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Op-Ed: Why 'Under God' Is So Important in the Pledge of Allegiance

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In 1954, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law inserting the phrase “under God” into the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower loved our country, fought for our country, and thought we needed a reference to the God of our country in our country’s Pledge of Allegiance.

Why would that be the case? Well, it reminds all of us that everyone is accountable to a higher authority. Even presidents and congressmen would have to acknowledge that they have a higher authority, and that authority is God.

But actually, it is more than that. The next word after “under God” in the pledge is “indivisible.” You see, our country is indivisible — when it is under God.

The Bible is clear when it says that the Word of God brings us all into the “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13). We can all have different opinions, but the Bible brings us together, indivisible, under God.

Our country was once called “the great melting pot” because of all the different cultures that were blended together, giving us what was once a strong, united nation. What provided the flames that heated this melting pot and melded us all together? It was the flames of Christian evangelism.

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On Sept. 12, 1782, the Continental Congress of the United States approved and endorsed the printing of the Bible to bring our people together as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The importance of the Word of God in our society was also captured by Speaker of the House Robert Winthrop, who in the early 1800s declared, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

Early American Methodist circuit riders were very important in ensuring the molding of men’s hearts to the Word of God. Let’s look at the state of North Carolina. In 1790, the circuit riders had their work cut out for them, for 29 out of every 30 North Carolinians did not belong to any church.

Is America still united?

These circuit riders would travel from place to place within their circuit, going from community to community and from church to church — if they had a church. They would often have camp meetings in the woods, which might last six to nine days. They were used by God to mold men’s hearts by bringing people together to worship the LORD and study the Bible.

When individuals were considered for being circuit riders, four questions were asked of them:

  1. Is this man truly converted? (This would be important.)
  2. Does he know and keep our rules? (This would also be important.)
  3. Can he preach acceptably? (This would certainly help.)

And last but not least…

4. Does he own a horse? (This was an absolute necessity.)

Possibly the greatest circuit rider in America was Francis Asbury. From 1771 to 1816, he rode 228,000 miles throughout the country, visiting many of the established Methodist preaching places in North Carolina. Do you realize that in his mission to take the Word of God to the people, this man rode the equivalent of circling the earth 10 times?

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One of his famous sermons was entitled, “Be saved from the jaws of an angry hell.” So he was certainly adding some fire to the melting pot.

At the end of Asbury’s 45 years of preaching, there were 200 circuits, 358 itinerant preachers and 200,000 American Methodists brought into the unity of the faith.

Please note that these men of God were not waiting for someone to die so they could take over a pulpit, nor were they waiting around for a church to be built so they could hold services. They were obedient to the Great Commission of our LORD by going out to the communities where the people lived and bringing these people together.

Maybe it is time that we get outside of our four walls and remind the people that we have a God, and we can learn about Him through the Bible.

If we will come together under the authority of God and His Word, not only will He bless our nation and empower us to overcome evil, but He will also bring us into the unity of the faith. This means we will no longer be just a bunch of disjointed, self-serving people, but we will be united under God, indivisible, and melded together to truly make our country great again and bring to fruition our country’s great potential for good.

Folks, if we come together under God, no power on earth can stop us.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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