Pastor Roger Anghis
December 23, 2012
Over the years we are seeing what used to be a sacred time, the celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world, turn into something that isn't even recognizable. Even though it hasn't been a tradition since the pilgrims, not becoming a standard holiday until the mid 1800's. But since the 1920's we, as a nation, have celebrated this solemn occasion with reverence complete with the tree, cards, gift giving, Santa Claus, the Christmas dinner, and Christmas lights.
Growing up in the 1950's I remember those celebrations with fondly. There was great care taken to keep the 'reason for the season' in the celebration. We were always reminded as to the reason of the celebration. Marketing has done more to turn it into a shopping marathon showing no reverence for the real reason for Christmas. Because we no longer put the emphasis on the birth of Christ we are losing a heritage that we may never regain. Many say that Jesus was not born on December 25th and they are probably right but the important thing is we take the time to celebrate his birth. Does it really make that much of a difference when it is celebrated?
The more we ignore our heritage the more we will forget. The more we forget the more we are in danger forgetting who we are. Those of you who can remember know that when you went shopping every store would have signs saying Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays. When you checked out the checker would tell you Merry Christmas instead of Seasons Greetings.
Our Christian heritage developed the most prosperous and generous nation the world has ever seen. We will never see another nation like this if we let it disappear. Our Founders took great pride in their Christian faith, They lived their faith everyday in everything they did. They ran their businesses by the biblical principles they lived by. When it came to celebrating their faith, they were not ashamed as we are today. Today we are so afraid of offending somebody that we allow almost anything.
Our schools won't let our kids sing Christmas carols that refer to 'Jesus', 'our Lord', or 'savior' because of the religious reference. We have gone from a nation that was proud of its religious heritage and proudly displayed it to a nation that is afraid to offend other religions and won't allow any Christian symbols in the public arena. Muslims can block off several streets in New York City for their daily prayers but Christians can't hang a copy of the Ten Commandments in our schools. We can't pray in public but follers of a false god can shut down portions of a city with impunity.
In Dearborn , MI the Islamic call to prayer is announced throughout the city on loudspeakers but it is against the law to ring church bells. Even though only one person has done for mankind what was needed to give him eternal salvation, that person, Jesus, cannot be talked about in the public arena.
Our Founders established a nation that was based entirely on Christian principles in government, their businesses and in their private lives. They knew that without a belief in Jesus and adopting His principles they would not succeed.
John Adams stated: " The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
In a letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush he stated: "The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation."
Adams also stated: "Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell."
And in confirming his belief in the importance of his Christian faith he stated: "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity."
Elias Boudinot declared: Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.
Samuel Huntington believed that we should openly acknowledge our faith in JEsus Christ, as did most of the Founders, but in today's America, doing that is taboo. Huntington stated: " It becomes a people publicly to acknowledge the over-ruling hand of Divine Providence and their dependence upon the Supreme Being as their Creator and Merciful Preserver . . . and with becoming humility and sincere repentance to supplicate the pardon that we may obtain forgiveness through the merits and mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States fully believed in a public recognition of the nations faith in Jesus. He stated: "I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow."
Jedidiah Morse, Historian of the American Revolution, fore told of the dangers of destroying the Christian foundation that had been laid since the pilgrims began to settle in America. He knew that when we set God aside, to our detriment, all the prosperity and greatness that had been granted to America would also be set aside. He stated: "To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys.
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All efforts made to destroy the foundations of our Holy Religion ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation… in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom… Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government – and all the blessings which flow from them – must fall with them."
Too many in America have forgotten Who made America. Too many Americans simply take what our Founders gave us for granted. Too many Americans simply give no thought to what we have to do to keep America the best in the world. The biggest mistake is forgetting the reason for the season.
To quote my good friend Pastor Garrett Lear: " I will have no other king but KING JESUS… Someone has stolen my country (for most certainly I have not given her away) and I want her back now!"
Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington
D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII,
p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June
2. Letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated December 21, 1809, from the original in our possession.
3. John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1856), Vol. X, p. 254, to Thomas Jefferson on April 19, 1817.
4. John Adams, Works, Vol. III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796.
5. Elias Boudinot, The Life, Public Services, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, pp. 19, 21, speech in the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey.
6. Samuel Huntington, A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation, March 9, 1791, from a proclamation in our possession, Evans #23284.
7. William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J & J Harper, 1833), Vol. I p. 518, Appendix V, from a prayer found among Mr. Jay’s papers and in his handwriting.
8. Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America, Delivered at Charlestown, April 25, 1799, The Day of the National Fast (MA: Printed by Samuel Etheridge, 1799), p. 9.
© 2012 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org