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The Strength of a Nation

For the remainder of 2016, we will be bombarded by the process of electing a new President.  It is a time when commercials dominate the airwaves, signs are posted everywhere with a candidate’s name, and the evening news has one “lead story” and that is which candidate said “what” today.   Politics has been a part of this nation from the days of our Founding Fathers.

Although we know the names of our Founding Fathers, for the most part, we are not very knowledgeable of their personal lives.  We immediately recognize the names of Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Madison, and others.  However, if we were quizzed on facts about their lives, most of us would not do very well.  Allow me to focus on one of those men that greatly impacted our country was John Adams.

Before becoming President in 1797, John Adams built his reputation as a blunt-speaking man of independent mind. He was truly a fervent patriot and brilliant intellectual.  He was elected to serve as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress between 1774 and 1777, as a diplomat in Europe from 1778 to 1788, and as the first Vice President in America under George Washington.  In the early days of the American electoral process, the candidate receiving the second-largest vote in the Electoral College became vice president. This is how Thomas Jefferson, who opposed Adams in the election, came to serve as Adams’s vice president in 1797.

The battle over having “big” government or “little” government was a hot topic from our earliest years in this country.  The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, supported a strong central government that favored industry, landowners, banking interests, merchants, and close ties with England. Opposed to them were the Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, who advocated limited powers for the federal government. Adams’s Federalist leanings and high visibility as vice president positioned him as the leading contender for President in 1796.  (Taken from the Miller Center, University of Virginia, AMERICAN PRESIDENT, JOHN ADAMS, (http://millercenter.org/president/biography/adams-life-in-brief).

John Adams was a man of great faith in God. He knew that the strength of the nation would come from strong preachers teaching boldly the things of God.

John Adams once remarked, “It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted. For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality (openness to bribery or corruption) are predominant, ought they (the pastors) not to warn their hearers against those vices? If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue? If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, how much so ever it may move the gall of Massachusetts?” Those men and women who formed this great nation, who shed their blood for our freedom, were men and women who feared God and devoted themselves to His Holy, Inspired, and Infallible Word.  They knew where their freedom came from and they wanted to honor Him.  (Copied).  Good to remember in an election year for pastors and politicians!