(Proverbs 14:34)

(Taken from The Preceptor and reprinted in The Bulletin on May 13, 1990.)

When the drafters of the Declaration of Independence wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they were writing of the kind of phaneros en autois ("evident in themselves") truths the apostle Paul was writing of in Romans 1:19. As a matter of fact, in Romans 1:20, the words tois poiemasin nooumena kathoratai ("by means of things that are made, are understood, being clearly seen") are the exact equivalent to "self-evident." Paul uses both of these phrases in the context of what men know naturally by natural revelation, apart from the special revelation revealed in God's Word. According to Paul, what can be known about God apart from the Bible is known by all men, because He causes them to know it. Therefore, all men are without excuse. But, although men know the truth, the Bible tells us they are bent on suppressing it in unrighteousness (cf. Romans 1:18). In other words, we can't expect our opponents to be honest. If they have to lie about this nation being founded upon the principle that there is a "law above the law" (i.e., God's law above man's law), then they will lie. For example, during the bicentennial celebration of the U.S. Constitution in 1987, I was appalled when, watching the proceedings on television, I heard the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance with "under God" left out.

This is made even more appalling when one considers that Thomas Jefferson, who a secularist would proudly call his own, is reported to have said: "The God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" Doesn't this sound like Jefferson thought the nation he was instrumental in founding ought to be a nation under God?

Furthermore, as recently as 1952, in Zorach v. Clauson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote, "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." If an extremely liberal Supreme Court justice can understand this, then why is it becoming so difficult for people to understand that ours is a nation that was founded by our forefathers to be under God? In truth, it would not be difficult at all if it were not for those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness."

In Psalm 11:3, the question is asked, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Of course, when the foundations are destroyed, the righteous are made a prey of the wicked. Consequently, the very purpose of government is the protection of the righteous or law abiding. In other words, Government is ordained by God as a mechanical remedy against evil (cf. Romans 13:1-7). Thomas Jefferson clearly understood this principle, and so must we if we are to keep the "unalienable rights" endowed us by "our Creator." Jesus Christ is sovereign of the universe. Consequently, His law is above all laws and all men everywhere are subject to His authority. Many earthly authorities have not understood this. Consequently, they have not heeded the wise counsel of the psalmist, who said: "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way" (Psalm 2:11,12).

Currently, the political walls of atheistic communism seem to be crumbling. Perhaps we are privileged to be observing His divine providence at work in these matters. But, even if we are not, let the men and women of all nations soberly reflect upon the eminent advice of Proverbs 14:34, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."

The reproach (i.e., disgrace and shame) openly being manifested in America today is indicative of the fact that we are quickly becoming a nation without God. Frankly, what this means is that the continued existence of this country is at stake. It may be that God usually judges individuals at the end of time, but the Bible clearly teaches that He judges nations in time. In Romans 1, the apostle Paul gives the four step decline in the history of the nation that forgets God:

  1. A nation rejects God,
  2. it turns to false religion,
  3. it becomes bogged down in immorality and violence,
  4. and then God judges it.

Consequently, a nation without God is a nation in serious trouble.

As a people (I'm speaking now of God's people), let us be actively engaged in doing justice and righteousness, and let us be praying that there is still enough salt left to preserve the blessings of God upon this nation.