America's Christian Heritage

America's Christian Heritage

"Isn't America's Christian heritage a myth created to challenge First Amendment?"

America's Christian HeritageAmerica's Christian heritage is not a myth. Christian heritage is very much a part of our nation's history. In fact, America's Christian heritage is synonymous with our national heritage, as embodied in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The notion that our nation's founding fathers intended to keep apart our Christian heritage and the state is only half true. They did intend to keep the government out of our Christian life, but not to keep our Christian heritage out of the government's affairs. The following evidences speak for themselves.

Mayflower Compact of 1620

Upon landing on our shores in 1620, the first settlers declared through the Mayflower Compact:

"In the name of God, Amen - We whose names are underwritten... having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith... do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body..."

Our forefathers clearly stated that they came to America, "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith."

New England Confederation of 1643

Two decades later, they reaffirmed the above statement across all colonies in the New England Confederation of 1643, which declared:

"...we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace..."

Declaration of Independence of 1776

More than a century thereafter, the founding fathers signed in 1776 the Declaration of Independence, which cited rights granted by God as the impetus for the birth of our nation:

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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..."

John Quincy Adams stated, "From the time of the Declaration of the Independence, the American people were bound by the laws of God and the laws of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they all acknowledge as the root of their conduct. We all came together to obey the word of God."

And Patrick Henry stated, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religion but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

United States Constitution

Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, declared regarding our Constitution, "The First Amendment has created a wall of separation between the church and the State. But that wall is one directional. It is to keep the government from running the Church. But it is not to keep Christian principles out of the government."

These are not the words of a "myth."

The ultimate enabler of America's greatness is not our country's size, natural resources, work ethic, people or even our revered Constitution. It is God. Four centuries ago, God saw a group of people leave the comforts of Europe "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith" in an uncharted land, and blessed their descendents into a mighty nation.

All of the credit for America's strength and might belongs to God. And without God, we will lose all of it, like Samson shorn.