"God grants His people no furloughs in the 'good fight of faith' (1 Tim. 6:12) to which He has called them," wrote A.W. Pink, "and should they take one, then their enemies will inevitably prove too strong, nor will the Captain of their salvation fight their battles for them."
Judging by the shape and tone of American culture today, it is apparent that Christendom took the last century off.
An exceptional nation had been founded in the 17th and 18th century by virtuous people. The founders recognized and understood that God's loyalty and fidelity, which safeguards a nation, depends upon the righteousness of its people. To promulgate integrity and rectitude, our Christian predecessors created a biblically-based curriculum as the centerpiece of public education.
Wisely conceived and orchestrated, the curriculum placed the Bible as the focal point of all of society. A.W. Pink explains the reason behind this: "The truth is that the most illiterate babe in Christ has a capacity to understand spiritual things that an unregenerate university graduate does not possess. The plainest and simplest word from God is far above the reach of the natural faculties."
Arriving at the shores of America, William Penn put this worldview aptly into words: "Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad." All that was required was a close relationship with God and thorough knowledge of His Word.
Solomon taught that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Fear of the Lord is fundamental to knowledge. "What the alphabet is to reading, notes [are] to music, and numerals to mathematics, the fear of the Lord is to attaining the revealed knowledge of [Scripture]."
The question has been asked that if America's Founding Fathers wanted to establish Christianity as the official religion of America, why didn't they just say so? Actually, they did. Just take a look at the Constitutions of the 13 original states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland.
Human nature being however what it is, perfection was never achieved, except by one who walked this earth some 2,000 years ago. In spite of this, "a relative healthiness and vigor have frequently marked" God's people.
"Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold" (Prov. 18:10), Solomon advised. Wisdom will brook no rival (read: secularism).
With the removal some 55 years ago of prayer to Jehovah and study of the Bible from public education, God was abandoned. The secular doctrine of education stands in stark contrast to that of Christianity. Whereas secular education focuses on natural man, Christian education recognizes that God requires conformity to His laws.
Having embraced a different god in 1963, public education has now lapsed into something like "let's make men less toxic, make men less masculine ... make men like women. The current trend is to feminize young men in the hope of achieving some utopian notion of equality and peace. And it starts at the earliest ages ... we tell young men that their intrinsic desire to compete is wrong. 'Everybody gets a trophy', 'don't run up the score'; the anti-male tilt runs through higher education and into the work place."
In this context, we need to remind ourselves that "social conditions are the repercussions of ecclesiastical ones; the state of the world is largely a reflection of the state of the churches. As the breakdown of parental authority in the home was preceded by lack of discipline in the assembly, the disregard of law in the state by the jettisoning of God's Law by the pulpit, so the apathy of artisans is but a shadowing forth of the indolence of the majority of professing Christians."
Christianity demands human nature to change. Christ describes the requisite type of change: "... unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3b). Or to paraphrase A.W. Pink: A man can neither live before he is born, nor can a dead man regulate his life. No man can live godward until he has been born again.
Hence, the Founding Fathers' call for character-building in America's youth. "The new birth is an imperative necessity because the natural man is altogether devoid of spiritual life. It is not that he is ignorant and needs instruction; it is not that he is feeble and needs invigorating; it is not that he is sickly and needs doctoring. His case is far, far worse. He is dead in trespasses and sins."
The trouble with man turns out to be man himself.
Secular America knows nothing of the ABCs of spiritual renewal. The present crop of politicians provides a perfect example of this. They are busy brewing legislative concoctions that effect no cures, thereby invariably creating consequences that cause the latter situation to be worse than the former.
Which brings us to Bernie Sanders. His morally deficient followers are not cut from the same cloth as the 20-year-old boys of Pointe du Hoc who saved a nation.
Bernie's backers include 20-something-year-old-boys-living-at-home-with-Mommy-and-Daddy. Lacking parental authority, moral virtue and personal discipline, they comprise the most inveterate apostates.
Spiritual men and women must come to the fore if America is to survive. America needs Gideons and Rahabs to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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