There had been little unusual about this sermon delivered March 14, 1983:
“Disintegration in our nation’s social order – crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, family instability, divorce, corruption, poverty, inflation…- can simply be explained: God’s clear instructions concerning life have been disobeyed. The Bible has become a closed book.”
The Pastor then prayed:
“We thank Three, Father God, for the Bible – the incredible Book, ancient in origin, contemporary in wisdom, justice and truth…Help us see that we deprive ourselves of a wealth of resources when we neglect the Bible. For in it and through it we come to know Thee and Thy love for us, and we learn to know ourselves, our needs, and the provision Thou hast made for us…”
The only thing that might strike us as extraordinary about this sermon was the fact that it was preached on the floor of the United States Senate by its Chaplain (1981-1994), Richard C. Halverson, who had preached many similar messages during his term of office.
Why is this remembrance significant? Today we are told that we are not a Christian nation nor have we ever been so! While it is true that our Constitution gives no legal basis for the establishment of a Christian theocracy, Halverson’s sermon and also those of his predecessors make it clear that this great nation had always drawn its inspiration from the God of the Bible.
Our first president, George Washington, insisted that his Continental Army be amply served by chaplains. We understood that any military victory had to be based upon his army maintaining the spiritual high-ground that only the biblical faith could provide.
The evidence of the centrality of this Faith in the development and function of this nation was ubiquitous – so ubiquitous that the Preamble of every State Constitution gave recognition to the “Almighty.”
Why is this important to remember? Ours has been one of the greatest civilizations that humanity has ever known. We therefore need to ask, “What has made it great, and can we continue to be great if we divorce ourselves from our very traditions that have made us great? How long can we stand if we continue to banish every mention of our God from public discourse?”
The Progressives answer that this is a new world requiring new answers. However, new answers have often been tried – the French, Spanish, Russian, and the many sexual revolutions - but always with disastrous results. What reason do we have to believe that these answers will work today? If we lacked tried and proven solutions, blind hope might be rationally more appealing.