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!
These are not my words. In fact, these words were first proclaimed over 140 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln.1 If he were alive today, Abraham Lincoln would be shocked about how worse the situation has become in the United States of America.
Mere mention of God by a public official can bring an onslaught of complaint and derision by the liberal press. For example, Lt. General William G. Boykin, a decorated U.S. Army officer, was castigated for remarks he made about Islam and Christianity.2 Boykin, an evangelical Christian, was quoted discussing a 1993 battle with a Muslim militia leader saying, "I knew my God was bigger than his." Two liberal senators, John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., then urged a probe be conducted into whether Boykin displayed what they called "inappropriate behavior." Previously, Boykin, got in trouble for his statements on why the Sept. 11 attacks weren't worse than they could have been. He said the hand of God stopped two more airplanes from crashing into landmarks in this country. That statement set editorial writers at major newspapers into a frenzy.
In a nation where the freedom to murder unborn persons is a cherished "right," the freedom to express one's religious views is politically incorrect. Christians must not bow to political pressure to be silenced, since acquiescence to this censure will eventually lead to our loss of freedom to express religious convictions altogether.
Lest we think that we are the first generation to abandon God, a previous generation had the same problem:
I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children, but a warped and crooked generation. Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? (Deuteronomy 32:3-6)
Regardless of these transgressions, God is willing to forgive us. If we return to Him, He will return to us and be our God.
"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 3:7)
- Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day
- Keith Peters. 2003. Flap Over General's Comments Tied to Christianity, Focus on the Family.
We are what we think.
- 04/26/2016 09:00 AM
The Insatiable Search for Peace and Rest
Human beings were made for God (Psalm 100:3, Acts 17:26–27), but something has gone deeply wrong. Sin has cut us off from our Creator and left us out-of-sync with each other and ourselves. Under the curse of sin, we both desire God and resist Him simultaneously (see Romans 1). The consequence of this spiritual tug-of-war is that we often turn…
- 04/19/2016 09:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Blaise Pascal
Did you know that the first digital calculator was invented by a seventeenth-century French mathematician? In his brief time on Earth, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) wore many hats and left an imprint on both modern science and Christian philosophy that lingers to this day. Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of Blaise Pascal—and why he still matters today.…
- 04/12/2016 09:00 AM
5 Levels of Christian Faith
We often use the word “faith” to describe the core of someone’s beliefs—but people of differing religions use the term in very different ways. This has challenged me to more carefully probe the distinctive features of the word “faith” from the perspective of historical Christianity. Faith is much more profound than simply recounting our personal conversion story. Rather, Christian faith…
- 04/05/2016 11:17 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on C. S. Lewis
In the last decade a slew of Narnia movies were released in theaters and, though C. S. Lewis has been gone more than 50 years, his books are still as popular as ever. He’s the famous atheist-turned-Christian, but what exactly did he believe and what did he contribute to Christianity? Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of…
- 03/29/2016 09:00 AM
Risen and What Makes a Good Christian Film
Christian filmmakers are on a roll. The last several years have brought us an increasing number of religious films, many bordering on mainstream and featuring globally recognized stars. But among the miraculous true stories and positive message films, Risen, the tale of a skeptical Roman soldier Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) encountering the risen Christ (Cliff Curtis), is the one that caught…
- 03/22/2016 09:00 AM
Jesus’ Family and the Resurrection
People who doubt religion and the supernatural typically think believers lack skepticism. In the minds of most atheists, Christians cannot sufficiently think through a religious claim unless they begin with cynical disbelief. Atheists often assert that extraordinary claims—like the supernatural—require extraordinary evidence in order to be justifiably believable. One central leader of the early Christian church began his journey to…
- 03/15/2016 09:00 AM
How Intellectual Christians Can Fit in with the Evangelical Church
“It is man’s glory to be the only intellectual animal on earth. That imposes upon human beings the moral obligation to lead intellectual lives.”1 —Mortimer J. Adler The first article I wrote on the subject of intellectuals in the church received so much attention on social media that I decided to follow up with a second. All of the positive…
- 03/08/2016 09:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Augustine
I’ve heard it said that evangelical Christians don’t study our church history very deeply. As a fellow evangelical, I think there is, unfortunately, a lot of truth in this statement. Contemporary Christians can learn a great deal from the history of their faith. But where to start? This series, “Christian Thinkers 101,” provides a snapshot of some of the…
- 03/01/2016 09:00 AM
3 Timeless Books on Christianity
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food. —Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Renaissance scholar and theologian Reading books has been an obsession of mine since my conversion to Christianity as a college sophomore. I sensed my mind really mattered in serving the Lord; so I began a serious pursuit of…
- 02/23/2016 09:00 AM
Is It Intolerant to Claim Christianity Alone Is True?
A couple of years ago I visited Canada to record television interviews about my book Christian Endgame. Prior to the recording, some of the Christians in the green room told me to be cautious about saying that Christianity is the exclusively true religion. When I inquired why, I was told that it is considered intolerant in Canadian society to claim…
Last Modified November 12, 2007