THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION --- AND AMERICA’S MORAL CRISIS
Since our Nation’s establishment--the Revolution in 1776 and the ratifying of the Constitution in 1787--a shift has occurred in American political attitude that is totally alien to our Founding Fathers. The noble perspective our ancestors held and which separates them from modern legislators, is this: Today’s liberal politicians are more concerned about their own short-term success than they are of the Nation’s long-term survival. In contrast, the Founders pledged their “lives, fortunes, sacred honor,” in defense of freedom; before the Revolution ended many lost everything they owned. British troops chased John Hart through the swamps of New Jersey, forcing him and others to live like animals. Of the 55 framers of the Constitution, at least 50 were practicing Christians. James Madison, a guiding influence in the drafting of that amazing document, boldly declared at the conclusion of their work: "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government but upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
That same Constitution which Madison declared was dependent on the Ten Commandments for the governing of the people has now been abortively interpreted to forbid the display of those Commandments in American Courts. Beyond that, a false interpretation of the Constitution now intends to forcibly remove all references to God from National consciousness. That invasive political position is totally hostile to the intention of the Founding Fathers. Even before the Constitution, in 1776, when the last delegate put his signature to the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams exclaimed: "We have this day restored the Sovereign. He reigns in heaven, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, may His kingdom come!" Identically, President John Quincy Adams said of the Declaration: "It laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity." He spoke prophetically when he later declared, "Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other"
The political crisis America now faces is living proof of Adam’s words: Presently, our Constitution is “wholly inadequate” for anyone except a morally strong, spiritually-awakened people. The true intent of that Document’s God-breathed message cannot be understood or appreciated by a spiritually-dead mind. The inadequacy rises wholly from within the people and not from the manuscript. But Madison went on to say, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." These men would be horrified to know that American public life had degenerated to the degree that homosexual marriage had become a constitutional issue.
Patrick Henry said, "America was not founded by religionists, nor on any religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." In 1892, the United States Supreme Court declared, "Our laws and institutions must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind."
This statement by the Court was in harmony with the favorite political philosopher of the Founding Fathers, John Locke, who said, "As men, we have God for our King, and are under the Law of Reason; as Christians, we have Jesus the Messiah for our King, and are under the law revealed by Him in the Gospel."
Locke’s sentiment re-appears in the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence which says: "... We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration also said: "We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right out to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved." The document concludes with these words:
"And for the support of this declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, and Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
With those words, the Liberty Bell was rung, and was followed quickly by the “shot heard around the world.” Later, in 1787, when the Revolutionary War had ended--but disagreement threatened the Republic’s Constitutional Convention--Benjamin Franklin rose and addressed the Convention with these words: "And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? ... The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: `that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable than an empire can rise without His aid?" Franklin then called upon the Assembly to pray, they did so, and from that point on their efforts were wonderfully blessed.
That same year, 1787, as the world was watching the rise of America’s Republican Government, another gentleman in Scotland, Alexander Tyler, a history professor at the University of Edinborough, wrote dire warnings about our experiment in Government “Of the people, By the people, and For the people.” In comparing the fall of Greek’s Athenian Republic some 2000 years before to the American Dream, he said:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence. From “Bondage to spiritual faith: Spiritual faith to great courage; Courage to liberty; Liberty to abundance; Abundance to complacency; Complacency to apathy; Apathy to dependence; Dependence back into bondage.”
Another professor, Joseph Olson, currently of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s scale of democratic failure. While Gore lost by a margin of 16 million from a potential of 270 million, the alarming truth is that his support came from that 40 percent of the nation’s population that has already reached the “governmental dependency” phase. Need professors Tyler and Olson say more? Can we read the “handwriting on the wall?”
While this information is frightening, we are not without hope. In Derek Prince's book, Praying For The Government, he says: "The truth is that Christians are not held responsible by God to criticize their government, but they are held responsible to pray for it. So long as they fail to pray, Christians have no right to criticize. I Timothy 2:1-4. God promises blessing to a government whose officers fulfill two great basic moral requirements. He demands that they be "just and God-fearing". Wherever possible, Christians who respect God's requirements should make it a principle not to vote for any man who is not just and God-fearing, no matter what party label he may wear. If Christians ignore God's requirements and vote for men who are morally unworthy, they are actually inviting God to make those men, if elected, agents of His judgment against the very people who voted them into office." II Samuel 23:2-4.
These facts are not new. One of the historic hymn writers describes our current American plight in these lines. His urgent words said to the Lord::
“Surely once Thy garden flourished; every part looked gay and green. Then Thy Word our spirits nourished, happy seasons we have seen. But a drought has since succeeded, and a sad decline we see, Lord, Thy help is greatly needed; help can only come from Thee! Lord Revive us!, Oh, revive us, All our help must come from Thee!
At the same time, God has not withdrawn His offer: “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Amen! Chas
Charles Carrin Ministries and its official publication, Gentle Conquest, do not endorse any political party or candidate. Even so, in this Presidential Election and without our comment, it is apparent that the Christian lines are clearly drawn. Pray and obey! Do your national duty and vote; do your Christian duty and ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide.
“IT TAKES A STEADY HAND TO HOLD A FULL CUP”
A QUIZ: 45 QUESTIONS FOR PASTORS
As a pastor are you listening to, benefitting from, or ignoring your critics?
Are you emotionally-secure enough to realize that your critics may be right?
Do you know the most frequent or significant criticism made of you?
Do you regard your opponents as being “unspiritual” and unworthy of consideration?
Do you justify the departure of members from your congregation as simply being “God’s ‘pruning’” and/or their refusal to accept your “new wine skin”?
Did you learn from wrong choices you made in the past?
Do you ever listen to print copies of your own sermons critique them, and hear your preaching as others hear it? Do you study the content and eliminate superfluous talk?
If you were asked to preach a 3-point, quality sermon in 15 minutes could you do it?
Are you prepared to preach “in season, out of season”?
Do you blame your lack of preparation, indecisiveness, or procrastination, on your supposedly allowing “freedom” for the Holy Spirit?
Are you willing to preach more sermons to more people by being considerate of their time or do you insist on longer sermons and fewer people?
What percent of your congregation arrives late to avoid the length of the service?
As a pastor, do you pray as ardently about your administrative responsibilities as you do your preaching responsibilities?
Do members see such consistent growth in your preaching, your administration, that they are eager to hear your next message and be part of your next action?
Do visitors observe such maturity and reliability in your whole church-experience that they want to transfer its pattern into their home and personal life?
Do visitors eagerly return to your service or are most one-timers only?
If you were a first-time visitor in your own congregation what would be your honest opinion?
Are you providing your congregation with the example of a loving, disciplined, well-structured life?
Apart from your preaching-ministry, does the congregation witness the power of the Holy Spirit in you privately? Are you a “carrier” of the anointing?
Have you ever canvassed your congregation to ask for their honest opinions about improving the Church’s total ministry? If not, why not?