Monday, December 28, 2015

Keystones to a Christian Awakening: Reclaiming America in the Wake of a Progressive Nightmare

American Christian Church
"Separation of Powers"
America is in trouble.  The very foundations of the country are at risk.  There has never been anything like America.  Our country is a Christian nation.  This nation functions best on a very specific formula.  The formula includes the Constitution, checks of power, democratic republican governmental systems, and a firm emphasis on religion and morality.  

I was born into the United States during an odd time in her history.  It's a time when forces within the country have begun to successfully root out the once dominant Christian culture.  They've done so through a variety of means, through media, hollywood, through legislation, through the courts, through academia, the sciences, and through the universities.  

The false caricature of the Christian faith was successfully perpetrated onto my mind.  I believed Christianity was a backwards tradition that needed to fade into the past.  I believed in the goodness of man.  I believed in the successes of modernity and globalization.  I was believing a worldview that did not match with reality.  The reality was much different.  It was different in my experience and it was different on the world stage.

So I had to discover for myself, the truth about western civilization.  It's a truth that's been carefully buried.  It's been excluded from textbooks and blocked from public schools.  It's ignored and minimized by universities.  No wonder it was so difficult to learn and comprehend.  But never-the-less I discovered it.  I learned about it in books.  These books are not talked about at public schools or modern universities.  

I'll pause for a moment to give you a list, if you'd like to learn more along those lines:
1. How Should We then Live? by Francis Schaeffer
2. The Truth Project DVD by Focus on the Family
3. The Sky is not Falling by Charles Colson
4. Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas
5. Awakening the Evangelical Mind by Owen Strachan
6. We Cannot be Silent by Albert Mohler
7. The Soul of the American University by George Marsden
8. The Dying of the Light by James Burtchaell
9. Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells
10. Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer
11. Can Man Live without God by Ravi Zacharias
12. Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America by Albert Mohler
13. The Silencing by Kirsten Powers
14. Christ and the Media by Malcom Muggeridge
15. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
16. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
17. God and Government by Charles Colson
18. The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
19. I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler, Frank Turek
20. The Global Public Square by Os Guinness
21. Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
22. Seven Men Who Rule the World From The Grave by Dave Breese
23. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed by Ben Stiller DVD documentary
24. Mining for God DVD documentary by Brandon McGuire
25. Why I'm Not an Atheist at Princeton by Ravi Zacharias  

These books, documentaries, and DVDs are well worth your time. Believe me on this.  I had to discover this stuff on my own, because I was raised in the pale orthodoxy of the public school and the secular university.  Both places were permanent stomping grounds for immorality, multiplied by the depravity poured out by the mainstream media.  I wish I could put this in lighter terms, but I can't.  It's the truth.  We can all see it.  Parents wonder what's happening to children?  Well, it's no accident.  It's a blunder.  It's a blunder by those of secular persuasion who refuse to realize that their progressive revolution has left a moral vacuum that is destroying civilization.  

Interesting isn't it?  Scary?  Yes, certainly.  But what's interesting is that it's not new.  It's happened before.  As the word of God says: "there is nothing new under the sun."  It happened in ancient Rome, and it's happening today.  It happened time and again in the ancient nation of Israel: one generation would follow God, the next would lose touch with their roots, and their children would ruin the nation and God's wrath would come upon them as a due consequence of their sinful culture.

We have school shootings.  We have sexual depravity.  We have divorce and broken families.  We have loneliness.  We have a vacuum of meaning.  We have addiction rising.  We have crime rising.  We have alcoholism.  We have teen suicide.  We have abortion.  We have pornography addiction.  And sex addiction.  We have murder.  We have child sex trafficking.  We have pedophilia.  We have economic domination.   We have a serious problem in western civilization.  

The solution?  For most, the solution is more government!  And that's a natural response.  For those who refuse any moral code or religious thought they must appeal to force.  They must appeal to the government.  They must apply force to a de-stabilizing situation.  

Yet I think even the most progressive forces are worried and disturbed by the corruption rising in not only government, but also in business and finance.  The rising corruption makes appeals to more government and more regulation futile.  We realize that when we give government more power, an already corrupt institution becomes more corrupt.  It becomes a feedback loop, a catch 22 ever amplifying itself toward disaster.  

Why is this happening?  Because a vitally important check and balance has been removed from the American equation.  Indeed it is the only reason America can function as a free society at all: It is the check and balance of morality, religious thought, and the public propensity to push for the common good.  That has been debased.  But it hasn't been removed.  It's been altered.  Now it's the progressive ethic, behind the general theme that America is bad, America needs to change, America is oppressive, America is racist, America is sexist, America needs to embrace gay marriage, America needs to bring in the population of Mexico, America needs to abandon it's sovereignty to the United Nations, and on and on it goes.  It's a very confused and irrational sentiment, more of a reaction against America than any sort of plan for it.  And these new attitudes omit morality, in favor of "liberation" in every area: sexual liberation, drug culture liberation, liberation of the LGBTQ community, liberation of women, liberation of nature, and so on and so forth.  Yet so often a supposed liberation ends up being shackles in disguise.  

Religion has been declared evil by society.  Progressives push hard to remove it from all public discourse.  Organized religion is always considered bad, always.  But spirituality, me-centered stuff is good.  That's the new ethic, and boy is it a mess.  And it doesn't work.  

“The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.” – Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1799; Patrick Henry, Moses Coit Tyler ( New York: Houghton Mifflin Co; 1897), p. 409

We need a firm moral framework.  We need religious thought which provokes good behavior.  Much like the ten commandments.  We need strong families.  We need a strong, righteous, and moral public who are deeply inclined toward good.  And only in Christ are man's hearts truly tended toward the good.  Those factors combined produce the most important check against corruption, the American people, the moral majority.  Without it, there is no check against tyranny.  There is no stability which can enable liberty and freedom for all.  Without religious thought and moral behavior, the USA will have to become an authoritarian nanny state.   

In the public square we have become an atheistic country.  It's true.  We are still relatively free to be religious in private, but in public it is not allowed.  In fact biblical Christian views are very quickly becoming considered the new hate speech. Think of the way the media attacks Christians who stand for their faith.  Think of Kim Davis, and the family bakery fined over 100k for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. (Source: Charisma News)  What happened to right of conscientious objection?  In addition, a Christian fire chief in Georgia lost his job for writing a book about the Christian view of marriage, on his own time. (Source: The Washington Post)

In the past eight years the progressive agenda has proceeded forward.  The United States is beginning to look strikingly similar to secular Europe.  Ironically also, as western countries abandon Christianity, eastern nations and African nations are building their future on the Christian faith. (Source: USA Today)  Oh the ironies, they never end do they?

We can never understand what's really going on in the west or the world without understanding that God's word is the truth and the Christian worldview are the eyeglasses by which we can clearly see the world and ourselves.  

They can't see where they're taking the country.  That's why this secular progressive movement in our culture is so terrifying.  It matches perfectly with the growth of depravity, crime, school shootings, and sexual immorality.  As the moral center of the nation is eviscerated, immorality grows.  As immorality grows, corruption grows.  As corruption grows, government must grow into authoritarian madness to stem it's tide.  Yet it can never stem it's tide, because the corruption isn't the source of the problem, it's a side effect of it.  

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens." -George Washington, Farewell Address

What is the way back?  There is no way back.  We're here and we're moving forward.  But there is a way forward. The way forward is for Christian transformation in areas of government, academia, sciences, culture, media, arts, and the public square.  We can't so much "retake" lost institutions or cultural settings, but we can innovate and step ahead of the secular progressives.  

Will it really be so easy?  I'm not saying it will be easy.  But the secular progressive movement in this country, the growing immorality and corruption; well, it's been a completely failure.  This convoy of subversion is mired in the mud. This "new way" of doing things just isn't working.  Everyone can see it, corruption is everywhere.  School shootings and gun violence are growing.  The younger generation is terrifying in their callousness and apathy.  The television media spew out filth and contempt for conservative principles and Christianity regularly.  Miley Cyrus music videos are like demented pornos.  Modern music is a sex fest of twisted perversion. Corruption is destroying our banking systems and subverting our economy.  Big business is mired in over-regulation. The biggest businesses fight tooth and nail to keep small businesses out of the game, so they can establish monopolies of markets.  They call that crony-capitalism, which the Washington Cartel is only too happy to help along through corporate welfare

Is it all really so shocking?  To a Christian it makes perfect sense.  You remove the moral framework,you remove the religious meaning and you've left a vacuum for corruption and moral relativism to destroy the society. We humans do not tend naturally toward good.  We tend naturally toward wrong-doing and ways we should not go.  Many of us can attest to that.  Many of us have often taken the wrong path.  And we've seen others time and again, against all logic and reason, turn again and again to situations and people that harm them and destroy them.  Humanity can only tend toward good, and sustainability as a free society in the tender love and presence of the creator of the human race, God almighty, the architect of space, time, and the universe.

We need God.  It's the only hope for western civilization.  We need God.  We know that here.  We know that.  So what can we do to change the course of human events in the west?  Well, there is a lot we can do.  I'd like to briefly articulate a strategy for a bold transformation of our current culture.  The keystone is this: We must be creative, defiant, and dogged in our determination.  We can't stick to the old ways of doing things, we have to innovate, we have to create, we have to be ahead of the game in every area.  Does that mean changing the message of the gospel?  Of course not.  But the message of the Bible, the gospel, the scriptures is fluid.  The content doesn't change, but it's application is always adjusting for the current times and attitudes.

Here are five possible strategies, ideas, but I encourage you to come up with your own strategies.  Create your own ideas and put them into practice with the long term objective of transforming western culture.  In the power of Jesus Christ all things are possible  (Thanks to Dinesh D'Souza for his October 17th presentation at Copper Springs that inspired some of these ideas.)

1. Be a Christian Social Media Juggernaut - This is the most accessible item on our list.  Anyone can do this, I can do this, you can do this, you don't have to be at the forefront of some Christian fleet or organization to do this.  Social media is a gem.  We all have a voice on social media.  We have the potential of hitting 10 times, 100 times, and even 1,000 times as many people as we would impact on a daily basis otherwise.  All you have to do is create free social media accounts and start posting.  Post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, and many others.  Know where the Christian content is on the internet: on Youtube, Biblegateway, YouVersion, and start sharing.  Expand your friends, your followers, and keep posting.  The key is: do this long term, don't ever stop.  Keep posting, keep building your presence, and do it for the Lord.  The biggest problem with this is that we can start to think that it's all about us.  That is deadly territory.  Pride comes before the fall.  Stay focused on Jesus.  But just keep posting, day and night, no matter what anyone says, keep posting, keep building new accounts on new platforms, stay ahead of the game, spread the good news.  God will do the rest.  

I will never shut up about social media engagement.  If you can't at least post for Jesus, then you are a unmitigated coward and you need therapy because your so afraid of offending anyone or putting your views out there.  Take a stand!  No fear.  Do it long term, day in and day out, when no one cares and wonder "What's the point!"  That's the just the moment when God is working power changes in the world.  Don't get tired of doing good, soon enough you'll reap the harvest.  

2. Develop a strong presence on Cable/Satelite Television - Think big right?  Today, right now, Cable television is 100% enemy territory.  In fact, Cable even carries false caricatures of the Christian faith on the supposed "faith" channels like the Church channel and TBN and others.  It's a perfect package to keep a twisted culture away from the Christian message.  The true message never, ever touches the airwaves.  That is not acceptable.  I'm gonna think really big right now.  Imagine twelve Christian channels.  Imagine twelve humble Christian channels, with no "phone numbers to give us your money" or infomercial-esc programs to "purchase our dvd" or "buy my book."  People, especially young people are tired of consumerism packaged in the guise of Christianity.  How dare they anyway?  Lord rebuke them!  It's so awful because it's a bodyguard of lies surrounding the real God of creation.  

Here's a dream for you: Imagine twelve stations, perhaps various strong Christian organizations taking responsibility for a single channel each?  Now that would be something special.  Of course the greatest concern would be the big shiny camera and it's corrupting abilities.  They are legendary.  But here's a dream list.  May God bring it about, because the real message is blocked on the airwaves.

Channel 1: The Family and Christian Growth - Focus on the Family
Channel 2: Christian Charity efforts - Salvation Army/Samaritan's Purse/Cru
Channel 3: Christian Politics and Activism - Liberty Counsel/Heritage Foundation/Freedom Works
Channel 4: Christian News and Views - Christian Post / Charisma News / Life Site News
Channel 5: Religious Liberty Watch - Liberty Institute / Alliance Defending Freedom
Channel 6: Overseas Missionary Work & the Persecuted Church - Team / Send /
Channel 7: 24 hour child Sponsorship Opportunities - Compassion International
Channel 8: Christian History and Documentaries - Christianity Today
Channel 9: Christian Educational Videos - Liberty University / Prager University / Biola University
Channel 10: 24/7 Sermons - Sermon Index / Various
Channel 11: Christian Movies, Entertainment & Talk Shows - Socrates in the City / Living Waters / Lee Strobel / Eric Metaxas Show / Dennis Prager Show / Mark Levin Show
Channel 12: Christian Apologetics & Philosophy - RZIM / Reasonable Faith / Cross Examined / Ratio Christi

3. Christian Entertainment, Movies, and Music - Imagine a culture constantly informed by Christian media and entertainment.  This is something that is having a powerful effect with movies like God's not Dead, Do you Believe, Son of God, and War Room.  Christian Cinema is vital and needs to expand into new areas.  Think big and think outside the box.  How can Christians transform Hollywood, the music industry, and the mainstream media?  More and more these institutions are turning out garbage, because without moral underpinnings art and culture become decadent and shallow.

4. Transform the broken Education System - The current college education system is broken, so is the public education system.  How could conservative Christians provide a better option?  Could we utilize the internet?  How could we make it more affordable?  Entire generations of kids are leaving schools without even basic knowledge about the world around them.  Young adults are going to college and leaving with bizarre ideas about how the world should work.  And they're leaving stacked to the eyeballs with crippling debt.  It's a broken system, how can we be salt and light to education? 

5. Run for Congress or State Legislature - Or support someone who is doing that.  Be politically active, it's your duty as a Christian who obeys the ruling authorities, which in our government means we are required to participate for the good of the nation.  We live in a Democratic Republic remember?  We elect the governing authorities.  Our obligation is to be involved, due to Romans 13.  We need principled Christians in core leadership positions on the local, state, and Federal levels in our government.  Many Christians have done this.  Consider the Appeal to Heaven caucus.  Think of Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Tim Scott or Mike Huckabee.  They are Christians who saw a need for change in our government and they decided to do something about it.  Is God calling you to full time service in politics?  Click here for links to relevant Christian and conservative political organizations.

In conclusion, these ideas barely scratch the surface of cultural engagement.  Be creative friends and think outside the box.  More importantly be dogged, devoted, and determined.  Never give up and never stop pushing for these changes.  A tireless minority can indeed bring about brush fires of transformation in the minds of men.  Pray hard, and pray often.  Work hard and work often.  We will not go quietly into the night.  We will not give up without a fight.  We're going to take a stand.  We're going to change the world.  We must be humble, creative, and dogged in our determination. Godspeed brothers and sisters, it's time to change the world.  

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:25-30 NIV
Vintage Photo of U.S. Capital
Stock Photo of Statue of Liberty
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