Joe Grimaldi is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Kenmore in Akron, Ohio.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” (Psalm 27:1-3)
The Psalmist said, “No matter what comes, I’m going to be confident in God. Because He is my light and my salvation, I will not fear.” America lived in fear and terror for those days following September 11, and rightfully so. But even then we need to understand, especially as Christians, that nothing happens unless God allows it for a purpose. I am not here to say I understand why God does everything, and I have no right to even wonder why, because He’s God. He can do as He chooses. But in the midst of confusion and even fear, we need to be reminded that we have a God who is on our side, a God who loves us and cares for us, and He wants what is best for each of us. He wants what’s best for those that are lost. He wants them to be saved. He wants what’s best for those that are already saved; He wants them to be more like Christ. He wants you to enjoy the abundant Christian life, to be blessed and enjoy the great gift, not only of salvation, but the gift of life that He has given you. That’s the kind of God we have.
As a country, we need to understand that God has blessed America, and God will continue to bless America as America acknowledges God. I’d like to talk to you about why God has blessed America. I am proud to be an American. I don’t apologize for waving the flag, for pledging allegiance to the flag, or for standing with my hand over my heart for the national anthem. After 9/11 everybody was buying flags. I’m excited to see the show of patriotism, but flags have been on our bulletin for years now. We did not just put up a flag. We were displaying the flag and showing our patriotism before this happened. That’s the way it should be all the time.
I’m a little leery of some churches that seem anti-American, and don’t encourage a love for this country. I understand there are problems and issues in which we are not of the same opinion as the government. But that doesn’t mean I want to be anything other than an American. One of the great things about being an American is that I have the right to disagree. I have the right to voice my dissension when it comes to politics. That’s one of the things we embrace as Americans. But God has blessed this land and made it a great nation. You need to understand why God has blessed it, and what is great about America.
The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) The greatness of America first of all is shown in her natural resources. Do you realize that in America we have every commodity that a man needs? We have fields where every crop that we need can be grown. We have trees where every kind of fruit and every kind of wood that we would need are grown. We have mines from which we can gather all the different kinds of minerals that we need. We have prairies upon which cattle and livestock graze to provide every kind of meat we could ever need. In our country, from a human standpoint, we are great and have been blessed bountifully in the fact that we have everything we need to take care of a great multitude of people. America has been blessed in her natural resources.
America is great in her natural beauty. People talk of beautiful locations around the world, but I think that we have in America beauties that compare and even surpass. People talk of the Mediterranean coast and we have the Pacific and the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts. People talk of the rivers of Europe, and we talk of the Ohio, the St. Lawrence, the Colorado, and the muddy Mississippi. People talk about the mountains of Switzerland, and we have the Alleghenies, the Adirondacks, the Smokies, and the Rocky Mountains. People talk of the wonders of the world, but we have Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone Park, the Giant Redwood Forest, and the Great Lakes. We are a country that cannot be compared to, and we are blessed with great resources and natural beauty.
Years ago, you’d see a slogan, “See America First.” Chevy has a slogan, “See the USA in a Chevrolet.” So it is true we could go all over the world and never even begin to see all the beauties and wonders that we have right here without ever leaving the United States of America.
America is great because of her form of government. The Bible says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) We have in our country some people that are so opposed to the government, and seem to feel like it is their personal responsibility to stand up against our government. I’ve got news for you. That’s a bunch of foolishness and poppycock. It is time that we understood that the greatness of our government is found in the fact that people like us can do what we do, can say what we say, and be part of the things that we want to be a part of, and that we have the right to disagree. We need to understand that God holds the heart of the rulers. God has always been involved in the political affairs of every country, but America is a great nation because we have a good form of government.
America was founded to be a republic with limited democracy. We are governed by the Constitution, and we have a representative form of government. We elect people who go and vote on things for us. A pure democracy would mean that every man votes on everything all the time. That would never work and never has worked.
We have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that have continued to guide us. Though there are different problems and at times we do not agree with the judicial interpretations of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, we have a legal process by which we can appeal and argue those things.
Talk to these missionaries. In most every nation of the world, when issues come up and they have to go to court, they deal with a corrupt system where nothing makes sense. It usually has to do with who’s bribing somebody the most. I’ve dealt with people in Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Mexico, that were dealing with difficult legal situations. I’ve got news for you. Nobody has a system that compares to ours. With our executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the three prongs of government with the checks and balances, we have a system that stands head and shoulders above the rest. That is part of the greatness of America. We have freedom of speech in our country, where we can come to church and I can stand up and say what I feel God wants me to say without fear of reprisal or imprisonment. I can do what I feel God has called me to do. You have the freedom to disagree with government and voice those disagreements. We have a great form of government because we have freedom of religion.
In Russia on May 1st, 1937, Stalin said this, “There must not remain in the territories of Soviet Russia a single house of prayer, and the very concept of God will be banished from our boundaries.” Do you realize when Stalin said that he was dooming his nation to be a Godless country. He did destroy every church and run off and imprison and kill many preachers and destroy the whole concept of God. What happened to their country? He almost destroyed it. Thank God, they pulled down his statue. I’m tired of seeing people continue to claim greatness for communist leaders. Freedom of religion is one of the things that makes our country so great.
Roger Williams was a humble Baptist preacher who founded Providence, Rhode Island. He wrote in the state constitution these words, “Every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.” Do you realize that Thomas Jefferson, in working on the foundational documents for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, came across this state constitution from Rhode Island? The state constitution from Rhode Island was the only legal document anywhere that pronounced absolute freedom of religion, and they took that concept and adopted it. He brought it to the Constitutional Convention. They discussed it and adopted it and put it into the form that we have today to establish our freedom of religion. Do you realize that the establishment of freedom of religion originated with a Baptist preacher? That’s where it started, from Roger Williams.
I want you to understand how closely entwined the political set up of our country has been with the Bible and Scripture and with preachers and churches. Separation of church and state was to insure religious freedom, not to keep religious people from being involved in politics, but in fact to keep politicians from governing religion. We have turned the tail around and started to wag the dog. That’s not what it was meant to be. Separation of church and state is such that no laws shall be established to deter or determine religion. That means that they cannot establish laws that deter our free exercise of religion or establish a state religion. That’s what the whole separation of church and state statement was about. It wasn’t about prayer in school or the Ten Commandments on the wall. It wasn’t about the astronauts praying. It wasn’t about nativity scenes at government buildings. What happens is the liberal atheists have taken all of these statements and tried to twist them in such a way that they’ve turned around the concept of separation of church and state to mean the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended.
The whole separation principle was that the government would be restrained from enforcing one certain religion upon everyone, or keeping anyone from the free exercise of any religion. It was not meant that religion would not be allowed in the political arena. It’s kind of interesting that nobody was worried about the separation of church and state right after we were attacked by Muslim terrorists on 9-11-01. As a matter of fact, everybody wanted the state to have a whole lot more church. Congress was singing “God Bless America.” Isn’t that interesting? In spite of its faults and failures, we need to understand how great America is.
One of the great things about our form of government is that it establishes the private ownership of land and business. I know that it seems like even though you own the land, you can’t do what you want to do with it. If you want to have a business, there are all kinds of regulations, but I’ve got news for you. Even with all of its short comings, and loopholes we have to deal with, the concept that’s been established and continued in our country of private ownership of land and business has made it one of the great successes of the world.
The reason our country has stood so long is because we have allowed man in this country to achieve as much as he wants and works to achieve. We’ve allowed him to own something and do something with what he owns. We have not punished the rich, and we have not impoverished the poor. We have tried to allow people to prosper. I know we all have our gripes, and things we’d like to fine tune, but in concept and in application, we have been a mighty power financially and a wealthy nation because we had a government that was established on Biblical principle and on the individual freedom and right of people to own property and business, and for a man to be able to prosper as high as his ambition and hard work would take him. There is no other country in the world where prosperity and plenty are as available as right here. Men and women with education or no education, people with absolutely no means at one point have been able to rise to great financial wealth. That just doesn’t happen in other countries. It happens here because of our form of government, where we have the ability to own property and to own business.
This has also paved the way for inventions and ingenuity. More things have been invented and patented by Americans than any country on the face of the earth. Do you know in 1890, they were going to close the patent office because they said that there were more inventions and things created and patented than man would ever need? In 1890! Can you imagine from then to now, all the things that have transpired, and all the things that have been designed and patented?
Most of the countries of the world copy what Americans create. In their country they are not given the incentive to create. If you come up with an idea in China, for instance, you don’t benefit from it, the government does. You don’t own it. They own it. You can’t patent it. They have it. You are very limited in what you can do in many places around the world, but not in America. Here you have the opportunity and incentives for inventive thinking and ingenuity and productivity. Because of that, America has been great.
Not only do I want to remind you to look at the greatness of America, but I want you to understand that God Almighty has blessed America because America was founded upon Biblical principles and it’s original laws are based upon the Bible. God’s Word says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12) The Bible says, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 144:15) America is a great nation because America has a great God. God has blessed our nation through the years because America has acknowledged God, at least in time past. In the very beginnings and origin of America, God was always given His rightful place. It’s been said, “South America was founded by men seeking gold. The United States of America was founded by men seeking God.”
Someone else wrote and said, “The Spaniards came to this hemisphere for gold. The French came for gain, but the colonists came for God.” All the nations that were established because of the quest for gold or gain have = faltered and never succeeded to the extent that America has succeeded, because America was established by people who came here seeking to worship and serve and obey God. Columbus came to evangelize. Pilgrims and Puritans came for religious freedom. They came seeking God. They didn’t come here to get rich. As a matter of fact, they were just happy to stay alive. They came seeking God. Because they came here seeking God, God has blessed America. Her humble beginnings were established on the truths and principles from the Word of God. The Bible was the blueprint for our country. The Bible must continue to be our blueprint for faith if we want to continue to enjoy God’s blessings on this country.
Our Constitution says that the Bible is the final authority of all matters of faith and practice. If you have a question about something, the Bible has the answer, and I don’t mean some new per-version. I mean the King James Bible. The words of man can never supersede the words of God. The rules of some church, or the dogma of some religion, or the outlines that they design for theology or worship should never, ever conflict or override the Scriptures themselves. It is important for us to stay strong on the Word of God by which our country was formed. The foundation of faith was established from the Bible. It’s a shame that so many ‘churches’ will meet, and their worship and faith has very little to do with the Bible and a lot to do with what man thinks religion is supposed to be. It has a lot to do with society. They’ll say a few charming words, but I’ve got news for you. The bird sings a sweet song too, but he isn’t telling me anything about going to Heaven. Our faith must be firmly established upon the Word of God. The Bible was the blueprint for our faith in America. Sad to say, most people’s faith now is not based on Scripture, but on the fallacies of some man-made religion.
The Bible was also America’s blueprint for the family. “ Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:...” (Psalm 127:1) We live in a time when there are more books written about family, marriage and child rearing than any other time, and we’re raising the worst kids and having the most bankrupt families ever. Your great grandparents didn’t have books on how to rear children. They did pretty well, and the only Book they had was the Bible. The Pilgrims didn’t have books on how to rear children. They had the Bible and believed what it said. They practiced it and guess what? They raised a pretty good group, didn’t they? Prior to World War II people in America came through a pretty Scriptural concept of family. Then we went to Dr. Spock type families, and started listening to some egg head tell us how to raise children.
I’ve studied secular psychology and applied psychology. I took Scriptural psychology. I’ve taken so much psychology I should be ready for a couch to go crazy myself. I’ve studied all that goofy stuff. At one time, believe it or not, it interested me, and I thought that this might be a pursuit for my life as a young person in high school. Being a lawyer or being a psychologist, I couldn’t see much difference. They were both for crazy people. One was finding a loophole in the law, the other was finding a loophole in your head. Trying to figure out the way the law ticks, and trying to figure out the way the mind ticks. These things interested me. I’ve studied them inside and out. Isn’t it interesting that the profession that continues to have the highest rate of suicide is psychiatrists. Maybe the problem is they can’t deal with everybody else’s problems and their own, too. Maybe they get tired of acting like they know all the answers when they know they don’t.
The blueprint for our faith and for our family used to be the Bible, not a book written by some man who didn’t know God. At that time we were raising better families. At that time we had better churches, and stronger Christians than we have now. The reason was the Bible. Now we have some corrupt architects who have designed what a church and a family is supposed to be. Let’s go back to the perfect Architect, the One who makes no mistakes. Let’s go back to the One who created human beings and therefore He knows what makes them tick. When you have a serious problem, consult the Owner’s Manual. When all else fails, read the directions. Get back to the Book. What I’m saying is that America was and is great because of America’s God, a God that was given His rightful place in the founding of this nation.
The Bible was not only the blueprint for our faith and our family, but the Bible was the blueprint for government. Psalm 127:1, the end of the verse says, “... except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” You need to understand that God not only builds the house; He builds the government, too. When our nation was established, the Bible was the blueprint for government. Did you ever read in the Bible where it gives you all those “Thou shalt nots...”? “Thou shalt not kill.” “Thou shalt not steal.” How do you think America developed the laws that we have? They’re based on Biblical principles. In the Bible we found the idea that when someone killed someone, there were different degrees of crime. What was applied was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. You could be killed for it. Then if you killed someone accidentally, there were ways you could amend for that without being put to death, because it was accidental. Do you realize all those things like 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree murder, all those concepts came from the Bible? Read carefully all the instructions about if a man kills another man’s ox, and if he did it on purpose or he did it unaware. One thing happens if he did it on purpose, and another if he did it by accident. Those are the principles this nation was built on. The Bible was the blueprint for society and for government. That’s why America was great.
Not only was America’s God evident in it’s beginning, and America’s God was evident in the fact that the Bible was the blueprint for families, faith, and government, but the God of America was evident because of how our country continued to turn to God in prayer. Prayer was our country’s greatest natural resource and defense. The Bible says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
When the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, the first thing they did when they got off the boat was pray. When Congress was meeting to establish and pound out all the details of our great Constitution, what did they do? They prayed. Benjamin Franklin rose and said, “The longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth: that God governs the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, it is improbable that an empire cannot rise without His aid. We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this.” Benjamin Franklin said that in explanation of why they should begin it with prayer, and the Congress still does, even though now they may be read prayers and fake prayers, and almost sacrilegious prayers. Nonetheless, Congress still convenes in prayer. It’s interesting that the legislators begin their session with someone praying, but they won’t let our kids go to public school and begin the class with a prayer. There is something wrong with this picture, isn’t there? Prayer has been our greatest natural resource.
The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and prayed. The Continental Congress began and Benjamin Franklin had them pray. Churches understood what prayer was, and churches were considered a house of prayer. Remember what Stalin said? He said that he would eliminate every house of prayer. That’s what he was going after those people trying to get ahold of God. We need to get back to prayer in our country. We need to get prayer back in our government, back in our schools, back in our churches, back at your dinner table, back into the homes of our nation. They didn’t have a lot of books, or movie theaters and television shows and they didn’t have sporting events to go to. They had a candle or an oil lamp, a rocking chair and a Bible. They got around that Bible and somebody read to them, mom, grandma, grandpa, or dad read the Bible and they prayed together and they sang the great old hymns of the faith. That’s what they did in most homes. That’s why America was great.
It’s been written that Pericles built a civilization upon culture and it failed. Caesar built a civilization upon power and it failed. Our American forefathers built a civilization upon God and it’s still here. I’m telling you why God has blessed America in such an abundant way.
If God will continue to bless America, then America must look at her guilt. The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) If our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren are going to experience this same kind of continued success and greatness, we must be a nation that comes back to God, and we must first recognize our guilt. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not of these weak-kneed, jellyfish spineless people coming onto our airways saying, “We should not go to war. We need to look deep within ourselves and see what we’re doing wrong, because it has to be our fault or these people would not have attacked us.” No, no, no, I’m talking about a spiritual situation where we need to look inside our hearts and find out why we, as a nation, have gone away from God. We need to look at our own guilt and get right with God.
But while we’re getting right with God, I also believe we need to defend our country. “You’re for that?” Yes, I am 100% for that. The nations of this world need to understand that America will not lay down and play dead for anybody. You don’t slaughter Americans and get away with it. There was a day that if our country was attacked, there would have been no questions asked. Thank God for those willing to stand up for America. During the first few days after 9/11 you could see how people wanted to stand up and defend their country, but with time and the liberal news media, more of the liberal, touchy, feely mentality comes in. You can sit around and try to better yourself 24/7, and they’ll just keep blowing things up. You can sit around and try to figure things out, but you’ve got to stand up against this kind of hate mentality. You’ve got to realize that as a nation when a Goliath steps out and threatens, a David has to arise and go to battle. It isn’t that we want war, or that we asked for it, but when we’ve been attacked then we’ve got to defend ourselves and our families and our homeland.
I used to tell my boys when they were little, “Don’t pick a fight. If I hear you bullying or picking a fight, I’ll whip you big time, but if somebody picks on your sister and you don’t defend her, I’ll whip you just as quick for that. If somebody picks on your little brother, you protect him.”
At Vacation Bible School we had a refreshment time outside. I saw some confusion over by the swing set. My son, Joe, probably eight, was on top of some kid just pounding him. I grabbed him by his shirt and said, “What are you doing?” Tears were streaming down his face and the adrenaline was flowing.
He said, “That boy said a dirty thing about my sister and grabbed her.”
I said, “Go right ahead, son. Beat that boy silly.” I walked away and let them work it out.
When our kids were teenagers they were on a youth activity with another church. The youth director said, “We had a slight problem with one of your kids on the bike ride. Your son got in a fight and punched this other boy, but I didn’t see what happened.”
I said, “I’ll find out what happened.” When they got home I asked
He said, “Dad, this boy riding bikes was making suggestive comments about my sister, so I said, ‘Man, shut your mouth.’ He and his buddies laughed. Later he pointed to her and said something suggestive, so I stepped up and went, “Boom!”
I said, “You were fighting?”
He said, “It wasn’t a fight. I hit him one time. He fell backwards and I stood over him and said, ‘I’ll say it again. Shut your mouth. You don’t talk to my sister like that.’”
I turned to his brother and said, “Where were you? You should have been pushing each other out of the way to squash that boy.” There are some things that you just have to fight for.
I don’t care if it’s somebody in some religious cult. I don’t care if it’s some other nation. If someone attacks us like we were attacked on 9/11, we must defend ourselves. If we do not defend ourselves, we show no respect for what God has given us, for who we are, and we show no respect for all the people who have died defending this country through its history so we could be free today. How would you feel if it was your husband or wife that died in that tragedy and America did nothing?
If America is going to get right with God, we must look deep in ourselves and ask ourselves some questions.
#1. America is guilty of is the sin of ingratitude. Are we thankful? “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful;...” (Romans 1:21) Deuteronomy 8:10 says, “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.” I’ve got news for you. America has eaten from the bounty of God and has been full. We should bless the Lord that gave us these things. We have a great country. We need to thank God for it. We have a great system, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, opportunity to succeed. We need to thank God for that. We are guilty of the sin of ingratitude.
We need to get down on our knees like the Pilgrims did and say, “Thank You, God.” Realize they lost half their people on the way here and two-thirds more died that first winter. Yet these people, after all that, established a celebration called Thanksgiving. They weren’t looking at what they lost and blaming God for what they didn’t have. They were thanking God for what they did have.
We need to stop and thank God for what we have instead of constantly pointing fingers and being angry and blaming. I may gripe and complain about some little tin-horn politicians that think they can reinterpret the Constitution and steal my liberty, and I’ll let my voice be heard because I am an American and I have the right, but I won’t forget to thank God this is the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
If everything is so terrible here, the borders are open for all those that want to leave. Go to Mexico. Go to Canada. Go to Europe. South America is wide open. Hey, if you love socialism, go to China or Russia. Nobody is keeping you here. You’re not a prisoner. In a lot of other countries, you don’t have liberty to leave if you want to. Not here, pal. We’ll help you pack your bags. We might even pitch in to help buy your ticket if you hate America and want out. Do we have flaws in this country? Sure, we have flaws. Will I be upset if things go against Christians and churches? Sure, but, I’m still going to be proud to be an American. I’m still going to go through the channels and fight through the system the best I can to get what I believe is rightfully ours and to be able to have the same freedoms we’ve always had. I’ll fight for it, but even if it works against me, I’m still going to thank God for my country.
Christianity was built on the concept that Somebody Who was not guilty accepted the blame for people who were guilty. If we are wrongfully crucified in this situation, wouldn’t that make us a little more like Jesus? After all, He was falsely accused and wrongly crucified, wasn’t He? Why should we complain? Why can’t we bear our cross gladly instead of constantly blaming? Did you hear Jesus on the cross blaming the Roman government? No, He said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” I’ve got news for you. If they zone us completely out of this area, all these little local zoning board politicians, they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just hurting themselves. Some of these same people may need help from a church like ours in their community. They’re only hurting themselves, so don’t be hostile against them. Don’t allow that to make your thinking pattern warped as well. Don’t be guilty of the sin of ingratitude.
#2. We have been guilty of the sin of indifference. Jude 22 says, “And of some have compassion, making a difference:” It’s good to see all the flag wavers because at least people aren’t so indifferent. Do you know the great thing about this? If it be because of compassion or because of anger, I know not, but I know it raises the degree of patriotism where at least they care and they’re not indifferent. People have an opinion and they actually care for a change. They feel something. They want to do something. In a tragedy like the one in New York City, the one at the Pentagon, and the one out in Pennsylvania, it is a wonderful thing to see how the greatness and unity of America rises. Yes, we’ve seen the worst of mankind in some people that weren’t American. Thank God we got to see the best of Americans. Fire fighters and policemen -- hundreds of which died going into buildings to save the lives of other people. A group of passengers on a plane, on cell phones being told by their loved ones that other planes were run into buildings, knowing that their plane being hijacked, was headed toward Washington thinking that possibly they were saving the President or some other government building. They decided to overthrow the terrorists and crash the plane, sacrificing their own lives. You’ve seen the greatness of self sacrifice in people who cared more about someone else than they cared about themselves. I thought that’s what Christians were supposed to do all the time.
One of the great sins of America in recent years has been the sin of indifference. The average American could care less about anything. It’s shown in the lack of voter turn-out at the polls. It’s shown by the empty seats in our churches. We have raised a couch potato society that desires only to sit back and be fed and entertained and not have to do anything. They’re indifferent toward everybody and everything. That’s one of the sins we are guilty of, America. We need to be people that come back to a place of Thanksgiving, come back to a place of true and genuine compassion, think more of our fellow man than we do ourselves.
#3. America’s guilt has to be described as ingratitude, indifference, and iniquity. Isaiah 1:4 says, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” I realize that Isaiah is talking about the nation of Israel, a nation that turned away from God and would eventually reject the Messiah. But I see a very strong application to America, a nation that one time knew God, a nation that was founded and established upon God’s Word. The Bible was the blueprint for our faith and our family and a blueprint for our religion. Prayer was the means of supply by which we acquired things. We were truly a country that was one nation under God. One of the great sins of America has been that the further we’ve gone away from God, the more we’ve allowed iniquity and wickedness to come in. In fact, we have bred and fostered some of the same evil thoughts and mind sets that beat in the heart of these terrorists because we’ve gone away from God.
True patriots don’t go out and attack Muslims and people of other faiths. In the Holy Wars in the Dark Ages, they were killing people. You either become a Christian or die. That wasn’t the call of American Christianity. Study history. Our kind of people were the people being killed because we wouldn’t become part of the state religion. Our people were being killed in the name of the cross. Constantine killed thousands under the name of the cross. He was supposed to be trying to conquer the nations under “Christianity.” He was killing true Christians. We don’t go attack those people because of their religion or race or creed. What we’re about is a Savior who loves everybody, who could hang on a cross and say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” True Christians have been the kind of people that have reached out the hand of compassion, and that’s the kind of religion we need to continue to have in our country. We need to look at our iniquities and ask God to forgive us of our sin and make us better carriers of the cross of Christ as we go forward telling a lost and dying world that Jesus saves.
We need to realize that the further America gets away from God, the more iniquity comes in. This kind of iniquity and sin produces people that commit all kinds of heinous crimes. We need to fight terrorism abroad and at home. All the pornography and perverted violence and everything that’s on the television, internet, and all kinds of weird video games is fostering a killer mentality. We were upset about all those people that died on September 11, and I’m also upset about all the children that have been killed in our schools and on our streets.
We need to defend liberty in America. They’ve declared war on us, and we need to defend our nation. Whoever and whatever that means, we need to do it, but we also need to be a country that realizes internally if we continue to allow the iniquity, sin, and perverted vulgarity to continue to escalate here that we’re going to raise generations of terrorists. We’re raising them right now with absolutely no regard for human life, whether it be their own life or their fellow classmates, let alone their fellow Americans. We need to stop that and get America back to God. We need to get Christians back on their knees, and get churches like this back into the Bible. We need to get back out in the communities telling people about Christ and getting people saved and involved in the work of God.
Let’s declare war on iniquity and sin, and defeat it at every corner. Don’t allow it in your heart. It’s time America confessed her guilt to God, her ingratitude, her indifference, and her iniquity. It’s time America came back to God so that God can and will bless America again. America is a great country with her rich resources, her natural beauty, and her Bible-based form of government. America was founded on God’s Word. He was given His rightful place in our beginning, and the Bible was the blueprint for faith, family, and government. Prayer was our greatest resource. We need to look once again at our own guilt and need for cleansing and forgiveness so that our country could come back to God and not breed the same kind of terrorists that have done these horrible deeds.
I love this country. I’m proud to be an American. My grandfather came to America from Sicily because that country was poor. He came from a large family that was impoverished. He came here by choice because it was the land of opportunity. When my father was being raised on the north side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my grandfather told him, “Don’t speak Italian. You speak English, because now we are Americans.” He was proud to be an American. He chose America. I was born here. My father was born here. But I’ve got news for you. If I wasn’t born here, I would have come to America. Not only am I an American by birth, I’m an American by choice. This is my country. It is the land that I love. I have watched God bless America in history past. I believe God is going to bless America today and in the future. We must turn our hearts back to God. Let me read you a poem by Alexander Blackburn.
“Not serried ranks with flags unfurled,
Nor armored ships which gird the world,
Nor hoarded wealth, nor busy mills,
Nor cattle on a thousand hills,
Not sages wise or schools or laws,
Not boasted deeds and freedom’s cause,
All these may be, but yet the state
In the eyes of God be far from great.
The land is great which knows the Lord,
Whose songs are guided by His Word.
Where justice rules ‘twix man and man,
Where love controls in heart and plan.
Where breathing in the native air,
Each soul found joy in praise and prayer.
Thus may our country, good and great,
Be God’s delight and man’s best estate.”
America’s greatness is because we have a great God. Let’s turn America back to God, and that begins with every one of us turning our hearts to God, and making sure our relationship and our heart is right with Him. Then we need to take that good news of the Gospel to all Americans who need to be saved. If you’ve never opened your heart to Jesus Christ and asked Him for forgive your sins and save you, then take that first step right now.