One of my favorite authors, Stephen Mansfield (The Faith of George W. Bush), has just completed a new book entitled "The Faith of the American Soldier". He’s been posting excerpts of the book on his blog at his website.

In his May 10 entry (no permalink available) he explains the story of "The Micah Mandate". In 1917 as the United States was preparing to enter World War I, the New York Bible Society wanted to give a New Testament to each soldier and called upon former President Theodore Roosevelt to provide an inscription to be printed inside them. The following is the text of his inscription which has become known as "The Micah Mandate":

“The teaching of the New Testament is foreshadowed in Micah’s verse, ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: but to do justice and to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.’ (Micah 6:8)

Do justice; and therefore fight valiantly against those who stand for the reign of Molech and Beelzebub on this earth.

Love mercy; treat your enemies well, suffer the afflicted, treat every woman as though she were your sister, care for the little children, rescue the perishing, and be tender with the old and helpless.

Walk humbly; you will do so if you study the life and teaching of the Savior, walking in His steps.

Remember, the most perfect machinery of government will not keep us as a nation if there is not within us a soul, no abounding of material prosperity shall avail us if our spiritual sense is atrophied. The foes of our own household will surely prevail against us unless there be in our people an inner life which finds its outward expression in a morality like unto that preached by the seers and the prophets of God when the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome still lay in the future.”

Roosevelt’s words still speak to us today. If we do not fight valiantly against the forces of evil that seek to destroy us then we are doomed. If we do not love mercy then many will suffer needlessly. If we do not carefully study the life of Christ walking in His steps then we will not enjoy the abundant life that God promises to us.

The last paragraph of Roosevelt’s inscription is most critical. We are a nation battling for its soul. Will we be a nation that will be guided by the Judeo-Christian principles upon which it was founded or will we continue to slouch towards secularism? Will we promote a culture of life or will life be cheapened to the point that it holds no meaning? Filibusters over judicial nominations, restrictions on abortion, and same-sex marriage are but only a few of the battles that we face in this culture. The real war is over the soul of our nation. By God’s grace we can win the war.