Pastor Robert Jeffress Demolishes the Myth of “The Wall of Separation of Church and State” in “America Is a Christian Nation” Sermon
“The vast majority of our Founding Fathers believed in a God who intervened in human affairs. And they wanted Christian principles taught and promoted in the public square.” — Pastor Robert Jeffress
DALLAS — A capacity crowd celebrated “Freedom Sunday” at First Baptist Dallas Sunday, June 24. The event featured stirring patriotic music, a salute to our armed forces, indoor fireworks and the sermon, “America is a Christian Nation” preached by Pastor Robert Jeffress.
Billboards advertising the sermon led to attacks from The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and these attacks ultimately led to the billboard company removing boards. Members of the American Atheists staged a demonstration at the church protesting the sermon.
Asked why the sermon drew such opposition, Pastor Jeffress said, “If you listen long enough to the arguments of the American Civil Liberties Union or Americans United for Separation of Church and State, you will become convinced that the bedrock principle for the founding of our country was government’s neutrality—which is better translated ‘hostility’—toward all things religious. Supposedly our nation’s founders were determined to build an unscalable wall that would keep any religious influence from seeping into public life. Yet that version of American history belongs in the same category as the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. It is a myth. The vast majority of our Founding Fathers believed in a God who intervened in human affairs. And they wanted Christian principles taught and promoted in the public square.”
In his sermon, Jeffress noted that 52 of the 55 who attended the Constitutional Convention and formulated our nation’s guiding document were Christians who supported biblical teaching. In fact, the first president of the Continental Congress and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court founded the American Bible Society. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, whose Christian convictions are sometimes questioned, were in favor of the national motto, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”
In looking at the intellectual influences of our Founding Fathers, more than a third of all the Founding Fathers’ quotes came directly from the Bible, and another 60 percent came from those authors who had based their writings on the Bible. Indeed, the Founders referenced the Bible more than all enlightenment authors combined. This is why John Quincy Adams could say, “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this—it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government and the precepts of Christianity. If it has never been considered in that light, it is because its compass has not been perceived.”
Jeffress noted that by the time of the Declaration of Independence, all 13 colonies had some form of state-sponsored religion. All had religious tests for office, and all but two were explicitly Christian.
Jeffress marshaled evidence from early court rulings during the first 140 years of the nation where the judiciary reaffirmed nation’s Christian foundation, and many even encouraged the government’s support of the Christian faith. During this time, textbooks filled with Christians creeds, prayers, and praises to the God of the Bible like The New England Primer were used in public schools across the land without any thought of legal challenge.
Jeffress then explained that the so-called “Wall of Separation,” far from being an idea of the Founding Fathers, was in fact coined in 1947 by Justice Hugo Black as justification to forbid the State of New Jersey from expending tax dollars on religious education. But on the heels of this decision, prayer, the Bible, and Christian expressions of faith were either banished from the public square or became the target of sustained attack.
The result, a 419 percent increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorce rates, a more than 200 percent increase in the teenage suicide rate; a drop of almost 80 points in SAT scores, and a 560 percent increase in violent crime.
Jeffress ended with these sobering remarks, “God is no respecter of people or nations. The nation that reverences God and His Word will be blessed by God, and the nation that rejects God and His Word will be rejected by God. The choice is ours.”
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
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