Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” NASB
Some may be offended or take exception to my usage of Scripture and citing the moral decline of our republic as the most significant problem we have. If you do, that is your choice, but I believe that from America’s inception as a republic family, faith, freedom, fidelity, and morality have been key cogs in the wheel of our success and greatness.
John Adams addressed the military on October 11, 1798, and said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The father of our nation and our 1st President, George Washington declared, “The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by the attitudes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.” He also said, “Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government.”
Another signer, Charles Carroll said, “Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so subline and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
Thomas Jefferson an oft-maligned founder said, “I know but one code of morality for men, whether acting singly or collectively. He who says I will be a rogue when I act in company with a hundred others, but an honest man when I act alone, will be believed in the former assertion, but not the latter…if morality of one man produces a just line of conduct in him, acting individually, why should not the morality of one hundred men produce a just line of conduct in them, acting together?”
Politics has evolved into a nasty cut-throat nefarious and diabolical organism. It has a life of its own and exists to perpetuate itself elevating the professional politician and statist to a place of preeminence and power. It has become about control, manipulation, and promotion of ideologies, agendas, and sects desirous of dominance and control. American politics have lost the view of the value of morality and many have adopted a ‘cat mentality.’
What is a Cat Mentality? I call it that because people attempt to compartmentalize their lives and justify bad behavior in one area while claiming piousness in another. I had a man in a congregation that I led who was a very prosperous businessman. He had gone from being penniless to a multi-millionaire through his ability and the favor of God. He was a faithful member of our congregation and generous to a fault if there can be a fault in generosity. He believed, as do many that his business life, social life, family life, political life, and church life were different compartments and one did not impact the other.
The reason I know this is because I was sitting in his office and overheard a business deal, he was conducting. His deal was, in my view, questionable for a Christian and although not illegal or even immoral it did not advance the testimony of a believer exemplifying Jesus but focused on the bottom line and his benefit. When he concluded the phone conversation, I questioned him about some specific points. He said, “Preacher, that is just business and my business life is separate from my religious or church life. I do what has to be done to get the deal done and make money.” I sat there a few minutes not saying a word then looked at him and said, “You are not a cat. You do not have separate lives you have a Life! What you are in business, the social world, home, politics, or in church you are! You are the sum total of all those activities they are expressions of what is in your heart and who you are.”
America has ignored the basic teachings of the Bible and abandoned morality on many fronts. We justify abortion claiming it is about women’s health or a woman’s right to choose. What happened to the unborn baby’s right to choose and its health? Politicians get away with fabrications and people brush it off as ‘politics’ because we too are guilty of engaging in our own distortions, and questionable handling of the truth. We excuse in politicians what we are guilty of or deem acceptable in getting the deal done. That reveals a massive deterioration of our moral moorings and foundation as individuals, families, and a nation.
I do not justify moral failings in politicians. I accept the fact that they have them and the lacking a saint to guide our government we must deal with that reality. I believe that America had the favor of the Almighty in our beginning because we had a strong moral foundation as a nation. You may find that objectionable because of things like slavery, but the vast majority of our citizens believed in God, the teachings of the Bible, strong family, honesty, and basic morality.
I contend that we cannot call ourselves righteous when we allow the mass slaughter of the unborn and fail to love and tolerate others who are different. I would never suggest that anyone violate their core convictions and conscience and embrace religions deemed by the Bible to be false. I would not suggest that anyone abandon their convictions and embrace or call normal lifestyles that are anathema to the teachings of the Bible. However, just because a person does not see things as we do does justify our failure to love them as created beings of our heavenly Father.
In our Declaration of Independence, the moral position of the republic was declared and defined. “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.” I would argue that today’s America no longer believes that principle base on the vitriol in politics and society.
The words of Proverbs 14:34 need to echo in our hearts and minds and we need to revisit our beginning history and examine the reality of the blessing of God’s providence through the years. When we were a more moral nation, we had the favor of God and advanced greatly, even amazingly. As we have become more depraved, we have lost favor in the world, watched the disintegration of strong families, and witnessed the increase of intolerance, hate, bitterness, crime, and corruption. We were great, and I would argue still are, but we can be greater still but only if we return to our moral moorings and reestablish our moral foundations as a people. This must be addressed individually, then collectively.
Our elected officials are not examples, of moral standing, but if we as a people return to our moral moorings, we can create an environment where those of moral fiber will step forward and become willing to participate in governance. Am I dreaming of a Utopia? I think not, but each must evaluate and address this in their own hearts. I stand firmly for Faith, Family, Freedom, Fidelity, and Morality.
God bless you and God bless America!