Is President’s Day just another federal and state holiday, or, is there reason to celebrate this day?
The Christian Perspective
I believe President’s Day is a good time to look back at the history of past U.S. presidents. Flawed as they may be, and as we are I might add, they hold some unique individual histories before and while holding office, but even the past U.S. presidents, whether they believed or not, “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2nd Cor 5:10). According to several Scriptures, I believe they will be held to a higher standard and be held more accountable than most of us will be, because where much responsibility is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). Abraham Lincoln is among my favorite U.S. presidents. This man held office during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history, and worst since the American Revolutionary War. President Lincoln served during the American Civil War, a time when the nation was deeply divided…when North and South were ripping the nation in half; where brother fought against brother and father against son, so the death and destruction of the war took its toll on the nation as well as President Lincoln. One thing I’ve noticed when looking at photos over a president’s term, is that the years take their toll in a more rapid fashion than before. It’s like the weight of such titanic responsibilities slowly crush the person holding them. Ultimately, we know that God “changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Dan 2:21), and “it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another” (Psalm 75:7), so it was in God’s sovereignty that President Abraham Lincoln served during the American Civil War…and that should change the way we should look at history.
The Supreme Ruler
Kings have come and gone here on earth, but there is One King who is coming Who will never face reelection nor have to run for office. That’s because it is He Who “on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). This King was long ago prophesied by the psalmist who wrote, “I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth” (Psalm 89:27), and “will bring about in his own time–God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1st Tim 6:15-16). Clearly this refers to “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Rev 1:5), but before this Ruler establishes the New Jerusalem out of heaven on earth (Rev 21:1-2), the nations “will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings–and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Rev 17:14).
God’s Obvious Existence
The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1), and “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom 1:20), because “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Rom 1:19), so God’s existence is declared or proclaimed throughout the Word of God and throughout the creation. God’s existence as Creator is obvious by “what has been made,” because “God has shown it,” so it’s foolish to deny the obvious existence of God (Psalm 14:1-2). Certainly, the vast majority of U.S. presidents have professed the belief in God. In fact, we can read about their belief in God in their writings. The existence of God is made plain even in the language of the U.S. Constitution, where it says this was “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America” (Article VII). The Lord is mentioned by name, and even the number of years since our Lord was born into human flesh; a dating system we employ even today. During George Washington’s first Proclamation as President he said “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”  It is not hard to see that the fundamental principles and laws of our nation were not based upon human wisdom or philosophy, but they were based upon the Ten Commandments and the ethics of Jesus Christ.
To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
In Article II, Section One, and in Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, the elected president must take an oath before they can begin their presidency, and although there is no law that forces them to place their hand on the Bible during their oath of office, it has long been a tradition because of the Christian heritage of the nation, and most of the U.S. presidents have followed this tradition. The oath states, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” however the Presidential Oath Clause requires much more than this general oath of allegiance and fidelity. This clause enjoins the President to swear or affirm that he “will to the best of [his or her] ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Historically, the new president has placed his hand on the Bible when swearing or affirming the oath of the presidency as a way of affirming their loyalty to the nation and having God as their witness.
God’s name might not appear in the U.S. Constitution per se but the framers of the Constitution believed that “the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice” (Psalm 50:6), and the early writings of most past U.S. Presidents infer God’s obvious existence. Some modern historical revisionists want to change the fact that that this nation was not founded by Christians but by secularists, but history cannot be changed. It might be changed in the history books or by modern, secular historians, but they cannot change what the true historical facts are, any more than they can prove that God does not exist (Psalm 14:1-2; Rom 1:18-20).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
1. Vol 1. Messages and Papers of the Presidents, p. 64 (1896).