No matter one’s political or religious persuasion, we can all agree that America, as we have known her, is in danger. The pressures of a long-endured economic downfall continue to challenge a nation desperately trying to find something solid to stand upon.
The problem is that her feet are slipping because she has moved a great distance from her foundation. We are falling because we are no longer standing on a firm foundation. We are headed into the unknown having abandoned the basic tenants of liberty. Except, we are not really headed to an unknown destination, for many a nation has passed into the extremes of socialism.
We are not trying something new, but something old. This old way has already been mapped out to its conclusion. We can review history to find out where we are headed. G.K. Chesterton opined that “every revolution is first a restoration.”
This nation was forged by a revolution that was, in fact, a restoration of biblical principles applied to national governance. Prior to the foundation of America, this had not been tried. John Locke had written extensively on the subject, but no nation had put it into effect.
The Federalists Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison were written in support of ratifying the Constitution. These essays delved deep into the history of the world demonstrating the failures of various types of government and the unique aspects of the newly designed Constitutional Republic. Even the democracies of antiquity would not come close to this new construct.
Republic cannot endure without a people
However, as Benjamin Franklin prophetically proclaimed, this Republic cannot endure without a people who maintain it and keep it secure. The Founders believed this government required a well-educated and moral people who held steadfast to biblical morality.
Alexis De Tocqueville visited America to uncover the secret of her revolutionary success as the French were in the throes of a very different revolution. Tocqueville discovered that America’s strength was in her churches and that the only way she could suffer destruction was if she fell internally.
We are now at the crux of this internal implosion.
We can cave in on ourselves from the inside, due to our fall from the values that made America strong, or we can rediscover those values, reclaim the lost years, and rebuild on the only rock that can shoulder a nation.
For centuries Christianity lent the values that underpin the Constitution of these United States. However, the more privatized Christianity became, the more irrelevant it became to the culture at large. Christians often blame the world for its troubles, but we forget that sinners sin and it is our job to be the light in the darkness.
Personal transformation and Cultural reformation
To reclaim our nation, we must reclaim ourselves, our families, and our areas of influence. We start closest to home and move outward. Jesus explained in order to remove the speck from our brother’s eye; we must first remove the plank from ours. As long as the plank remains we remain immobile, bound by our own constraints. Once those constraints are removed we can mobilize to free people from their captivities and restore culture to a healthy society.
The Church is currently in a process of change that will cause it to once again birth the reformers necessary for national transformation. The healing of a nation is not found in a legalized theocracy, but in a people that are fully transformed, living in unity free from personal bondage. If our goal is to create a great nation, we are more likely to avoid the mistake of thinking a religious nation makes a great nation.
Christians have often seen a healthy nation as one that is overt “Christian” in all that they do. But there is a difference between having a Bible on one’s desk and applying good principles of wisdom that makes life work. We need to teach the principles rather than fighting to put Bibles in public places.
If we do not rediscover our heritage and restore our people to that stable foundation, we will lose not only the battle but the war. America is in dire straits. She needs people who are willing to live with civic responsibility. If we see our government as our representatives who must bear this burden alone, we will not be able to solve the problems.
We need to dig into our history.
Set aside the history textbooks, and find the actual primary documents left to us by the Founding Fathers. Read them and discover why we are here and what it takes to regain America. We need a reemergence of the Spirit of ’76. We need to hear the sounds of liberty upon these shores once again.
America can be transformed, but it will take a revolutionary spirit in the everyday people of this great nation to bring it about. We must pick up our mantle of being the people of this Republic.