- Romans 13:1 (NLT)
As the United States of America nears another Thanksgiving Day, I think it is important that we remember the purpose of the founding of the holiday and the importance given by it to Almighty Providence. No, the principal purpose, as secularists would suggest, is not to remember the Indians who helped some of the early colonists avoid starvation. While their help was undoubtedly appreciated, the holiday was established to thank God for making the creation of the nation, the land of the free and the home of the brave, possible. Had Divine Providence looked the other way, the heavily favored British would have won the war and the colonial army would have been decimated as well as the band of founders who were brave enough to speak out against tyranny. On Thanksgiving Day, I will provide written evidence of what the founders knew and believed as expressed our first President, George Washington, in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. I hope you will read it for it is truly an inspiring statement of why we celebrate this holiday.
Regarding the creation of a government that we are told is not supposed to recognize God according to so many today, the passage from Paul tells us that while man must follow the rules of government, that government is clearly subservient to God who placed its leaders in positions of power. Do you think God would have appointed anyone who he thought would not live in His image as we are all expected to do? And since man has free will, a mortal leader can fall short in his duties and not follow his expectations. In such cases, we don't know how it gets resolved, but in His own way and time, God either changes him or the situation. Now that doesn't mean that all countrymen must believe in God, as a matter of fact our Constitution makes it clear that they are free to choose on their own, but it does mean that for earthly law to be valid according to God's law, the laws we create should be inclusive of what he wants from us. We don't have to believe in them, but we are expected to follow their guidance since, as the Ten Commandments clearly show, the rules are necessary if we want to avoid conflict, chaos and anarchy in a just society. When they aren't just as He expects, as was the case with the English in dealing with the American colonies, the seeds of opposition will be sown and rise in strength.
Today, mankind may scoff at the idea of God being involved in their lives and they are free to do so. Yet they are not free to dictate to others that God doesn't exist or have a valid purpose for believers. We must remember that believers have as much right to believe as they do as those who disagree can believe as they wish. Freedom of religion works in both directions. It means that no one is required to follow a certain religion, but also that believers have their God-given rights to believe as they do. And anything labeling itself as a religion that foments physical harm to others is not acceptable under the laws that were created with the guidance of God. We can doubt all we want about the foundation of the nation and the relationship of God to that event, but no one can deny the words of the Declaration of Independence, the document that granted the beginning of the dangerous push from freedom from the Crown, or Washington's eloquent statement of why we needed to have thanksgiving in our hearts. Accordingly, churches and synagogues all over the land will have services on this very subject this week coming up, for the members know that without God, we wouldn't even be what we are today. Now that's something to praise the Lord for and get excited about.
Dear Lord, We thank you and praise you for granting this country to bounty and freedom that she has and help us to keep the Spirit of Thanksgiving alive and directed toward you in all that we do while we live on this earth. Amen.