Everywhere you look, people are wringing their hands about the moral decay in our nation. The evidence is abundant. Literally anywhere you turn you can find the consequences of moral relativism; network and online news sources blast the images of a culture going mad. Parents are killing their children, children are killing each other, armed madmen are walking into theaters and schools with evil intent, innocent unarmed people being gunned down by police who fear they pose a threat. People are sending representatives to Congress with no idea how the system is supposed to work. Police officers are cheating and stealing. Just days ago, a couple engaged in “intimate behavior” on an airplane, in front of an audience!! They were asked to stop, but just couldn’t seem to control themselves long enough to comply with requests?!
Not only are we facing serious moral collapse, but our financial house is definitely out of order. After the failed attempt to curb spending and defund Obamacare, the Congress passed a temporary spending bill and raised the debt ceiling, setting us up for a staggering seventeen trillion dollar debt (that is $17 with twelve zeros after it!) $17,000,000,000,000 national debt!! That equals more than $50,000 for every man, woman, and child living in the United States. While pundits may debate the real reason for the debt, the bottom line is, we are spending way more than we have, and at some point very soon it is going to be a problem.
Some people think the solution is to pour money into social programs. Others think non-profits like Focus on the Family (which I love) or FamilyLife (which I also love) are the solution to what ails our society. Still others think political activism and investing in political campaigns will restore our country to her former glory. Unfortunately, none of these are going to work. If they were going to work, I think we would see them making a difference in our culture over the last thirty years. We haven’t.
The problem isn’t who we are electing to public office. The problem lies with who is doing the electing. The problem isn’t with what the public schools are teaching; it is with who is determining what to teach and how. The problem isn’t a lack of funding, it is a lack of wisdom in how to use the resources available. And, truly, all of the above are simply symptoms of something far more serious.
In Deuteronomy 6, God commands parents to disciple their children. He says, “These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deut 6:7-9 NIV.
Solomon said, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to “train a child in the way he (or she) should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV.
In Matthew 28, Jesus’ final words are very similar, though in a bit broader sense. He says “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20 NIV.
What, you may be asking, do these passages have to do with the situation in our country. In my opinion, everything! At some point, the Body of Christ quit making disciples. We became a culture of converts instead of dedicated disciples, and in so doing, we’ve unwittingly sacrificed the future of our children and grandchildren. The Church quit making disciples, but the evil one never did. Public schools and secular universities are pumping out graduates who do not share your worldview, your belief in God, or your view of Scripture. They believe in evolution (without any blind watchmaker or other divine director), consider the life of the unborn worthless, and are completely fine with redistributing wealth (especially yours). They believe in giving people fish rather than teaching them to fish, and in giving people food if they are hungry regardless of whether they (or especially if they don’t) work. They embrace socialism, communism, and relativism.
You may disagree with me, and I don’t care if you do. After all, I am a missionary serving with an organization focused on evangelism and discipleship. Of course I’m going to see this as an issue. But think about it. Eighty percent (or more) of so-called Christian youth are walking away from their faith when they get to the college campus. According to recent polls only four percent of people under twenty-five even claim to have a relationship with Jesus. If we’re losing 80% of that fraction, we’re in trouble, indeed! We are losing our nation, one person at a time. And it is the Church’s fault.
To correct this path we’re on, parents need to re-engage with their children, making sure that the principles they want their children to have are instilled, and that children understand not only the principle, but the why behind it. No longer can we simply say that because God’s Word says something we believe it and that settles it. The college professors don’t care. They rip the simplistic beliefs of our children to shreds. We need to take God at His Word, and humble ourselves (ourselves, not point our finger at everyone else while we smile and rest on our laurels) and pray, and truly seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways (disobedience is wickedness, and the Body of Christ in America is not being obedient to make disciples), and wait to see the deliverance of the Lord. We need personal reformation. It can change the world. It once did, already.
The first step to personal reformation is to make sure you have a personal relationship with Jesus. If you aren’t sure, visit this page.
The third step is to take God at His Word and begin following His commands in Deuteronomy 6. No, we aren’t under the Law, and I’m not advocating we put ourselves under the Law. What I’m suggesting is that the timeless principles laid down by God thousands of years ago will still work. If we make God’s Word an intimate part of every waking moment, we will be transformed.
The final step is to either begin discipling or seek discipleship. If you haven’t been discipled, it is intimidating. Ask for help. (Disclaimer: I am on staff with Cru, so I have personal knowledge of what resources we have available. Other organizations also have fantastic resources. I simply am unfamiliar with what they may be). Cru is one of several organizations with a focus on discipleship and fantastic resources to help you. You can check out our resources here, here, and here, or contact me via this blog.
Please, continue contributing to the fantastic organizations working to support and encourage Christian families in America. Continue working for political candidates you believe in, and contributing to political causes you support. I am not suggesting you stop those activities. I’m saying that those activities in and of themselves will not result in the changes you are hoping for. Personal reformation and intentional obedience are truly the only hope left for America.