June 19, 2013
Oct 21 - Craig von Buseck
During the darkest days of the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine wrote a stirring essay on a drumhead that encapsulated the monumental struggle of that conflict. It was called “The American Crisis,” and it so moved George Washington that he ordered his officers to read it to every soldier in the Continental Army:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods. It would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. (1)
Today, we face another American crisis as we grapple with some of the most dangerous threats we have ever encountered. Now is the time for people of faith to join the spiritual fight in intercession. Now is also the time for good men and women to rise up and act upon their convictions.
Sadly, we know from research that many Bible-believing Christians do not participate in the political process. Of the 58 million born again, evangelical Christians who were eligible to vote in the 2004 and 2008 general elections, just 57 percent actually went to the polls. (2)
One has to wonder why this is the case. Have people of faith become intimidated by the secular-humanist drumbeat they hear in the media? Has the anti-Christian “Goliath” of our times become too big of a threat? Or is it that they have fallen into cynicism, believing that their vote and their voice don’t matter?
I am here to say emphatically that your voice and your vote matter more than you can know. As we witnessed in the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore in Florida, every vote truly does count. It is vital for people of faith to stand up for God and biblical morality in these dark days.
The greatest threat to our freedom and success as a nation is for people of faith to do nothing and to allow the secular-humanists to remove God from the public arena. But there is overwhelming evidence that our Founding Fathers recognized the vital importance of religion in public discourse. It is no accident that the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution protected freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
In 1798, John Adams declared, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (3).
In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, Adams later stated, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were … the general principles of Christianity” (4).
Our Forefathers understood it was absolutely critical that religion, morality and faith in God remained integral parts of public discourse and private conversation.
Jefferson spoke of this in his “Notes on the State of Virginia”:
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever… (5)
Original documents show that our Founding Fathers intended to forge a country where people were free to express their religious beliefs openly – in both words and action. As George Washington wrote in his farewell address after serving two terms as president:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. (6)
In light of the dangers we face in the world today, we must be brave and willing to declare God’s truth from every platform available to us. We must then act to preserve the freedom that has made this nation great.
Christian leaders across America are calling for prayer and action in these critical days before the election. In full-page newspaper ads, Billy Graham has issued this moving appeal to all citizens of faith:
…it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles … pray with me that America will remain one nation under God. (7)
Pray with us, now, for this election. Pray, now, that God’s choice would be our choice in America.
Pray… now. And then vote.
Craig von Buseck is the co-author of Praying the News: Your Prayers Are More Powerful than You Know. He is a contributing writer for CBN.com and the Founder and Editor of www.ChurchWatch.co. His other books included NetCasters: Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men and Seven Keys to Hearing God’s Voice. More from Craig at www.vonbuseck.com.
1. Paine, Thomas. “The American Crisis” http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/rbpe:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbpe03902300))
2. CBN.com. http://www.cbn.com/special/register-to-vote/
3. Adams, John. Quoted in The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams
4. Adams, John. The Adams-Jefferson Letters. http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/adamsprinciples.html
5. Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. http://www.etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JefVirg.html
6. Washington, George. President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CDOC-106sdoc21/pdf/GPO-CDOC-106sdoc21.pdf
7. Graham, Billy. http://www.ericmetaxas.com/blog/billy-grahams-statement-on-the-election/