By Tom Stark
Everyone these days has a formula that will result in “transformation” of America. Transformation has been turned into a dirty word in many minds since the dawn of the Obama administration’s effort the “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” But transformation can take a significance to those of the more conservative bent if one looks at transformation as a two-way operation. Transformation can be any reform that changes America from the current state to a better state (which also depends on what one considers “better.”)
What I am referring to in the title as “reform” refers to an effort to make America what it was a half-century or more back in time. At the mid-point of the twentieth century America was at its zenith. The economy was booming, families were thriving, churches were pretty near full, schools were rates the best in the world, each school day started with a Bible reading, the Lord’s Prayer, and Pledge to the Flag. But that was only part of the story. Divorce was far less common than it is today. Churches were the primary supporters of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, food pantries, and the like. Schools focused on the academic subjects as opposed to sex education, social engineering, etc., and had little to do with politics. Schools in America were rated the envy of the entire world. About the only major negative that existed at that point was racial discrimination and segregation. I will address that one separately below.
The balance of the things mentioned were definitely positive aspects of life in America. The balance of these things did not infringed on anyone’s rights. The balance of these things did not stop anyone from doing whatever they wanted to do as long as it did not infringe on other citizens’ rights, and did not negatively impact public health. Most importantly, the federal government was far smaller and far less intrusive than is currently the case.
Because discrimination based on race was so wide-spread and was successfully thwarted in the early sixties with the passage of a conservative-supported Civil Rights Act of 1965, everyone would have to agree that this change should in no way be diminished in the process of any “transformation” or “reform” of America today, so we should agree that we will set aside this one for the balance of this discussion and move on.
All of the other things mentioned above could be made to live again in American life, and this is my effort to set down a blueprint from which meaningful efforts to make it happen can spring.
The roots of America, in spite of progressive thinking to the contrary, are set deeply in its Christian heritage. One need only read the many sermons and papers of revolutionary period pastors to know that they were extremely active in the political life of the colonies both before and after the War of Independence. The very first thing Congress did after the election of George Washington as the first President was to walk – en masse – several blocks from the hall where they met in New York to the Chapel at the edge of what is now the Port Authority of New York property where they dedicated their new country to serving God and doing God’s will. That chapel still stands in the same spot and, while buildings all around it were seriously damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of the 9-11-2001 attack on the World Trade Center Towers, it sustained only superficial damage. These facts are easily verifiable if there are any out there that find these statements offensive or doubtful in their minds.
What happened in the latter mid-century period (1960-1965) was the beginning of decline in America as more and more Americans began to succumb to a secular view that said that Americans can worship as they pleased, but should set that aside whenever they step into the “public square” of political activity or government operations. As this viewpoint took hold – cemented in stone with a decision of our Supreme Court – prayer was removed from our schools and other public activities. With it went any protection we might have expected from our merciful God. The following half century saw America’s place in the world suffer numerous setbacks. Vietnam, Watergate, Tehran embassy, numerous terrorist bombings, high-jacking, crime waves, rising divorce, increased apathy on the part of those Christians who took their faith seriously but failed to make the connection of faith and government activities. All of these things contributed to the slide that we have taken and continue to take with every passing day. The 70’s brought further deterioration with another momentous court decision – Roe v. Wade – which pushed America closer to the cliff with horrendous reductions in respect for life as a sacred and valued right of the unborn.
Today there is little support from many in this country for anything that passes for morality. Is there any wonder we have fallen from the pinnacle of our success following World War II – a war that saw America as the source of salvation for so many people in so many places across the world that would have otherwise found themselves trapped under despotic rule and unfathomable atrocities? Meanwhile, seventy percent or more of Americans still “identify” as “Christian.” Is there something wrong with this picture?
Yes. Very simply…everything is wrong. Here’s what needs to happen to bring America back to greatness.
In the past two elections, nearly 25 million citizens who profess to be members of the family of God sat out those elections and allowed others to decide what kind of government we would have. Because those millions of “Christians” chose to “drink the Kool-Aid” that suggests that faith has no place in the public square, the balance was shifted to the secular progressives of America and as a result they have dominated Presidential politics – inflicting Barack Hussein Obama on America for what seems like an endless eight year period. When you consider the best margin of victory President Obama experienced was about three or four percent, 25 million Christian votes could have easily swung the pendulum of political viewpoint back to the conservative side where it belongs and slowed the rapid descent we have been seeing in this decade. We can stop this in 2016. It is really not a difficult plan to follow.
What it will take is for every pastor – no, not even “every” pastor, but a lot of them – to pray and seek their own voice. A voice rooted in Biblical truth that makes no mention of Christians avoiding contact with political life at all. To the contrary, the Bible tells us that all government is ordained by God for the good of the people. What we sometimes forget is that what appears to be bad for us is often God sending a message to us that we are on the wrong path and need to re-think our actions and direction. By giving us bad and over-controlling government, God could just be giving us a taste of what Satan will be like should we continue to follow him instead of God. That’s where we are headed at present. No doubt about that.
Perhaps we need to do what is promised in Chronicles and turn back to God, seek His forgiveness, and humble ourselves by acknowledging our failures and asking him for strength to regain our moral compass. Perhaps we need to acknowledge that we have been wrong about the mythical “separation of church and state” and make a concerted effort to return our governance to the kind that acknowledges the grace and power of Almighty God in everything we say and do. Perhaps we need to become God-fearing again.
Yes, many will scoff and jeer. Many will continue to vote for the party that promises the most goodies to make them more comfortable in this world instead of the people who will help them prepare for the next world that we hope to be a part of. But if the pastors awaken their congregations and do everything within their power to see that as many as possible exercise their sacred right to vote for the government officials who best exemplify Biblical principles, perhaps the ship will turn and God will see it. Some pastors will continue to fear reprisal for speaking out. Some pastors will want to protect their “kingdoms” on earth in spite of what they know is a better place in Heaven.
But some pastors who have been silent in the past are beginning to step up and speak out. Organizations such as the Black Robe Regiment guided and supported by Wallbuilders’ leader, David Barton, have served as a catalyst for this gradual awakening. Its ranks grow every month. These pastors have committed to become active, speak out, and encourage their congregations to engage the issues facing us in every election whether local, state, or national. If Christians do no step forward in the style of “Onward, Christian Soldiers” we have no room to gripe or cry when the secular juggernaut continues to gather steam and push us closer to the cliff leading to the pits of Hell. Make no mistake. That’s exactly where our country is headed unless we embrace and revive our commitment to God and Country.
If you are a pastor – take heed. Your leadership will either make or break the effort. If you are a believer, challenge your pastor and support him when controversy arrives at your church’s doorstep. Stand strong with him in speaking out and encouraging followers of Christ to vote their values and conscience instead of what feels good in the present or who has what letter behind his/her name. Ask them to help see through the chaff to the wheat among candidates, and support him if and when there is backlash from government entities attempting to use their power to stifle the Christian voices.
Together, Christians still represent the largest block of voters in America. Together, we can find and elect leaders of integrity, honesty, humility, and commitment to Godly principles that will lead our country out of darkness and into the light of God’s glory. It is where our country began and where it can stand again. If every voting Christian took one non-voting Christian to the polls with him/her in 2016, that election is a lock for our side. We cannot lose. It’s up to you. Think about it!
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