The Anglican Orthodox Church SM
founder: the most rev. james parker dees, a.b., b.d., d.d. • founded November 16, 1963
2228 Wilkesboro Hwy • P. O. Box 128 • Statesville, North Carolina 28687- 0128
Email: email@example.com Web: www.aocinternational.org
The Most Rev. Jerry L. Ogles — Presiding Bishop
SOVEREIGN OF NATIONS – an Independence Day Message, 4 July 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“ In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. 2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. 3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” Psalms 31:1-3 (KJV)
The date is July 4th, 1949 – Independence Day! A small boy of six years age was eagerly waving his American Flag with his mother and older sister as they awaited the “passing of the colors” in the Independence Day parade in Dalton, Georgia. As the crowds thronged the streets in anticipation of the event, the band could be heard far down the avenue signaling the coming march of World War II veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Army Air Corps. Dual victories of World War II had been won by these members of the Last Great Generation in both theaters – the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation. Pride and patriotism filled the hearts of almost all Americans in those halcyon days of innocence and love of country. It would have been unthinkable for anyone to disrespect the flag under which these gallant heroes fought and any attempt to burn it would definitely have resulted in a most unpleasant outcome for the perpetrator.
As the colors emerged in view, the boy was overcome with a profound pride in his country and for his father who had served in the War in Europe. The colors passed and then came column after column of uniformed soldiers clad in their impressive uniforms with medals gleaming. After a time, he saw his own father come marching along at the head of his platoon in perfect step with the Stars and Stripes Forever . The boy simply could not stand still. He jerked loose from his mother’s grasp and ran along side the column yelling his lungs off, “That is my daddy!” That boy was me. I shall never forget the pride I had in America at that time, and that pride was reinforced in the public school as we daily recited the Pledge of Allegiance, a selected Psalm, and one verse of My Country Tis of Thee.
Something very unfortunate has happened to America since those days. Thirteen years after that parade, the nine black-robed justices of the US Supreme Court ruled that something that had been practiced in schools since our founding (prayer in schools) was not longer Constitutional. Of course, that was an exact denial of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. Not long after, even the Bible was no longer permitted, nor the posting of the Ten Commandments. Within a decade, it was found unconstitutional to deny the right to murder a baby in its mother’s womb.
What has been the result of these depraved actions of the court (and of society at large)? Our youth have become fat and lazy – many addicted to drugs for lack of motivation. They have become selfish and self-centered. It is not their fault, but it is the fault of good Christian Americans who stood by in silence as the pillars of our American Republic were being subverted by an ideology foreign to that of our Founding Fathers and the Great Sovereign of Nations that guided their hearts and hands.,
The leading text to this message from Psalms 31:1-3 was the passage upon which President Chester A. Arthur held his finger as he was sworn in as President of the United States in 1881. It was, for a time, customary for Presidents to choose a particular verse from Scripture that would define their approach to authority. President Dwight D. Eisenhower placed his finger on Psalms 33:12 at his swearing in ceremony in 1957: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” There are many other examples of this policy until the modern era. I believe Eisenhower was the last to lay his finger on a particular verse at swearing in. Perhaps that Scriptural testimony should begin the presidency of every man elected to the office in future times when America stands alone as the only possible redemption in liberty of peoples around the world. I present the words of a pioneer pastor, educator and geographer, and father of Samuel Morse (inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code) – Jedidiah Morse:
“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief or of the corruption of doctrine, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our Holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican form of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must follow with them.”
May each of us have a very Happy Independence Day with renewed vigor and commitment to return this nation to its proper foundations in Christ our Redeemer, Lord, and King.
In Christ Alone during Season of TRINITY,
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.