Historians realize that a government, like ours in America, cannot last forever. Eventually, there is a collapse due to moral decay and financial irresponsibility—liberty often leads to abundance, abundance to complacency, complacency to apathy, apathy to a loss of freedom. Based on this, where are we today? Unfortunately, countless people are confusing God’s patience with His approval. “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever” (often attributed to Thomas Jefferson).
C.S. Lewis said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” We’re often too smart to take large, deliberate plunges, but we’re easily enticed to take one step at a time. This isn’t meant to frighten, but to awaken. One year, with summer approaching, I stepped into my in-laws’ swimming pool. My immediate reaction to the piercing cold water was to step out, but I continued down the steps. I stopped when the water reached my knees. After a few minutes, I continued to move slowly down, stopping for brief periods until I was fully submerged. Each step was shocking, but I gradually became comfortable with the cold water—my body accepted what was initially shocking. In the same way, we’ve become comfortable with sin, and what once alarmed us now amuses us. We continue to hear, “Come on in, it’s not that bad, everyone is doing it!” And we step right in. America has been desensitized one generation at a time, one court decision at a time, one compromise at a time, and we are drowning in a cesspool of relativism. The wicked freely parade and prance about while evil is praised throughout the land (Psalm 12:8). A great divide exists in our nation, even among Christians. How would Jesus vote? Would Jesus run for President? Would Jesus authorize war? Aren’t there more important issues than gay-marriage and abortion? The questions are endless.
One thing is certain, regardless of our thoughts on politics, God established the concept of government. He desires godly leaders who govern according to His standards, not ours. Granted, there will always be a moral divide in America, but this should not deter us from challenging faulty policies and procedures.
At the time of this writing, it is said that we live in the greatest country in the world, but the success we cherish is not the result of chance. Many early Americans, including most of the Founders, understood that in order for a nation to thrive and prosper, God’s Word must provide the basis for the government and the welfare of society. I’m not suggesting a theocracy, nor were the Founders, but I am suggesting a return to biblical values. Just as water rapidly eroded the banks of the mighty Colorado River and created a vast Grand Canyon, America’s current belief system of relativism has eroded her foundation and created a moral void.
There was a time in recent history when America felt secure knowing that her most formidable enemies were abroad. Not so today. While we are concerned with terrorist attacks, and rightly so, there is a greater threat from corruption within. We, like the mighty Roman Empire that collapsed centuries ago, are crumbling from within. Historian, Edward Gibbon, recalls the condition of Rome before her fall: 1) The rapid increase in divorce and “the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home.” 2) More taxation and the spending of public funds on food and entertainment. 3) “The mad craze for pleasure and sport; sport becoming every year more and more exciting and brutal.” 4) The building up of the military when the real enemy is within—“in the decadence of the people themselves.” 5) “The decay of religious faith; faith fading into mere form….”
If this isn’t a wake-up call for America, then I don’t know what is—from the rapid divorce rate and the disintegration of the family, to massive government over spending; to the mad craze for reality shows and ultimate fighting matches; to hypocrisy and pride in the church—we are clearly on a collision course. And we, like Rome, are too arrogant to humble ourselves, repent, and ask God for forgiveness. We attempt to be “one nation ‘above’ God,” rather than “one nation ‘under’ God.” Scripture identifies this as foolishness, self-exaltation, and arrogance—the downfall of all nations.
There is a saying that one generation plants trees for the next generation. I’m concerned that instead of planting, we are removing and destroying the very covering that protects us. As a result, our legacy as a great and noble nation has all but been forgotten. Most schools no longer teach students about the spiritual foundation that has guided America throughout her history. Additionally, there are people and groups who are strongly committed to the destruction of anything rooted in our nation’s Christian heritage. Consequently, America’s moral and religious heritage is often deleted, grossly distorted, or revised altogether. As a result, students often miss the critical connection between America’s unparalleled greatness, her rise to world leadership, and the spiritual foundation that made it possible. This should concern us. The ideas of the classroom in one generation will create the ideas of government within the next.
Although this position may seem radical or extreme, we are living in extremely critical times. Make no mistake about it, we are witnessing the rapid deterioration of a nation right before our eyes. But there is hope, as 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls out from the past with resounding clarity to America today, “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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Without question—repentance, prayer, and humility before God are our only hope.