Are you concerned, agitated, worried about the future of the United States of America? If so, you may want to hear what I have to say.
I believe that history has a few things to teach us. First of all, those whose primary purpose in life is to chase comfort, pleasure and personal good at the expense of other higher values will eventually self-destruct. This was true of ancient Israel, and of every other major civilization since then. The most prosperous king in Israel’s history, Solomon, learned the hard way that “God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak.” (The Message, by Eugene Peterson, Prov. 14:30, emphasis added).
As a nation, the Israelis had peace, prosperity and power. The country flourished for over 100 years! But it came crashing down when their own king and leader became swallowed up in the mire of hedonism and entertainment. Because their king chose to not see the inevitable end in sight after years of willful blindness, both he and Israel saw their “perfect dream” crumble when the country was divided over trivial causes. The people of Israel have never known the productivity and the power that was theirs under King Solomon. Not even today is their country close to that level of achievement. But they squandered it all away on the altar of personal comfort. It opened them to danger of civil war, blame casting, and eventually, of political suicide. Israel’s greatness was sacrificed in the civil war that lasted for generations which pulled the nation apart. The last straw on the camel’s back was not an attack from a neighboring country or an ambitious king who led them to war (although God did send two nations to attack then and finally lead them into national captivity). Israel fell prey to her own blindness to see the real reasons for her crumbling culture: namely weak character and lack of spiritual leadership.
Secondly, not only does history have something to teach us, but morality does too. What enables a people like the hodge-podge, rag tag, scrapping tough and often careless people like the early settlers of the “New World” that was once the United States to come so far from their humble roots? One undeniable truth central to the strength of the nation was the dogged commitment to honesty, truth and hard work. But it was not always this way at the beginning.
The very first settlers of the New World where people seeking religious freedom because their minds were made up about the rights and responsibilities of every human being in the eyes of their Creator. But the experiment that we now call the United States of America was highly unlikely to succeed as it first started out. That all changed when the preaching of God’s Word during the period right before the Civil War and especially the period after it. Many citizens yearned to know the truth. Not the truth about a nation politically but the truth about man: what caused brother to kill brother and neighbor to kill neighbor (the Civil War saw more casualties than the Revolutionary War)? Because of a lie that many had come to believe. What lie is that? It is a lie about man’s dignity before his Creator and about who we are as people, no matter what our race, skin color or ethnic heritage.
The United States needs to hear the truth once again, because once again we are a nation that is deeply divided. This is the fundamental truth: human dignity and equality before God bridges the gap between peoples and in turn makes them people of great worth, both temporally and eternally.
I am not ignorant that many well meaning, and some not so much, used God’s Word in a manipulative way, trying to get the upper hand on a people or a race. Some found what they believed to be good reasons to further their personal preferences and their prejudiced view of others different than than one’s self. But those kinds of ideas were eventually silenced by the bare bones truth that God “has shown me not to call any person common or unclean” (in the words of the Greek historian Luke, in his book called “Acts of the Apostles” ch. 10, vers. 25). In other words, this text shows us that Peter, a highly prejudiced Jew one with an ingrained bias against other nationalities, finally understood God’s perspective on the issue. Equality is part of God’s original design for all nationalities and races and skin colors and genders.
Therefore a view of equality of all persons comes from the truth that God Himself makes all men equal. All moral considerations and all ethical postures depend on the common ground of God as Creator and men as created in His image. This truth has brought healing and renewed vision for the United States throughout history, and if we truly and objectively apply it in all realms, it will open our eyes once again.
What I fear, however is that central truth has been readily disposed of on SEVERAL major turning points in the United States. In my humble opinion these were several key touchstone moments in recent history:
Number ONE> Roe vs. Wade, January 22, 1973. Human life in the womb was relegated a position as second class and in turn, because of the purported “mother’s rights over her body” all embryos and fetuses have become disposable property of one person: the pregnant mother. Today I read on the Newsflash, “Urgent” category of Dr. Albert Mohler’s blog this statement: “For me, I´m the mother of three children. For me, life began when I delivered them. They’ve been probably the most important thing in my life ever since. But that was my own personal decision.” Who made this uncommonly brash and direct statement? None other than Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, the United States’ most famous abortion machine. Maybe it’s time to change their name to “Planned Parent Elimination.” The death culture has grown to unimaginable dimensions in the USA since the January 1973 Supreme Court decision. It is unlikely we will ever see that decision reversed.
Number TWO> what might this be? I will share it in my next post.
Stay tuned. More about the downward slope of morality in the USA.
David L. Rogers, M.A.Min.