In centuries to come when the study, excavation and search for remnants and relics of present-day America gets underway, a key question will likely be: "What was the genesis of the collapse?"
To a great extent, Christians in America over the last century have established a subculture as a way to isolate and shelter the faithful from the collapse of the biblically based culture originated by its Founding Fathers. The current imitation in American Christendom is far different from the model established by the American Founders, who, endowed with a muscular Christianity, conceived and produced freedom and liberty.
Examine the underpinnings. In 1796, the Reverend William F. Rowland delivered an Anniversary Election sermon to New Hampshire Governor John Taylor Gilman and the seated NH Legislature. The keynote was struck when Reverend Rowland pronounced: "The duty, the interest and happiness of a free people require that they examine the characters of those, who are proposed as candidates for places of public trust." *
Ah, moral character, the key ingredient for the foundation of a healthy society, and a measuring stick to assess "candidates [put] in places for public trust."
A mere three months following Rev. Rowland's address in New Hampshire, President George Washington fortified Rowland's Christian worldview with his 32-page, handwritten farewell address. President Washington would link religion and public prosperity, "he wrote that religion and morality are indispensable supports for social order, civic virtue and political prosperity. Washington considered public religion to be so vital to a polity's flourishing that he cast doubt on the patriotism of one who undermines the public role for religion and morality."
Why would religion and her neighbor morality be considered "indispensable supports" to the American Founders? On account of the fact that biblical virtues of wisdom and knowledge equip "kings to rule and rulers to decree justice." Solomon advised spiritual wisdom is "far" better than commodities of gold, silver, diamonds, beef and oil and natural gas reserves.
Proverbs 8:10-15: "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, [Heb.-shrewdness], and find [Heb.-"attain, not possess"] knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice."
The diligent individual—or nation—that seeks and applies biblical wisdom and knowledge will gain an added by-product: God's protection. "He is a shield to those who walk uprightly" (Prov. 2:7b). Dr. Michael V. Fox interprets, "God's protection is not a reward extraneous to the knowledge, but rather a consequence intrinsic to it."
By contrast, he also says, "A sinful or wicked nation deviates from God's moral standards and defies God's rule. A sinful or wicked people serve their selfish interests before all else, even if it disadvantages the community. They are avaricious, deceitful, cruel, and indifferent or, even worse, hostile to innocent life."
The essence of early American, biblically-based public education carried with it the incorporating the character of the Father into the lives of the student. Thus, equipping one to move through life to "pave and level" the moral path, removing obstacles, in order to boost the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom required for the making of moral progress, which elevates one to high station, societal status and acquiring the virtues required for decreeing justice.
Examining the lack of power, vigor, vitality and listlessness of Christian conservatives—over the last half-century—likely will not create the engine needed for resurrection and transformation that is required to bring America back from the abyss; created by secularists. What is required is Christian thermostats, not Christian thermometers.
Christian candidates running for office, in most cases, must begin at the local level: city council, parks and recreation, school board and so on so as to be viable for the future. Spiritually, one must learn to kill the lion and the bear before he or she can kill Goliath. Politically, one must build and accrue political assets—a constituency—to be competitive over the long haul: politics is addition and multiplication, not division and subtraction.
As Gideons and Rahabs begin to be elected and then positioned to confront "Baal" in America—secularism—they must apply the wisdom of God. Elijah did not go to confront the king until bidden by the Lord to do so, teaching His servant not to act presumptuously by recklessly and needlessly exposing themselves unto danger; but as soon as He required it he went promptly, encouraging us to follow the leadings of Providence, trusting God in the way of duty and saying, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Heb. 13:6) (from A.W. Pink's The Life of Elijah).
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