God's Character and America's Future
- Monday, October 28, 2013
These assertions are relevant because since 1973, roughly 55 million unborn children have been aborted in our country. Popular culture and both federal and state courts are heralding same-sex “marriage” as a matter of justice and moral necessity. People of orthodox Christian faith are being marginalize and the exercise of their convictions limited. Cohabitation and divorce are seen as wholly viable options in a self-preoccupied society. Sexual abuse is on the rise among the young, and substance abuse is metastasizing across the culture.
If we think God is unconcerned with such violations of his will, known through his Word and through “the law written on the heart,” the conscience, and demonstrated as harmful in myriad ways, then we need to rethink our understanding of God.
Could it be that our many social, economic, and foreign policy problems are evidence of, at least, his turning away from a nation that has abandoned reverence for him, if not his active punishment for what we have become? This question should at least give Christians sufficient pause for serious contemplation.
Some argue that there have been many incidences of moral collapse, great violence, and human debasement throughout history, and that warnings about America’s potential fall should be taken in that context. In one sense, this is true; whether studying the warfare methods of the Babylonians, the torture techniques of the Hurons, or the ongoing mass slaughters in the Congo, recorded history is a litany of pain and brutality. Of course, none of these or the many societies and nation-states similar to them have endured for more than a relatively brief time, which underpins Schlossberg’s argument.
In addition, there’s a lot right about America, and this should never be minimized. Tens of millions of people are working hard to honor God, love their families, and serve in innumerable capacities. From largely triumphing over the vile racism once embedded in too much of our culture to the advances the movement to defend the unborn and their mothers is making in the states (more than 200 pro-life bills enacted over the past three years), we have much to be grateful for. Incidental wins and losses must never serve as excuses to let our commitment to justice and human dignity diminish.
However, America is unique: Our founding in Judeo-Christian moral teaching and the existence of institutions that presuppose a virtuous citizenry have made us what Lincoln rightly called “the last, best hope of earth.” For us to so degrade this heritage and debase our national character is to fall from such a height that one can only wonder if ultimately, our judgment will not be all the more severe.
We don’t know, and dogmatic conclusions about such thing are premature and immature. The apostle James reminds us that in God’s economy, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (2:13). Let us so pray and work that the ground of His mercy — corporately turning from evil and choosing to do good — will become real in our culture.
He does not sleep or overlook. He acts, in the manner and over the time of His choosing. Of this we can be sure.
Rob Schwarzwalder is a long-time member of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is senior vice president of the Family Research Council.
Publication date: October 28, 2013
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