As a young man I remember hearing a telling line from a few brief remarks made by then Governor of California Ronald Reagan. The year was 1976 and he was invited to the podium at the National Republican convention by then President Gerald Ford to make a few remarks. Among the many things he said one line sticks clearly in my mind today, “I had an assignment the other day. Someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to be opened in Los Angeles a hundred years from now, on our Tercentennial. It sounded like an easy assignment. They suggested I write something about the problems and the issues today. I set out to do so, riding down the coast in an automobile, looking at the blue Pacific out on one side and the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was going to be that beautiful a hundred years from now as it was on that summer day…let your own minds turn to that task. You are going to write for people a hundred years from now, who know all about us. We know nothing about them. We don’t know what kind of a world they will be living in. And suddenly it dawned on me; those who would read this letter a hundred years from now will know… They will know whether we met our challenge.” Wow does that resonate today! What we do with where we are will make a difference now and for those who follow… they will know.
They will know if we are faithful with what God has entrusted us. We have been entrusted with a nation unlike any other in the history of the world with founding documents seasoned with biblical principle and truth. In fact our birth certificate clearly defines the why we came into existence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” “Life,” as my good friend Congressman Bob McEwen often says, “Is of very little use if you are dead!” It will be perfectly clear to those, including my grandchildren 20 years from now, whether or not their Grandfather was willing to stand up and say anything at all about the horrific practices of Planned Parenthood we have discovered recently. It is already ashamedly unfathomable that over 55 million babies have been legally murdered since 1973… but this?
They will know if we stood sure and true on biblical values and standards that made us a great nation. We have recorded for us by James Madison the words of Benjamin Franklin from the Federal Convention of 1787, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leaves it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.
They will know if we remained committed to God’s truth regardless of current opinion and polling. Willing to remain committed and obey the voice of God in the face of fear and potential danger. We are navigating through rough waters as a culture and we in many ways are woefully unprepared. We have much information and such amazing technology at our fingertips that our forefathers could have only dreamed of yet we are lacking something far more important… character. The four classic Greek virtues include prudence, justice, temperance and courage and the three Christian virtues faith, hope and love come quickly to mind. The fourth of these seven is courage. Now courage is not a lack of fear. It is the courage to do what’s right in the face of fear. It was the English Parliamentarian Sir Edmund Burke said it best “All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” I believe it was God’s word that says to every age, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Amen!
Throckmorton is pastor of Crossroads Church in Circleville.