Radio Transcript: Summary of the Meaning of the Seal
Transcript from :17 to :25 from Part II of the Hidden Message of the Great Seal on Family Talk Radio with Host Dr. James Dobson and guest Michael Kanis. Recorded in March of 2016 and aired July 4, 2016. This program was in the listener Top Ten Favorite Programs of 2016.
Dobson: What is the essence of this message? Does it matter that we understand the seal of the United States? Does it make any difference that there is symbolism in there that has a spiritual integrity to it? What does this mean?
1. The message of the seal is that we must walk with integrity— in virtue— to behave in a way that's not for our own purpose- to fulfill our own desires but for something higher, for something more. We have to reject selfish motivation that's corrupt for something that's greater. The more that we engage in virtue in our lives with each other, either publicly or privately, the more virtue we will have in the nation and the less corruption there will be; and the better our society will function. That's number one.
2. The second is that God's providential careof the nation is contingent on our relationship with Him. How do we behave? God can bless certain types of behaviors but he has to withhold his blessing under certain other types of behavior. If we don't understand God’s covenantal love and his providential care of us, then we are not nurturing our relationship with Him. When we break the covenant, we injure our relationship with God and we hinder him from blessing us.
3. The third theme of the seal—I call them the four pillars—is the pillar of unity. When we use division for political ends, it weakens our country. Unity means that we take that common core values that we hold as Americans and we champion those. We don't allow them to be trampled upon.
Dobson: But they are trampled on. What can we do?
Michael: I think the essential component of any change that's going to come, is the same that we all know, -- 2 Chronicles 7:14:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
“My people”--he's talking to Christians, believers.
“Who are called by my name”—okay, that doesn't just mean, ‘do you call yourself a Christian?’ but rather, when we receive God's name, that means that we’re part of the family--sons and daughters of God.
So, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves…” What happens when we humble ourselves? We are willing to be taught; we’re willing to be corrected; we’re willing to change our course into something new and that something new has to be focused on God and what pleases him. Then what will happen? He says, “I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”
So that's the beginning of it, I've no doubt, but we still live in a country, Dr. Dobson, where there's all different kinds of religions--all different kinds of backgrounds--all different ethnicities and belief systems; but that doesn't change the fact that we all share common values. Those are the virtues that we hold dear and it's not hard to find those in common. They are out there all over the place; we constantly admire things in people, like kindness and generosity. And so we must not forget that virtue does not have to be ejected from discourse, or from the public square, or from the courthouse or anywhere else that it shows up. But we must embrace it. To me that is probably the first step in the road back to being a country that pleases God.
Dobson: The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths and to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What a statement!
4. So true, and I noticed in the preamble to the Declaration that that word “liberty” is there. That is a final of the four pillars of the seal. Remember I told you there were four parts? The final one that I had not mentioned yet was freedomor liberty. Without knowing the truth, and remember, it's truth that sets you free--an individual can’t operate in freedom. It’s impossible to be free while being deceived at the same time. That’s because you can’t make a right choice if you don't know what's true. And so unless we operate in truth and make our decisions with the right mind and a reasoned eye toward what virtue is, then we can’t make right decisions. When we cease to make good decisions, our freedom to decide could be taken away. When that happens, we are back into a situation where governance is imposed from the outside-tyranny.