George Washington's Answer for America's Descent Into Moral Chaos

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Major American cities are descending into chaos with murders, thefts, assaults and carjackings skyrocketing. This crime wave is a result, first of all, of a cultural rejection of God's moral law. Secondly, it a result of outrageous, lawless policies that are being implemented by left-wing mayors and district attorneys.

These policies, which coddle criminals and demonize the police, are based on the "progressive" liberal philosophy that human nature is essentially good and it is evil institutions that are the cause of the problems. In this worldview, the criminals are by nature good people who are victims of an evil American system.

America's founders held no such utopian view of the natural goodness of humanity. They held the traditional Christian belief that mankind had been created a noble creature in the image and likeness of God, but that image had become marred by the entry of rebellion and sin into the world (Gen. 3).

This belief in the corruption of human nature was highlighted in a prayer recorded by George Washington in a prayer journal he kept in his 20s. Under the heading of "Monday Morning," it is a prayer for cleansing from sin and corruption and reads,

"Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit. Daily frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ" (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 72).

Other founders made clear their belief in the corruption of human nature. "Take mankind in general," said Alexander Hamilton, "they are vicious." James Madison added, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." The historian Benjamin Hart wrote, "A central assumption of America's founders was original sin, meaning the corruption of man's character" (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 94).

For this reason, the founders believed that humanity must either be governed from within by moral principles or controlled from without by laws designed to restrict their wicked behavior. This is what William Penn was referring to when he wrote, "Those who will not be governed by God must be ruled by tyrants" (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 26).

America's founders instituted a Constitutional Republic with a goal of freedom for its citizenry. They realized, however, that only a virtuous and moral people could be trusted with freedom. Otherwise, they would turn freedom into anarchy and use their freedom as an opportunity to pursue selfish ends, even to the hurt of others.

That is why George Washington, in his farewell address to the new nation, exhorted her citizens to cling to "religion" and "morality," which he called "indispensable" for a stable and prosperous nation. Thomas Jefferson agreed with Washington's address and made it required reading at the University of Virginia, which he founded. Jefferson also said, "Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observation, none appear so pure to me as that of Jesus" (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 85).

America's founders implemented limited government because they expected the citizens to govern themselves from within according to the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. John Adams made this clear when he said,

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 79).

The modern, liberal progressive has rejected both the moral law of God and human laws designed to restrict criminal behavior. It should be no surprise that this is resulting in a crime wave hitherto unknown in this nation.

The ultimate answer is a return to the nation's founding principles of faith and freedom, and in that order. America must have a national awakening of faith and morality. It is not too far-fetched to expect such an awakening, for as documented in my book, America's Revival Heritage, such awakenings have occurred more than once in our nation's history and saved her from moral and political ruin.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, America's Revival Heritage (second edition), available from Amazon and his website at eddiehyatt.com.

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