Our Christian Heritage: Built on Orthodoxy

By Angela Wittman


or-tho-dox: Conforming to commonly accepted opinion or faith.

(The Grosset WEBSTER Dictionary, Published by Grosset & Dunlap, 1970)

Dear Friends,

As we look around at the decadence of our society and wonder as the walls of morality seem to be collapsing and ethical behavior is discarded by many for the love of power and money; may we turn our attention to the foundation of our nation which is orthodox Christianity and dependence upon the LORD Jesus Christ to advance His Kingdom through His Church.

What is the belief that was given to us by our Puritan and Pilgrim Forefathers? Perhaps this description of "The Character of an Old English Puritan" by John Geree, M.A. published in 1646, will best describe our Forefathers orthodox Christian belief:

"The Old English Puritan was such an one, that honored God above all, and under God gave every one his due. His first care was to serve God, and therein he did not what was good in his own, but in God's sight, making the word of God the rule of his worship. He highly esteemed order in the House of God: but would not under color of that submit to superstitious rites, which are superfluous, and perish in their use. He reverenced Authority keeping within its sphere: but durst not under pretence of subjection to the higher powers, worship God after the traditions of men. He made conscience of all God's ordinances, though some he esteemed of more consequence. He was much in prayer; with it he began and closed the day."

I have also chosen two founding documents to share with you that may not be as familiar to many of us as they ought to be. The first historical document is the Mayflower Compact. Please take note that the Pilgrims plainly stated in this document that their purpose for coming to the "new world" was for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith. Here is the text of the Covenant the Pilgrims made with the LORD Jesus Christ and each other:

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; 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 Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.


In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

To further prove our nation was founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I will now share with you the first prayer offered in Congress on September 7th, 1774 :

"O - Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them 0f the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved bands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, 0 God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honroable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst The people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask In the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior. Amen"

Dear friends, the point I am praying to make through sharing this historical information with you is that we have strayed far from the "commonly accepted faith" of our Founders -- the faith that man is saved by grace and grace alone through the atonement of Jesus Christ upon the Cross of Calvary. There is no other name under heaven upon which man can be saved. Our Founders knew this and consequently braved an untamed and hostile environment in which many lost their lives to proclaim this good news freely. They then solidly built our nation upon Biblical laws and principles with much prayer and faith.

Our nation is rich in orthodox Christian history -- one has only to research our founding documents to find this truth. My prayer is for the LORD to open many eyes to the truth. Won't you join me in this prayer and then help to share this good news with our loved ones and neighbors? Come, let us return to the old paths in our Worship and religion and we will see if our LORD will restore to us the glory of our nation: the HOPE and LIGHT of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also pray we will once more acknowledge and honor the LORD in our civil government. By now you may be wondering how you can help return our nation to it's Biblical foundation.

Perhaps we first need to acknowledge how far we have strayed from the teaching of the pure word of God and the acknowledgement that He is King of the nations.?

Then may we pray with the hope that our LORD will call us back to the Christian orthodoxy our nation was built upon and we will once more boldly continue to advance His kingdom here on earth, as He has graciously done over the course of the past two thousand years.

Amen.

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Originally published in 2003.

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