The United States have never been so disunited as they are today. We have lost the central moral standards that bound us together. At one time, even though various political factions had different ideas about how to accomplish their goals for the country, everyone at least had the same general goal and the same moral framework within which we all could operate. That moral framework was the Word of God as presented through the Judeo-Christian scriptures. Everyone in the country could agree that certain things were good and certain things were bad. Those moral standards were presented in the Bible. We lost our cohesiveness as a nation when our citizens began living like God’s Word was no longer necessary.
From the beginning, people worked hard to get their own favored candidates elected, but if their candidates lost, the citizens still got behind the government that was elected. As a nation, we took to heart the biblical admonition, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (I Timothy 2:1-2). But then we quit praying for and caring for one another. Instead, we get “not my president” and “all Trump supporters are evil” and other assorted hatefulness that does nothing to help build America.
Another scripture that Americans ignore says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
When the country began denigrating and belittling Christian values, we lost our moral compass as a nation. Now we don’t even know what innocence is, what evil is, or even what truth is. And too many people don’t seem to care. Christianity is not a religion based on a bunch of rules that begin with “Thou shalt not….” Christianity is a relationship with the living God that is created for us by Jesus Christ, who by His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead created for us an escape from Hell, an entry into Heaven, and a way to live until we get there. God’s moral compass is not a legalistic set of rules, but rather the results of a new relationship with God.
Pity the people who think that ignoring God’s moral code gives them freedom. It doesn’t. It makes them slaves to the consequences of immoral choices. And those who make those choices do not have any idea what they are missing. Image someone feeling pretty good about himself for finding a really good fast-food joint and eating every meal there. They have no idea what they are missing by not eating at the finest steak restaurant in town – especially since someone else has offered to pick up the tab. It isn’t the best analogy, but it serves a purpose when you think about all the fast-food denizens who attack and belittle the people who are otherwise just like them, except that they have chosen to enjoy steak dinners that someone else has provided.
As a nation, we no longer know what truth is because we have so many different voices shrilling out their own competing, incompatible claims as to what truth actually is. When we were a Christian nation, we knew what truth was. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is more than a good man who gave us moral codes. He is truth itself. When we reject Him, we reject truth. It is obvious in the news today that America as a nation has rejected genuine truth.
God admonished another delinquent people with these words:
“Has a nation changed [to other] gods, even though they are not gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:11-13)
By rejecting the truth of God, we choose our broken values over the rivers of goodness God offers.
Christians have done a terrible job of helping the nation maintain its moral compass. Many non-Christians have actively worked to subvert that moral compass. And now the nation is suffering for it. Profanity, obscenity, promiscuity, lies, rebellion, theft, murder, and all manner of evil are now not only common occurrences, but apparently accepted parts of our daily lives. This all comes from losing our moral compass as a nation.
We used to be “one nation under God.” When we were, we were great. Now that we are not, we have impoverished ourselves. Unless we return to the God of our forefathers, our nation will wither away into oblivion.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.