Concept that Lisa drafted and our youngest daughter illustrated, showing how our influence for righteousness begins in the home and extends outward to our community, state, nation, and the world. (c) 2019
We hear a lot today about how if we’re not careful, America will someday slide into socialism. Friends, we need to wake up. America already slid. We have a largely socialistic, humanistic system in place right now. The education of the majority of our children is government-controlled. Health care is being taken over by the federal government as well. We have a glut of obligatory tax-funded programs that are socialistic in nature from Social Security to Medicare and Medicaid to federal housing to farm subsidies and so much more. Any time the government takes money from the people to fund the responsibilities of the people “on behalf of” the people, that is socialism. Someone other than you is taking your income and deciding what those monies will fund – even if you strongly disagree with what is being funded. Take, for example, tax dollars – your tax dollars and my tax dollars – being used to fund abortion, the murder of the most defenseless and innocent among us. Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” He was one of our founders who was willing to risk his life, liberty, and property to set the people free from the heavy hand of British rule, so he knew tyranny. And he defined it for us, so we could recognize it when it came around again.
Let me give you another personal example of how tyranny hits home for us. We choose to homeschool our children because we believe it is the parents’ responsibility to teach the next generation about God and country. The public education system in America has turned its back on God and no longer teaches America’s true history or founding principles. My husband works hard to provide for us, but every time we cash his paycheck, we lose dollars that could have been funding the education of our own children to an educational system that is teaching other people’s children to one day attempt to oppress and persecute ours. If you think that’s exaggeration, you need to follow the news more carefully. Christians are being side-lined in America, being told they are mentally ill, being told they have no right to express their beliefs anywhere where someone might hear them, being told they have no right to hold public positions because they hold to basic biblical tenets. And those are just a few examples.*
As a nation we have raised up (and are continuing to raise up) generations who do not appreciate Christians and Christianity because they don’t know their own history. They don’t recognize the gift that the Anglicans, the Puritans, and the Separatists sacrificed to give them in venturing everything to settle this once-wild land. Nobody is reading them the charter of Jamestown, which refers to the “propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.” Nobody is telling them that In Plymouth we find men and women and children whose voyage – as described in the Mayflower Compact — had been “undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and Honor of our King and Country.” Children are not being taught to appreciate the integrity of George Washington, who in his farewell address said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” and ” [R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” They don’t know the words of John Adams who said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Nor is anybody teaching them the words of the patriot Patrick Henry — “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, people of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship.”
Christians, we need to start living out our faith in America. We need to stop being afraid, and start being free. When people see us, we should stand out. We should be leading, not cowering. We should be brilliant lights in a darkening world, healing salt on a festering wound. When others observe us, they should see and hear a difference. We need to speak differently, dress differently, act differently, consume differently, read differently, and think differently than everyone else. The only way for that to happen is for us to be in the Word and unplugged from popular culture. We need to make the Scriptures the absolute guide for our lives. We need to evaluate, and as often as necessary re-evaluate, everything about our homes, our careers, our past times, our finances, our dreams, our goals, our priorities. We need to stop bemoaning the fact that we can’t change the world and do our best to lead in the domain we have been given. Every one of us has a home, a church, a community. Every one of us has family, friends, and neighbors whom we not only can but should influence for righteousness. Every one of us has the ability to pray and turn.
There is a verse in II Chronicles (7:14) that is widely used in encouraging Christians to pray for revival in our land. I agree wholeheartedly that we need revival in our land. Without question we need for God to do a mighty work. But I think too often we get looking around at others and thinking God needs to do a revival work in them and we miss what these verses actually say. The verses do not just say for us to pray. They say “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God not only expects us to pray for our nation; he expects us to examine our own lives, clean out the garbage, and become models of virtue for others to follow. The Scripture clearly says, “humble themselves” and “turn from their wicked ways.” And it’s talking about us. The first and most important thing I can do to bring back liberty in America is turn myself from sin and seek God. And it’s the first and most important thing you can do too. But if we’re going to skip the humbling and the turning, we might as well skip the praying. Psalm 66:18 reminds us, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Righteousness begins at home. There are two verses that we have shared repeatedly over the years with our children. Actually, there are many verses we have shared repeatedly, but I want to focus on these two this evening : Psalm 101:2b and Matthew 5:16. They work in tandem. The first says: “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Before I worry about the sins of the rest of the state and the nation, I need to ensure that my walk within my own house is right before God. That touches everything – what I read, what I watch, what I say, where I’m willing to go, what I choose to do with my time, how I spend my money. Everything. Only after having removed the beam from my own eye am I ready to help remove the mote in another’s.** Then the second says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” We were never meant to hide our light under a bushel. If we know the Lord and love the Lord, we are instructed to shine. Regardless of what we are hearing in America right now, it’s not only acceptable to talk about your faith, practice your faith, and allow it to permeate all of your dealings with others, it’s commanded! And God is the Author of Liberty. So, frankly, anything righteous done for Him can only benefit America. Any good works done for Him strengthen our nation and benefit the cause of freedom.
We may never know the effect that our homes and our humility and our obedience will have on our community, our state, and our nation. God asks that we walk in faith. That’s not easy. There are so many other things we could do with our time, so many things that sound more important than being humble and making sure our own houses are in order. So many projects that seem larger than loving our spouse and discipling our own children and reaching out to our neighbors. But future generations will rise up and call us blessed if we will focus on doing what God has given us to do. Strong homes, strong families, strong churches mean a strong America. Washington D.C. may be our capital, but individual families and homes and churches have always been our heart.
Sadly, America’s heart is diseased because her families are broken and her houses and churches are shells of what they once were. Liberty is lying there on life support, unable to communicate but crying out inside for someone to care, to remember, to do something to save her. Don’t be part of the crowd clamoring to pull the plug. Be one of the faithful who will kneel at her side and repent for having a part in in her malady. Be one who will pray for God to intervene and revive her. Be one who not only believes that He can but that if we are obedient and do our part, He will. Then, get up and go get Liberty a cup of life-giving Water, because when He answers – she’s going to need it.
Copyright © 2019
* For documentation of these particular examples, see Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation (2019) by Todd Starnes (especially pages 93, 197, and 256). One caution: while I appreciate the work Mr. Starnes has done compiling ways that our freedoms are being eroded, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the book because the Lord’s name is taken in vain repeatedly. An older book with a similar focus is David Limbaugh’s Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity (2003). It has been longer since I have read the second title, but I do not remember the Lord’s name having been misused by the author. A spot-check of various pages of that text this afternoon seems to indicate that that is correct.
** To clarify, a Christian should be always reforming, growing more like Christ. While we will never reach perfection on this earth, we need to be continually holding ourselves to the mirror of the Word and fixing what sins we find there so that we are not hypocritical in our dealings with others.