The establishment of America was not an accident. From the beginning we were a people who relied on God for our existence. In our Declaration of Independence from England, Thomas Jefferson spoke for all our founding fathers when he wrote “We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Noting the peril they placed themselves in, Jefferson ended the Declaration of Independence “…with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” God did protect them, we prevailed in the Revolutionary War and a new country was born.
Throughout history God has been faithful to sustain us. During the dismal days of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln believed that God would somehow preserve us and he expressed the confident hope that “…this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
There are some people in our country today who don’t acknowledge that God might have anything to do with the founding and preserving of our country. They deny that the United States has Christian roots and they try to paint any who disagree with them as ignorant and naïve. This troubles people of faith because we see it as a foolish and ungrateful attitude toward God. Our nation could become so secular that God, who has so abundantly blessed us, might turn His back on us.
To counterbalance the national drift away from God, the Church must permeate society, both locally and nationally. One effective method of outreach is through chaplains. I serve as director of the Chaplaincy Endorsement Commission, the organization which carefully evaluates, recommends, and mentors Christian Churches and Churches of Christ ministers to serve as chaplains for the military, hospitals, prisons, hospices, law enforcement departments, Civil Air Patrol, retirement homes, and other institutions. Besides supporting Christians, they also reach out to the unsaved who, otherwise, might not ever be touched by our nation’s churches. All over the country our chaplains are calling America back to being “one nation under God.” In this month when we celebrate our national birthday, please remember our chaplains in your prayers.