Our world can be a dark place.
There is abundant evidence of this, but one recent example was a threat of possible violence tied to the October opening of the film, “The Joker.” According to U.S. News & World Report, the FBI became involved when references were made to the 2012 shooting in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater during another Batman movie. This comes after the tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the summer, when a total of 31 people were murdered and dozens injured by gunmen with widely different belief systems.
How do we understand such bloodshed coming from divergent ideologies? Who do we blame? Many may play a part in our national lament, but none get to the root of America’s cultural sickness. I believe most Americans know that’s true, even if they can’t or won’t express it.
As we think about the moral darkness that engulfs much of American culture now, let us press these truths into our communities and nation as loudly and as often as we can.
Although he was not an evangelical Christian, even Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, famously said, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty.”
As a writer of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson acknowledged that God is the bedrock of our national way of life. Since “all men are created equal,” he said, then—and only then—can the American people be said to be “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
The culture war is really a war over God. Without a republic based on the ideas of our founders, it will eventually cease to exist. What house can remain stable and upright when the foundations are overthrown?
Absolute truth matters.
In his farewell address, George Washington outlined the dual pillars upon which the nation’s political system would rest: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Both religion and morality, said Washington, were the “great pillars of human happiness.”
I am afraid that today the hero of the Revolutionary War and our first president would have been open to charges of bigotry, close-mindedness, and even conspiring to establish a theocracy!
In the wake of numerous acts of violence, everyone is talking about what’s right and wrong. But without a source of absolute truth, it’s all just personal opinion. Rejecting God and His Word has set us on the path of destruction.
John Adams, our second president, said that “we have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Strong marriages and families matter.
It might seem unnecessary to say, but no society can survive without vibrant marriages and resilient families. Yet these bedrock institutions have been under siege for decades.
According to Pew Research, less than half (46%) of American children under the age of 18 are living in a home with two married parents in their first marriage. In 1960, 73% of U.S. children did.
In terms of children born out of wedlock, the trend is just as shocking: 41% of children are in that category, compared to about 5% in 1960. Do I need to reference the laundry list of maladies afflicting America as the result of broken marriages and shattered families?
The Bible matters.
The ideas of our Founding Fathers were the driving force for greatness, and those ideas cannot be overthrown without devastating consequences. But if we’re talking about foundations, we really need to go further back than the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
We need to return to the true foundation of America—the Bible. We need to return to what the Scripture calls “the ancient paths” of obedience to God. The Lord spoke to His people through the prophet Jeremiah when He said: “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16, NASB).
Rest. Don’t we all long for it? It is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Peace with God—that’s what America needs.
The church matters.
The solutions to our problems are not going to come from Washington, D.C. Don’t get me wrong, we must remain politically engaged. But does anyone believe the dysfunction in our nation’s capital will result in the restoration of America?
The solution to our problems is revival, and that means that the true Christian community in our nation must study God’s Word, pray, bear witness to the truth through the preaching of the gospel, and be ready to give a defense for the hope that lies within us.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:15, the church is “the pillar and support of the truth.” We must remain salt and light in these dark times. That is the call of God on the lives of each of us who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. Yes, God is in control, but for His own mysterious purposes and glory, He calls believers individually and corporately to be among the instruments of His will.
The American Family Association exists to give voice to the foundational biblical truths that have made America the greatest nation in history. And though the forces of hell are bent on turning those truths on their heads, AFA will stand unmoved by the undertow of evil that threatens America.
I’m convinced that many in our nation believe these five truths but are too intimidated to say them. They know that cultural elitists, political leaders, corporations, schools, and, sadly, even many church leaders will mock and vilify them.
But we are not afraid to say them.