A conservative author is looking to America’s first president for inspiration that he believes could help get the nation back on track.
John Bona recently told Faithwire that the roots for his new book, “The Liberty Book: How Freedom Can & Will Be Won” were set after a conversation and debate he had over whether or not America’s Founding Fathers created a strictly secular nation.
That discussion led him to recall some fascinating details about President George Washington — details that have him wanting America to draw closer to God.
In addition to reports that Washington added the words “so help me God” to his oath of office — words that continue to be uttered by U.S. presidents on inauguration day — the nation’s first commander-in-chief performed some other faith-based acts that Bona believes are worthy of revisiting.
“Washington kissed a Bible on which he had just taken the oath and then he led his entire Congress to a worship service at his own Anglican church at the time,” he said.
It’s these details that now have Bona working with some staff at the conservative Family Research Council to try and organize a “brief Christian service” after Trump takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, with Bona telling Faithwire the event doesn’t need to be a separate undertaking, as it can unfold when Trump converges with Congress directly after the event.
“They have lunch, and they’re all there, Congress the cabinet and the new president,” he said, saying that evangelist Franklin Graham has agreed to run the service, if it can be orchestrated. “All they have to do is allow Graham to give a brief message.”
Bona said he believes Trump and his vice-president, Mike Pence, owe this to American Christians and, in particular, evangelicals, saying that this group “got them elected.” The proposed service — which has been in the works for the past two months — would be a specifically Christian event, with Bona saying that the Bible calls on Christians to “put God first.” It’s still unclear whether a post-inaugural service will be possible, though the current schedule calls for Trump to attend church beforehand.
The author also spoke with Faithwire about why he wrote “The Liberty Book,” saying he’s a business guy who found himself simply wanting to get to the bottom of why America is experiencing so many “problems.”
“We’re losing liberty in the business world. We started searching the foundations of freedom,” he said. “Takes us kind of on a different path to discover what these sacred forms of liberty were from scripture … what we’re looking at and what we understand is: liberty is only really derived from Christ.”
Bona continued, “(Jesus) said he came to heal the broken hearted and the blind and preach the gospel to the poor and when it came to liberty he said he came to set the captives free.”
It’s with all this in mind that the author affirmed his belief that individuals’ freedom doesn’t come from the government, and that the government can’t simply take freedom away. It was this powerful message that profoundly impacted the direction and message of his book.
“So many have thought liberty is a gift of the civil government,” he said. “But liberty comes from God and that is really what the book is … all about, that our freedoms are God-given and they were purchased by our forefathers as well.”
As for the current situation Americans find themselves in, Bona said Christians themselves are to blame, as many have failed to apply biblical principles in the public square and, in his view, have “abandoned God’s law as a system of moral right.” As a result, he said there’s been a loss of liberty, calling on people to “return to biblical morality” to help “restore liberty in our land.”
“We’re saying: our freedom is only from God and it’s foundation and that it’s only through Christ that true liberty is achievable,” he said.
In the end, Bona is hoping “The Liberty Book” helps Christians who have felt hopeless feel “not-so-pessimistic,” as he believes the message inside the book is uplifting and offers believers hope — and a blueprint — for the future.
“Start with people at the kitchen table, every family telling their kids, their grandkids God’s story,” he said. “I think eventually we’ll see our liberties come back … Christianity will always lead the captives toward greater freedom.”
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