America’s ‘Explicit Covenant with God’: How a Nation Pledged to God Can Save a World or Lose It

07-04-2019 CBN News Paul Strand

WASHINGTON – Covenants are viewed as the most sacred and binding of deals – an oath that’s never to be broken. America’s earliest settlers made a covenant with God to serve and proclaim Him throughout the earth.  These days, however, Americans appear to have forgotten this covenant and that can have dire consequences.

Christian leader Dutch Sheets explained to CBN News how God’s relationship with us is set by sacred covenant.

This author of Giants Will Fall said, “It’s even what He based our salvation on: ‘I’m coming to bring a new covenant through Jesus. The shedding of His blood ratifies this covenant.’ It is a binding together that in Him is unbreakable.”  
 

America Began in Covenant 

Early English settlers also wanted their new land to share such a binding covenant with God. Christian historian Eddie Hyatt, author of The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, said those who came to Jamestown starting in 1607 put it in their Virginia Compact.

“To propagate, to expand the gospel, the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and to take the gospel to people who were ‘lying in darkness and had no knowledge of the one true God.’ They said that was the reason they had come,” Hyatt stated.

The Pilgrims arriving in Massachusetts stated the same in 1620. Jerry Newcombe, author of The Book That Made America, paraphrased what they wrote down: “‘Having undertaken a voyage for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.'”

Newcombe explained of the Pilgrims and Puritans who followed, “They came for God as opposed to coming for gold.”

Hyatt says John Winthrop, leading 700 Puritans to Massachusetts in 1631, said it like this: “‘Others may come to the New World for wealth and furs.’ He said, ‘We have another goal, another end. We have entered into an explicit covenant with God to be His people in this New World.’  And they wanted to be that city on a hill. They wanted to be a model of Christianity for the rest of the world to see.”

David Barton of Wallbuilders said as these early settlers wrote out their covenants, “They were very cognizant of the fact that we answer to God. We need to get God at the center of what we do. If we do, He’ll bless us.  If we don’t, we’re in trouble.”

These Covenants Became Models for the US Constitution

These early covenants pledged the signers to each other and to obeying the laws they’d form with God’s guidance.

As Newcombe put it, “This was something that would bind each man and each person to the whole community as an agreement under God.”

According to historian William Federer, such compacts became the model for the US Constitution, whose authors were also very much guided by their Christian faith.

The writer of the online AmericanMinute.com stated, “George Washington at the beginning of the Constitutional Convention, he said ‘the event is in the hand of God.'”

How Has America’s Constitution Lasted So Long?

“They saw the Constitution as being a very religiously-based document,” said Barton. “It was also a very covenantal-based document. We made a covenant. The Constitution is a covenant of these states.”

He went on, “The average length of a constitution in the history of the world was 17 years. So how have we gone 230 when everybody else was going 17?   And so political science professors looked to see where the Founders got their ideas.”

Barton pointed out they studied 3,154 direct quotes from these Founders’ political writings and discovered how much God’s Word figured in them.

He summed up, “The number one source was the Bible: 34 percent of all those quotes in those political documents, etc., came out of the Bible.”

Sheets explains in his book Giants Will Fall  that the makeup of the government was shaped by biblical passages like Isaiah 33:22, writing, “Our nation’s form of government was actually taken from scripture.  ‘The Lord is our Judge {Judicial Branch}…Lawgiver {Legislative Branch}…and King {Executive Branch}.'”

The Founders put God first and foremost in the Declaration of Independence.  
 
Federer stated, “It says right in there ‘appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world.’ In this founding document, we appealed to God. We invited Him to be a part of this American experiment.”
  
The Founders put Scripture on the Liberty Bell, Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof…”

The concept of this being one nation UNDER God harkens back to Jesus telling Jerusalem in Luke 13:34 that He wanted to “…hide you UNDER my wings, covering and protecting you.”

Dire Consequences of Deserting Covenant

What happens though, as parts of the nation don’t want to be under God, disregard parts of the Constitution, and no longer honor sacred oaths?

Sheets warned, “We have walked away from covenant with Him.”

And even from the marriage covenant, with the divorce rate soaring 302 percent in the 20th century.  
 
Newcombe argued, “A lot of the things that we’re experiencing in America today are because we’ve disregarded God’s covenant.”

America, once the number one exporter of the Gospel, is now the number one importer of illegal drugs and the number one exporter of pornography.

Newcombe explained God warned about this, saying, “‘Obey me then I will bless you. But if you disobey me, I will remove my blessing.'”

So Much Is on the Line

If America really is to be the place from which the Gospel is spread to the whole world, then the salvation of billions hangs in the balance.

Sheets believes there’s hope, but only if Americans return to honoring their covenant with God, because that makes us His family.

Sheets gave an example, saying, “If the kids across the street I don’t know, if they do something evil or wrong, I feel no responsibility to try to bring them back into the fold, because I’m not in covenant with them. I’m not in that relationship. God is the same way.”

Barton pointed out the long-suffering faithfulness of the Lord, saying, “We’re told in Psalm 105 He keeps His covenant for a thousand generations.”
  
Sheets added, “I don’t think there’s a stronger force in the world.”

So there’s a chance the nation can still someday completely fulfill the prophecy of destiny Jamestown chaplain Robert Hunt said in 1607 as he came ashore in Virginia, just a few miles from where the Christian Broadcasting Network’s headquarters are located.

Hyatt explained, “He made this declaration which I believe was prophetic. He said ‘from these very shores the Gospel shall go forth, not only to this New World, but to all the world.’ And that was just not very far from CBN!”

It just takes getting back to covenant. As Joel 2:13 says, “Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness.”

**Originally published May 24, 2019

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COMMENTARY: ‘United We Stand’

07-04-2019 CBN News Megan West, My Faith Votes

COMMENTARY

It’s one of my favorite times of the year — parades, picnics, fireworks and all things red, white and blue to mark America’s birthday. Growing up in a farming community in the Midwest, summertime meant plenty of hometown parades to celebrate our American pride and values. As a child, I loved all the sights and sounds. As I got older, I was honored to be a member of our high school marching band, turning my observation of the procession of people, floats, firetrucks and flinging candy to full participation in the all-American tradition.

While I still love a good parade, something has been bothering me as the years go on. In fact, it’s really disheartening.

Each parade usually begins with the solemn presentation of the American flag leading the cavalcade of parade entries, often times carried by police or veterans’ organizations. As a mom, I instruct my young children to stand up, cover their hearts with their right hand and remove their hats. I always feel a rushing wave of patriotism as I watch the flag pass. So many memories are conjured every time I see that red, white, and blue symbol of American freedom.

But as I look around at my fellow parade-goers, they are mostly seated, ignoring the flag, wearing hats or seem uncomfortable or bothered by honoring the flag by simply standing. It’s hard to determine if they don’t care about the symbolism or they just don’t know how to act with respect.

Ask any serviceman or servicewoman why it’s important to stand at the passing of the American flag and I’m sure they’ll give you a number of good reasons. First and foremost, for hundreds of years, proud Americans have been fighting to give us the freedom to fly our flag.

Standing for the flag is not about thoughtless or misguided patriotism. It is a symbol of all of the hopeful things America stands for. It is symbolic of freedoms that many people in our world covet, despite our country’s spiritual problems and political divides. By standing for the flag, I honor my country and those who serve it in so many ways. Standing for the flag is not a political expression of support for a particular political party or an expression of jingoism. Rather, it is a deep acknowledgment of my privileged existence as an American in the land of the free.

Standing for the flag shows I still believe in America and her possibilities.

Prior to Flag Day in 1923, there were no official guidelines regarding our star-spangled banner. So, the National Flag Code was drafted by representatives of the Army and Navy under the auspices of the National Americanism Commission of the American Legion. It was printed and given nationwide distribution. On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution (later amended on December 22, 1942) that dictated what is known today as the U.S. Flag Code. In the code, there are several sections on how to display the flag, how to maintain and handle the flag, as well as general respect guidelines. Perhaps the most important one dictates how we show respect when the flag passes us by:

all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.”

I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt and say that we’ve reached a moment where most just don’t know the etiquette required for our most treasured national symbol. Maybe we need another national distribution of the flag code as was given to everyone in 1923.

So I ask you this. Do you know what to do when the flag passes you by? If you don’t, try putting these simple actions into place the next time you watch a parade or see the flag presented in ceremonial fashion. If you do know what to do, keep doing it! Your example helps to model what we all should do. And I would ask that you teach others instead of judge. In a nation of people that easily find offense, offer grace and instead, instruct.

This July 4th, I’ll be standing with my family, proudly honoring our grand old flag as she passes by. I’ll be watching for you to stand too.

Megan West is Media Director for My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square. Gov. Mike Huckabee serves as the organization’s honorary national chairman.ShareTweetEmail

Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (43 years in October 2020!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's NOW THINK ON THIS messages, and our Ahava Adventures annual trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 29 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area, along with four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

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