All Rise !!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting and will rule on the matter of Holy Trinity v. United States. God save the United States and this Honorable Court.
If you think I just made up that case – Holy Trinity v. United States – then you’re in for a real shock. Because I didn’t. And on this anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, I think it’s a great opportunity to take a look at the day the United States Supreme Court ruled on that case – unanimously – and settled a significant historic argument.
I’ll tie it in with the rest of this morning’s devotional a bit later, but today’s verse says SO CHRIST HAS TRULY SET US FREE.
Let’s turn to Holy Trinity v. United States. Of course, THE Holy Trinity did not file a lawsuit against the United States; it was actually the case of the Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States that was argued before the Supreme Court in January, 1892. It dealt with a legal claim alleging that the church violated a certain law by hiring an Anglican minister from England to serve its congregation. (It did not, by the way.) But the truly historic aspect of this case comes from the US Supreme Court going into great detail in its ruling as to WHY it reached its conclusion.
After listing no less than 80 pieces of evidence supporting their conclusion, Justice David Brewer’s unanimous opinion declared that the foundation for their decision was that “this is a Christian nation.” Lest there be any remaining question, thirteen years after this landmark decision, Justice Brewer wrote an entire book expounding upon and supporting what he and the court meant when they declared that America was a Christian nation.
Decades of deliberate and systematic changes have worked their way into both the public discourse and America’s history books. There is a concerted effort to erase the fact that America was founded as a Christian nation, and that our founding fathers felt this was an essential element if this experiment in democracy was to survive. Our forefathers knew it was CHRIST WHO HAS TRULY SET US FREE, and their statements prove it.
George Washington, the first president of the United States said, “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
John Adams, the second president, wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson that the principles of our liberty are founded upon the principles of Christianity. He also said that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Thomas Jefferson, our third president, wrote “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” In another document he wrote, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. 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…”
Today America is a nation on the brink of blasphemy, and perhaps teetering on the edge of losing her liberty. God who gave us life gave us liberty. If we abandon Him we are in danger of losing both our temporal liberty and our eternal life. Many a politician will stand up today and say, “God Bless America!” – but they are unwilling to say “America – Bless God !!”
God is blessed when we obey His word, follow His precepts and advance His Kingdom. It is our obedience that brings forth His blessing. As we celebrate the freedom of the United States today, let us remember that righteousness alone can exalt the United States as a nation. Patrick Henry said that.
While most of us remember Patrick Henry for seven little words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!,” – he said something else that we would do well to remember.
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
CHRIST HAS TRULY SET US FREE
Today Americans celebrate their freedom. Let us remember from whence it came, and what we must do if we intend to remain free. For true freedom — as individual people and as a nation — is always and only found in Christ.
Our founding fathers knew it, and so they deliberately established the United States of America as a Christian nation. That fact was legally and unanimously declared by the United States Supreme Court in 1892. But it is you and I – believers in Jesus Christ – who must continue to live for Him if that is to remain true. That is true freedom.
God save the United States.