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Is America Exceptional?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2018 8:55 am

Is America Exceptional?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland

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July 3, 2018 8:55 am

07-01-18 Is America Exceptional? by Truth for a New Generation

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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you the truth for a new generation. This is TMG radio America the beautiful God shed his grace on the and of this edition of TMG radio.

We want to talk about America and the years.

Half of Dylan. Can you believe it hit you know 2018. 50% is already gone. I know in time is passing by quickly for all of us so we look back.

It's hard to believe now 242 years of celebrating the United States of America a unique and magnificent country. Wonderful to be part of it were to talk about that here today on truth for new generation doing this is one of my favorite holidays. I mean, obviously, is a Christian.

My two favorite holidays are Christmas and Easter. The birth of our Lord, the resurrection of Christ.

But I ever since I was a little bitty kid I love. I love 4 July and I love the hot summer time. I love to be with family, but you know when we stand and hear the the national anthem. I get a lump in my throat. I really do. My dad was in World War II, and I guess Dylan I grew up in a very patriotic family my mother before she got married and before she went to college.

She was president. This was many, many, many years ago, but my mother was president of the North Carolina young Republicans want to college scholarship for what a speech she gave thoughts.

You know I think about a story that I've shared many times when I was in Ohio and that was preaching in a gentleman wanted to come but he was housebound.

He was an elderly man and the pastor said can we go see this man because he can't come to the revival and I said absolutely.

So we go and on his wall was decorated with honors. He had been a World War II veteran on the island of Saipan and had on the certain part of the coastline through the middle of the night to sunrise defended the beachhead till sunrise could come and he had saved the lives of hundreds of American soldiers, and there was a time magazine article about him and there were letters from the White House and the man was was saying you know how he wanted to come to the meeting at the church where I was preaching and I told him I said Sir I don't even feel worthy to be in, in your presence to me.

You've done so much for our country at this decorated veteran, and I've met many similar veterans. I was my privilege when I was in California two years ago Angie and I were David Jeremiah's church for 4 July and we met several of the last surviving people from the USS Arizona that was attacked in Pearl Harbor, and all three of these men Christians and so when it comes to God and country. We encourage people to pray for this nation to be grateful for America. Is this a perfect nation.

Of course not coming. There's never going to be unblemished perfection to were in the presence of Jesus in that heavenly city. But as Augustine said Augustine live 354 to 430. Yes, our citizenship is in the city of God, if you're a believer. However, we have a responsibility to the city of man, and therein out today we want to talk a little bit about our country wants wonderful Alex and I knows we talk about this idea of American exceptionalism.

A lot of people have baggage associated with disclaimer this term they use it or misusing different ways. So we want to be clear what is it mean to say American is exceptional and why is this important for those who follow Jesus. Great question. You know you and I work together couple of years ago on a book called 10 issues that divide Christians and we wrote a couple of chapters thereon. American exceptionalism know we want to be very very clear when we talk about exceptional it doesn't mean America is better or more deserving of God's favor and were not in any way saying that you know we deserve special treatment or anything like that exceptional simply in the case of our nation means different and as you and I wrote about in the 10 issues book Dylan we were different in in our founding, the fact that the founding fathers as they wrote the Declaration of Independence is Jefferson did as they crafted the Constitution. They worked and worked and really the Federalist papers were kind of a philosophical treatment of their view about morals humanity good in a responsible government and you know I think about what Harry Truman said in 1950, and this is American exceptionalism. How were different, not how were better, but in 1950, a person who Truman gave a speech and he said if we don't have the proper fundamental moral background. We will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state no 1960, John F. Kennedy said that the rights of man did not come from the government but from the hand of God.

JFK said that, and I agree the role of government was, not to give you rights but to guard the rights that you inherently have from God.

Now the Truman quote and the will to talk about ways in which America is exceptional. Truman said this before. He said the previous statement I read quote the fundamental basis of this nation's laws were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teaching that we get from Exodus and Matthew from Isaiah and St. Paul okay Exodus. You've got the 10 Commandments. Matthew 527 you've got the sermon on the Mount Isaiah you've got the concept of really that the branches of government and the apostle Paul, you've got in Romans 13 civil government. Truman said I don't think we emphasize this enough these days. End of quote. So I would begin this program was a Dylan we are exceptional in our founding. That's a good way to put it that you look at the countries around the world that are founded on different philosophies and worldviews. But as you compare the American founding, you see the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, both of which have significant statements that are connected to the Bible, not atheist, and others may disagree, but if you look at the wording is very clear that there is an emphasis on a creator, and emphasis on a freedom of religion and an emphasis on our responsibility as citizens to care for the creator and for the creation and those who are around us as we talk more today about American exceptionalism. Again, it's like you said it's not that America is better than any other nation but that we are unique and how God has founded our nation through the people of the past and how God is working there a country still today we come back we'll look more at this idea of how God has blessed our nation and what that means for us.

We seek to live for him.

Today's the stick with the citric for new generation you know Christians don't necessarily agree with each other when it comes to questions of religious pluralism, homosexuality, the role of government abortion and war. Too often, we manage these disagreements by ignoring them. Yet we are called to engage the world for the sake of Christ. So how can we be effective if we avoid society's most pressing questions well in the book that Alex mentioned earlier. 10 issues that divide Christians Alex McFarland, with help from Phyllis Burroughs challenge Christ followers to drill down to the biblical for 10 current issues. Alex urges us to do as the Bible says and come let us reason together only by engaging the Scriptures deeply thinking clearly and speaking truthfully can we, in God's family address our differences and discover the peace that comes with unity of purpose. If you like to get your own copy of 10 issues that divide Christians can find it in the store. Alex for centuries the Bible has inspired humanity and shape the very world we live but how do we know this book is the word of God, not merely the words of man, what we believe about the Bible is based on what we believe about source. The God who speaks explores the evidence of the Bible's inspiration and authority to some of the world's most respected biblical scholars have essentially a geolocation source. True to say that Paul wrote Romans is equally true to say that God's decision.

We saw this and that sets the Bible apart from everything else in the ancient world and its religious pantheon of gods and goddesses. The God who speaks is a feature-length documentary from the American family Association available now with the God who speaks.all radial you are.

Look at several ways in which, yes, exceptional, and before we resume this conversation Alex before and he was still in Burroughs my view of truth for a new generation the save a nation to work were going to be September 14 15, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just minutes from the Nashville airport and incredible lineup of Josh McDowell J.

Warner Wallace, Dr. Michael Brown Nikki Addison from the American family radio network at Tina Marie Griffin from Hollywood, the counterculture mom and much more.

And then we're going to be Baton Rouge, Louisiana in October 20 627 so it's it's an amazing fall of events and the last TNG that we had Dylan, which was in Greensboro North Carolina in the spring of 2018 people came from 19 states and three countries and so folks, please.

I want to ask you this prey promote and plan to attend. As we tried to equip this generation to love God and country. You can find out I do want to say we are very honored to have as a partner in this liberty University and I'm a graduate of liberty twice and liberty is wonderful. And if you're looking at furthering your education. I took some of their online courses in the pursuit of my Masters degree and I know Dylan you are probably have taught for liberty MRI yes and like you said their online program continues to grow and is one of the premier programs in the nation. For those who are seeking to further their education on lines of encourage those who are interested to find out more thorough website you'll hear more about our conference and that we are excited to help connect you with how got a help you to grow in your education as well, as it continued here on American is at founding. We talked about it being exceptional, but we also have some other lessons. We want to communicate this idea of America being exceptional and it's fruit store and its prosperity so tells what it means.

Alex, the mean when we talk about America being exceptional and it's fruit source prosperity while you know, namely that the fruits of of freedom have been liberty and the ability for people to pursue their destiny and find out that thing that they were put here to do you in so many countries of the world you're born into a certain strata or cast Steven and out your vocation whom you may marry where you're going to live so many things are decided for you but America. Okay, it's risky, it's a Democratic Republic we elect leaders and in this context of freedom people can misbehave and in fact founding fathers predicted that that without a moral compass that we police ourselves with it.

It might digress into anarchy, but our fruits have been liberty and freedom and the ability for people to work hard and risk and struggle, but to build her character to learn self-discipline and then to create things to be creative and let me just say for a minute part of man's inherent bent to creativity. Whether it's maybe you like the first settlers you want to build a house or you want to paint a painting American technology. I would argue because were made in the image of God and God is creator and we have the inherent thumbprint of our creator on us. We reflect God's image. We like to build and create. Generally, a person who is psychologically healthy likes order enclosure and America with its Christian focus has pave the roads cut the grass planted the crops and brought a lot of order to the world. Let me just say this, a scholar who I love is Rodney Stark he's at Baylor and we tried to get him in the TNG conferences booties doesn't travel quite as much as he did, but Baylor is a Nobel nominated historian, sociologist, and he talks about. I mean think about it. Within a very short time of our founding.

America was given to the world. Inventions like the internal combustion engine in automobiles in mass production and airplanes in penicillin and telephones in television and Stark says it was quote the iron Protestant work ethic that built America now not only technology and convenience. It's in fact Dylan where I sit as we record a were only a few miles from the city of Thomasville that is pretty much where air-conditioning was invented. Why were we such a technologically blessed nation in terms of medicine and bettering the human condition literacy me. These are some of the fruits but I would say one of the things that is been a fruit of America has been the fact that whenever the American flag has gone to foreign soil. And when American soldiers and men and women show up. People feel safe. People know help has come. But as my friend Chuck Colson said the church is the conscience of America, but America has been the conscience of the world that is exceptional and unique, and it's something that I believe that every generation should aspire to perpetuate but appreciate that. Especially your mention of the Protestant work ethic and it's interesting to me how that is connected with the history of our country. When you have people who believe that their work matters in the eyes of God and that they are to do all they can for God's honor and glory. It does lead to a different society messily seen throughout the history of our nation as well.

Also we talk about in your book. This idea of America being exceptional and its influence in the next minute or so before get a break tells a little bit about what that means that we are exceptional and in this nation for our influence on you know I think about how some many countries have worked to try and emulate the U.S. Constitution in terms of structuring their own government and and really in the last hundred years. Not even though in our own culture. Socialism has become kind of a default position in the eyes of many millennial's and that's really troubling to me but yet many many countries that have found freedom. I think about that much of the westernization of China after Maoist China began to unravel on it was Methodist college students that first begin to talk about human rights and freedoms over there and countries you know that I think about Zambia and I think about countries around the world that have tried to introduce more of Christianity and more of representative elected democracy that's amazing.

Alex, in such good words will share more about this in just a moment of truth for new generation stick with you know Christians don't necessarily agree with each other when it comes to questions of religious pluralism, homosexuality, the role of government abortion and war. Too often, we manage these disagreements by ignoring them. Yet we are called to engage the world for the sake of Christ.

So how can we be effective if we avoid society's most pressing questions well in the book that Alex mentioned earlier. 10 issues that divide Christians Alex McFarland, with help from Philip Burroughs challenge Christ followers to drill down to the biblical for 10 current issues. Alex urges us to do as the Bible says and come let us reason together only by engaging the Scriptures deeply thinking clearly and speaking truthfully can we, in God's family address our differences and discover the peace that comes with unity of purpose. If you like to get your own copy of 10 issues that divide Christians find in the store. Alex first Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarland for the life he answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers. Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation. These apologetics teams. We train speaking in churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times. From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true.

What about gender and moral issues. Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come. 864-977-2000 eight and always be ready and then I will live, radio, we do wish very very happy Fourth of July weekend God bless you and your family and may God bless our nation.

You know Dylan we been talking about how America is exceptional by the different doesn't really mean better doesn't really mean that we are more deserving. In fact, you know the Bible talks about with great blessing comes great responsibility.

But we are exceptional in our founding based on God and morality human liberty exceptional in our fruits and our prosperity exceptional in our stand and our influence around the world, but I would say also and I really believe this is because of the Christian quotient in our governmental DNA. I think America has been unique in the way we've been criticized, abused, and frankly a persecuted and and let me just say this Dylan America in the last two centuries, more than any other nation has really been a great engine for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the great commission.

It's been in this free-market economy that people of been able to create wealth and accumulate wealth individuals have become prosperous churches have thrived and because of that, many, many people and organizations have been able to give to Christ's great commission and I think one of the reasons that people who don't believe in God or don't understand this nation. They've they've really denigrated America and mocked a lot of the great institutions on which this country stands the church the family values it's it's been persecution because of what we stand for, which really fundamentally is God and Christianity, and for this reason and others. I think a lot of people of have you felt led to throw stones at the old red white and blue, but I still believe that God loves this nation and we need to be very repentant, very humble before God, but the things that have built and sustained this country for two centuries plus are worth preserving and so true Alex and you also mentioned in your book that America is exceptional in its potential for restoration tells a little bit about what that means. What is it mean to have a strong potential for restoration. Well I was on a conference call with George Barna about a year ago and he was talking about the number of evangelical Christian adults there might be at the the low end of the spectrum may be 65 million Barna has a seven question survey. Do you believe God is what you believe about the Bible what you believe about Jesus Christ what you believe about heaven and salvation. And I'm sure you're aware of it. Barna's seven question survey comprises what would constitute a biblical worldview. So how many adults have a biblical worldview will at minimum 65 million, and Barna says may be as many as 100, 230 million will our Lord turn the world upside down with 12 people so are things bad sometimes. Do we have a lot to be concerned about, you know, even as you not record this. The newswire is buzzing about the retirement of a Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and I were hoping our president will nominate and successfully appoint like the recent Neil Gore such a justice who is a constitutionalist believes in moral law were hoping that the next Supreme Court justice is a God and country American and so we need to pray, but with 100, 230 million adult evangelicals. There's great reason to be hopeful. I would say that's a good way to put it in you think about the early church, and Jerusalem. And they had 120 people in the upper rim and a quickly expanded to 3000 people on the day of Pentecost, and thousands more.

Shortly after that, if that is the kind of impact. A small group of people can have in the days of Jesus. When there is much more persecution what kind of impact or what kind of potential for restoration. Can we see today.

If we properly apply our Christian beliefs here in America that's such an insightful thought and inspiring thought when it comes down to it, as we look at our last principle, though, I want to talk about what it means to be exceptional and what America offers each individual and I think we look at this idea of individual freedom, America Excelsior because they have a freedom of speech and freedom of religion that many nations do not enjoy as we do, but what is it mean ultimately we talk about at exceptionalism for each individual, spiritually as well as how we live in our country today.

Alex well you know we have an opportunity for four. The charting of our own destiny.

You know there's a there's no point. We had to learn in first grade and it breathes there a man with a soul so dead that he has never within himself said this is my home, my native land and in this home.

This native land. Listen, if you're willing to work hard. Say your prayers. Live right and be persistent. You really can achieve your dreams. Traveling as I do I meet so many first generation business owners I meet many families that have migrated here lawfully legally work hard and you know, for the first time perhaps in their family. Somebody's going to college and it's amazing that there are families that 25, 34 years ago were poor, and now they have a law you're a doctor in the family, a business owner and it where else can you achieve that and and achieve it with with relative speed, so I know were running out of time to give to quotes Dylan and again folks as we think about 4 July it. Calvin Coolidge was. He spoke in 1924 at the unveiling of a statue of Francis Asbury, the great Methodist leader and Calvin Coolidge. He said, quote our government rest upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, equality, liberty, the rights of mankind. Listen, Coolidge said, unless the people believe in these principles God justice religion.

They cannot believe in our government now Eisenhower and he said, quote the founding fathers had to refer to the creator in order to make the revolutionary experiment makes sense. It was because all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that men could dare to be free.

The founding fathers said Pres. Eisenhower had to refer to God in order to make the revolutionary experiment makes sense."

Now as we run out of time, folks. We have an exceptional opportunity but really an exceptional responsibility to live for God and country and make a difference in this life that will count for eternity.

That's why we encourage you never want to know Christ to be a good citizen. We encourage you if you feel so led support this ministry, television, radio, publishing events, God is using what were doing. Dylan and I we have about seven staff, some part-time some full-time but we need your help and if you would go to truth for a new Pray, promote, support, be part of what God has called us to do which is to win souls equip the church and to promote an awakening in our country truth for a new generation in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with a biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 10231, Borough, NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404. Give or truth for a new Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio

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