Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Fourth

I haven't posted in a long while. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this morning, so I'll share a thought. Today is July 4th. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not only has God shown me his incomparable grace by calling me to be one of his children, but he has predetermined that I be born in the greatest nation in the history of the world. In fact, the two are very much related.

Because of the tyranny of the church and rulers who placed restrictions on Christians who wanted to read, interpret for themselves, and practice the Bible, hundreds of thousands had fled England and other European nations for the New World in the 1600s and 1700s. America, still under jurisdiction of the king of England, offered the opportunity for people to experience freedom because of three primary factors: 1) the king was far away, 2) the frontier (which made imposing rules difficult) was vast, and 3) the defining majority of those who came to the Colonies were English Puritans who brought several fundamental ideals that became intrinsically American. These ideals included the following: belief in God and biblical authority, human dignity, God’s grace, hard work & capitalism, the rule of law, religious freedom (they had experienced religious tyranny in England), representative democracy (republican polity and accountability), and low taxation.

However, America in the early 1700s was still a wild and untamed place (and I’m not talking about the Indians). Because of the vast frontier and the lack of law enforcement and the great amount of liberty and opportunity to own land, exploitation and crime was more the rule than the exception. Townships were weak, and the American church was (except for a few exceptions) splintered and separated by great distances. Then something profound happened: we know it as The Great Awakening. It is when America was saved. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the Colonies responded to the Gospel in a sweeping movement of God that defies reasonable explanation. It was after this revival of Christian religion that King George III came to power and patriotic sentiments began to stir in the Colonies. It is no accident that the vast majority of our founding fathers were committed Christians, a fact that is obvious in their writings.

In the last 80 years, another ideal has come to our shores—European Socialism. It is in many ways directly contradictory to the ideals that made us who we are. It is an “areligious” system of elitism and soft tyranny. It believes in the authority of the state (read: the government), which determines what activities are favored more than others, rather than the ultimate authority of God and the freedom of individuals under the protection and rule of law. It utilizes class envy and the promise of "progress" and "change" (indeed some proponents call themselves "progressives"). It encourages people to see themselves as victims and see the state as their savior. It seeks to empower elitists by creating a dependent voter base. It depends on dependence. It penalizes personal achievement by taxing those who make a profit, giving to those "disenfranchised" who pay little or no taxes at all! The "beneficiaries," who want to keep the tax burden on the "rich" ignore all manner of social engineering, loss of individual freedom, government intrusion, and moral decay AS LONG AS THEY CAN KEEP THEIR BENEFITS that their "victim" status affords them. And they will vote for any politician who will continue the deal. The "progress" the "progressives" desire almost always makes government bigger, creates dependencies, takes away freedoms, and costs taxpayers' money.

The soft tyranny of Socialism has been creeping its way into our culture and institutions (including the press) for decades. It has grown in its influence and is now about to overthrow the America we once knew as our government takes over companies, becomes less accountable & more bureaucratic, and spends trillions it doesn’t have that our children & grandchildren will! God has been removed from meaningful discussion and relegated to trivial lines in politicians’ speeches. True human rights—the right to life itself—is being sacrificed on alter of a “freedom” to do whatever I want, as abortion is made more available and the aged are not honored but considered an inconvenience.

I am profoundly thankful to God to be an American. I am profoundly concerned that we are moving fast in the wrong direction. Pray with me that God will awaken us before it is too late.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

It is scary to wonder what lies in store for our country. I just read a "fictional" account of Rahab's life, and the author described how she may have felt knowing that Jericho was about to be destroyed. I hope I have faith like hers if such a time comes to our country. I'm so thankful that my loyalty lies ultimately (and only) in the kingdom of God. Thanks for sharing.