The Christian Heritage of America

     "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; the people He has chosen as His own inheritance." Psalm 33:12.

     The first thing our Pilgrim forefathers did after reaching America in 1620 was to dedicate their political life to the principles ordained by God. The Mayflower Compact began, "In the name of God, Amen. 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 another covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic."

     Until 1636, there had been no government in history that had guaranteed religious liberty. In that year Roger Williams founded the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island. He penned for the first time a charter guaranteeing absolute religious liberty and civil democracy.

     The first regional constitution written in America was the Constitution of the New England Confederation. It was drafted in 1642. It stated very clearly, "Whereas 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."

     William Penn (for whom Pennsylvania was named) said in 1681, "If you are not governed by God, you will be ruled by tyrants."

     The great law of Pennsylvania was passed on December 7, 1682. The preamble stated: "Whereas the glory of Almighty God, and the good of mankind, is the reason and end of government, and therefore, government in itself is a venerable ordinance of God, and forasmuch as it is principally desired and intended…to make and establish laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty."

     Written on the Liberty Bell in 1752 was this quotation from Leviticus 25:10; "Proclaim liberty thru all the land and to all the inhabitants thereof."

     Samuel Adams asserted in 1772, "The rights of the Colonists as Christians…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institution of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."

     In our nation's Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, there are four specific appeals to the authority of God:

  • "…the laws of Nature and of Nature's God

  • "…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…"

  • "…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…"

  • "…with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence…"

     On September 11, 1877, the Continental Congress voted an expenditure of $300,000.00 to buy copies of the Bible and distribute them throughout the original thirteen colonies.

     Our National Constitution was based on Bible principles and drafted in prayer in 1787. Fifty-five men had labored for five months on the constitution without reaching agreement. Small states wanted equal representation to the larger ones. The larger states wanted representation on a population basis. It seemed that the representatives were at loggerheads and agreement was impossible. Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and said as he made a motion for each session to begin with prayer, "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth…that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? I move that prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven be held each morning before we proceed with business." George Washington seconded the motion. From that moment our founding fathers swiftly penned the greatest national constitution of history. States represented equally in the Senate…Individual citizens represented equally in the House of Representatives.

     Shortly after the Constitutional Convention Alexander Hamilton wrote, "For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests."

     Daniel Webster reflected on the foundations of our nation in 1820 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, "…More than  all, a government and a country were to commence, with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of the Christian religion. …Who would wish that his country's existence had otherwise begun? Let us not forget the religious character of our origin."

     George Washington was the father of our country and our nation's first president. In his inaugural address he prayed "…fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes…"He issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in 1789 that declared, "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection, aid and favors. …Now, therefore, do I assign and recommend Thursday, the 26th day of November next…that we may all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us."

     John Quincy Adams reflected on July 4, 1821, "From the day of the Declaration…they (The American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct." 

     It is noteworthy that Bible believing churches established 102 of the first 108 colleges and universities in America.

     In 1892, the United States Supreme Court ruled that America is a Christian Nation. Justice Brewer delivered the Court's decision (142 US 257): "These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."

     Congress officially adopted our National Anthem on March 3, 1931. The last verse closes, "Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation, then conquer we must, when our cause it is just and this be our motto - 'In God Is our trust!'"

     The purposes of our founding fathers for America to remain under the authority and blessing of God can be traced in the following facts:

  1. Every president and governor has been inaugurated with the Bible and prayer.

  2. Every session of our national congress and state assemblies is opened with prayer. A room is set aside in our national congressional building for our leaders to retire and seek God in prayer.

  3. Every branch of service has its chaplains.

  4. Our pledge of allegiance contains the words, "One nation under God."

  5. Stamped on our coins, our currency and above the Supreme Court of our land are the words, "In God We Trust". 

  6. Placed on the moon with our flag is a microfilm copy of the bible.

     In these days when assaults are being made on our Christian heritage, our republic government, our free enterprise system, and our morals it is well to ponder these words spoken by Daniel Webster: "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible our country will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury our glory in profound obscurity."


Our Spiritual Blessings.

     America has enjoyed the greatest gospel preachers of any nation on earth. Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Peter Cartwright, Charles G. Finney, Sam Jones. J. Wilbur Chapman, Dwight L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, Mordecai Ham, Billy Sunday, Bob Jones, Jack Hyles, Billy Graham.

     We have the largest percentage of Christians of any nation on earth. We have the highest percentage of conservative churches. We have the greatest number of conservative colleges and seminaries. Our nation supplies 60% of missionaries and 80% of missionary support.

Our Educational Blessings.

     The educational system of America was founded on a Biblically inspired authoritarian approach. With a textbook, a Bible and a hickory stick our teachers educated the youth of this nation in a way that they went on to build a nation that was the envy of the world.

Our Industrial Blessings.

     Industry in America has become the unrivaled giant of the world. Over half the wealth of the world lies within the borders of the United States. A check on thirty large industrial corporations revealed that for every dollar spent on their products there was less than seven cents in profits. Out of that seven cents three cents was reinvested in new facilities and four cents was passed on to the stockholders, who, in many cases, are common people like you and me.

     The American working man still enjoys a higher standard of living than the working class of people of any other nation. We ought to be thankful for that.

Our National Blessings.

     Our nation has never gone through a blood bath upheaval that changed its form of government. Every other major nation on earth has undergone governmental change by revolution.

Our Political Blessings

     Americans enjoy representative government. Unlike many nations we do not have authoritarian or dictatorial rulers who cannot be called to account by the people. We have the right to elect our representatives to office at city, county, state, and national levels. It is possible to vote bad representatives out and good representatives in. It is possible to correct bad laws and abuses by electing representatives who will do so.


     The vigilance we must maintain. Satanically inspired forces would erode the foundations of our freedom and destroy the influence of Christianity within this nation and around the world.

Assaults On Our Foundations.

Military Assaults

  • By the British in the War of 1812. Our National Anthem was written after the battle of Fort Mc Henry.

  • By Mexico

  • By Civil War: The North won because God wanted one nation, not two. The Confederates had two chances to win the Battle of Gettysburg on the first and the third days.

  • By Spain in the Spanish American War

  • By Germany and her confederates in World War I

  • By Germany and Japan in WWII

  • By Communism in Korea, Indo-China, Cuba, etc.

Moral Assaults

     There is constant effort to change our country from the land of the free and the home of the brave to the home of the spree and the land of the rave. God's people must be vigilant!

Political Assaults

     We are barraged in all levels of government with bills to separate our nation from God: stifle individual freedom; take away the rights of private ownership; make Biblical practices illegal (discipline of children and the husband/father being the authority in the home); transform our government from a Republic to a Socialist state and relinquish our freedom to an internationalist governmental system.

Theological Assaults

     Every heresy imaginable under the name of Christianity. An invasion of oriental religions. An apostasy in once orthodox Christian groups.

Financial Assaults

     There are many influences that threaten to destroy our money system;

  • Deficit spending by government. Pressure groups get our legislators to subsidize everything. Being the free world's policeman takes its toll. Giving foreign aid may have some noble goals, but not always used for noble purposes and has produced some disastrous results.

  • Everybody wanting more money produces an inflationary spiral that constantly drives costs up.

  • Big business has too often been concerned about the profit motive than the national welfare.

The Goals For Which We Must Fight

     At Dover, England, 3 lights are used to guide ships past the rocks. The pilot maneuvers the ship so that the 3 lights appear as one. We need to guide our Ship of State so that the Home, the Church, and the Government are lined up together (Amos 3:3).

     The homes must be built according to the Biblical order. Jesus Christ must be the head. The father is to love his wife as his own flesh. The wife is to reverence her husband and submit to him. The parents are to train the children in the way they should go. The children are to honor and obey their parents.

     The Government must return to the purposes of government as ordained by God.

     The Church must renew its commitment to fulfill the Great Commission.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted