Every month we hear the results of Supreme Court decisions that affect everything from how we do our banking to the more thorny issues of abortion or race relations. With so many "rights" groups lobbying the government and so many difficult decisions confronting today's politicians it is no surprise that America is becoming a nation where moral issues are being decided in the courtroom, especially the Supreme Court.
Now I don't mean that policies and laws are being decided in a moral way (this should always be the case in court). I mean that the very basics of what is moral, what is right and wrong, and how to determine what is right and wrong - this is now the subject of what is being discussed and decided by the Supreme Court. It seems that the state and federal supreme courts have become the final courts of appeal not only for legislative matters, but also the referee for ethics and morals which were the previous domain of the church. 1 Timothy 3:15 "...the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth".
Society is taking its cue from the courts as to the acceptability of moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, and marriage as well as laws governing the treatment of the ill, the poor, and the environment. The courts are the ones who are setting the country's moral compass, as if this body were the new standard for what is right and what is wrong in America. This direction is dangerous for several reasons.
The Judges are Human
As experienced and sincere as they may be, these people are imperfect and their judgments are often flawed. Solomon says,
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
- Proverbs 14:12
It is foolish to put decisions about absolute right or wrong into the hands of mere humans.
We know that most judges are appointed based on their political ideology. In the end, many decisions have less to do with jurisprudence than with politics. In his book, "The Marble Curtain" by justice Antonio Scalia (who was a justice of the Supreme Court) - Justice Scalia describes an example of the bias shown by liberal judges when they threw out a law that was legally enacted and voted upon by the people of Colorado in denying "special" rights for homosexuals. These judges, sympathetic to the gay movement, simply used their position to strike down a law, not because it violated the constitution, but because it violated their political viewpoint! This demonstrated that in the end, the court becomes a vehicle to accomplish an agenda set by those whose standards are not guided by right or law - but rather by a thirst for power.
Only an Absolute Lawgiver Can Give Absolute Laws
Again, Solomon says, "Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord." Proverbs 29:26. God's laws, God's ways, and God's direction are always just because He Himself is absolute, just, wise, and unbiased. It's one thing to use the courts to interpret, to apply, and to develop laws based on God's laws in our country and fast changing society. However, it's quite another to change His laws and substitute them for laws born of human wisdom which the courts have been doing for the last 50 years. The most blatant expression of this is the fact that it is no longer legal to display the 10 commandments in courtroom.
What Can Christians Do?
The Supreme Court may seem out of our orbit of influence and we may feel there is not much we can do to affect these people. After all, Christians are not revolutionaries or anarchists, but that doesn't mean that we cannot use the influence we do have to pressure this nation.
There are several things we can do:
Don't only vote in Presidential elections, but vote for mayors, school boards, labor unions, etc. People who wield power are normally elected in a democracy, and the privilege to vote is one way a Christian can say, "I have exercised my influence in this matter." Voting is a way of using one of our blessings to honor God.
- We honor God by worship.
- We honor God in society by doing our part to support and encourage those people who are doing God's will in the public and political areas.
The percentage of the people eligible to vote, who actually voted in the last Presidential election was about 57.5%. This means that Mr. Obama who received about 51% of the total votes cast was elected by only 29% of the American public, and yet he sets the agenda for 100% of the people! Voting is one of our most precious blessings, one that many people have died to preserve and one that many in other countries would risk death in order to gain (i.e. North Korea). We cannot influence this nation for Christ unless we use this privilege often and use it wisely. God removed Israel's freedom when she permitted evil men to rule her. The same could happen here if we don't use our influence while we still have it.
2. Honor the Christian Heritage of This Nation
Despite the efforts to erase and minimize this fact in school curriculums and history books, the USA was founded by people who were God fearing, Bible believing, and Christian living. For example:
- 52 of the 55 founding Fathers who worked on the Constitution were Evangelical Christians. They believed that Jesus Christ was God.
- Patrick Henry is famous for saying, "Give me liberty or give me death," but he also said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great country was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ."
- John Quincy Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissolvable bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
- John Jay, the original chief justice of the Supreme Court said, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers...it is the duty...of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
- George Washington said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."
- Benjamin Franklin said, "If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
- Abraham Lincoln said, "...I know that the Lord is always on the side of right, but my constant anxiety and prayer is that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."
I could go on with similar quotes in defense of America as a nation uniquely founded as, and governed as, a Christian nation without the consideration that it would ever be anything else. James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson (even though he was not a Christian), agreed and supported this principle.
The Supreme Court also conducted its affairs with this sacred trust and understanding:
- It originally ruled that schools must teach Christianity and the Bible as the source of morality.
- In 1811 it ruled, "Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of Civil government." (You attack Christians, you attack the Government).
So, the USA was consciously founded as a Christian nation and meant to continue as one. Then there was a change.
In 1962, the Supreme Court reversed two hundred years of religious history ruling removing prayer from schools and thus began a course where the Courts systematically removed the influence of religion in government and education (even though at the time 97% of Americans claimed a belief in God).
Since 1963 in America we have seen a disproportional increase in:
- Single parent families
- School violence
- Drug addition
- Moral decline (rise of the gay rights movement)
In 1985, the Supreme Court ruled that atheism was a legitimate religion equal in protection and rights to Christianity which, in my opinion, was the final insult and foolishness, "...in professing to be wise, they became fools." Romans 1: 22
Since this time there have been countless politicians, philosophers, teachers, artists, and writers who have tried to erase the fact that this country was founded by Christians, governed by Christian principles, and meant to remain Christian until Jesus returns. The reason that America is great is because it was founded by these people, on these principles. This is why all people want to come here.
We should not be ashamed to honor this heritage and make an effort to promote it in every way we can. This can include:
- Voting for Christian officials.
- Promoting Christian standards, policies, and practices in every area of our community.
- Being faithful as Christians ourselves and providing a witness for Christ.
- Supporting and being involved in the church and the work of the church.
- Using our talent, our position, and our influence in promoting the Christian agenda in running for school board positions and other municipal functions.
- Support Christian businesses, art, and various Christian periodicals.
- Confront and reveal immorality in our schools and communities.
- Respect other religions but be firm in the belief and proclamation that there is salvation in no other name under heaven except Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
This is the only country in the world that welcomes and encourages other religions to practice and flourish. We go too far, however, when we write laws and promote an agenda that destroys the religion that made this country what it is. If we want America to be the Christian nation it was meant to be, Christians need to honor this heritage and make a stand for an America that is Christian in philosophy and practice.
The final thing we can do to preserve the Christian nature of the U.S.A:
3. Appeal to a Higher Court
What we are seeing in this nation is the attempt by godless people to establish the rule of man on earth - a rulership without reference to God. This is nothing new, man has always tried to usurp God's place by setting up towers, kingdoms, and idols. The Bible says that this is the cycle that will lead to the final confrontation when the Man of Lawlessness, the Anti-Christ, will come and try not just to ignore God, but to actually take His place (II Thessalonians 2:2-11).
I do not believe that the present system is the Anti-Christ but rather one more attempt in an age old cycle to replace the Creator with the created, and this usually plunges us further into darkness and destruction (Romans 1:21). Christians can preserve what was originally intended for this country by appealing to a higher court - the court where God sits on His throne as creator and ruler of the world. Through prayer in Christ we can appeal to this highest of courts to restrain ruthless leaders, shield us from a godless system, and raise up Godly men and women who can lead us once again along the paths of righteousness. We need to do this because in the end, Jesus will come, the world will be destroyed, and all will have to face the court of God's judgment.
At this time, the decision will not be based on man's collective wisdom, but on God's word.
He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
- John 12:48
As I said before, we may have little influence here, but through prayer we do have access to the highest court that exists.
I mention these things to remind you that we can do something important and effective to preserve the Christian nature of this great country. The question is...Do we? Do we vote, do we defend our Christian heritage, do we appeal to God on behalf of this nation?
Let's stop being discouraged and begin using the influence we do have to achieve the goal that is important, necessary, and according to God's will. I think God wants America to be Christian. He wants every country to be Christian, but in America we've achieved it and are in the process of losing it and it's up to us to get it back.
The other question is...how will we face judgment?
Will we be part of those who deny Christ, refuse the gospel, or are indifferent to our faith and its exercise? Or will the Lord find us faithful, fighting for what is right, fearless in the face of an ungodly world?
How will the court find when it will be your turn to stand before it? Better to come to Jesus now as your savior in repentance and baptism, than face Him as your judge when we will all stand in God's higher court.