I don’t know if the events of the last two weeks are a harbinger of the last days, or if they are a chastisement from God to give us a time to repent and turn our lives around. I don’t know the answer to that; only time will tell. If God really meant for us to know, he’d have told us. I’ve learned something, though, over the years: that the reading of the Bible conveys a great advantage to men and women who attend to its words. It makes a difference in people’s lives.
You do realize, don’t you, that every one of the founders of this country were readers of the Bible? They were men who took the Bible seriously; and who, in the founding document of this country said,
We hold these truths to be self-evident… (We think everyone knows this.)
…that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The knowledge, the awareness of the Creator was important to them; and it’s upon the foundation of that statement that this nation, with all its freedoms and all that it means to us, was built. And these men, in their speeches, would often quote the Bible; and it was clear they knew the Bible—knew what it said, knew the context, knew what it meant; and that their lives and their directions were informed by the Bible. I know that they didn’t always do what the Bible said; I know that they didn’t always understand everything that the Bible said; but their conscience and their value system was informed by the Bible and the awareness that it is our Creator that guarantees our rights.
And one of the things that I feel encouraged by today as I stand before you is that we have a man sitting in the Oval Office who reads the Bible and takes it seriously. It means a lot to me to know that. And there was something about that speech that the president gave that made me think that he was familiar with a Bible story that has informed my actions at key points in the past in my ministry, and I think should inform our plans for the future of the church. The story begins with bad news…