Two hundred years ago our fathers dreamed of a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal in the image of God and are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A few years later at the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin, acknowledging the necessity for the nation’s dependence on and favor of God, proclaimed the need for prayer, declaring… “God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

A Constitution and Bill of Rights, based upon the framers commitment to the principles of the Judeo-Christian faith, guaranteed to the citizens of the nation freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to free assembly such as we enjoy here today.

We acknowledge, and at the same time deplore, that even to this day not all citizens of our nation enjoy a full measure of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. All too often these rights have been interpreted to mean the selfish benefit of some rather than the common good of all, without regard to race, sex, or national origin. Freedoms and rights have limitations. Edmund Burke once said “men are qualified for civil liberties in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.”

Today America’s “noble experiment” is being tested as never before. Those basic moral and ethical principles on which a great nation was built are increasingly being abandoned. Millions of spiritually insensitive Americans have turned freedom into license to do as they please. A nationally shallow conscience, and the lack of spiritual enlightenment cannot serve as moral foundations sufficient for continuing stability of our republic.

Examples of decay confront us on every hand. Crimes of violence have skyrocketed 174% within the last decade. Alcoholism, drug addiction and homosexuality are major social problems. The loss of respect for the sanctity of the marriage covenant and the instability of the home threaten the nation. One of every three marriages ends in divorce. Waves of political scandals from the White House to City Hall have engulfed America. Corruption in certain segments of both management and labor has shaken confidence in their integrity. Substantial distortion and slanted news reporting have impaired the credibility of the media until the national mood is one of cynicism and distrust. Judicial practices that turn hardened criminals loose on society on the one hand, while denying the basic right to a fair and speedy trial to others who languish in prison, are a national scandal. The unprecedented increase of programs that feature sex and violence on television is a clear sign of our moral and spiritual decay.

When a nation ceases to be good, it soon ceases to be free.

The government is increasingly becoming the master rather than the servant of the people. Americans rightly fear the rise of new bureaucracies that function beyond the law with no appeal from decisions often made at the whim of the bureaucrat. In a computerized society the government improperly obtains private information from data banks that could be used against the individual in violation of his constitutional rights. More and more, self respect and the right of self-determination are surrendered in the name of security. We ask again the question of an early patriot so long ago: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God.”

Will our nation, which has not been conquered from without, follow at long last the course of other great nations that finally collapsed from the weight of moral decay within? And if it does, will it perish, as Augustine said of Rome, “for want of order in the soul, and this disorder in the soul is a sickness unto death.”

We must hear again the Word of God which declares that righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people. As with men – what nations sow, nations shall also reap. God is not mocked.

In this year of Bicentennial celebration it is imperative that we, the American people, reaffirm those principles on which the United States of America was founded, but also accept and discharge the responsibilities that history imposes upon us. In our pledge of allegiance, we have now explicitly stated what our fathers envisioned – “One Nation under God” – and have inscribed on our coins, “In God we trust.” But mere lip service to an ideal, however noble, is not enough. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence paid dearly for the pledge they made. We call upon men in high places now to show the same boldness, enterprise and unembarrassed faith and to have courage to do the right as God gives them to see the right.

We, as evangelicals, stand today at a critical point in the history of our nation, when what we do or fail to do will make the difference. As Burke as said, “All that remains for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

American evangelicals have come to the kingdom for such an hour as this!


We must hear, as God’s challenge, “If my people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways: Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14).

We must act as Christ commanded, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

We must proclaim as Christ did, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

We must respond as Paul exhorted, that … “prayers be made for all men… and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (II Timothy 2:2).

WE THEREFORE, acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all, and Christ’s redeeming grace in our lives, commit ourselves to participate in every lawful and morally right function of human government and oppose with all our determination whatever is unlawful and morally wrong. While we work, we wait for the return of Him whose right it is to reign, whose Kingdom shall abide throughout eternity.