Written on December 4, 2019
Today, December 4, we had a day of interpreting the intentions and understandings of "the founding fathers." In this case for supporting a certain view of what constitutes "impeachment" of America's president. One party wants it, and one doesn't.
At stake was the articulated fear of the dividing of our country. One side wants to impeach the president by Christmas. The other would like to see the people decide, in the next election.
I have just finished reading a book by the New York Times #1 best-selling author, Eric Metaxas. It is called "If You Can Keep It." Benjamin Franklin came out of the Constitutional Convention and was confronted by a certain Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia, who confronted him with this question: "Well, Doctor," she asked, "What have we got? A republic or a monarchy?" Franklin shot back: "A republic, madam -- if you can keep it." The people would have to make it work.
The Constitution was a promise. But the people, by their own lives, their own spirit and commitment, would be the ones to make it work.
John Adams, a member of that Convention, was to say something like "Democracy is for a believing people." This new land would be built upon the believing faith in God, of its people. Alexis de Tocqueville, the great student of America and its revolution said, "Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor without faith."
Freedom requires virtue, and virtue comes from faith. A quotation misattributed to de Toequevilles' famous book, "Democracy in America," says, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."
We must be careful as we speak for the founders and their dream for America. By the end of his book, Metaxas goes back to the vision of the Puritans coming to Boston, and earlier the Pilgrims to Plimoth. They were a movement of courageous faith, seeking freedom for religion in the new world. John Winthrop cast the vision in his sermon aboard the Arabella, quoting scripture, "We are as a city set upon a hill, with the eyes of the world upon us." It was the shared Pilgrim-Puritan dream that what would grow here would be a servant nation to the world.
I dare to believe that this critical time must be a time when we reclaim our history, and understand the depth of its purpose, and that we stand for the things God wants for this land - that we have rights to live - every human being. That we be servants to each other. That we care for all people. That we work to be fair. That we be people of faith.
This is a time to recover Jesus' vision of our being one with Him and with each other, and with the Father in heaven Who made us and made this world for us.
It is time for a bold spirit, a deep faith, a certain daring in our living -- and not for a timid "political correctness."
A humble heart will be crucial. A brave faith will be our foundation. That is what will give unity a chance once again in the life of our nation, and of our communities.
God is giving us this time.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES