Philosophy Lite: Spreading gospel requires work
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I have come to believe that evolution is downward. History proves that nations over time lose their original sense of purpose and become indifferent to the ideals of the founders, and America is no exception
The Heritage Foundation has published a booklet outlining the Leading Cultural Indicators of our society. It includes such categories as crime, drug use, teen suicide, divorce, daily TV viewing and many others.
When we consider any of the indicators by themselves, they are disturbing enough, but considering them as a whole we must surely wonder where our beloved country is headed.
How did we get where we are? Was it by simply doing nothing? There is a law of physics that says nature abhors a vacuum - if a vacuum exists, something will rush in to fill it.
As we stood idly by and did not object as men like Larry Flynt flooded the country with pornography, he filled a vacuum. When men like Howard Stern got on TV and flooded the airwaves with sewage, we did little to stop it.
I grew up in the '30s, and I know how it once was with respect, manners, morality, dignity and decency. We can have it again, but it will take a lot of effort. Losing ground is easy; gaining it back is another thing - but it can be done if we have the will. The humanists will not do it. The atheists will not. The free thinkers and libertines will not.
It's up to the Christians to do it. "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams, 1798
Despite being labeled by the press as religious fanatics, it is people who maintain that religious right, that keeps the national morality from complete collapse.
I make two points: 1. We Christians are born into a Constitutional Republic and we have an obligation to vote and take part in politics. 2. We have a calling to live above the world in God's Kingdom - more than mere church attendance.
It's human nature to take our religious heritage for granted and to become careless about religious obligations. The time has come to return to God, beg his forgiveness and get serious about living a disciplined Christian life. Moreover, to turn our country around, we must be sure to elect honorable Christian leaders in November.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian whose strong opposition to Hitler cost him his life. His book, "The Cost of Discipleship," was written in 1937 before he went to jail and before he had any inkling of what that discipleship would mean to him personally.
His theme was cheap grace, which meant that a casual or flippant attitude toward God's priceless gift is unacceptable. As citizens of this new kingdom we have responsibilities to carry out.
While spreading the gospel and caring for the needs of the community will require work, that work will be rewarding and at the resurrection we will hear the master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Raymond F. Smith is president of Strong Families of Victoria.