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Reverend Dr. Henry F. Johnson barrett-osahar berry
Can God Bless America?
By Reverend Dr. Henry F. Johnson
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Our boast is that we are one nation under God. If we are one nation under God, why aren't we doing better? We have heard the Gospel and accepted it. Why aren't we making a stand? We must, as a nation, become praying people staying in the presence and will of God. It is time that I must speak out.

I have sat back and watched a moral and spiritual decline in our nation and remained quiet like far too many in the Christian community. Our moral and spiritual decline in America concerns me. We have sat idly by and allowed Satan to have his way. I have come to the point that every time someone says "God Bless America," I counter the statement with this question, "Can God Bless America?"

My focus in this essay is to wake up the sleeping giants and call them to action. Who are the sleeping giants? The members of the Christian Community are the sleeping giants. We are a majority in America, but we are taking the position of ease like Lot did in Sodom. As I begin this wake up call let me start with some things that should have awakened us as we read them or heard them on the news.

1963 was a tumultuous year for the United States. It was the year of Vietnam involvement, civil rights discord, the Supreme Court reversal of 80 previous decisions with the removal of the Lord's Prayer and Bible readings from public schools, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and a subsequent loss of values and direction in our society.

Morality hit a new low during the 1992-2000 U.S. Administration. Euthanasia became legal in Oregon, same-sex union became legal in Vermont, and the specter of a police state grew as the Administration supported the invasion of our privacy and the disarming of America, our best defense against tyranny.

The most devastating effect on our future is the nightmare of abortion, as the death toll from legalized abortion reached 40 million. The civil rights of the unborn remain violated, in spite of public opinion and the visualization of the baby in the mother by ultrasound. With 40 million Americans missing 30 years of age and under, this group comprises the new American minority!

These are some lines from the petition to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency: It is our firm belief that it is unconstitutional to force ones thoughts of God, or a god upon another American. We have the right to religious freedom, as well as the right of freedom from religion. For those who are not believers in God, or a god should not have to feel as though it is a wrong belief due to the symbolism on our money. Nor should they be made to feel out of place due to the forcing of the idea of a god onto them. The American society has more faiths then Christianity and other deity-based beliefs, so the American citizens shouldn't be forced or stereotyped as being one.

On Aug. 5, 2003, a federal judge ruled that a Ten Commandments monument prominently located in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building had to be removed. On August 5, U. S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson issued an injunction that called for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to have the 5,280-pound granite sculpture removed within 15 days. His opinion suggested that the court could order substantial fines against Judge Moore should he fail to obey the injunction.

On Wednesday, February 4, 2004, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court cleared the way for lesbian and gay couples in the state to marry, ruling, on February 3, 2004, that government attorneys "failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason" to deny them the right. In a 4-3 ruling, the court gave the Massachusetts state Legislature six months to rewrite the state's marriage laws for the benefit of gay couples. The ruling by the court on the Massachusetts Constitution could set new legal ground, and drew quick reaction from advocates on both sides of the issue. Massachusetts' governor immediately denounced Tuesday's decision and said he would work for a constitutional amendment to overturn it. But an openly gay U.S. congressman from the state said the amendment couldn't come before the voters before 2006, and by that time same-sex marriages will be law.

On February 12, 2004 in San Francisco, California, couples flocked to City Hall. Officials issued 95 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before closing for the day. The Associated Press reported that 87 couples were married on the spot. Officials told the remaining couples to come back Friday (February 13, 2004), according to the AP. As of Friday afternoon, 489 couples had gotten married, the AP reported. The first to be married Thursday were Phyllis Lyon, 80, and Dorothy Martin, 83, who have been together 51 years.

When I think on these events, I am ashamed of the Christian community and myself. We have sat in the comfort of our homes, churches, and para-church ministries and allowed a small demographic to move this nation away from God. There was a time that we stood firm on the Word of God rather than stand idly by and let sinners do their work. Did you know... As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the Supreme Court you can see, near the top of the building, a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ... it is Moses and the Ten Commandments! As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door. As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall right above where the Supreme Court judges sit a display of the Ten Commandments! There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.

James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement... "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country, said ... "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians ... not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a preacher ... whose salary has been paid by the taxpayers since 1777. Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies. Thomas Jefferson worried about that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law ... an oligarchy- the rule of few over many. The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said ... "Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers." How then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 200 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

What is going to happen to this nation that pledges "One Nation Under God" if we the people of God don't make a stand? We talk the talk but we aren't walking the walk. These groups who are pushing God and the principles of His Word out of America will quickly organize a rally and march for their purposes. Where are we? Wouldn't it be great if thousands of Christians went to Washington, D.C. to make a stand for the Lord? Have we gotten too comfortable in Sodom (I mean America)?

I believe we serve a God of a second chance. The stipulation that comes with that chance is whether there are any righteous in the nations. The Bible gives the account of Abraham's questioning of God as He was preparing to go destroy Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:16-33. It says:

16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." 20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." 22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" 26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." 27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it." 29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it." 30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there." 31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it." 32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." 33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home. (NIV)

Abraham simply wanted the people to have a change. He worked his angle with God in hopes of the city being spared for the sake of the righteous. God agreed that if there were only ten righteous that the city would not be destroyed. The Angels of the Lord went to Sodom but they encountered low morals and the demon of homosexuality. Genesis 19:1-22 gives us the account of the events in Sodom. The angels arrived and Lot was sitting at the gate of the city. He invited them to his home. Verses 4-11 bring the disturbing revelation that this city was morally and spiritually bankrupt. It says:

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." 9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. 10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. (NIV)

The sinfulness of the city is very clear. These men wanted to violently rape the angels and wouldn't accept anything less. The angels intervened by blinding the men and pulled Lot into the house. They asked Lot about his family in the city. I think this might have been their way of seeing if there were even ten who were righteous in the city. They found that only Lot, his two daughters, and Mrs. Lot were willing to leave. They made their way out of the city but Mrs. Lot had to look back. She was turned to a pillar of salt. In this city only three seemed to be righteous. Surely in America, there is some righteous. We have freedom of religion. We have numerous churches in every city of this nation. We have para-church ministries throughout the nation. We have great theologians. We have great television evangelist and preachers like Bishop Eddie Long, T.D. Jakes, Dr. Otis Moss Jr., Bishop Dennis Leonard, and Bishop G.E. Patterson who are proclaiming the Gospel. Our boast is that we are one nation under God. If we are one nation under God, why aren't we doing better? We have heard the Gospel and accepted it. Why aren't we making a stand?

I am sounding off from my heart in this essay because I am concerned. America is a great nation. I served in the US Army for twenty years to include a tour in Vietnam so I must love this nation. My love is still great for our nation but my concern is that we have allowed ourselves to be put into a position where God can't bless our nation. I tell you I am concerned about today as well as the future. Our nation is drifting away from the very principles that made us great. We are turning away from our God who has been faithful and who has blessed us. We have turned away from His Word that was a light unto our path. In some of our pulpits, we have watered down the Gospel rather than preaching about sin and the need for true repentance.

I am not sure that God can bless America in our current state. There is hope! In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we find hope. It says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (KJV) If we want the blessings of God, we must do as this verse says. We must humble ourselves. This means from the President's house to our house. We must humble ourselves before the Lord. We must pray.

I remember as a child the saying in the church was that a family that stays together prays together. I believe that a nation that will pray together will stay together. We must, as a nation, become praying people staying in the presence and will of God. We must pray! We must next seek God's face. This is simply moving from moral bankruptcy to getting into God's will and walking according to His ways.

The next step is to turn from our wicked ways. The Body of Christ must get back to the basics. We must worship, study, pray, praise, and not compromise. We must stand against the wiles of the Devil. We must not let any more compromise come into our nation. We must take back what the Devil has stolen in this time of our sleeping. We need to repent as a nation for our lack of action and relaxing of morals. We need to repent for our softening of the Word of God. We need to get back in our pulpits and preach like we have never preached before to call God's people to action and to a higher level of commitment to the Lord.

My dear friends, when we humble ourselves before the Lord, pray, seek God, and repent, God promises that He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land.

Can God bless America? He can't bless us right now because we are living in a mess. He can, however, bless us once we get right. We can only get right with God by applying the principles given in 2 Chronicles 7:14. I am awake now.... what about you? I have invited God back into America by rededicating my life and my ministry...What about you? Are you ready to do the same?

Reverend Doctor Henry Johnson is married to Christine Johnson. They have two daughters, a son and four grandchildren. Reverend Johnson served twenty years in the US Army. He returned to Colorado Springs, Colorado to begin his education, attending Pikes Peak Community College and later Nazarene Bible College receiving two Bachelors Degrees in Biblical Studies and Christian Education. He graduated from Andersonville Baptist Seminary with a Masters Degree and a Doctorate in Biblical Studies.

Reverend Johnson has received numerous awards. He was listed in Who's Who in the World in 2000 and Who's Who in America in 2004. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the US Army in 1987.

Reverend Johnson enjoys studying God's word, working with youth, weight lifting, spending time with his family and traveling. He is currently employed as a Community Coordinator where he serves and advocates for people with disabilities. He is also an author. Reverend Johnson with God's guidance published a book titled "Challenge of the Teens in the 90's and Beyond". He has also written Bible studies on the Book of Nehemiah and James. He is working on a Bible study on the Book of Revelation.

Copyright 2005 by Rev. Dr. Henry F. Johnson
Used by permission,

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