I have been thinking a lot lately about America the beautiful, land that I love. I really mean that. I love America and her people. I live in the greater Houston area, with an estimated population of 6.5 million. In some ways our city is a reflection of the best that America has to offer. I love the mosaic of ethnic diversity bringing interesting people, friendships, and amazing foods, art, and culture. It is not uncommon to hear anywhere from 3-5 languages spoken every day of my life, and I love that. America is uniquely wonderful in so many ways. There is however a disturbing change that has taken place in the good old USA. It is the kind of change that devastates the foundation of greatness that we have enjoyed. I think it is the kind of change that could ultimately bring the nation to its knees. It is deeper and more simple than all of the obvious symptoms you might expect me to highlight. The constitution of the United States begins like this: “We the people of the United States…”, and that’s all we need to realize the change. “We the people” has changed. We have become a nation more concerned with “me” than “we” and this is the root of our problem. This shift is an issue of worldview. Let me play the master of the obvious for a moment. The forming of America was no easy task. It didn’t just happen. People took risks, made sacrifices, fought horrific battles, endured brutal winters and unbearable diseases, all for the dream of a better country. The people who survived worked together to form a more perfect union. They envisioned a government by the people and for the people. They carefully crafted documents containing the principles on which the United States was built. A thorough reading of documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States reveals a shared worldview. Though every founding father may not have been a disciple of Jesus, they obviously shared a common worldview based in the Judeo-Christian view of the Bible. The Bible is an Eastern text, not a modern Western document. The Scriptures present a relational worldview. At the core of the Bible, throughout each of it’s 66 books, is a thread indicating the fundamental elements of a biblical worldview: We need God and we need each other. Since this is so, the Bible teaches that we should love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. America was founded on a worldview of God and “we.” Words like “we,” “together,” “family,” and “community” represent the foundational values of this worldview. According to this worldview, the decisions that each person makes affects the greater community. Think of a spider’s web. If you pull one strand it causes the whole web to alter its shape. Ironically, throughout the world, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, share such a relational view of the world, though they don’t agree on the way to God. Though once the prevailing worldview in America, this is no longer the case. In the early 1930’s men like John Dewey and Charles Potter intentionally introduced a competing worldview called secular humanism to the youngest generation through the mechanism of public school. The issue is not the mechanism (public school) but instead the worldview. Humanism recognizes no higher power or god but places the individual and his or her decisions at the center of the universe. In a humanistic worldview a person is neither inherently good or evil and in fact can determine for themselves what is defined as good or evil. Lesslie Newbigin illustrates this kind of worldview by equating it to marbles in a glass jar. If you shake the glass jar, the marbles bump up against each other but they do not affect each other. A humanistic worldview allows a person to deduce that they can make decisions that are best for them, not really affecting the greater community. After all, I’ll do what’s best for me and you do what’s best for you and we will get along fine, right? Wrong. We affect each other whether we believe it or not. It is clear that the nation of “we” has become the nation of “me.” The predominant worldview in the country has shifted from the relational worldview of the Bible to a self-centered humanistic worldview. What are the long term ramifications?
- Increasing frustration and persecution toward those who maintain a biblical worldview in America.
- Increases in the number of adults who choose to remain single as opposed to marrying. Decreases in the number of adults in a traditional marriage.
- Increases in the number of adults co-habitating or living in an LGBT lifestyle or relationship.
- Possible disdain towards Christians and Jews in the United States.
- Continued degradation of the family.
- Increased tolerance towards every religion, philosophy, and lifestyle except those rooted in Christianity or Judaism.
- Religious liberty and freedom of speech limited for those who espouse the Bible as truth and preach it in its entirety.
- Exploitation of a humanistic and tolerant democracy by radical Islam intent on destroying America from the inside out.
- A prevailing culture of depression and the de-valuing of life (murder and suicide) because self never satisfies.
- Everyone will do what is right in their own eyes leading to national judgment. This is not a new drift for people of God. Judges 21:25 (ESV) “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
However, there is hope! If my people… 2 Chronicles 7:13–14 (ESV) 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. In America, “my people” would be the church of Jesus Christ. The church is key to the future of the United States. If we, the church, will start by humbling ourselves and seeking God and repenting of our sin, we will experience revival no matter the prevailing worldview. In that season we will become light in a culture drifting toward darkness. People in darkness tend to run toward or away from the light. It is a defining moment. Maybe it is not about saving America. Maybe it is about the ever expanding Kingdom of God. More than saving America, God is interested in people believing in Jesus for salvation and giving their whole heart to Him. Possibly, the culture of “me” in America will eventually find people desperately seeking a better way than what is right in their own eyes. Here’s the hope… Romans 5:6–11 (ESV) 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. There is no need to fear. Really there is no time for that. Believer – pray, repent, seek God, and share the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.