Today one of the “hot issues” that is creating a lot of the talk show buzz is the question of our Religious Freedom. Obviously, our Founding Fathers selected it as the First Amendment which prohibits the federal government from making a law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
What was it that the Founding Fathers saw that some Americans can’t see today? They realized that they had won freedom from Great Britain not because of their military superiority but it was their calling from God. His Spirit guided and led them to be an example for other nations. It was the Spiritual move of God through His believers to set a new standard from the self centered Kings and Monarchs who had controlled this world.
Let me share just one illustration that again confirms my perspective: In 1562, (56 years before Plymouth Rock), the French Huguenots landed in the USA in a settlement they called Fort Caroline, at the mouth of the St. Johns River, part of Jacksonville, Florida. The Huguenots were Protestant Reformists (Calvinists) who wanted to avoid the wicked religious persecution they experienced in France. They longed for a new life to worship, as they felt called.
Yet, the Queen of Spain learned about the settlement and worried that France would try to claim the Florida peninsular they had wanted. So they sent soldiers to massacre the Huguenots. The Spanish then settled in St. Augustine near by. But as the legend goes that before the massacre, the Huguenots had dedicated the land and all of North America to Jesus Christ.
In 1998, a friend told me that the Lord had directed him to go to Fort Caroline, with descendents of the Huguenots and Spanish (who did the massacre) and pray for forgiveness and reconciliation. Two pastors would lead prayers and ask for blessings and by chance, I was invited to go as well. None of us took this lightly. After several prayers together we moved to different parts of the Fort to pray individually.
While I prayed and ask for forgiveness for our Nation and ancestors, and within a few minutes I started to see a vision of blood pouring like waves out onto the land and spreading. But then as the blood started to flow it began to turn white. It was as if God was purifying the land with His blood of forgiveness. It was a site and experience I will never forget.
Joshua Youssef of Leading the Way Ministry said recently, “The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church.” History often proves that early missionaries lose their lives, as Christ did, for the Church to take root.
Our Religious Freedom has a solid foundation from Jesus Christ and His Spiritual leading and sacrifice. America is special and called of God to emulate the ways and purposes of Freedom around the world.