HERITAGE. What exactly does the word mean, and what does it imply? Dictionary.com defines “heritage” as follows”
- Something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition: e.g. “a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage”;
- Something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion; e.g. “a heritage of poverty and suffering”;
- Something reserved for one; e.g. “the heritage of the righteous”;
- In Law: Something that has been or may be inherited by legal descent or succession.
Those definitions seem fairly straightforward. So why is it that when people of seeming intelligence and good will discuss whether or not the United States of America was founded as a “Christian Oriented Nation”, and more pointedly, were most of our Founding Fathers “Christians”, a great cloud comes over their minds, and the darkness of false teachings, closed-mindedness, and deliberate mendacity begins to reign supreme?
As I see it, the problem with most Americans today is that they have little or no sense of true history. What little history they think they know has been spoon fed to them by biased government pseudo-schools, by a liberal/progressive-oriented educational establishment with an “agenda” of dumbing down America’s young people to make them “generic world citizens” generally, and unthinking and “reliable” Democrat-voting Socialist robots specifically, and by a “main stream media” intent on rewriting history in the “politically correct” modes of the present, modes which often have little or no relationship with the true history of our “American experiment”, and which encourage disdain for the country that was bequeathed to us by our Founding generation.
Let’s begin by talking about “revival”. The word means: “To return to consciousness or life--- to become ACTIVE or flourishing again.” So how did America actually begin, and were there any spiritual “revivals” in our past? I’ve written often in these pages about the brave and stalwart people known as “The Mayflower Pilgrims”, that intrepid band of mostly English adults and children, about a third of whom were a part of a separated English church in Leiden, Holland, (where they had fled from their English homeland in 1608 to escape religious and political persecution) and who believed that “obedience to God” was more important than obedience to the false teachings of a “man-corrupted” established Church of England. After several “false starts”, they finally arrived in frigid New England (actually the tip of Cape Cod), on November 6, 1620, on a decrepit 90 foot converted freighter named “Mayflower”, to start the second English colony in the “New World” (the Jamestown colony being the first), a colony devoted to honoring God’s Word, and living by its precepts as “Christians” to the best of their abilities.
We’ve all been taught, or at least we should have been, that these 104 English colonists, not all of who were Christians, barely survived that first harsh winter and spring of 1620/21, and that about half of them didn’t. But those who did survive lived under their written “Compact” of civil government, the “Mayflower Compact”, that began—“IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN”—signed by all of the adult male Pilgrims while Mayflower was anchored off what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the tip of Cape Cod. Was this Plymouth Colony, which survived from 1620 to 1691 (when it was absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony) a “Christian” colony with a mostly Christian population and a government run to a large extent by “Christians” using Biblical principles? Except for their initially agreed upon “communal” form of government, (which only lasted a little over two years) I believe it was. So did they.
So why did the people of New England believe that they needed a “revival” within 40 years or so of Plymouth Colony’s end? Apparently they did so believe, for the period from 1731 to 1755 has been historically named, The First Great Awakening, and it was led by faithful men of God such as George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards. This first “great awakening”, dominated by these strong CHRISTIAN pastors with their sermons based on God’s Word, is said to have changed the future of the country we today call the U.S.A. Several decades later, The Second Great Awakening of 1790 TO 1840 occurred, championed by the indomitable Rev. Charles Finney, and it was claimed
at the time that the souls of the American people were so stirred by Finney’s preaching that they turned their hearts toward the God of the Bible.
Apparently our American ancestors heeded God’s Word, found in Psalm 85:6, as they prayed-----“Oh God, will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” These “awakenings”, or “REVIVALS”, based on preaching and hearing God’s Word, sound pretty “Christian” to me. Not secular—not politically correct—not “inclusive” of all other religious beliefs, but CHRISTIAN, which was what society was in those days, for the most part. That truth is something that our modern society, dominated by the strong “religion” of ‘secular humanism’ and its apologists, want modern-day Americans to forget or preferably to never know, for our mostly anti-Christian opinion makers and shakers are masters of deceipt!
I’ve always believed that God’s Word teaches that the way any people view history (“His Story”) will pretty much affect the way that those people behave within their respective societies. In other hoary words, “those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes”. The violent history of mankind in general, and of the 20th Century in particular, bears ample evidence of man’s propensity to do evil, to prey upon, enslave, and murder his fellow man, and to proclaim that “there is no God except for man himself”! Fortunately, the wise men and women who founded the United States of America believed otherwise, for as afflicted by their sinful natures as all men have been, are, and will forever be—they were “People of the Book”—they were Christians for the most part, or if they weren’t they were at least “God-fearing”, and no amount of progressive and Marxist mendacity and main stream media perfidy and university/seminary miseducation will ever change that fact.
The Christians who founded this nation knew, and indeed all Christians alive today need to know, that the country we call America started out DIFFERENTLY, was “theologically unique”, and despite tremendous anti-Christian influences and pressures by the “movers and shakers” of our society, virtually from the earliest days of our Republic, still today remains somewhat “different” from most other countries, because the Bible, God’s unchanging and inerrant Word, was honored and followed by faithful Christians long before there ever was an “America” to be different, and is still honored and followed by perhaps half of the American population.
Next time in Part 2 we’ll begin to explore more evidences that not only were most of our Founders Christians, but that they did establish the United States as a Christian-oriented nation, a fact that was long recognized by the U.S. government itself, including our Supreme Court.