"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degrading state of moral and patriotic
feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to
fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance
of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill -
When I read this I honestly wondered about myself. In light of what we face as a nation, can I say that I am not guilty of a certain "moral and patriotic decay" that shies away from the war for the very soul of our nation at present? There is a battle for the soul of the United States and it rages every day. Some would have us move toward being a nation that is based upon a philosophy of Socialism where the state becomes the caretaker of all within it. We are walking in that direction and fast destroying the once great nation given to us by God and our forefathers. It is said that Socialism only works until the government runs out of other people's money to spend. That is quickly coming upon us each day that we do not rise up to the moral, social, political, and spiritual battles that surround us.
Let me better define the war of which I speak. It is my hope that it will never descend into a war of weapons where the outcome is dependent upon which army destroys the other. But at present it is a war of ideas. A war that is fought with words and actions based upon those ideas. There is a greatly decayed moral state in America that must be addressed if we are going to survive as a nation. Nations fall not because of conquerors who fight from without - but because of moral decay and destruction within. We must first stand against the moral decay that is rotting us from the inside out. That means fighting the battles that rage in our flesh. It means once again valuing honesty, integrity, honor, hard work, faithfulness, and a host of other character traits which are far more often mocked by our godless society than glorified. It also means recapturing our homes as the primary place where education takes place. It is in the home where morals and godly character must be taught. More than this it is where moral character must be displayed by fathers.
Such an endeavor will mean that we have to fight and war against some things. I will list several here. Please understand that we can either realize war is what MUST take place against these things - or we will lose. We can either fight in this war - or remain one of Mill's miserable creatures who live only for their own safety, security, and comfort. If we do, we will have to rely on other, more godly and principled men to maintain our freedom. My concern is that there are not many such men left in this hour - possible not enough to stem the tide of moral decay and political tyranny.
First, we must fight and war against our own pacivity men! It is the easiest thing to start out days at the mercy of the clock. What I mean by this is that we get up so late that we do not have time to get quiet and meet with God. We must awaken early enough to spend time with Him - both in reading God's Word and in praying for ourselves, our family, and our nation. This is where is HAS to start. Men, we need to war against the moral decay in ourselves. If we do not, we will have nothing of substance to give in the war that rages all around us.
Second, we must war for our marriages and our homes. I ask a simple question men. What is the state of your relationship with your wife? Do you cherish her? Do you nourish her with the Word? Are we patterning for our children and those around us a delight in God's institution of marriage? One of the most blighting scourges that is rotting our nation from within in the state of marriage and family in our land. We can either decry it and weep on the devastated landscape around us - or - we can begin to labor to restore the ancient foundations by loving our wives and loving our children. And that being said, what is the state of your role as "father?" Do YOU inspire your children with your lifestyle - and with your regular teaching. If we do not want a "nanny-state" we must then take on the rearing of our children and not leave it to the state and to the educational system. Do you speak to your children of the morals they should embrace? Even more - do you yourself display them to your children?
Third, we must fight and war against the rule and reign of entertainment in our lives. I have nothing against entertainment - unless our devotion to it outstrips our devotion to God, our family, God's church, and our country. Too often we sit and decay simply by allowing the entertainment industry to speak to us - then for us in our homes. Think of their values men. Think of what you've seen and heard on television and in movies. Then realize that they not only reflect the moral decline in our nation - the urge it to continue to new heights.
Lastly, are you warring for godly leaders in our land. I find it disturbing that over and over again we are told that morals in a man do not matter when it comes to electing our officials. A man can stand and say that he wants to lead our nation - indeed take an oath to do so - when he has not even honored his oath and covenant to his wife! Such men should be questioned much about these things. I understand that we all need God's grace - but do we not have men among us willing to run - who have not cheated on their wives . . . while being an elected official of our land. The Democrats defend President Clinton while he commits adultery in the White House - and the Republicans now defend Newt Gingrich while he does the same in the position of Speaker of the House. We must fight for principled men to lead us. If neither party is willing to put up such men should we not so war against them with our words, our financial contributions, and our direct involvement until such men are put forward? We will not see change - godly, moral, principled change - until we demand it.
Men, I know this has been a long article - and I also know that many of us suffer from moral as well as family and patriotic failures of our past. But there truly will not be change until we passionately seek it. May we not be the pathetic, overindulged, and unwilling miserable creatures that John Stuart Mill described above. May we instead be the men who are willing to war against the culture - war against our own self-indulgence - and war for the reviving our our own hearts, marriages, families, churches, and nation. There are some things worth dying for in life. So I ask once again, "What kind of men are we?"