From Meltdown to Revival: Rebuilding the City on a Hill
The Elections: President Obama’s re-election last week reflects the growing secularization of our culture that flowered in the early 1960’s with the Supreme Court’s decision to ban compulsory prayer and Bible reading in our schools.
That trend has accelerated dramatically under Obama’s watch, with grave consequences for our moral, political, and economic well-being. Sadly, barring a life-changing Obama conversion or powerful resistance from We the People, it is certain to get markedly worse in the next four years.The Challenge: Drawing on a range of Biblical texts and Founders’ insights, we will examine where we are, how we got here, who is responsible, and what we must do. For starters:
1. Resist: We must take a stand against the Obama team whenever it tries to impose policies on us that violate Biblical values and the Constitution (see www.manhattandeclaration.org), and
2. Rebuild: We must work to restore those foundational values and principles on which America was founded and has prospered, and which define her as a Shining City on a Hill.
Religion & Morality: A Matter of Patriotism?
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lend to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness.” (George Washington, 1796)
Our Moral Meltdown: The cultural landscape is littered with the damage done by modern “Liberalism/Progressivism” and its rejection of Judeo-Christian values: 1) 22% of all pregnancies now end in abortion, and some 54 million unborn babies have been destroyed since Roe v. Wade in 1973. 2) 40% of all babies are now born to single mothers. 3) 33% of children are being raised in single-parent homes. 4) 50% of all marriages end in divorce. 5) Nine states have now legalized same-sex marriage. Pornography runs rampant, leaving a trail of ruined men, exploited women, broken marriages, abused children, disease, crime, and even violent death.
The Economic Costs: As George Washington made clear, religion and morality are indispensable to our prosperity. That is not an idle claim. Those who believe otherwise are overlooking the inconvenient truth that “family fragmentation costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion each year (and) the cost to Virginia taxpayers alone is estimated at $776 million each year.” (For details, see “Report to the Nation” at www.americanvalues.org)
Perilous Politics: From Freedom to Bondage
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” (Benjamin Franklin, 1775)
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” (Alexander Tyler, 1787)
We are in a war against greed, corruption, and cronyism within our own expanding federal government. It has created massive national debt; imposed higher taxes, stifling regulations, and immoral mandates; increased entitlements, welfare, and other government handouts; redefined deviancy down; pitted us against each other on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual “orientation”, and “class”; and created uncertainty about our support for Israel amid rising tensions in the Middle East.
We cannot continue on this path and still survive as a free people. Indeed, America appears to be headed downward in a classic spiral that has destroyed so many other nations. In 1787, Scottish political philosopher Alexander Tyler described this eight-step, 200-year cycle as follows:
- From Bondage, to Faith, to Courage, to Liberty, to Abundance, to Selfishness, to Apathy, to Dependency – and back to Bondage.
Who Is Responsible?
“I sought for a man to stand in the gap before me that I should not destroy the land, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30) “A certain farmer sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” (Mt. 13:24-25)
“Now more than ever, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.” (Pres. James Garfield, 1877)
The Man in the Mirror: It is tempting to blame everyone else for the spiritual, moral, economic, and political decline of America. However, the sad truth is that we have found the enemy, and it is us. As noted above, we have been either AWOL or asleep during this time. We can do better!
The Church: An even sadder truth is that large chunks of the Christian church are perhaps most culpable in this Sin of Silence. Although some pockets have spoken out for Biblical truth during this moral and political meltdown, many others drew a line between the “sacred” and the “secular”. They bought the lie that they should only “pray” for those in authority and avoid any direct “entanglement” in government and “politics”.
Still others bought the lie that we should not “judge” others, even for behavior that is clearly wrong. Similarly, they valued the approval of man over the approval of God and refrained from confronting even the most blatant evils for fear of offending someone. It is time to take a stand!
The Road Ahead for a Great National Renewal
“I set before you this day a Blessing and a Curse; a Blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, and a Curse if you will not obey and choose to go after other gods.” Deut. 11:26-28
“Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism. Thus, the Founding Fathers saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be.” Dwight Eisenhower
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, we will be a Nation Gone Under.” Ronald Reagan
The Bottom Line: More than the economy or politics, the solution to our problems is spiritual. As noted above, only when we turn back to God will He resume His blessings on America.
It has taken a long time to get us to this low point, and the climb back to a full recovery will also take time. However, the path is clearly marked by the need for continued periods of “Prayer and Fasting” and a Great Spiritual Awakening. That will in turn take us through successive gates of 1) Remembrance, 2) Repentance, 3) Revival, 4) Righteousness, 5) Resistance, and 6) Reform – each one bringing us ever closer to a National Restoration.
I look forward to taking a stand with you and marching together toward this noble goal because “We won’t give up, we won’t give in, and we won’t quit until we win!”
Valley Faith in Action airs at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on WAZT-TV, which is Comcast Cable Channel 13 in the Harrisonburg area. It will air again at Wednesday midnight. You can also access it and other recent programs by clicking HERE.