Note: This article first appeared in Heroes, Heroines and History on October 16th.
By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield
“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” (Taken from Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Inaugural Address, January 5, 1967)
This November’s election will have monumental importance. President Reagan’s words ring out truer today than at any other time in our history for Christians to vote the Bible or liberty to be lost into a sea of regret. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV).
In the 2016 election, according to Christianity Daily, it is estimated that 61 percent of evangelicals voted. Where were the other 40 percent?
We Christians will be the culprit if America loses its freedoms. Charles Finney, (1792-1875), the most celebrated revivalist of the Second Great Awakening, says:
“Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection, and wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.”
“The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them…God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God.”
When General George Washington resigned his commission from the army in 1783, he sent to the governors of the thirteen states a letter that concluded with this prayer:
His words became prophetic when the Civil War ripped our country in two. Hardly a “happy nation.” Abraham Lincoln quoted Matthew 12:25 upon being elected as the Republic Party’s candidate: “…A house divided against itself cannot stand…” Upon his election as the United States sixteenth president, and deep into the woes of the Civil War, Lincoln begged Americans to fast and pray. “Pray to the Supreme Government of God.” Lincoln sent out this proclamation on the 12th day of August 1861:
“And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action:
“And whereas, when our own beloved Country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy,— to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order and peace, throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing, by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence.”
Throughout our nation’s history, God blessed us with the leaders, we needed to spur freedom and liberty forward.
Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881) was a doctor, an educator, and a popular author. He assumed the role of editor of the Springfield Republican in his native Massachusetts and became the founding editor and co-owner of Scribner’s in 1870. He wrote these immortal words:
“God, give us men! A time like this demands. Strong minds, great hearts and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill; Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will; Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue and damn His Treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned who live above the fog In public duty and in private thinking.”
Peter Marshall often quoted Holland’s poem from the pulpit at his New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Marshall in 1937 was appointed twice as the United States Senate Chaplain. Here are just a few of his famous prayers:
“Lord, give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for — because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
“Lord, may we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”
Our forefathers weren’t perfect—but they knew where to go when anarchy loomed on the horizon of our nation’s freedoms.
American households were fed on the Word of God, and cradled in the arms of their Savior, Christ Jesus. God heard their prayers. Men and women answered the call; strong-minded, big-hearted, faithful, with ready and honorable hands. Men and women with integrity. Tall, sun-crowned people who lived above the fog of delusion and hypocrisy willing to do God’s bidding no matter the cost.
God directs this scripture to just Christians in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
America’s prayers did not go unanswered. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Finney, Josiah Holland, William McKinley, and Ronald Reagan were keenly aware that Christians must take a forefront, and if called to do so, an active role in the governance of the United States.
Through pestilences, economic depressions, and wars attacking the moral fiber of our nation throughout history’s corridors, every generation bore their burden, either with pitchforks, guns, or—the voting booths.
William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, says it best in his speech before the Christian Endeavor’s International Convention in Cleveland in 1894 as he exclaimed about the staunch, foreboding, indivisible hand of praying Christians:
“There is no currency in this world that passes at such a premium anywhere as good Christian character…The time has gone by when the young man or the young woman in the United States has to apologize for being a follower of Christ…No cause but one could have brought together so many people, and that is the cause of our Master.”
Can that be said of us today?
YES! More so than ever before in our nation’s history. Our God has brought America’s Christians together for such a time as this.
Let the truth ring out across our nation about our generation for the world to hear in the immortal words of William McKinley, “No cause but one could have brought together so many people, and that is the cause of our Master!”
On page 279 of Destiny’s Whirlwind, I included my poem that won me entrance into the 1976 Billy Graham’s Writer Conference. The theme: 2 Corinthians 3:17:
Upon the flames of falling embers Fell their wrath upon December;
But not a foe could waver America’s joy for God and Savior,
Then beside flames and falling embers, I pondered, Beside those trusting souls, I wondered,
“How did it come to be? This nation ‘Under God’ still free?”
Cold and hard fell the sting of evil’s plight. It chilled, yet burned of flint’s delight
Upon the barren and treeless rows, Of faceless crosses and nameless souls,
Thousands filed out upon those hardened hills now stone, Yet, silently, each faced their foe alone.
“How could it ever be,” I mused. “How could it come to be, This nation ‘Under God’ still free?”
Then strongly pealed the chapel bells, Again, again, throughout the hills,
Unshackled and unshaken bound, Freely did their joy resound,
And tall white domes stood boldly staunch Against the flint of evil’s doom,
Against the stagnate, stench of death, Against the smothering walls of dread.
And rows and rows of crosses lined Those molded hills of time,
Those rows on rows of faith unmoved, Those undaunted wills so free and true.
“Oh tell me,” I implored above, “how did it come to be? “Was it a nation that proved to thee?
“Or they that proved to a nation, “That You could win them victory?”
The November 3 election will have monumental importance, more so then throughout the many portals of our American history. Pray, fast, and VOTE THE BIBLE. America and our Almighty God is counting on you—to guide the next generation to God’s Truth.
Destiny’s Whirlwind: A death-bed promise, a dashing Rough Rider, the parable of the sower take on unimaginable consequences as Ben’s daughter, Collina fights to keep her father’s legacy of Shushan alive. Destiny’s Whirlwind by Catherine Brakefield is a beautiful inspirational love story that will reel you in and win your heart…The story is beautifully written and filled with triumph and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down…” LS
She has written Images of America; The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.
Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker Books, Revell, CrossRiver Media, and Bethany House Publishers.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC). Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.
See https://www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information about her books.
The quotes of George Washington were taken from: The Glory of America by Peter Marshall & David Manuel, 1991, Published by Garborg’s Heart N Home, Inc.
Josiah Gilbert Holland https://snaccooperative.org/view/10434912
Ronald Reagan A life in Photographs, by David Elliot Cohen, 2010 Published by Sterling Publishing Co.
Destiny’s Whirlwind 2018 by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, published by CrossRiver Media GroupPosted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 2:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest
- Debbie Lynne CostelloOctober 16, 2020 at 11:43 AMWhat a great article Catherine! Thanks for sharing. It is timely!!ReplyReplies
- Connie R.October 16, 2020 at 12:14 PMI so appreciated this article, both for its’ scope and timeliness! Thank you so much!ReplyReplies