He was a critic of the instability in Europe and was looking for a key with which to unlock the stifled potential of Europe. Here are his observations: 

       “The American combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country. I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors . . . ; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”  (Death of a Nation – Stormer – Liberty Bell Press, Florissant, MO – Pgs 20, 21 & 131.) 

       In his farewell address President Washington stated, “It is impossible to govern a nation without the Bible.” Benjamin Franklin stated, “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” 

      America’s direst need is a national revival, a return to the apostolic faith of her Founding Fathers. Like the wise seamen, whom Christ called, may we today, the church launch out into the deep, and find again that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible to him that believes.                        

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.



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Updated February 5, 2011
 
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