Grand Bahama Christian Council President Peter Pinder called on Bahamians to reaffirm the country's Christian heritage and reinstate prayer in the home.
Pastor Pinder said it is the only way to preserve the country.
" We have come out of the background where every child was taught to memorize scripture and to pray regularly in their homes," he said.
" But I submit to us tonight that the memorization of scripture and prayer is fast dwindling from our homes."
Pinder was addressing hundreds of residents and visitors gathered at the Independence Park Wednesday night to celebrate The Bahamas' 41st Independence.
He said this year's theme, "Celebrating Our Culture A Commitment to Peace," is very appropriate for the age in which we are now living and the challenges that face us as a people in this country.
Pinder said the people of The Bahamas cannot separate its religious heritage from its culture.
" As we celebrate our culture and seek to commit to peace, we need to reaffirm our Christian heritage."
Rev. Pinder pointed out that the country's religious heritage is being challenged and called into question.
On the eve of the country's birthday, the Christian Council president noted that so many people here are troubled by the high rate of crime and rising number of murders in The Bahamas.
Pinder said the fact that one would take the life of another suggests that human value has been considerably reduced and demonstrates that relationships are deteriorating.
When one looks at the high rate of divorce and the number of people now choosing and refusing not to marry, he said it illustrates that a sizable portion of the community does not believe that marriage and family is the direction in which the country ought to go as a people.
As a result, he said it suggests that family life may be on the way out.
â But because family values and our Christian principles are rooted in our culture and must be preserved as a part of our culture, I believe that there is hope,â he said.
That hope, he said, is through a recommitment to prayer and reinstating the teaching of scripture to our children.
" If our nation is going to survive it's going to survive because we maintain solid Christian families," he said.
" It's a part of our culture, so those who want to think that culture has nothing to do with religion need to think again because in The Bahamas our religion, our Christian values are tied up in our culture."
The Christian council chief said it is a normal practice for Bahamians to pray over their meals, at special occasions and for their nation.
" Make no mistake about it; there has always been an attempt on the part of satan to take this from us and if we are not careful, we will find ourselves the victims of a culture void of God," he said.
Pastor Pinder urged residents not to forget God, pointing out that there are those who have placed increased value on money and physical things over relationships.
He also stressed that the people of The Bahamas must get to know and form a relationship with the Prince of Peace.
" A nation that forgets God is a nation that is doomed for destruction," he told his hearers.
If said that if the nation is going to survive, he stressed, it is because the people of God took a stand.
Pastor Pinder said people who pray for the nation are vital to the country and he challenged every believer to let their light shine, while he called on Bahamians to protect the nation, the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and to stand on the principles of the word of God.
The night was also filled with a number of musical presentations from several groups, including The Stubbs Trio, Simeon Outten and the Freedom Band and the legendary Cooling Waters Gospel Group, who was honored in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
The crowd was also wooed by Legends Marching Band, The Spirit Breakout Dance Group, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and The Bahamas Brass Band.
Earlier in the night, 11 male youth pastors were honored for their tireless efforts and dedication to working with young people throughout over the years.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Bahamas Customs and The Rangers joined forces to put on an impressive show before they were inspected by Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville.
The flag raising ceremony took place just before midnight and the festivities closed out with the melodies of Wilfred Solomon.
Published Friday, July 11, 2014