Christianity in Today's America
8/22/12 at 10:47 AM 0 Comments

The Price of Liberty, Part 3: Breaking the Covenant

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This is the third post in my blog series, titled: The Price of Liberty. You can read the first two posts here and here.

No country is perfect, but I choose to live in this country because there is no nation I love or respect more than these United States. And there is no other place where people have more freedom.

A fact to consider about the United States: There is no other place more hospitable or more caring.

People can point out the problems we have in this country such as homelessness and corruption in government. However, if we compare this country to the rest of the world, it would be hard to top this nation. Why is this so? The so-called goodness of this mighty nation is because it was founded and built for the honor and glory of God, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence.

For more than 100 years following the Declaration of Independence, this nation continued on its godly path. In 1892, the Supreme Court’s decision in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States said:

Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise, and in this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian ... This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation.

The Court ruling continued:

We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth . . . These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that is a Christian nation.

After reviewing the Court’s ruling in 1892 and considering some of the Supreme Court’s rulings in the last 40 to 50 years, we need to ask: Why has the great dream of our Founding Fathers turned into a nightmare?

  • Why has Christianity in America become the object of ridicule?
  • Why do our governments take on such enormous levels of debt?
  • Why is sexual immorality rampant in the entertainment industry, while out-of-wedlock births soar and traditional families decline?
  • Why do our young people turn to drugs at such alarming rates?
  •  Why is the rise of Islamic extremism treated with such complacency and ignorance?

To answer these questions and others about our current problems in America, we need to turn to the Bible. Some 4,000 years ago, God called the nation of Israel to be His chosen people and made the same promises to them that He made to our founding fathers. These praises are set forth in Deuteronomy 28:1-6:

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

Deuteronomy 28 also contains the curses that follow if the people refuse to follow God and walk in obedience. Verse 15 makes clear: “If you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”

The curses are spelled out in the remaining verses of 28.

In the Old Testament, the people understood that to keep the covenant meant life. To break or disobey the covenant meant abandoning it and facing certain death. America’s Founding Fathers, by signing the Declaration of Independence, were actually covenanting with God.

Throughout the 200 years that ensued, the nation went through good times and bad, and made its share of mistakes. However, in recent times, our nation has deliberately and systematically chosen to drift away from God in the following ways:

  • We willfully broke the covenant of the Founding Fathers.
  • We tampered with God’s absolute standards—the Ten Commandments.
  • We ridiculed Christian believers while acquiescing to Islamic demands and ignoring Islamic misdeeds and oppression.
  • We began to tolerate the same sin that brought destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah—calling it an alternative lifestyle.
  • Our courts that once legislated against immorality began to grant freedom to everyone. And “everyone did as he saw fit” (Judges 17:6).
  • Our courts have allowed murder on demand—what can we expect?
  • Our courts have expelled prayer from the schools, so we should not be surprised at the problems that replaced it: drugs, teen alcoholism, teen pregnancy, promiscuity, and children killing children at school.

Sadly, these problems no longer shock many in our nation. Jeremiah’s words ring true: “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15)?

America has forgotten what it is to blush, and our eyes have grown accustomed to the darkness. Yet the most distressing situation is that whenever someone tries to point out the root of these problems—

  • He is labeled old-fashioned.
  • He is labeled a bigot.
  • He is labeled intolerant.

We should be intolerant to the ills of our society, and we should be especially intolerant of godlessness and wickedness.

The reason that this great nation is beset with problems and corruption is because our lawmakers and courts have deliberately and systematically distanced themselves from the covenant that the founding fathers made with God. We must recognize that this is the disease that ails us before we can hope to turn things around.

In my next post, we will consider Jeremiah’s message to the people of Judah after they had succumbed to a spiritual breakdown, and how his message is relevant to us today.

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