How's your spring going? The weather hasn't been that good so far but we have those teasing days that tell us winter is finally, really over. The news hasn't been good at all. We hear about signs in the skies and earth, sunspots and earthquakes. Humanity isn't doing that good - liberals continue to try to demolish the America we were born into and which was founded upon the faith of the Puritans and Pilgrims in New England and Anglicans in the south and Catholics in Maryland, and Quakers in Pennsylvania and other denominations of Christian faith in other parts of the country. What has always impressed me about Pennsylvania is that we are called "The Keystone State". A keystone is a biblical term. It is defined as "a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together." or "The central wedge-shaped stone of an arch that locks its parts together. " Synonyms include "cornerstone, foundation, linchpin, base, principle"
I remember seeing the Pennsylvania keystone on government buildings as the center stone of an arch. You take the keystone out and the arch collapses. Why did Pennsylvania adopt the keystone for its symbol? Was it because our state was founded on the foundational keystone of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? William Penn was a very active Christian leader in England. Pennsylvania means "Penn's Woods" so maybe Penn put it right in saying the Gospel is the keystone to the state, not Penn. Others theorize that our state was in the middle of the original 13 colonies, the place a keystone would be in an arch. That is probably why Philadelphia was the original capital of the United States. Was it a boast that if Pennsylvania fell the whole United States would collapse? Or was it something deeper such as - - if the Christian faith and morality of Jesus Christ, which is our keystone was removed ,the keystone, cornerstone would lead to the whole United States imploding? It would certainly happen in architecture. I just heard on the radio that lawyers say that if the US Supreme court decides that gay marriage is a national “right” any church that will not do gay weddings will lose its tax exemption. Commentators speculate that at least half the churches in the US will have to close because of this. Some say it is the liberal’s plan all along for this to happen.
Is our present age of removing all vestiges of Christianity in America making our country more inclusive, less racist, less homophobic and more ideal? Or will it result in the collapse of our moral and physical foundation? Can an arch exist without a cornerstone?
In the bible Jesus calls Himself the "Cornerstone" or “Keystone”. When Peter confessed that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God" Jesus said "upon this rock I will build my Church". Jesus said he is the capstone, the cornerstone, the keystone upon which salvation and morality is built. It was this rock that formed the best in Western Civilization. This “rock” or “cornerstone” is called the Gospel or “Good News”. It is the foundation upon which Bible sets on and it the foundation of morality. This is why our nation’s founding fathers continually referred to God in our foundational documents. Our nation was not founded upon greed or privileged classes or sectarian churches or immoral selfishness but was founded upon the keystone of biblical faith. That is why for most of our history America has been called a “Christian nation”. This was our foundation
From the chaos of Paganism, from the hatred of uncivilized men and women who looked only after number one Christian morality arose. Note that the dignity of humanity comes from the founders faith that - - God created us and in Christ saved us. This is what gives dignity to humankind. So for most of our history it was a crime to kill innocent life. Marriage was the national standard for our country with laws against fornication, pornography and homosexuality which were called “crimes against nature and God”. Even our nation’s emphasis on “freedom” was not unlicensed “do what you want” perversion but the freedom God has given us in Christ to do good, to love one another and to work for justice and peace – not based on human wisdom but on God’s Word. I once had the privilege to look through many old McGuffy’s readers which were the standard for early American Education and all through these textbooks you could see the goal of education was to make and to make better Christians. The first act of the new American congress was to hire missionaries to spread the Gospel to the Indians.
Now we come to our present day. After a persistent chipping away of Christian morality those chippers now proclaim, as our current president boasted “America is no longer a Christian nation.” In other words “The cornerstone, keystone, foundation has been removed.” Ask yourself “What happens when a keystone is removed?” Right, the building collapses. I do not know what God has planned for our present day but I do know what happens when you remove a keystone. Even if the wall still stands without its cornerstone it is weakened and eventually it will collapse.
What are the signs of collapse? When people give up on the keystone anything goes, riots, pollution, no care for human life and wisdom, institutions will rot and fall apart and the place will go to the devil. When you throw out God, guess who moves in? And we are seeing more and more signs of this every day.
Fortunately the world is not about us, our wills, our desires, and our faithfulness. It is all about God’s sovereign will, desires and faithfulness which continue to be our only hope. When sinful man boasts “We are not a Christian nation!” God laughs. We are only tiny, powerless humans and He is the God of heaven and earth. Words can’t change God’s will or plan.
In the Gospel of Matthew a lawyer asks Jesus “What is the greatest commandment.” Jesus replied “.'” Right here we have the keystone, the foundation, the cornerstone, our purpose and plan. Whether we keep it or not determines whether we are sheep or goats, wheat or weeds, etc. At the great separation which is surely coming those who boasted they accomplished their plan to “deChristianize” America will find out too late the results of this folly.
In the meantime the primary thing that Christians must do is to remain in the vine, to stay in the Good Shepherds pen, to be the body of Christ, stand upon the rock, to be the house of God, to be the Bride of Christ and all the other metaphors Christ used for His people.
I like to think the keystone of Pennsylvania and our nation remains the foundational stone we were built upon – the love of God and neighbor, in God we trust, one nation under God, etc. Let us pray that this fierce storm will subside and people turn to the rock of salvation. And in the meantime as the storm rages Christ calls us to be His lighthouses so keep shining!!!