In part one of this expose on America’s fall from grace, we looked at America’s founding on Judeo-Christians morals and how much God blessed the nation for it. Now we will answer the question as to how the nation got to such a sad state.
There Rose Up Another Generation
Scripture plainly describes what happened in ancient Israel. “All that generation [those who had personally witnessed God’s faithfulness through the 40 years of wandering and the initial conquest of Canaan] also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, not yet the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
What a tragic indictment. Whose fault was it that the next generation did not know the LORD or what He had done for His people?
It is easy to blame “the next generation,” because they will always appear to be softer and less motivated than the ones who came before. But the next generation is raised by the previous generation. God was adamant in commanding His people to pass down their faith; pouring knowledge about the Holy One of Israel into that next generation.
Regarding His revealed words, the LORD commanded, “…you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall ask of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Writing those words on doorposts and gates and binding them to arms and foreheads was an outward indication of the call to imprint them on their hearts.
The point is that when Joshua uttered his challenge to the people of Israel, they wholeheartedly responded, “We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God” (Joshua 24:18). Yet only a few generations later, that fervent faith gave way to apathetic abandonment of the true and living God.
By the time Elijah was proclaiming the Word of the Lord, God testified that only 7,000 remained who had not bowed to Baal and kissed that detestable idol (1 Kings 19:18). Tellingly, when Elijah called on the sons of Israel to choose who they would serve, the LORD God or Baal (in a prophetic repetition of the choice Joshua posed just a few generations earlier), “the people did not answer him a word” (1 Kings 18:21). The pitiful atrophying of faith in the land was demonstrated by a deafening sound of silence.
Songwriter Neil Peart captured the implications of such apparent indecision: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” The people of ancient Israel, like today’s so-called “nones,” have indeed made a choice.
Perhaps the only thing worse than silence in the face of such a dramatic option is to falsely claim something that contradicts a person’s living testimony. Jesus called out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes when He said, “…rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Caught In a Raging Storm
Where are we today? Our society is caught in a raging storm of violence, chaos, and wickedness. Each month, I choose “signs of the times” to highlight in our bimonthly Lamplighter magazine, realizing that more outrageous examples will manifest themselves before we can even go to print.
The storm analogy offers insight. Mighty and destructive thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes begin as small atmospheric disturbances. What starts as a low-pressure weather event eventually morphs into a monster that cannot be controlled or avoided. The only thing people can do is hunker down and pray or flee to another location.
Over the course of the past century, disdain for moral norms was manifested in seeds of depravity being sown in the 1960s. And we tolerated it all. America’s moral compass was shattered by elected leaders who practiced deception to pursue selfish ambition and bankrupt policies. The spiritual foundations of our nation were undermined by Supreme Court decisions eliminating prayer and relegating Christian faith to the outskirts of society. The fabric of the family was irreparably torn by laws endorsing no-fault divorce and policies encouraging infidelity and single-parent child-raising.
In a headlong rush to push the boundaries of liberation, radicals are now proclaiming all Judeo-Christian values to be patriarchal and oppressive — plainly stating their rejection of the God of Scripture and His laws. In practical fulfillment of Psalm 2:2-3, our own elected leaders attempt to appease the restless masses by rejecting the LORD and His Anointed as they gleefully attempt to “tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
Like a fool who sails out of a safe harbor or casts himself adrift from a secure mooring, our nation is now being tossed about on a sea of moral relativity and swamped by waves of crime, anxiety, and despair.
A Light in The Darkness
The only way to escape the self-destructive path we are on is first to recognize our plight. Like the Apollo 13 astronauts, we must grasp the bleak reality that “we have a problem.” Counselors will tell you that is the hardest part of changing the trajectory of someone addicted to alcohol or drugs. In their self-delusion, self-destructive people refuse to accept that they have a problem.
If our society — from our national leaders to everyday citizens — will first recognize our spiritual problem, the next challenge is to understand that self-sufficiency is not an absolute virtue. Our political leaders are quick to tout our ability to overcome any challenge, reaching within and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But such an attitude is pointedly unbiblical. We need God.
Even if our nation turned from denial, accepted a biblical self-awareness, and recognized its own need, would the overwhelming majority turn back to Christ? The rebellion has become so widespread and the prioritization of ecumenicalism so entrenched that our cultural drivers will embrace any spiritual fad before they revere the true and living God and the revealed Word.
Though I am convinced that America’s self-inflicted wound is incurable (Jeremiah 30:12-13), we faithful Christians strive to act as salt and light — working for the welfare of this pagan land. As Jeremiah told the exiles living in Babylon, “in its welfare [we] will have welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7). We seek the welfare of our nation, and the state and city and neighborhood in which we live, in order to support conduits of blessing to people near and far.
As we do that, we must contend with another problem.
In the third and final part of this expose on America’s fall from grace, we will identify the other problem Christians must contend with in living in an increasingly hostile world and provide some vital strategies for survival.
1 CommentLeave a Comment
This is the most insightful summary of our present situation and drives me to the throne of grace.