Friday, June 26, 2015

Food for Thought

A number of years ago, I adopted two famous quotations as guiding principles. The first is by a French philosopher who visited our shores when America was a new young nation left a similar warning. Alexis De Tocqueville said he came to the United States to learn what magic quality enabled a handful of people to defeat the mighty British Empire twice in 35 years. He looked for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers, her fertile fields and boundless forests, mines and other natural resources. He studied America's schools, her Congress, and her matchless Constitution without comprehending America's power. Not, until he went into the churches of America and heard pulpits "aflame with righteousness" did he understand the secret of her genius and strength. De Tocqueville returned to France and wrote: "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." The second quotation is credited to George Santayana, a Spanish-born philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." As I gaze upon my beloved America in this second decade of the 21st century, these two quotations become even more relevant and instructive. The “signs” seem to be aligned for America to become a “great” nation of the past because the hand of God, that has blessed this nation so generously over its 239-year history, is being removed. As God looked upon a newly sinful mankind in the Garden of Eden, he is looking upon an America that is fast discarding its storied and blessed past in favor of the hedonistic and selfish accommodations of the present. In the book of Exodus Moses writes that, when the Israelites "increased abundantly" and grew to be "exceeding mighty" that the Pharaoh came to fear the Israelite foreigners who were teeming within his own national borders. Yet, for reasons unknown, although the people of Israel were "more and mightier," the more-powerful Israelites allowed themselves to be made into slaves. It was not a matter of the stronger oppressing the weaker; it was a matter of the weaker ruling over the stronger; it was a matter of the stronger permitting it. As the Israelites continued to grow in numbers and power, despite the oppression, the Pharaoh's slavery became a simmering genocide. In an attempt to reduce the military potential of Israel, the Pharaoh ordered the killing of male infants. Fast-forward more than 800 years. Jeremiah 3:6-10 describes the conditions of his people and in Jeremiah 5:11-17 the ultimate price that they will pay for their sins. The Israelites had forsaken the one true God of their nation and served the idols, which were the “strange gods” of foreign nations. They would become the vassals for a foreign, conquering nation. Do these cultural and religious conditions characterize America today? One only needs to look around to find the evidence. Bowing to the demands of “strange gods of foreign nations,” enacting laws contrary to the law of God, allowing the world to infuse its precepts into the church, refusing to act against a lawless culture and a government run amok is leading this nation down the road to perdition. As a result, God has pronounced His judgment on our nation. I pray that the peace-loving, intelligent, God-fearing people of this country will awake to the fast pace of our decline before it is too late. Is it too late?