I've been worried about our country for quite some time now. The new day of infamy, 911, awakened my concern for our nation in the face of the external threats from those who desire to see America fall. But I've been equally (if not more) concerned about the future of our civilization because of internal threats to our way of life. Anyone who is paying attention can see the shift away from government by the people toward government over the people. Socialism is emerging here, even after it has dramatically fallen around the world. I worry about the threat of a failing economy as we see, almost daily, the fruit of a greed-driven, debt-financed way of life. And it seems that the morality and ethics that once set America apart as a shining city on a hill have given way to a neo-barbarian impulse.
I've been doing a great deal of reading about the history of our nation, the founding principles, and the men and women who gave birth to America. I've been writing a great deal about this on my blog Keep Us Free and in columns and editorials at the newspaper where I serve on the editorial board. I've been calling for a reeducation about who we have been as a people, a determination to reclaim our liberty, and the activism necessary to do so. But in the back of my mind I find myself continually asking, "Can we as a people really ever become great again?"
And then I'm reminded by the words of George Washington (echoed at different times and in different ways by others among the founders), that the only way that a free society can survive is if it is a society of virtue that grows out of faith in God. Without Godliness, righteousness, and virtue, all of the writing, the speeches, and the activism in an attempt to restore American exceptionalism are meaningless. Before we can reclaim our manifest destiny as a nation, we must reclaim our recognition of, worship of, and dependence upon God.
I've often thought about what kind of person I would be if I had been born in different eras. If I had been born in the 1700's, I would be among the rebellion, eager to sign the Declaration of Independence and take up arms for the cause of freedom. If I had been born in the 1800's I probably would have been someone on the frontier, continually pushing westward to discover new lands. If I had been an adult during the 1960's I would probably be a long-haired, anti-establishment, social activist.
But here I am, 40 years old, in 2008, watching what I believe to be the final chapter of our nation being written. Though I think it's important for me, and all Americans, to be active in our political system, calling for a return to our principles of freedom, there is something more necessary for me to give my heart and mind to. If I am serious about the future of the country wherein I will grow old and my children will grow up, I must give myself to the purposes of the greater Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, and do all that I can to call people back to a recognition of, worship of, and dependency upon the only King who truly matters and holds all things together, the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from the righteousness found in such a dependency, there is no hope for this or any other nation.