Things just get stranger as the year goes on. This weekend is the July 4th holiday, celebrating the American Colonies declaring independence from Britain. Their actions acknowledge our Creator, His law, our equal nature, His endowing man with certain natural rights, and government’s purpose in securing those rights.
My how things have changed. Living those beliefs in America today can get you harassed, sued, or fired. Because God’s values are increasingly inconsistent with society’s. This is persecution. That may offend some, but persecution is harassing or oppressing someone based on factors such as race, beliefs, or religion. It is only a matter of degree between what is occurring here and overseas where being Christian can cost you your life. And we are headed in the wrong direction.
America in Exile
In many ways, Christian’s today trying to live by Biblical values face a situation more like the Israelites when exiled in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar attempted to integrate Jewish society into Babylon’s. Many fell away in the process, and only a few returned to Jerusalem seventy years later. It’s little different today. America’s educators, media, politicians, talking heads, etc. spout complying with their values rather than Gods. Doing all in the name of perverted notions of equality and justice. At times we don’t even get the truth from some churches. When one is not taught truth, they usually become lost. Many in our country today are truly lost.
But we must remember, God did not abandon the Israelites. Instead, the Israelites fell away from God. He gave the Israelites over to the Babylonians after they turned away from Him (Joshua 23:16). Is it any different in America today? We’ve removed the Bible and prayer from our classrooms. We’ve accepted killing the most innocent among us—the unborn through abortion. Society advocates debasing marriage and eliminating gender. Many Christian’s buying into the Supreme Court’s separation of church and state corruption. All man’s values contrary and incompatible with God’s. This shift’s implications are massive.
Our Great Awakenings
Since the 18th century, America’s experienced an awakening opportunity about every hundred years. That’s every four or five generations. The first occurred during the 1730’s. It shaped our Founder’s minds, and led to the ideas expressed in our Declaration and Constitution. Ideas aligned with God’s values, law, and rights. The second began in the late 1700’s lasting until the 1830’s. This awakening helped end slavery and gave women the right to vote. All improving American society, and bringing us closer to true justice.
The 1930’s presented a third opportunity. This time we turned toward government rather than God, and we’re seeing that choice’s fruit today. But this change began several decades earlier with the ideas underlying the progressive movement. Replacing charity with government programs; social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the war on poverty to name a few. Turning over education and many of our other responsibilities to a federal bureaucracy. It started small over time becoming large.
If the pattern holds, we are about ten years from another opportunity. This year’s events support this idea.
Governance and Corruption
Government cannot create anything. It can only consume; taking from others. This is one reason why ideologies such as communism, socialism, and progressivism always fail. They are inefficient, and can never deliver on their promises. They don’t intend to. More importantly such governance forms prevent us from fulfilling our purpose. They do so by promoting vice; separating us from good—that is, from God.
Think this is wrong? Consider what we see today. The vast power grabs during the recent coronavirus pandemic, power that has yet to be relinquished. People taking to the streets to senselessly destroy and hurt. History erased by tearing down statues, businesses and homes destroyed, lives ended, and first responders prevented from restoring order. And big business supporting the mayhem by pledging millions to Black Lives Matter. All in the name of justice no less. How perverse. They say America is a racist country, but every year countless immigrants—many of them minorities—come here to live. Do they come to be abused, or do they come for personal liberty? Their arguments are false, but many believe them.
Government did not create us, we created government. God is allowing America’s to be an instrument of judgment. Judgment we brought on ourselves through our choices. We’ve only received a reprieve with President Trump’s election. Power and government have become the object of worship for some—their idol. James speaks to this saying those seeking friendship with the world are hostile toward God (James 4:4).
The Only Answer
So what’s the answer? We are called to know what God asks of us and then to do (Matt. 7:24-6). Many today neither know nor do what is right. They must be taught—by Christians. They must also be willing to hear, but that is another matter. Remaining quiet won’t help. Living sinfully won’t help. Christians abandoning government service won’t help. If we want things to become better again, we must act accordingly. The responsibility is ours.
The answer for what to do is simple. James provided it a few verses later. “Submit therefore to God.” (James 4:7) The rest is learning how, and that takes a lifetime of commitment. We have a decision to make. Whom will we serve? Will it be God or man? Will we choose to return from exile? This weekend is a perfect time to remember, reflect on our values, and change course.