Today we look at how a nation is blessed or disgraced. According to our proverb righteousness or doing what is right exalts a nation. Therefore, if we want to be exalted and blessed, we must choose consistently what is right. But our nation faces a serious problem when it comes to this proverb. We no longer believe in a right and a wrong. Having bought the post-modern mindset hook, line, and sinker, we now believe that there is nothing more to believe in except what we want to believe in. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore we no longer hold to an absolute right and wrong. We no longer have a moral code that governs the hearts of men.
Our courts have decided that what is truly dangerous in our nation is to publicly display the 10 commandments so that school children can see them and read them. Never mind that one of the writers of our Constitution said that we have placed our hope in our ability to obey these Laws of God. Never mind that though we openly persecute the Christian moral code, we openly teach other religions in our classrooms under the guise of multiculturalism. It is dangerous to tell children not to murder, not to steal, not to lie or commit adultery. Thus we have our current modern dilemma. A society that decries the lack of civility as new acts of violence shock us worse that the previous ones that maudelinly decorated our newpapers and newcasts just weeks earlier. We wonder why kids would go into schools and wantonly kill each other. We are shocked at the debauchery of the generation that is coming up - astonished at their lack of conscience as they commit crimes with an ever-increasing display of horror.
We don't get it. Righteousness exalts a nation! We must return to an absolute truth that lays down absolute morals by which we are to live. What is astounding to me though is that such a righteousness will degenerate in one generation if all we rely upon is the rule of law to do it. We are incapable of righteousness in our own strength. Righteousness will only come by grace through faith. It comes to us as we turn from our own sinful and selfish ways and turn to Jesus Christ - the One Who came to die for our sins. It comes to us only as God's grace reaches out to us and grants us life. Thus we find that the righteousness that will exalt our nation will only come with a return to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we are saved - we are redeemed - we are regenerated so that we desire to do God's will. Without the gospel law will break down into moralistic teachings taught by hypocrites who do not even do the things they teach others. The sad reality though is that we as a nation have legislated the gospel out of our society.
There is a false teaching that exists in the legislative world called the separation of church and state. This supposed wall exists in the interpretation that some pseudo-scholars have invented about the First Ammendment to the Constitution. That ammendment was put there to keep the state out of the churches' buisness. It was put there so that we would not have a state run church. Unfortunately it has been misinterpretted to mean that any open expression of Christianity within any state run or funded activity is prohibited. Thus our legislators have inadvertently chosen a state religion for all of us. It is the lack of God in our nation - at least the God of the Bible. So . . . our national religion is now either atheism and its more ignoranty companion, agnosticism - or it is any other religion than Christianity. What our founders sought to protect has been used in such a way as to openly persecute and wantonly disintegrate the faith that most of them held when they wrote it.
It should not shock us that we are a nation that has shunned righteousness. The churches did not hold fast the truth and spread the gospel. The corresponding lack of believers in the land, or worse, the proliferation of false believers who misuse and abuse the Scriptures, has led to a dearth of them in office. The lack of a Christian presence among the governing elite of our land has lead to a lack of respect for our founders' faith. Thus we have become a people who more and more legislate sin as the new righteousness of our land. We have decided to say that it is open season on unwanted babies and call it abortion - or a woman's right to choose. We have decided to destroy the black community and the poor by saying that we will allow a welfare state that rewards sexual promiscuity and having babies out of wedlock. We also have decided that work is no longer a sacred duty - but act like it is mercy to provide a living without requiring labor. We no longer call heterosexual immorality what God calls it - fornication - but feel that sleeping together or living together is a more genteel way of designating it. Rather than encourage faithfulness in marriage, we have advocated easy divorce and speak of blended families rather than broken ones. We have decided that homosexuality is not an abomination - no! - it is an alternate lifestyle. It even needs to be taught to the youngest of our children as a wonderful alternative to the straight people who are so hateful as to hold a biblical viewpoint. Our banks and businesses fail because we have reared a generation of crooks who no longer think that, "Thou shalt not steal" applies to them. Scandal after scandal rocks our statehouses and churchhouses as the concept of integrity in leadership fades as a mere memory of the past.
Does all this kind of shock and depress you? It should because sin is a disgrace to any people. To live like we have lived is to be disgraceful. To reject the living God for the idols of our current generation is an act of foolishness. It is foolish becuse we have rejected the Fountain of Living Waters to hew cisterns, broken ones, that can hold no water. Even history mocks our choices as we ignore the civilizations that have fallen before us. We turn a blind eye to the same sins that portended their demise and characterized the rot from within that toppled them.
We need to turn to God in prayer - humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways. We need a national revival first in our churches. They need to return to the faith of our fathers - seeing Christianity as the truth - and Jesus as the only way of salvation from a selfish and self-gratifying lifestyle. Even more than this we must remember that we will stand in God's judgment - which has already begun. We need to fear God which is the beginning of wisdom for us - and for our nation. Then we need a nation-shaking spiritual awakening that sees millions come to Christ. If we do not see such a thing - we are doomed to the ash heap of societies. Written over us in the end will be the same words written over Babylon - "Mene, Mene, Teckel, Upharsin." America has been weighed in the scales and found wanting. We will fall to another rising power with another statement written as our postscript. "Here lies the United States of America in ruins for she turned from righteousness and chose sin . . . which is a disgrace for any people."