June 8, 2009 Message of the Week
The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights
The Constitution of the United States
By Robert G. Fuhrman
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NAS) This freedom from God is the freedom to express ourselves in His grace through our free will. As individuals, through our conscience, in the sovereignty our personal freedom we are able to seek a relational presence of God in our lives. This is the right and free gift from God in the power of the Cross through Christ for all people. The power of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, is given to us freely by God when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives as our personal Lord and Savior. People of all nations around the world need to be free to make this decision by their own free will to accept or reject the work of the Cross.
The Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States
Copyright By Robert G. Fuhrman May 30, 2007
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Our nation, The United States of America, was and is based upon the quest for individual freedom and liberty. I.e. the establishment of our freedom and liberty is secured in the concept of “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. (Quote: The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776)
We as people, as citizens, want to express ourselves in a forum of open dialog i.e. in an environment free from tyranny, the “Oppressive power over the mind of man” – Thomas Jefferson. (Quote: Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 1998)
This free environment was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. (Quote: from the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln, June 1, 1863)
“Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 because of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s leadership to Congress to include these words. President Eisenhower was inspired in 1954 by a sermon at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. “Dr. George M. Docherty, Minister 1950-1976 preached a Lincoln Day sermon here in 1954 which led to the addition of the words “under God”, to the Pledge to the Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America”. (Quote: Plaque outside the entrance to New York Avenue Presbyterian Church) President Eisenhower felt this was an appropriate course of action to include the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to delineate the ideals of the American People in their government from the tyranny of atheistic Communist governments.
“Now the Lord is Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty”. (Quote: 2 Corinthians 3:17 NAS) Our Founding Fathers, men and women, who were believers in Jesus Christ, were guided by the Holy Spirit as we are guided today through His Wisdom – “The Mind of Christ”. (Quote: 1 Corinthians 2:11-16 NAS) Our Nation, the United States of America, was founded upon the principles from a Judeo-Christian heritage. The Bible, the Jewish Testament of the Law pointing to the Grace that was to come and the Christian Testament of Grace – the fulfillment of God’s plan of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, is a fundamental source for the founding principles of law that govern the United States of America.
The First Amendment protects God’s Grace “The Gift of Free Will, our freedom of conscience. All people in the United States of America are protected in their expression of faith as they personally choose how to or not to believe in God. This is God’s way for us to be able to come to Him freely by this gift of liberty. “So, Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. (Quote: Roman’s 10:17 KJV) The word of God is expressed, i.e. preached through the First Amendment’s Right of Free Speech. “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without the preacher?” Quote: Romans 10:14 NAS)
God has spoken to my heart teaching me, by His edification and by the life experiences He has allowed me to live as to the purpose of the First Amendment. The First Amendment’s purpose is to protect a person’s right to proselytize God’s Son Jesus Christ in public i.e. to Witness Jesus Christ to others without persecution from the government. By today’s logic the First Amendment has been interpreted concerning issues involving the discernment of positions involving the concept of the “separation of church and state”. The idea of the “separation of church and state” is not stated in the Constitution. The idea of the “separation of church and state”, in American history, was fostered by the thinking of early American Christian writers such as Roger Williams (co-founder of Rhode Island and founder of Providence, Rhode Island) and William Penn (Quaker, and founder of Pennsylvania).Their writing expounded upon the ideals of “soul-liberty” and the “liberty of conscience”.
The First Amendment was not written by its authors for the purpose of defining as an issue – the “separation of church and state”. The First Amendment was written for the “protection” of the Church from the State! James Madison and Patrick Henry were men of God with Faith in Jesus Christ being lead by the Holy Spirit. They knew firsthand about government tyranny! And they knew that the right to personal Faith and the expression of that Faith needed protection in our Constitution by specific language. The First Amendment protects Jesus Christ’s Church from governmental tyranny. This First Amendment protects the rights for the Free Exercise of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble, and to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievance.
The First Amendment is a fortress protecting our personal liberty! We are at liberty to share God’s Word by witnessing His Salvation in public, the proselytization of His Son Jesus Christ. We are at liberty to assemble in our churches to freely speak and write about God’s presence in our lives. If grieved by the government, as were the American citizens at the time of the American Revolution as stated in the grievances of the Declaration of Independence, American Citizens can petition the government for a redress of grievances. American Citizens have the God given unalienable right to bring their Faith into their government to seek God’s good for the resolution of their problems.
If we as people seek the Spirit of the Lord as “one nation under God”, lead by our personal faith, I believe we will be guided by the Holy Spirit to see God’s truth in Christ. It is a matter of conscience in the exercise of each person’s free will as to how each of us arrives at this conclusion. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives us the opportunity to truly experience God’s Blessing of that “In God We Trust”. (Quote: The One Dollar Bill-Currency of the United States) As a nation and as free individual American people let us be grateful for the freedom and liberty that God has bestowed upon us.
Robert G. Fuhrman