The Way Back
Our Founders would not recognize the America we’ve become. They were men and women of uncommon virtue and character, patriots fueled by a love of liberty and a willingness to pay any price to attain it. Not only were they patriots, but most of them - contrary to what dishonest liberals and deceptive revisionists want us to believe - were Christian patriots.
As such, these pioneers believed America was also God’s idea, not theirs alone. They were convinced that our nation was destined to become, in the words of Christ, “a city [nation] set on a hill that can’t be hidden...a light to the world,” (Matthew 5:14). This was their stated desire and belief, the driving force behind what they did. Early pilgrim John Winthrop quoted this verse prophesying America’s destiny in 1630, and no less than 12 U.S. presidents have restated this divine purpose! (1)
Pilgrim Robert Hunt, after landing at Cape Henry in 1607, planted a cross on the beach and declared, “...from these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only this New World but the entire world.” (2) Our Founders were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to birth - not only their dream of freedom - but God’s ultimate dream of an outpost for the gospel.
Desiring the blessing and aid of Almighty God, the framers of our constitution were determined to establish it under His authority and according to His principles. Consider the revealing words of George Washington and John Quincy Adams.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
(George Washington) (3)
The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.
(John Quincy Adams) (4)
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Quotes such as these make it evident that our Founding Fathers had no intention of separating America and her government from God and the Bible. America was founded in partnership with, and under, God.
Secularists would have us believe America can be great without God, that our greatness is due to our own abilities, determination, and natural resources - American exceptionalism. This is foolish pride and deception. The scriptures teach that righteousness exalts a nation, and the nation is blessed whose God is the Lord (Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 33:12, italics mine). Abraham Lincoln clearly understood this when he wrote in his March, 1863 proclamation of prayer:
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.(5)
These sobering words are as relevant today as they were 150 years ago; perhaps more so. America has again lost her way. Not only have we done so in a secular sense, but American Christianity also became confused and powerless. Filled with complacent Christians, the church became a sub-culture, not the counter-culture intended by Christ; conformists, not the nation-discipling people He commanded us to be (see Matthew 28:19).
Frenchman Alex de Tocqueville came to America in 1831 to study our nation. Sadly, we have experienced what he warned of:
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 in 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. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.(6)
“...her pulpits aflame with righteousness…” Dear God, what a change from today’s entertaining, often compromising and tepid church! By Tocqueville’s assessment, we’re looking for greatness in the wrong places.
Centuries ago, the prophet Jeremiah lamented the fallen condition of Israel. Like America today, the nation had been overtaken by compromise, complacency and idolatry. God’s dream for Israel seemed lost. Holy Spirit’s admonition to them, however, was, “Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, the tried-and-true road. Then take it,” (Jeremiah 6:16, The Message). The Lord was offering them a resurrection.
Just as Israel in Jeremiah’s day, America has lost her way. Having deviated from “the old road,” we are wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of godless humanism and moral relativism. Many of our national leaders are drunk with power and dizzied with deception. They routinely lie and say whatever they believe people want to hear in order to be elected and re-elected. And make no mistake about it, many - if not most - of them want a different America than the nation envisioned by our Founders. They desire a secular, not a Christian nation.
Far too many spiritual leaders have also lost their way to “the old road.” Like a GPS that cannot connect to a satellite, they are without heaven’s direction. Sold a package of unbiblical ideals, they run toward misdefined goals and are fueled by untamed egos. The quick growth of their churches and size of their congregations have become their standard for success. Many have forgotten Christ’s mission statement: preaching the good news to the poor, releasing captives, opening blind eyes, setting free the oppressed, casting out demons, healing the sick, and discipling nations (Luke 4:18; Mark 16:16-28; Matthew 28:19).
American has abandoned the old road, and we’re “flatlining” fast.
Where has the new road led us? Our schools have no prayer, scripture reading, or moral standards. Consequently, without the stabilizing anchor of truth, our kids wander aimlessly through the maze of moral relativism.
After the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage - yes, 5 individuals arrogantly contended that the Constitution gave them the right to redefine marriage - President Obama dishonored God and mocked all Bible-believing Christians by lighting the White House in the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ movement. He then threatened all public schools in America with lawsuits and the loss of federal, taxpayer-funded dollars if they refused to allow boys and girls to bathe together.
Our history is being rewritten, our government is a disgrace, our national debt is shocking, our media is dishonest, our schools are propaganda outlets, we hate and dishonor our police, murder rates are skyrocketing, and we kill our babies.
We’ve lost our way; we’ve lost the old road!
Our journey down the path of unbiblical and amoral philosophies has brought shocking but predictable results. When the slow death began, we had no answer. We’ve lost our mooring, our moral compass. Consequently, we are now stuck in the mire of a foundationless culture and the quicksand of humanistic, “no absolutes” thinking.
What will it take to find our way back? A Third Great Awakening - the greatest revival in our history - is America’s ONLY hope. This will lead us back to the old road. Then we must experience a great reformation of our government, education system, media, and more. This will require a pioneering spirit. We must have a generation of Bible-believing, path-finding, trailblazing change-agents who will brave the unknown, confront their fears and fight their way through the obstacles standing in the way. Joshua led an entire generation of fearless pioneers. America’s founders were trailblazers, emboldened by their passion and desire for freedom. Sometimes God has to place a pioneer spirit in an entire generation!
I believe this is now occurring. The great revival is coming and Holy Spirit is raising up a generation of God-honoring Americans with a pioneer spirit. Unwilling to settle for things as they are, this ardent generation will help us find the old road, the path that leads back to our roots and forward into a glorious future.
Pray with me:
Father, we have made a mess of things. We have fallen very far. But we thank You for Your immeasurable grace and mercy. Your ability to save and redeem is greater than the power of any sin. We believe You are coming to save America. America shall be saved!
A great revival is coming to the entire earth. This will not be stopped. And as You have admonished us, we do NOT doubt it. Bring it quickly, we pray, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
We decree that America will find the old road and take it.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.
Winthrop, John. “A model of Christian charity.” 1630. Kennedy, John F. “The city upon a hill.” Speech egiven at Massachusetts General Court. January 9, 1961. Reagan, Ronald. “We will be a city upon a hill.” Speech given at the First Conservative Political Action Conference, January 25, 1974. Also quoted by Presidents John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton.
Hunt, Robert, Rev. Prayer of dedication for the New World. April 29, 1607.
Simpson, Douglas, Looking for America: Rediscovering the meaning of freedom. (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2006), 304.
Lincoln, Abraham. “Proclamation 97 - Appointing a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” 30 March, 1863.
Though not a quote from Alex de Tocqueville,s books, this statement is routinely and widely attributed to him and has been used by U.S. Presidents and leaders as such.