Monday, February 23, 2015

Light and Darkness on Presidents Day

The holiday popularly known as Presidents Day began as a celebration of George Washington’s Birthday, but with the Washington-Lincoln Recognition Act of 2001 (HR 420), we recognize all the presidents who have led our nation throughout our history. Unfortunately, we currently have an empty chair in the White House, so in this post, we’re once again forced to look to the past.

This year, we’ve chosen to highlight a portion of a speech by President Dwight D Eisenhower from October 24, 1954 marking the 75th Anniversary of the Incandescent Lamp. Text from the speech is courtesy of our friend, Bill Federer’s American Minute.

“IN GOD WE TRUST.” Often have we heard the words of this wonderful American motto. Let us make sure that familiarity has not made them meaningless for us. We carry the torch of freedom as a sacred trust for all mankind. We do not believe that God intended the light that He created to be put out by men.
The term “light” is used in many contexts in the Bible, beginning with the ordinary physical sense. Light was the first thing God created after the heavens and earth (Gn 1:3). Yet, its primary use is in the figurative, allegorical or metaphorical senses to portray spiritual realities. The late Dr Henry Morris, who established the Institute for Creation Research, notes

Light is the most fundamental and important form of energy, and energy includes every phenomenon in the physical universe. It is appropriate for John to affirm that God is light, because everything created must reflect the character of its Creator. The term “light,” therefore, has come to be applied not only to light in the physical sense, but also to that which is true in the intellectual realm, and holy in the moral realm as well. In addition, the term is often used in opposition to dark or darkness as symbolizing good and evil. We see this in the Apostle John’s application to God Himself, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5).
Light is used to express knowledge, The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2Cor 4:4, see also Job 12:22 and Ps 119:130). Light and dark are also used to express morality or lack of, as illustrated by the Prophet Isaiah, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Is 5:20). Light can even symbolize eternal life itself. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).

It is easy to see that, while much of the church sleeps and even looks to the government to assume part of her responsibilities, our country's “leaders” continue their quest to eliminate the spiritual light from our nation, replacing it with their own fundamental change. We could even say that our physical light is being dimmed as well. Radical environmental policies are condemning many to sickness or even death by depriving the poor of basic needs such as inexpensive utilities necessary for healthy food and clean water. Thus, please pray that God would again shed His Light on our once great nation. We should, like Job, long for the days when God watched over us; when His lamp shone on our head and by His light, we walked confidently through the darkness (Job 29:2-3).

Returning to Eisenhower’s speech, the former president also addressed the relation between faith and freedom:

Atheism substitutes men for the Supreme Creator and this leads inevitably to domination and dictatorship. But we believe - and it is because we believe that God intends all men to be free and equal that we demand free government.

Our Government is servant, not master, our chosen representatives are our equals, not our czars or commissars. We must jealously guard our foundation in faith.

For on it rests the ability of the American individual to live and thrive in this blessed land - and to be able to help other less fortunate people to achieve freedom and individual opportunity. These we take for granted, but to others they are often only a wistful dream.

Today, we see that Eisenhower’s prophetical words have been ignored or forgotten. As the current administration continues to drive God from our country, it is inevitable that American’s freedoms are also sliding away.

Still, we can be confident that God is in control. He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them (Job 12:23). Therefore, we must also continue to pray that God will turn the hearts of our nation back to Him, with the assurance that He alone controls the course of world events (Dan 2:21).

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