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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

An open letter to those in authority...
Date Posted: October 24, 2021

To whom it concerns an open letter:

Dear Mr. President, Honorable Senators and Representatives, Governors, Judges, Councilmen, Aldermen, Mayors, Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, and other Persons holding positions of Authority,

The first heat of battle is over. There is now time to regroup and rest before donning the armor and entering the fray again to determine who will be our leaders for the next few years.

Lately, it has come to my attention that this world we live in has lost much of its ethical luster and needs a good polishing and cleaning. Since you have sought this position of authority, I address my concerns to you with the expectations that you actually do desire to make this world a better place. That is why you ran for office and donned the laurel wreath of victory for the office that you hold, correct?

The things I have noticed of late are that the precious, squeaky minorities receive all the attention. Not because they are in the right, but because they make so much noise. At least that is how it seems to me. These squawkers have pushed the Christian right far into a dark corner, and I wonder if we’ll all wake up one morning with any God-given rights at all. I am writing to ask you to hold close our founding fathers high ethical standards, Christian ethics. Visit any founding father's memorial in Washington D.C. and you cannot avoid observing their Christian beliefs because the memorials and buildings are plastered with them.

The issues of the past such as the General who had his mouth muzzled because he was wearing his uniform and speaking in church, and the issue of the judge who could not have the proven and time-tested perfect rules to live by, the Ten Commandments, in his court room because a minority believes the commands are church related and not law related. Now, a federal district judge rules that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. Where was she when the constitution was being written?

The very first Continental Congress opened with prayer on September 7,1774. There was some haggling as to whom should offer up this prayer, and Samuel Adams settled the matter by saying “I am no bigot. I can hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue, who is at the same time a friend to his Country.”

Just so you will know the truth Sirs and Madams of Authority, and just so you understand whereupon the very foundation of our Country rests, allow me to explain further. The Reverend Jacob Duché rose and read Psalm 35.

Psalm 35:1 A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, contend with those who strive against me; fight those who fight against me. 2 Take hold of a shield and buckler, and arise as my help. 3Draw out the spear and close ranks to meet my pursuers; say to my soul, I am your salvation. 4Let those who seek my soul be ashamed and disgraced; let them be turned back and brought to confusion, those who plot evil to me…6 Let their way be dark and slippery, and the Angel of Jehovah their pursuer… 8 Let destruction come on him; he will not know; and let his net which he concealed catch him; let him fall in it, into destruction. 9 And my soul shall be joyful in Jehovah; it will rejoice in His salvation. 22 You have seen, O Jehovah; do not keep silence, O Lord, do not be far from me. 23 Stir Yourself and awaken to my judgment, to my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Judge me, O Jehovah my God, according to Your righteousness; and do not let them rejoice over me... There is more, but for the sake of space and time, please look it up and read the rest for yourself.

That was the assigned scripture reading for that day, September 7,1774, in the Book of Common. How incredibly apropos it was. The whole Psalm is a prayer against the enemy and supplication for protection and vindication. Samuel Adams writes that this passage from Scripture had such a profound effect on those assembled to write the document that would govern our country for centuries, which would protect our inalienable rights (that means God-given rights) for centuries, they stood astonished. He wrote, “It seemed as if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read that morning.” (Emphasis mine.)

Overcome by emotion, Duché burst into spontaneous, unscripted prayer. His prayer began, “Be Thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundation; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that Order, Harmony, and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people.”

The bald fact is, gentlemen and ladies, our country was laid upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Our founders had deep faith in the one true God. They absolutely were of different denominations and may have argued over whether baptism should be by sprinkle or full emersion, but they never disputed the sovereignty of YHWH, nor that Jesus is His only begotten Son through whom is the only Door into God’s presence.

Jefferson did not pen “an eternal wall of separation between church and state” into the Constitution. It was a letter to Danbury Baptists. His letter addressed their concern over a Federal Church. He agreed with them, that there should not be a government run church. It would be wonderful if the history books would do some fact checking and truth recording. In 1802, Jefferson extended a 1787 act of Congress where tracts of land in the western territories were “designated: For the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity.” It is a testiment that the federal government was bent on promoting Christianity with the pen of Thomas Jefferson.

Incredibly, Jefferson penned the words, “all men are endowed by their Creator,” in our beloved Constitution but in 2005 U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones with the slam of a gavel ruled that children could not be taught of their Creator due to “separation of church and state.”

Gentlemen and ladies, this is not a law and is not even the Spirit of it wherein is stated: “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In fact, to put into law any statement regarding prohibition of prayer, Christian opinion, or even Bible study is a clear violation of our Constitution because it is prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Jefferson and our founding fathers were warning us against a State Church such as the Anglican Church of England.

Jefferson warned us and it is inscribed on his memorial for all to read. I pray thee, go and read it for yourself. In case you cannot, I will repeat it here: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

In conclusion, gentlemen and ladies, I would draw your attention to the Opening Prayer offered by Reverend Dr. Clyde Mighells for the 111th Congressional Session:

04/15/2010
Reverend Dr. Clyde Mighells

O Lord, who called this nation into being through the lives and sacrifice of those whose hearts were stayed upon you; be upon and within this congressional body as they conduct the work of this great nation.
Grant them courage to stand for what is right, resistance when pressed to do wrong, compassion for the concerns of your heart, and the ability to preserve and protect the constitution of these United States of America.
May the very mind of Christ be upon them as they labor to write the next chapter in the legacy of this great land; that their plans might be guided by the heritage upon which we stand, that their lives might reflect the calling to serve, and that this great nation might continue to embrace and support the work of freedom and democracy throughout the world.
It is in the blessed name of our Lord, Jesus Christ that we lay these requests at your feet.
Amen.

It is my prayer, too. I beg that you join your heart with mine as we pray for this country and for our leaders. They need it desperately.

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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