Monday, January 18, 2016

The Great Pillars of Society: Morality & Religion

"The great pillars of all government and of social life are virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor... and this alone, that renders us invincible." -Patrick Henry, Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8 1799

There is something missing from our republic.  It's something obvious, something vital.  It brings light to the mind and thoughts of glory into action.  Yet it's missing.  It's gone somewhere; but where has it gone?  It's become a black hole of sorts: a giant vacuum in the heart of the United States.  Yet if you watched the television media for hours on end, it would be carefully excluded from the discussion.  

An insidious sort of breakdown has occurred.  Today they finish off the job, silencing that vacuum.  It aches the heart.   Because within we can feel it, that a great dignity is neglected.  We can sense that the most important part of being a human being has been excluded.  

It's what makes society possible.  It's what stirs in good men a desire to fight a noble fight and die in the service of a noble cause:  It's the human desire to aspire to be better than we are.  

A man who is rock solid, standing on his principles, living his life through the eyes of a moral framework is the natural state of the prosperous human.  It's the default state of a United States citizen.  But something has happened.  Something related to the media, something related to public education, something related to warring ideologies, and something related to the war on religious thought.  

Undergirding the moral frame within the mind of a man of honor is a dedication to his religion.  And by religion, Patrick Henry and George Washington and many others meant the diverse expressions of Christianity through it's various denominational windows.

Something special was born when morality and religion were combined; something incredibly powerful, something that could defeat the British empire, something that could stand against the Nazis, the Soviet Union, great depressions, and natural disasters.  

It was the incredible formulation of religious freedom and moral responsibility.  They called it liberty; American liberty.  A liberty that required vigilance and consistent watchfulness.  And it required for every farm hand and iron smith to be educated and actively participating in the preservation of that system. 

Flash forward to today and we find our nation mired in the ditch.  It's true.  For our country has fallen far from it's roots.  It's fallen far from the teachings of the founding fathers.  

The founding fathers were not perfect, but they were inspired of God. Which is why our system works so well.  Of course it's not perfect.  But it has functioned very well, for a free society to flourish.  Yet we see that our society is beginning to crumble under the weights of moral depravity, economic stagnation, political corruption, and spiritual bankruptcy.

"America is in moral decline as domestic adversaries dismantle our nation's twin pillars of "religion and morality." Christians must unite and fight back or we will certainly lose our religious liberties and basic freedoms! The American Revolution was born from the spiritual foundation of the Great Awakening. Pastors and patriots rose up to fight side by side. We need that resolve again."
-Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman Liberty Counsel

It's as if we've lost something that we can't quite comprehend.  We grasp for it.  We can sense it.  We can feel it.  But we're not allowed to talk about it.  And it never comes up in the discussion or in the media.  

At some point we as a nation lost focus, we started to drift in a hundred different directions.  We drifted away from the truth.  Perhaps it was in the glare of pretty lights and dynamic processing machines.  Or perhaps it was in the bulbs of the television screens.  

 "We became so involved and fascinated by the intricacies of television that we found it a little more convenient to stay at home than to come to church. It was an unconscious thing. We didn’t mean to do it. We didn’t just go up and say, now God, you’re gone. We had gone a whole day’s journey, and then we came to see that we had unconsciously ushered God out of the universe. A whole day’s journey-didn’t mean to do it. We just became so involved in things that we forgot about God." -Martin Luther King Jr, 28 Feb 1954, Rediscovering Lost Values

We lost touch with who we are.  And who we are is a nation based on a Godly standard.  We are a nation who flourished in the strength of the pillars of moral virtue and religious thought.  That's something that still holds sway in smaller towns and medium size cities in the United States.  But in the violent major cities of our nation, a different dynamic is taking hold.  A dynamic based on authoritarian governance for a depraved, selfish human population. 

But it wasn't me who lost touch.  In fact, I was never taught the truth growing up.  I, myself as well as the millennials and the gen exers are those raised by and taught by those that supplanted the Judaeo-Christian worldview.  Or if you like, natural law.  

They replaced natural law with legal positivism.  They replaced the religious worldview with naturalism.  They replaced personal responsibility with group responsibility.  And they're looking to replace capitalism with democratic socialism.  In reaction to this, the United States has had to become increasingly authoritarian to reign in the chaos erupting out of these failed ideologies.  

The evidence should be very clear: These values do not work.  These values include naturalism, the view that categorically excludes the supernatural and views the universe as a closed system.  That's the base.  Atheism, the view that there is absolutely no God.  That's the outworking from naturalism into the area of religious thought.  Also included would be Darwinism, the view that all life evolved from one base, from rocks to goo through the zoo, to you.  Given naturalism, that there is no supernatural, and given atheism that there is no personal God, then Darwinism is a necessity to explain the fact of the existence of a complex, yet precisely harmonious universe.  

But how can Darwinism explain the existence of humanity?  And just like that, within the realm of neo-Darwinism we have a magician and his name is time.  And time takes his top hat, matter, and pulls out a rabbit, the superbly complex yet infinitely harmonious observable universe.  And the human being... and the human eye.  Time must be quite a magician.  And I thought naturalism had precluded the supernatural.  Time + matter + chance = the miraculous?  

These views that have been used to shift our nation away from religious thought are failed ideologies, useless, and unable to provide an acceptable framework for a prosperous society.  They lead to moral depravity and corruption.

From the vacuum of spiritual darkness provided by naturalism, atheism, and neo-Darwinism we have something called humanism: the idea that there is something special about the human race, without any God around.  

Then you get worldviews and political ideologies like communism and socialism.  These views see humans as basically good, and therefore able to work in total equality and harmony.  Yet the systemic corruption growing in the United States is the best evidence against such a theory.  The human heart tends toward wealth, power, pleasure, and corruption.  It's a hard fact to swallow.  But look at our nation: The framers of our country set up intricate checks and balances between government agencies, as well as a Constitution to limit the powers of the Federal government.  Why did they bother to do this?  Because they knew man's heart tends to seek power: absolute power.  They knew they had to build in protections against that.  Within socialism and communism, those kinds of checks and balances don't exist.  Those are systems built for angels.  Men are not angels, therefore when communism is tried it ends in genocide. A few corrupt men set themselves at the top of the equality system and use it for their own ends.  Eventually millions die, like in Stalin's Russia. It doesn't work, it never has, and never will.  Because men are not angels.  But modern humanists and progressives can't comprehend this, because they refuse to face the reality of the state of man. 

"...only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt & vicious, they have more need of masters." -Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Messrs. The Abbes Chalut and Arnaud, April 17, 1787

The "secular" worldview, if you will, is systemically illogical, contradictory, and unsustainable. It's a worldview.  It's a set of presuppositions about life, the universe, the human race, and who we are.  Spawned from these presuppositions are all manner of views: Progressivism, eugenics, Freudian psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, self help psychology, and all forms of Marxism. It's destroying western civilization and the people of the west are in complete denial about that fact.  They refuse to see it.  No matter how much debt piles up, they can't see it.  No matter how far the west descends into moral depravity, people don't want to see the self-evident truth.  

When a school shooting takes place, the presuppositional response of a humanist, a modernist; is that the gun is the problem.  Why?  Because man is basically good, it can't be a moral problem.  Tucked into the humanist view is that if man is evil, it's because social institutions corrupted him.  Guess which they go after?  Christianity and the church.  How ironic, don't you think?    

"And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." -C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

G.K. Chesterton said that if you abolish the God, then the government becomes God.  We see that with the political far left.  Every time there is a problem or a social ill, the government needs to fix it.  The government is appealed to for everything from racism to gun violence.  The government needs to fix all of it!  In stark contrast is the Christian worldview, which understands that if man is shooting up schools, then there is a heart problem with the man.  It's not a problem of laws or objects, but of the reigning moral views within the culture.  

"Some things in this universe are absolute. The God of the universe has made it so. And so long as we adopt this relative attitude toward right and wrong, we’re revolting against the very laws of God himself." -Martin Luther King Jr. 28 Feb 1954, Rediscovering Lost Values

Sometimes I sit back and think... is there any hope for western civilization?  Is there any hope for the United States?  And I'm reminded that prayer can change the world.  This doesn't have to be a Jeremiah situation.  There is definitely a way forward.  But it will take the movement of a sleepy church to action.  It will take patriots who are willing to dig in and work hard, long term.  We've been pessimistic, apathetic, and disengaged for far too long.  That is the message from every preacher who touches on this issue, from Dutch Sheets to Franklin Graham to James Dobson and many others.  The church has to wake up, repent, and take a stand.  

I'm sure some might wonder: But what if the modernists are right?  What if our current culture is right in believing that God is dead?  Could they be right?  Doesn't all their science and skepticism prove that God is gone?  

I'll refer you to the agnostic scientist, Dr. David Burlinski's evaluation of the science communities forays into atheism: 

“Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? 
Not even close. 

Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? 
Not even close. 

Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? 
Not even close. 

Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? 
Close enough. 

Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? 
Not close enough. 

Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. 

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? 
Close enough. 

Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? 
Not even in the ball park. 

Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”
― David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

God's not dead.  God is alive.  He's watching carefully. The divides are so powerful, but God remains sovereign.  We are his church, the body of Christ on Earth.  What we do matters!  What one person, a single man does, can change the entire world.  Don't let anyone sell you the lie that you can't change things.  Don't submit to apathy and sorrow.  Take a dogged stand and refuse to be dissuaded.  

There are two great pillars that make the United States a functional and prosperous republic: morality and religion.  Morality, the ability to discern right and wrong, and then choose right.  The Constitution of our nation was designed for a people who would not need 10,000 laws to be governed by, because within each person there would be one law: the moral law.  Thus, they would be self-governing.  But morality could not exist in a vacuum.  Morality was and is inexorably linked to religion, and by religion, the founders meant the various forms and denominations of Christianity.  One cannot be consistently moral apart from God, one needs a religious foundation.  When morality was linked with the foundation of trust in God then an individual could truly be self-governing.  As it says on our currency to this day: "In God We Trust."

"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 labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity." -George Washington, Farewell Address 

There is hope for us.  There is still hope.  There is great weakness, it's true.  We're divided and leaderless.  But there is still hope.  There is still strength in the men of the west.  There is still a fundamental desire to do right, despite the many temptations around us.  

I'm seeing something very special happening in my time.  It's something that I had hoped for, for the past ten years.  I'm seeing that people are waking up.  People are beginning to see the truth about the corruption in our society, in our government, and in our media and banking institutions.  

Principled young men and women are rising up to take a stand for the truth.  Christians are gathering together to rise up from the drowning oceans of progressive noise in the media, in academia, and in the sciences.  Young people ache at the political correctness.  I'm seeing young people waking up by the thousands.  It's a beautiful thing.  But we need to organize.  We need a plan.  Here are some thoughts on how we can do that.

This is what we can do:  

We must re-engage. - Too many Christians are completely disengaged.  According to James Dobson, only 50% of evangelicals are registered to vote.  And only 25% will tend to go and actually vote on election days.  That's not acceptable. I understand why.  It's tough.  It's extremely disheartening to be engaged.  It's insanely frustrating.  But that's what we're called to.  We're called to participate.  So we must.  Or we've already lost.  Period.  But it's much more than political engagement.  It's cultural engagement.  It's gathering for a push into all areas: academia, the sciences, government, the arts, music, cinema, and all major cultural institutions.  The situation in politics today is simply the result of the secular progressive conquest of the universities, media, and cultural institutions.  We need to retake those institutions or we're doomed.  We can, we will.

We must innovate. - The thing about a morally depraved culture is that they lose the ability to innovate and develop new technology.  Art suffers under moral depravity.  If we are willing to stand in Jesus Christ, pure and holy, and live principled lives then we have all the tools necessary to be the innovators and movers of society.  By doing this, we can within 50-75 years render corrupt institutions irrelevant simply by innovating and transforming current industries.

We must organize. - Why is it that progressives and atheists are so well organized and Christians and conservatives aren't?  We need to organize and stand united.  This is so difficult in the United States.  But there are so many Bible verses that emphasize oneness.  How can the church, the body of Christ, stand united?  Given Protestantism my first reaction would to be say "It's impossible. There are too many ideas and too many rivalries."  It's not impossible.  Nothing is impossible with God.  If we believe, we can make it happen.  We can stand united, because now is the time to unite.  If we don't unite against this common enemy, then we'll most certainly hang separately. 

We must set clear goals.- Goals are vital.  I've read recently about a list of 45 communist goals that were intended to help circumvent western civilization.  They were read into the Congressional record in the 1950s, from a book called "The Naked Communist." I'm still learning about this situation, but it reminded me that goals are vital. We need clear cut goals, achievable goals.  If secularists make a list of 45 goals to fundamentally transform America, then we need to make a list of 50 goals to reclaim our nation.  Goals are vital, otherwise we're sticks in the wind, geese flying in formation, but not in any given direction.

We must work together. - There are a lot of lone wolfs out there.  I've often been guilty of that.  But the best way to make a difference is when we unite and work on common goals.  Lone wolfs aren't the way to win this.  We need to gather together and hold doggedly to creeds and missions, not over months or years, but over decades and longer. 

We must stand firmly morally.- We can't help redeem a depraved culture if we look just like that culture.  I'm tired of seeing churches take cues from the world about what to believe.  We trust the Bible, not the shifting opinions of the world.  But standing morally begins on a personal basis.  If I'm smoking dope every other week, and drinking and sleeping around with girls, there is no reason to think I will be able to impact others.  My life and how I live it speaks volumes.  Living rightly, in holiness starts with me on a day to day basis, prayerfully standing against temptation and refusing to submit to sinful lusts.  This is about making hard decisions when a quick fix is placed before us.  This has been a thorn in the side of Christianity in the west, first with the Catholic priests molesting boys, later on with high profile minister after high profile minister being caught up in public sex scandals, infidelity.  It's a disgrace and it ruins the witness of an entire generation of Christians.  We've got to stand firm on a personal basis and also on an organizational basis.  That means that we're willing to call out our own people, those in our party, or in our own church when they do something that is obviously wrong or corrupt.  We don't need more party partisans, we need people actually working for the common good.  And those who stand for the truth and live for the truth, wherever it leads. 

We must refuse to become jaded.- The temptation to throw our arms up in the air is huge.  There is so much evil, so much destruction, so much sexual depravity, human trafficking, corruption in D.C., school shootings; so much madness that it becomes completely overwhelming.  We are forced by the agony of it to disengage and retreat.  But I'm asking you to refuse that.  When the worldly clamors threaten to turn your skiff, turn instead to the holy scriptures.  Let them inspire you, rejuvenate you, and fill you.  Don't let the faucet always be pouring in the bad news from the world, but instead switch the faucet over to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Pace yourself carefully, know when you've had enough for the day, that way you'll remain in hope.

We must pray to God.- Appeal to heaven brothers and sisters.  This makes all the difference.  Without prayer, we might as well not even try. But with prayer, everything will change.  When events and situations are bathed in prayer, it's shocking.  You can see a situation that seemed utterly hopeless suddenly transformed into a new hope for the future.  It's happened time and again in history.  Think of Great Britain's dogged stand against Nazi Germany.  The entire free world held on by a knife edge, as Winston Churchill led Great Britain through the darkest hours of night, alone, facing a powerful enemy.  It looked impossible, France was conquered and the remains of the British army were being shuttled across the channel by fishermen and private citizens.  Yet everything changed, the U.S.A. became involved and the war was won.  Think of George Washington, our first president, as he prepared to engage in battle with the most powerful army in the world.  As he took command of the continental army and was apprised of the situation, he was told that his army had almost no gun powder.  And the colonies had no ability to produce gun powder.  It was recalled that George Washington went silent when hearing this news, and seemed horrified by the situation.  Yet later in the war General Washington led a surprise attack against the enemy on Christmas day.  And it worked.  Washington's fleet was tiny and the British dominated the waterways.  It was fitting then that George Washington commissioned the fleet with the "Appeal to Heaven" flag flying on the flagship.  The appeal of the colonies was successful and a Christian nation was born.

We must obtain all our strength from the Holy Spirit.- If you think that this is impossible, that we can never retake our country, well, you're right.  It is impossible.  But in the power of the Holy Spirit and only by the power of God, does it become possible.  And it is more than certain in the power of God, because it's achieved by God, not by man.  When you are tired and befuddled seek the Holy Spirit.  He gives grace, and more grace.

We must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.- The gospel of Jesus Christ is what drove the first colonists to settle on this continent.  Missionaries and Christian movements have transformed entire civilizations.  It can happen today.  Jesus Christ is alive and active in the world today.  You can believe in Jesus, because he is here with you now.  He is at work through your actions.  He is real.   

Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you. -Philippians 4:4-9 CE

The time is now friends.  There is still hope for our nation.  We can take a stand.  We can change the world.  Young people are the future.  You are the future.  Be the change you wish to see.  Never give up, never stop fighting.  Stand firm, no matter what.  Stand on the principles of God.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and believe in the righteousness of our cause.  May God be with you all, amen.  
"That’s what we need in the world today-people who will stand for right and goodness. It’s not enough to know the intricacies of zoology and biology. But we must know the intricacies of law. It is not enough to know that two and two makes four. But we’ve got to know somehow that it’s right to be honest and just with our brothers. It’s not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines. But we’ve got to know the simple disciplines, of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don’t learn it, we will destroy ourselves, by the misuse of our own powers... 

....if we are to go forward today, we’ve got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we’ve left behind. That’s the only way that we would be able to make of our world a better world, and to make of this world what God wants it to be and the real purpose and meaning of it. The only way we can do it is to go back, and rediscover some mighty precious values that we’ve left behind." -Martin Luther King Jr, 28 Feb 1954, Rediscovering Lost Values

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