About two and a half centuries ago in the city of Philadelphia, a man by the name of Thomas Jefferson became one of the defining voices of the early American nation as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
And this immortal document was hardly Jefferson’s only contribution to the creation of the United States. He was also the first secretary of state, the third president and an early influencer of the U.S. Constitution and other major policies.
What is less known about Jefferson, however, is that he was actually unable to participate in the creation of the Constitution despite having been invited to do so. Why? Because in 1787 Jefferson was in Paris with a famed hero of the American Revolution, the French Gen. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. There, Jefferson assisted Lafayette in the drafting of the document known as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
This document in many ways resembled and even paralleled the famous Declaration of Independence that Jefferson had created over a decade previously. But there was one very notable exception.
The American Declaration of Independence mentions the Almighty Creator in one form or another at least four times.
The French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen intentionally omits any mention of the Most High whatsoever.
In other words, from the moment the United States was even conceived as an idea to be fought for, the great Founding Fathers declared that the new nation would preserve the rights bestowed upon the people by the Almighty Creator, and that they relied upon his divine providence for their ultimate success and sustainment.
But the French Revolution was an altogether different matter.
The French masses had grown weary of the excesses and oppressive policies of the Bourbon monarchy, and the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church in France had pushed many away from all forms of religion. The French Revolution was not only a rebellion against established authority; it was a nationwide rejection of anything or anyone who claimed to be empowered by or the representative of the divine.
Instead, a unique form of secular humanism and virulent atheism spread like wildfire throughout France. This humanistic atheism was so intense (and even bizarre in some cases) that the intellectual concept of “Reason” was worshiped as a pseudo-goddess in what was called the Cult of Reason.
The American Revolution established perhaps the greatest nation the world has ever seen, acknowledging a divine Creator and guaranteeing freedoms inspired by biblical principles for all of its citizens. In fact, one could argue that America’s historical failures, such as the slavery of African-Americans, were the result of a deviation from those principles of morality that biblical precepts require (and that the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents of the United States emphasize).
The French Revolution, on the other hand, immediately descended into reprehensible violence and chaos, with the streets of Paris quite literally running red with the blood of tens of thousands of victims executed by guillotine. Napoleon Bonaparte, the conquering tyrant who waged war after war and killed millions of people — both soldiers and civilians — rose from the ashes of the French Revolution within about a decade and seized control.
Despite having nearly identical political documents, similar influencers, and in some cases even the same historical figures as the creation of the United States, the French Revolution failed miserably — arguably because the Almighty was removed from every part of it.
The point is that no nation or society — much less a revolution — can thrive and prosper without reverence for the Most High and the corresponding blessings of divine providence.
Former President Donald J. Trump has made this very point himself on many occasions, including his recent rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, after President Joe Biden’s appallingly divisive speech on Sept. 1.
“As long as we are confident and united,” Trump declared, “the tyrants we are fighting do not stand even a chance because we are Americans and Americans kneel to God and God alone.”
In opposition, from the first year of Trump’s presidency, Biden has been preaching about the “battle for the soul of the nation.”
While he uses the metaphor to maliciously insist that Trump and anyone who votes for him is an “extremist” and the embodiment of evil, Biden (shockingly!) is actually right about one thing: The battle for America is a spiritual struggle more than it is a political fight.
Far more relevant than the differences between right and left is whether or not we as a nation respect the Almighty and his commandments.
The spiritual battle we face is not only against 21st-century liberalism, a political movement that is morphing — as most far-left ideologies do — into humanistic atheism and deplorable debauchery. It is also within the ranks of those who profess to adhere to conservative principles and biblical values.
When it comes to the American conservative movement, what is our spiritual status really? Do we act honestly in our business dealings, or do we steal? Do we maintain our marriages with the highest fidelity, or do we commit adultery? Do we ensure that the most just and reasonable legal processes are followed, or do we bear false witness? Do we express contentment and gratitude for what we have been blessed with, or do we covet our neighbor’s possessions?
In the “battle for the soul of the nation,” we must all ask ourselves where we stand spiritually. It’s not enough to point the finger at the opposing side and think, “Well, they are worse than me, so the Almighty will be on my side.”
The Bible makes it clear through such accounts as the story of Achan at Jericho in Joshua 7 that when there is “sin in the camp,” there is no guarantee that the Most High will grant us victory.
Because Achan disobeyed the Almighty’s explicit commands and kept prohibited treasures from Jericho, Joshua and the army of Israel suffered a humiliating defeat in their next battle in what should have been a simple conquest. And the Most High emphasized that he would not be with the people of Israel or grant them any more victories until the sin was removed from their midst.
Remembering the words of the Most High in Zechariah 4:6 — “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts” — it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this great nation to eradicate all sin in our camp and ask the Most High to go to battle with us and on our behalf.
That is the true secret to the success of America.
And that is the only way that we as Americans will continue to succeed in the future, securing life, liberty and happiness for ourselves and our future generations through the blessings of divine providence.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.