Those of us raised with a concept of American pride, progress, and exceptionalism were not prepared for her disintegration and demise. Throughout history, there was a pervading sense of optimism that, whatever the challenge, the American spirit would rise to the occasion and prevail.
But things changed. Instead of an ethic that assumes a man is responsible to provide for himself and his family, we now pride ourselves in a safety net that disincentivizes hard work. Instead of learning to live within our means, we have decided we can have it all today and pay the bill later. Instead of recognizing that our Creator has established a moral code, we have decided that each person can determine truth for himself. Instead of submitting to God’s mandate of working six days and resting on the seventh, we have decided that life is too short to waste one day a week in worship and reflection; eternity will have to take care of itself because we’re too preoccupied with this world to be too concerned.
The cornerstone of our society was the First Amendment conviction that all men are free to practice their religion without government interference. As I write, one of the most critical Supreme Court cases in years is being argued: Can a Christian conduct his business according to the dictates of his conscience or must he leave his faith at the doorstep of his church?
Last week I finished reading the biography of a Chinese dissident who escaped the clutches of that brutal régime and now serves as an advocate for the religiously oppressed within China. He experienced the torture, imprisonment and iron-fisted tactics of a government devoted to maintaining its power and squashing any effort to establish free religious expression.
America is rapidly heading in that direction. The current administration in Washington has made it plain that it is concerned only about enhancing the ever-growing influence of government. The Christian’s right of conscience, whether in Iran, China, or America, is of no apparent interest to these secularists.
Is there hope? Yes, but it is not found in the ballot box or in the lessening of Congressional gridlock. Only as America recognizes that we have collectively spurned God and His truth and earnestly seeks Him in repentance and faith will our nation turn from her death spiral.