- (Photo: Facebook/Shane Idleman)
"There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence." – Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
Although the history of America is marked with disappointments, tragedies, mistakes, and failures, my intent is not to write about the history of America, but to unapologetically proclaim the truth behind her success.
Today, the courts have taken it upon themselves to assume the role of a law-making body, rather than a protector of the Constitution. The wall that was designed to protect America's freedoms has now imprisoned her. As the moral and cultural war rages between our shores, the need to be awakened from our spiritual slumber has never been greater. "Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested" (Martin Luther). This battle is for the very soul of our nation. It's our choice—stand or fall.
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 Judeo-Christian values. Just as water rapidly eroded the banks of the mighty Colorado River and created a vast Grand Canyon, America's current belief system (relativism) has eroded her foundation and created a moral void.
Interestingly enough, the stability of America is one of the top concerns on the minds of many today. There was a time in recent history when America felt secure knowing that the 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. There are people and groups who are strongly committed to the destruction of anything rooted in our nation's Christian heritage. They attempt to be "one nation 'above' God," rather than "one nation 'under' God," as seen in recent court and denominational decisions to support gay-marriage. Scripture identifies this as foolishness, self-exaltation, and arrogance—the downfall of 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. For instance, most schools no longer teach students about the spiritual foundation that has guided America throughout her history. Consequently, America's moral and religious heritage is often deleted, grossly distorted, or revised altogether. 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.
Today, our culture promotes relativism, and man does what is right in his own eyes. Again, according to Scripture, to his own destruction. God's Word says to confront, confess, and turn from our sins; relativism encourages us to ignore, overlook, and continue in them. The pulpits must be held responsible as well. This powerful paraphrase is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s:
"I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there. It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
America's early success was attributed to the pulpits being aflame with righteousness. Churches have often served as the moral compass for the nation—to confront, challenge, encourage, and exhort. Instead of confronting, they are affirming. Instead of challenging, they are conforming...conforming to the culture.
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: 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls out from the past with resounding clarity to America today: If My people will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.
There are times to encourage, motivate, and uplift, but there are also times to confront, challenge, and contend for what is right—that time is now. Let it not be said of us today: And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD (Judges 2:10).