Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Here’s Why We Should Still Celebrate the Pilgrims at Thanksgiving

 

"For most American families, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, eat delicious food, and perhaps watch some football.


But not everyone is pleased with the celebration of this holiday, and some have taken to maligning its 'originators,' the Pilgrims.

An editorial in Al Jazeera labeled Thanksgiving a 'thoroughly nauseating affair,' one that is 'saturated with disgrace.' Other articles have called the Pilgrims genocidal toward Native Americans, or argued that the original idea of a Thanksgiving feast is a 'myth.' ”

Read the entire article by Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal here.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Preparing for Thanksgiving


I love the beauty of the leaves as October turns to November, reminding us that autumn is passing and winter approaching.  And it aggravates me every year when the stores try to sell Christmas to us way-too-early.  The pursuit of the dollar tempts us to overlook one of the year’s most important observations: Thanksgiving.
 
Here is one holiday that avoids commercialism, brings people together, offers fantastic food, and calls us to forsake our selfishness and instead practice gratitude.  Don’t lose the spirit of Thanksgiving.  Claim it, prepare for it, and practice the art of that holiday.


As we plan for Thanksgiving this month, here are a few ways to intentionally lead your family to be thankful.
 
Read the entire article, Preparing for Thanksgiving, here.

Thanksgiving in America

 


The tradition introduced by European Americans of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back well over four centuries in America. For example, such thanksgivings occurred in 1541 at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas with Coronado and 1,500 of his men; 1 in 1564 at St. Augustine, Florida with French Huguenot (Protestant) colonists; 2 in 1598 at El Paso, Texas with Juan de O├▒ate and his expedition; 3 in 1607 at Cape Henry, Virginia with the landing of the Jamestown settlers; 4 in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia; 5 (and many other such celebrations). But it is primarily from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration of 1621 that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving Day.



The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. Upon disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they held a prayer service and then hastily began building shelters; however, unprepared for such a harsh New England winter, nearly half of them died before spring. 6 Emerging from that grueling winter, the Pilgrims were surprised when an Indian named Samoset approached them and greeted them in their own language, explaining to them that he had learned English from fishermen and traders. A week later, Samoset returned with a friend named Squanto, who lived with the Pilgrims and accepted their Christian faith. Squanto taught the Pilgrims much about how to live in the New World, and he and Samoset helped forge a long-lasting peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Pilgrim Governor William Bradford described Squanto as “a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . and never left [us] till he died.” 7

That summer, the Pilgrims, still persevering in prayer and assisted by helpful Indians, 8 reaped a bountiful harvest. 9 As Pilgrim Edward Winslow (later to become the Governor) affirmed, “God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn”; “by the goodness of God, we are…far from want.” 10 The grateful Pilgrims therefore declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends 11 – America’s first Thanksgiving Festival. Ninety Wampanoag Indians joined the fifty Pilgrims for three days of feasting (which included shellfish, lobsters, turkey, corn bread, berries, deer, and other foods), of play (the young Pilgrim and Wampanoag men engaged in races, wrestling matches, and athletic events), and of prayer. This celebration and its accompanying activities were the origin of the holiday that Americans now celebrate each November.



Picture in the Public Domain.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

What's the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?



 

The Church's Response to Cohabitation

 

Cohabitation has become a growing trend in recent years in American culture. How can Christians - and the church - think and then act biblically, in a way that honors the Lord, about this trend? Here are a collection of articles and podcasts I've put together from some great Christian thinkers and communicators.



Articles and Podcasts on Cohabitation and Pastoral Ministry

 

Articles

https://www.denisonforum.org/church-leadership/when-a-cohabiting-couple-wants-to-join-your-church/

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/living-together-before-marriage-how-to-have-a-conversation-with-someone-making-the-wrong-choice/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/women-leaders/2013/october/what-intimate-cohabitation-means-for-ministry.html

https://www.wilsonrhett.com/2023/10/pastoral-policy-on-cohabitation.html

https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/christians-and-cohabitation-what-you-need-to-know.html

https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/faith/essentials-faith/reaching-out/when-your-friends-are-moving-in-together-before-marriage/

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-cohabitation-in-america/

https://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/2010_cohabiting.pdf

https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/getting-married/engagements-and-weddings/gods-way-is-always-the-best-way/

https://billygraham.org/answer/why-is-living-together-unmarried-considered-a-sin/

 

Podcasts and Videos

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/wrong-engaged-couples-live-together/

https://biblicalcounseling.com/resource-library/podcast-episodes/til-040-talking-to-couples-who-are-living-together-feat-kevin-carson/

https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/cohabitation-good-or-bad/

https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/speaking-truth-to-a-culture/

https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/cohabitation-the-new-norm/

https://churchanswers.com/podcasts/rainer-on-leadership/six-cultural-pastoral-issues-where-pastors-often-struggle-rainer-on-leadership-542/

https://www.familylife.com/?s=cohabitation

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/episodes/broadcast/gods-blueprint-for-a-healthy-marriage-part-1-of-3/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVpksSumfyM


Picture used courtesy of Pexels


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

All Saints Day - November 1

Today, November 1, is the church's traditional observance of All Saints Day.  Often lost in our evangelical community, this day has a rich heritage of remembering saints who have gone before us.




Charles Colson shared some great words about All Saints Day in his commentary Honoring the Witnesses:

"In case you’ve missed it before, the name Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Eve and signifies the night before All Saints’ Day. For centuries on All Saints’ Day, the Church celebrated the lives of Christians who went before us. And rightly so: We can learn so much from those whom the author of Hebrews calls that great cloud of witnesses.  

The tradition of remembering the Church triumphant dates back to the time of the first Christian martyrs. When soldiers of Marcus Aurelius Verus came to arrest Polycarp, a beloved church leader, Polycarp greeted them kindly. According to the third-century historian Eusebius, Polycarp “ordered a table to be laid for them immediately, invited them to eat as much as they liked, asking in return a single hour in which he could pray.” When Polycarp later stood in the coliseum, accused and surrounded by the jeering crowds, the governor pressed him to recant his faith. Instead, this man, who himself had been discipled by the Apostle John, said this: 'For 86 years, I have been [Christ’s] servant, and He has never done me wrong: How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?' As they were preparing to burn him alive, Polycarp offered up prayers of faith and praise."  

Read the entire article here at Breakpoint.



Image courtesy of Pexels

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Addressing Clergy Mental Health

 

"Mental health includes emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social well-being. It affects how we think and feel, and how we experience the experience of our lives. It is a major factor in our capacity to experience joy in life, work, and relationships. Our mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Challenges to the mental health of clergy commonly involve stress and burnout, marriage and family adjustment, and emotional and functional impairment.

Work-related stress and burnout among clergy have been the focus of many studies.

Some research suggests that burnout results from systemic factors including bureaucracy, poor administrative support, and difficult work conditions—ministry is hard, and getting harder. Other intrapersonal-related factors include religious idealism, Type-A personality factors, narcissism, and perfectionism.(4)

In addition, one research found that clergy experience excessive guilt and issues with their families of origin more frequently than other groups.(5)

As a group, pastors also experience social isolation, often extending even to their professional peers.

One study revealed that ministers have higher levels of occupational distress and depression when compared to national averages."

Read the entire article from Columbia Theological Seminary here.


The above article was written by Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Program at Columbia seminary. 


Picture courtesy of Pexels

Pastors Share Top Reasons They’ve Considered Quitting Ministry in the Past Year

 

Stress, Isolation & Political Division Factor into Pastors’ Desire to Quit


"As of March 2022, the percentage of pastors who have considered quitting full-time ministry within the past year sits at 42 percent. This is consistent with data from fall 2021 when Barna first reported on a sharp increase in pastoral burnout, and it confirms the growing number of pastors who are considering resignation—up 13 percentage points from 29 percent in January 2021.

What reasons do pastors give when asked why they’ve thought about stepping down for good? Stress, loneliness and political division are the three items that rise to the surface.

Over half of pastors who have considered quitting full-time ministry (56%) say 'the immense stress of the job' has factored into their thoughts on leaving. Beyond these general stressors, two in five pastors (43%) say 'I feel lonely and isolated,' while 38 percent name 'current political divisions' as reasons they’ve considered stepping away."

Read the entire article by Barna Research here.


Image used courtesy of Pexels

What I Wish I’d Known: Reflections on Nearly 40 Years of Pastoral Ministry

 

"What follows has been adapted from a brief talk I delivered to the Oklahoma chapter of The Gospel Coalition. Here are 10 things I wish I’d known when I first started out as a pastor.




1.     I wish I’d known that people who disagree with me on doctrines I hold dearly can often love God and pursue his glory with as much, and in some cases more, fervency than I do. The sort of intellectual pride that fuels such delusions can be devastating to ministry and will invariably undermine any efforts at broader Christian unity across denominational lines.


2.     I wish I’d known about the inevitable frustration that comes when you put your trust in what you think are good reasons why people should remain loyal to your ministry and present in your church. I wish I’d been prepared for the feelings of betrayal and disillusionment that came when people in whom I’d personally invested so much love, time, and energy simply walked away, often with the most insubstantial and flimsiest of excuses.


3.     I wish I’d known how deeply and incessantly many (most?) people suffer. Having been raised in a truly functional family in which everyone knew Christ and loved one another, I was largely oblivious to the pain endured by most people who’ve never known that blessing. For too many years I naively assumed that if I wasn’t hurting, neither were they. I wish I’d realized the pulpit isn’t a place to hide from the problems and pain of one’s congregation; it’s a place to address, commiserate with, and apply God’s Word to them."


Read the entire article by Sam Storms here at The Gospel Coalition.


Image used courtesy of Pexels

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

 

Pastoring a church is not an easy job. Here are 10 ways you can encourage your pastor (or pastors):

1. THANK HIM (OR THEM).

It’s not easy to preach every week. It’s not easy to carry the burden of ministry every day. A pastor rarely hears “thank you.” A good pastor isn’t in the ministry for a thank you from the congregation. They are not after man’s approval but work for God’s approval (Gal. 1:10). They shepherd as one who will give account to God (Heb. 13:17). But a thank you can go a long way. Pastors, like nearly everyone, are severely under-encouraged. My guess is you appreciate the work he does. Tell him so.

One practical way: Write him a letter. Emails usually include a criticism. Handwritten letters nearly always include encouragement. Letters also have a way of sticking around for a while. Emails get buried quickly. Letters are sweet reminders on the desktop after a long, hard day of ministry.

2. BE SPECIFIC IN YOUR THANKS.

A general “thank you” is more than what many pastors hear week after week, but a specific thank you is life-giving. Find one phrase or thought or action and thank him. Specificity implies gratefulness. If a phrase from his sermon last week stuck with you, let him know. Lots of pastors hear very little specific feedback on their sermon. Imagine spending hours each week to prepare something and never know how it lands on the people you’re speaking to.

Read the entire article by David McClemore here at The Baptist Courier here.


Image used by permission from Adobe Stock


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Why Honor My Pastor?

The following article, written in 2014, has been one of my most-viewed posts through the years.


Dick Lincoln once said, "Church at its best is as good as it gets, and church at its worst is as bad as it gets."  No one understands this reality more than pastors and their families.

Every October I consider writing a post about Pastor Appreciation Month.  However, being a pastor, it seems awkward.  John MacArthur said it well when teaching his church about honoring pastor-elders, "I feel a little bit awkward up here telling you that you need to honor elders of which I am one. Obviously I could be accused of a conflict of interests and I could also be accused of having a self-serving motive. So I want to put in an immediate disclaimer on any of those things. I'm trying to teach you the Word of God."

I will bite the bullet this year and write a post with the hope of eventually providing encouragement to some man of God out there serving his church.  Hopefully, persons from other congregations will read it and the article will spur them on toward love and good deeds toward their pastors.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Pastoral Policy on Cohabitation

 

The social trend of cohabitation before - or instead of - marriage is a growing trend in North America. I reached out to an older pastor friend of mine whom I respect to ask how he responds to cohabiting couples in his congregations. The following is his response:



The policy that I have used and what I each that I am asked this question is:

1. I share the biblical truths on marriage and sexual purity with the couple in a private session with them both present. 

 

2. I don’t ask for a response from the couple in that session but ask them to study the scriptures that reviewed in that session and to spend a week in prayer but privately and together seeking God as to His will for marriage 

 

3.  I meet with them for a second time to discuss what decision they have made based upon their time praying, studying the scriptures and discussions. 

 

4. If they agree to marry I then move into that discussion 


5. If they don’t agree to marry then I share that they are welcome to participate in the life of the church and worship but that they cannot join as members. 


Listen to Cohabitation: Good or Bad with Glenn Stanton

Hear Talking to Couples Who Are Living Together with Kevin Carson


Picture used courtesy of Pexels


Monday, September 11, 2023

Help Promote Rhett's New Book!

 


Launch day is here! Rhett Wilson's new book, The 7 Ps of Prayer: A Simple Method to Pray for Your Family, releases Tuesday, September 12, from End Game Press.

The book is filled with many stories from our family's life as well as many people who have come in and out of our lives through the years. 

Here are a few simple things you can to do promote the book:

1. Pray

Ask the Lord of the harvest to work through this book and its accompanying resources to bring Himself glory, equip many people to faithfully pray for others, and bring people to Himself. Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Mark Batterson shares that he prays for God to put his books in the hands of people daily and use it for life-change.

2. Share

Share the link for the book on social media sites and via email:





3. Inform influencers

Let people know about the book who are "influencers" - pastors, ministry leaders, podcast and radio hosts.

4. Check out the upcoming resources on the site.

We have just started a website for the book. In the upcoming days and weeks, we plan on releasing several resources, including a free study guide, sermon/teaching resources for pastors and teachers, as well as a corresponding video series that will be available later in the fall.

View the site at www.7psofprayer.net

5. Leave a review

Depending on where you purchase the book, some outlets, like Amazon, allow you to leave a review. In today's book market (especially on Amazon), this makes a difference.

Thank you for helping to pass this along. Rhett hopes the book will encourage people to put their trust in God - and intercede for their families. The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad (Psalm 126:3 ESV).





Friday, September 8, 2023

New Podcast: Rhett Wilson's Faith, Family, and Freedom


Rhett is about to launch a new podcast called "Rhett Wilson's Faith, Family, and Freedom." It will be available soon, and it will be available on the normal podcast outlets. In 2010, I started a blog, Faith, Family, and Freedom. Thirteen years later, I’ve done more than 1700 posts. One post in 2020 received more than 40,000 views in one month.



Here's the intro. to the podcast:

Do you want to connect positively with your family? Are you looking for ways to bridge the gap between your Sunday faith and your Tuesday living? Do you believe that freedom is one of our greatest, God-given, gifts? Welcome to Rhett Wilson’s Faith, Family, and Freedom, where we explore how to think and act clearly about the things that matter most.

Here’s what you can do. Watch Rhett’s blog and site for more information:

 

1.        Listen to it!    2.        Review it!        3.        Share it!        4.            Pray for it!


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Pre-Order Rhett's 7 Ps of Prayer Journal

 

End Game Press developed an accompanying journal to go along with Rhett's upcoming book, The 7 Ps of Prayer. The journal provides a single spot to record your requests and praises as you work through the 4 weeks of specific prayers for your family.

You can order the journal here.

         View the book here. 

 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

"Set Yourself on a Different Path"


TODAY (09/06) IS NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY

“I love to read and am awed by how we can tap the greatest minds of all ages through reading.

Did you know that if you read only 10 minutes a day, you will read about 1 book a month?


Do you think you could transform your success if you read 4 books this year? Keep in mind, we are told the average college graduate in America reads less than 1 book per year.

Set yourself on a different path.” – Dan Miller

See Dan's recommended reading list here.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Pre-Order Rhett Wilson's New Book

 

Prayer is essential to a parent’s life, especially when praying for children. But it can be hard to know what to pray for. The 7 Ps of Prayer gives readers a simple plan to cover their family in prayer.  As a parent of preschoolers, Dr. Rhett Wilson, Sr., wanted a method to pray as a shield around his children.  He developed a simple prayer strategy, using seven words that each begins with the letter P - one word for each day of the week. 

Pre-Order Now: Release Date 09/12/2023

Click here to pre-order The 7 Ps of Prayer

End Game Press has also put together a companion journal to go along with the book. Click here to see the journal.






Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Silent Majority is Speaking

 



My Beautiful Bride of 25 Years

 



The most beautiful woman I know, my best friend, the person I have the most fun with. We met 26 1/2 years ago and married 25 years ago today.

I've learned through the years that she is a woman of much grace and much grit.

She's a fabulous wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She's kept a disciplined spiritual life, studying God's Word and growing in prayer. She has great discernment, with the ability to see through many persons' smoke screens.

She's mentored women for years, investing in their lives.

She invested more than 15 years of her life as a homemaker and homeschool mom - not a job for the weak at heart. She schooled our three children - all with different learning styles - with many different curriculums, extra-curricular activities, and various homeschool groups and cooperatives - including a couple that she directed. She has been a marvelous mother, and I couldn't ask for a better one for our children.

She led music at churches as a volunteer for more than a decade - and as a paid staff member for a decade or more. She's extremely gifted rallying others to produce excellent work, a maximizer who seeks to make things better, and a relator who deeply cares about those under her charge.

She's been beloved by many people she led, shepherded, befriended, and mentored.

I've endured her being mistreated, maligned, misrepresented, and manipulated. And bless her - she is not afraid to speak the truth and confront unhealthy situations - even when it costs her. And sometimes it has cost her dearly.

When life has thrown hardships and unexpected setbacks, she digs deep, bounces back, and keeps on ticking.



She makes me laugh more than anyone I know.

When she walked into the room at a party in Fuller Apartments at SBTS in January of 1997, she wowed me instantly. We spent a lot of time together that weekend with a group of friends, and I couldn't stop talking to her.

The next Saturday night, I took her out to Tumbleweed restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the most attractive woman I'd ever seen. And sitting there at that small table, I told myself, "Rhett, this is the woman you are going to marry."

Twenty-six and a half years later, we love each other more than we did then.

I love her to the moon and back. As I sang to her on our wedding day, "Tracey Alane, you are a gift of love to me."

 

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Why Celebrate America?

 This article was first published in 2021.


Oh, wonderful July! Fireworks, barbecues, and community parties welcome this hot summer month. My heart beats with pride as I listen to patriotic music. I recently added two new CD’s to my patriotic collection: American Jubilee by the Cincinnati Pops and For God and Country by Dolly Parton. How wonderful to be an American and live in the land of the free.

My wife and I try to instill in our children a taste of the incredible heritage we have as citizens of the United States of America. That heritage is one to be embraced and valued. A careful look at our Founding Fathers and their documents reveal an overwhelming bias toward biblical Christianity.

Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which produced the Constitution of the United States. The religious sympathies of this core group of men shaped the foundations of our republic: 28 Episcopalians, eight Presbyterians, seven Congregationalists, two Lutherans, two Dutch Reformed, two Methodists, two Roman Catholics, one unknown, and only three deists. So, 93 percent of the attendees were self-proclaimed Christians.

The American Patriot’s Bible shares, “While much has been written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon the biblical principles of Judeo-Christianity, all the revisionism in the world cannot change the facts. Anyone who examines the original writings, personal correspondence, biographies, and public statements of the individuals who were instrumental in the founding of America will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which their thinking and lives were influenced by a Christian worldview.”

High View of God

America’s Founders shared a high view of the Lord.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, “With us, Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people our institutions did not presuppose Christianity and did not often refer to it and exhibit relations with it.” 

And U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations.”

Strong Belief in the Bible

The New England Primer, America’s first textbook, taught the ABCs to children by memorizing basic biblical truths and lessons about life: "A. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B. Heaven to find, the Bible mind. C. Christ crucified for sinners died. The Founding Fathers stressed the relationship between a sound education based upon biblical absolutes and the future of the nation." 

Noah Webster wrote, “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.” 

In 1791, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration and Constitution, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, and leading educator, argued why the Bible should never be removed from public education: “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.” 

In his Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical, he wrote, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”

George Washington, addressing the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1789 shared that national morality could not prevail without religious principle.  To try and remove the religious influence is to “shake the foundation of the fabric” of our country.

Chief Justice John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the American Bible Society, understood this reality.  He wrote, Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. 

Many years later, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, shares in his book A Nation Like No Other, “The Founders’ distinctively Christian faith is well documented, as is their conviction that government must be infused with Christian principles.”


Judeo-Christian Ethic


The Founding Fathers’ documents shaped the genesis of this nation, springing from a common understanding, or what we today call “worldview,” of how the Creator designed life to work. This approach to life is known  as the Seven Principles of the Judeo- Christian Ethic, rooted in values from the Old and New Testaments.

1. The dignity of human life. God made every person in His image, and thus every human has certain “unalienable rights.”

2. The traditional monogamous marriage. The biblical family unit is the basic building block of our society.

3. A national work ethic. Working hard represents dignity, and our free enterprise system encourages it.

4. The right to a God-centered education. Our forefathers intended an education system that taught the Bible, Creationism, and moral obligation.

5. The Abrahamic Covenant. Covenantal theology understands that obedience to God yields blessing for a nation or individual.

6. Common decency. America is great when her people follow the Golden Rule, treating others as they want to be treated.

7. Divinely ordained establishments. God established the home, civil government, and the church.

The founders of America understood the constitutions, laws, and agreements of federal and state governments depended on the acceptance of these basic ethics.

 

Remember Correctly

It grieves me the more I hear pastors who do not want to include patriotism in their churches. 

I believe the church is the best place to celebrate and remember our national heritage. To let our great American special days pass by hardly recognized by the local church is an opportunity lost.

In years past, Baptist congregations celebrated our nation’s birthday with gusto. Churches like First Baptist Jacksonville, Florida, Belleview Baptist Church in Memphis, First Baptist Columbia, SC, First Baptist Atlanta, First Baptist Dallas, TX, and Thomas Road Baptist Church enjoyed extravagant God and Country services, recognizing our Armed Forces, saluting the flag, and singing good old American songs.

You can watch the "Look Up, America" celebration from First Jacksonville in July, 1986, here.

Today, some Christians call such celebrations bordering on idolatry, and a growing number of pastors shy away from including God and Country in our worship gatherings.

The Old Testament Law and Prophets repeatedly warned of the tendency to forget – or to not remember correctly. In different eras, generations arose that forgot their heritage and did not remember what God had said or done.

Today in America, we face a growing tendency to forget our godly, Chrisitan heritage – and to not remember our history correctly. The Left consistently libels America as fundamentally flawed, racist, and in need of massive change. They perpetuate the lie that to remember our Founding Fathers is "structural racism" - another attempt from the Left to reshape our thinking. And I believe the Left is not only influencing the world wrongly – but parts of the church.

July 4th, among other American holidays like Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day, are opportunities ripe for teaching and remembering correctly. It is a time to remind ourselves and our congregations of the Christian foundation upon which we stand. Take the time to remind people that Christianity is one of the main reasons America became great.

And, it's a time to call God's people to return to God on behalf of the nation in repentance and faith.

David Lane recently wrote, “Secularism was inaugurated as America’s official religion by eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices in the mid-20th century. And with that they tore down the American Founders’ Christian bulwark of liberty and autonomy that had been responsible for 350 remarkable years of American history.”

If the church refuses to celebrate our covenantal national heritage and leaves it to the secular world, we abdicate our responsibility and privilege to remember and pass on those foundational concepts to others. And the country will continue remembering incorrectly.

As Christian parents, pastors, and Americans, may we instill in our children a love and respect for our nation. And may we proudly proclaim together, “In God we trust!



The Family Research Council and their Watchmen on the Wall ministry offer excellent resources for pastors to do what I suggest in this article - lead your people to remember our godly heritage. See Stand Courageous here and  Call 2 Fall here.

Here is a resource specifically about the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


See related resources:

Three Cs That Made America Great: Christianity, Capitalism and the Constitution  Mike Huckabee

America's Godly Heritage

The American Heritage Series

Building on the American Heritage Series

The American Patriot's Bible from Thomas Nelson

A Nation Like No Other by Newt Gingrich

Christians: Engage Politics and the Public Square


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.