July 4th: a day that many Americans will spend with family and friends, enjoying food and fireworks. It’s a day that we celebrate the founding of our nation, more than two centuries ago. That day in 1776, was a day like no other for the men who penned their names to our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. Their grievances were serious, real and legitimate. And their public defiance of the King was a certain death warrant, leading them to mutually pledge their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”
Their unwavering commitment to the principle of Liberty, resulted in innumerable blessings for us today. But have you ever considered what the purpose of Liberty really is? Is its end simply the “pursuit of happiness?” While this question begs a much deeper and more thorough discussion than what follows, I trust these brief thoughts will serve to challenge you and me to go deeper in meditation. And as we do, perhaps our thoughts will call us to a higher level of accountability than what we as Americas are accustomed to acknowledging.
The First Liberty: In a Perfect World
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” I would assert that this phrase, known to most people across the world who have been blessed with the knowledge of the Scriptures, is the greatest opening statement of any manuscript ever known to man. In the passage following this opening truth, we find that God not only created the entire universe and all that is within it, but He also established the principles and laws that would control all things. These laws would govern not only the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual, and even what our Founders referred to as “unalienable rights.”
So when God, on the sixth day, created man in “His own image,” He presented to that first couple a state of perfection. In that perfect world, God offered Adam and Eve the freedom to exercise liberty, and then he defined how they would do so. The first couple would initially exercise dominion over the world God had created — every creature, plant and the entire earth. Secondly, Adam & Even would express their love by multiplying themselves, thus reproducing life. And lastly, they would discharge their free will, and their understanding of liberty, by the choices they would make.
As Adam and Eve partook of liberty in those first few days of perfection, enjoying a deeply personal and intimate fellowship with God, they were free to experience all of God’s creation. A smorgasbord of sensual pleasures surrounded them everywhere they looked. The radiant beauty of their environment, the luscious delicacies their taste buds enjoyed, and the intellectual and emotional stimuli they were exposed to during their daily walks with God, was beyond any experience modern man can fathom.
But there was just one, ever so small, limitation that would test their understanding of liberty. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the center of the Garden of Eden, was off limits. The perfection they daily enjoyed eventually came to be overshadowed by their knowledge that there was one singular item, stored away in the middle of their “heaven on earth” of which they were to steer clear. Their “dilemma” is akin to being given the key to Whole Foods so that anything you desired to take and eat was yours, except for one box of cookies on a counter in the middle of the bakery department.
So liberty’s purpose was clear. And liberty’s test was even clearer. Mankind’s destiny literally hung in the balance as Adam and Eve grappled with the concept of liberty. Would they fulfill God’s purpose? Would they exercise dominion over every aspect of God’s creation, including the tree in the middle of the garden? Would they tame and control their own free will to conform to God’s singular restriction on their liberty? Or would they chose to pursue a distorted view of liberty, one that suggested they could do anything they pleased, with no consequences?
Sadly, we know the rest of the story as Adam and Eve trampled the liberty God gave them, exercising their free will to violate the boundaries that liberty imposed.
Liberty in an Imperfect World
Since that tragic day when Adam and Eve traded true liberty for a lesser form, man has continuously sought liberty. But not until the founding of these United States of America has there been a nation whose very DNA was infused with liberty as ours. Many of our nation’s greatest icons carry the theme of liberty. The Statue of Liberty. The Liberty Bell. The Liberty Tree. Sons of Liberty.
So it seems only natural that Americans love liberty and seek after it. But do we understand what liberty is, and more importantly are we fulfilling its purpose in an imperfect world?
Thinking back to the initial purposes of liberty as revealed in the opening scene of the world, we are to have dominion over all of creation. The world is ours. God has granted it to us but will also hold us accountable for the way in which we subdue it. Are we acting as the stewards that God intended in every asset, gift, and relationship that God bestows upon you and me?
Secondly, are we reproducing and embracing life? Life is under attack like never before. The forces of evil are seeking to dismantle life, convincing us that children are a hassle, and in a million instances a year in American, not even worthy of life. Our birthrates in America are not even sufficient to replace ourselves. So do we truly value life? Yet, liberty demands that we must.
Finally, liberty is a test, between good and evil. In a sense, Adam and Eve had it much easier. Their choices were sorted into two categories. In the first column was the one item in their world of infinite good that they were told to reject: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the other column was everything else! They were presented with only one bad option and literally millions of good choices.
Not so in our lives. The truth is that we have literally millions of options and choices available to us at any given moment, both good and bad. And because of the free will that God granted to us when he created Adam, we have the liberty to chose either, the righteous or evil. But sadly there is a plethora of wrong choices today. And it seems that it’s all too easy to default to bad choices, at least I know it is in my life. But while liberty gives me that option, liberty also demands better. Liberty instructs that we must resist that which is not good, not only for our own good, but for our family, friends and nation. For if we learned anything from Adam and Eve, we can understand that our choices are not made in a vacuum but rather they ripple out, resulting in either a wave of good or a flood of bad.
So at the end of the day, the purpose of liberty is simple. It is a test. Will you and I pass the test? Will we weigh every choice by God’s perfect standard, rejecting those that don’t measure up? Or will we abuse liberty to do what we want, regardless of the impact on ourselves and others?
Only you can say. But as we celebrate another July 4th, may we never again forget the purpose of liberty and with God’s help, exercise our liberty in a manner worthy of God’s blessings.
The sands of time
So quickly pass
In the slender neck
Of our hour glass
Our life ahead
At two score and five
With dreams intact
We feel so alive
As life grows busy
The sand keeps beating
But we pay no thought
To the years now fleeting
We’ve known others younger
Whose sand drew still
Their premature death
Briefly testing our will
But our own life plans
We are confident yet
Will align in due time
With our diminishing grit
For surely our grains
Will continue to fall
Until the time of our choosing
Has arrived with a crawl
But when will we realize
That it’s God who allows
For the number of grains
That remain in our vials
May we refocus our thoughts
To what really will count
When the sands in our glass
Do finally run out.
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days…”
The Indy 500. Daytona 500. Monaco Grand Prix. 24 Hours of Le Mans. These are just a view of the world’s iconic motorsport races.
For me there’s not much more thrilling in sporting events than the combination of horsepower, speed, technology, competition, and fans. And for fans, there’s not much they enjoy more than a good crash. Although a good crash, like beauty, is a matter of perspective.
Strap yourself into a car with the engine revving, tires screeching, and the speedometer in the three digit zone, and there’s no such thing as a GOOD crash. The fact is, if you’re inside the race car, any crash is a bad crash. (I know, I’ve been in a couple of my own three digit racing crashes which you can view here and here.) But sit back in your favorite La-Z-Boy recliner, or better yet, at the Indy 500 between Turns 1 and 2, as I was this week, at the 101st running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and a crash is an added “bonus” to the fans.
Sitting in the stands on Sunday at the Indy 500, I could not have anticipated viewing one of the most jaw-dropping crashes I’ve ever witnessed. It was lap 53 of 200 laps. The race had been perfect so far. There had been no yellow, or caution flags. The drivers were at their best. The cars were nearly a blur as they flew around the track, 40 seconds per lap, at an average speed of 220 miles per hour. My favorite driver in the race, Fernando Alonso from Spain, a two time world champion in Formula 1, but a rookie to the Indy 500, had worked himself into the lead.
A pack of cars came down the front stretch and slowed just slightly as they maneuvered through turn 1. As I sat there, the “bonus” happened, directly in front of me. Jay Howard lost control and hit the outside wall. As he slid back across the track, Scott Dixon, the pole winner, had no place to go and rammed into the back of Jay’s car. The thud we heard was unmistakable, and we watched in disbelief as the next several seconds unfolded. Immediately Dixon’s car was catapulted high into the air and the four time IndyCar champion was simply along for the ride. His years of experience and success provided no advantage.
As Scott’s car careened through the air, his life literally hung in the balance. How would his car land as he flipped towards the wall and catch fence? Would he survive such a horrific crash? Could he, like many of his fellow racers in the past, skirt death?
As the crash video reveals, Dixon’s aerial flight came to an abrupt and violent impact with the inside wall on the right side of his car. The impact caused massive damage with the #9 car disintegrating into a thousands pieces. As the car continued to twist and turn, it flipped upside down and then back over, sliding to a stop with only one of the four wheels left intact, and half the car missing. Miraculously, Scott climbed out of the car, unhurt and waving to the crowd.
But… what if?
What if Dixon’s car had rotated just a quarter turn more and instead of landing on its side, it had landed driver first, into the wall? I shudder to think what the outcome would have been. But it’s not too far fetched to consider. The fact is, something very similar happened six years earlier at another IndyCar race in Las Vegas when a massive crash launched former champion and Indy 500 race winner, Dan Wheldon, into the air. As I watched the race live, the driver would suffer blunt force trauma to his head. And Wheldon, whose career would likely have seen many more wins and successes, breathed his last that day, at age 33. He left behind a beautiful wife and two young boys.
Following the race at Indy last Sunday, the thought occurred to me just how fragile life is. One driver dies. The other lives. Some might suggest luck plays a part in the outcome, as if it’s merely a flip of a coin to determine whether it’s heads you live, or tails you die.
But ultimately no amount of skill, preparation, goodwill or luck will prevent our taking our final breath. Rather, death is something that will come to us all, sooner or later, as the Bible affirms:
“Each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment.”
Death. It’s a sobering thought that most of us avoid and refuse to consider. Yet it will happen to all of us, without a doubt.
So, the real question is how will we live our lives until the figurative coin lands on tails? But even more importantly, will we be prepared for that moment when the inevitable occurs? For as we just read, we will all be judged, not only for how we have lived our lives, but more importantly in whom and what we trusted for our eternal future.
I don’t know what your personal standing is with God but here’s is the truth of God’s Word – the Bible. In Romans 3:23 we are told “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In other words we have all fallen short of God’s standard of perfection. Because of this fact, we learn in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God is clear that without His Son we can expect death eternally.
The eternal life offered by God is as a result of His Son’s death and resurrection as we see in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Finally, while God did this for us, we must accept His gift of salvation. Romans 10:9 tells us “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is the road to true peace and freedom… and assurance of your eternal future, once that final moment comes for you and me.
If you want to pursue this matter further, here is a relevant website that deals further with life, death, and eternity: http://www.areyouagoodperson.org/ Or send me an email and let’s grab coffee and talk.
Whether you are a motorsports fan or not, we all share the common need to prepare for what lies ahead. I hope and pray you have done so, or if not, you will do so today.
This last weekend, as tens of thousands of radical feminists marched in cities around the nation, their vulgar and “nasty” remarks received prime coverage by a media eager to feature their heinous and godless tirades. Their despicable comments were beamed to homes and mobile devices everywhere.
The profane shouts and signs of these self-oppressed radicals, declared their bodies were their own, and that government should keep its hands and policies off of their sacred reproductive organs. With clenched fists to the sky, these women affirmed to the world, and even to God Himself, that their bodies were sacrosanct, and that NO ONE, could, should, or would diminish their “women’s rights!”
But what struck me was the utter selfishness of these radical feminists. It was on full display for anyone honest enough to acknowledge their despicable self-absorption. As a godless media deified them, these radicals felt no shame in their self-exaltation.
Lost in all the rancor, protests, profanity and threats though, were the feminists’ lies. Also missing was one glaring truth.
The radical feminist’s message could not be more aptly illustrated than with these tragic feminists’ attitudes (where “My” is the feminist and “her” is the innocent child in the womb):
“My body supersedes her life…”
“My career displaces her future…”
“My freedom destroys her existence…”
This selfish, morally debased, and evil philosophy is what permeates the radical feminist movement. These feminists’ rabid torrents of anger are the antithesis of what God designed and ordained in the beginning.
Sadly, the vile beliefs of these rabid feminists assault the tender sweetness of those that are disparaged in the debate. The innocence of these children emanate from:
The smoothness of her soft, untainted features and delicate skin.
The sweet sounds of his new lungs as he inhales the breath of life for the first time.
The tenderness of her astonished cries as she leaves the warmth and security of her mother’s womb.
The fragility of that little child, who only desires the love and care of the one who chose to conceive him.
The very image of God, implanted in her DNA.
But tragically, the little ones whom Jesus blessed as “the least of these” are the very ones that tens of thousands of angry, abusive, blustering feminists will continue to condemn to a trash bag, incinerator or some Frankenstein-type “health-care experiment.”
What has been merely a “choice” to millions over the last 34 years since Roe vs Wade, has been a tragic death sentence for more than 55 million innocent children. It is a scourge of a nation that has turned its back on what God loves.
As Jesus hung on the cross, presenting His innocent life as a sacrifice for all, His death was the ultimate example of selflessness. He gave His perfect, sinless life in death, in order to offer life to all of sinful mankind.
Tragically though, the polar opposite of that selfless sacrifice by Jesus, is the abhorrent selfishness that is exemplified by radical feminists. In the name of choice, they will continue to demand “reproductive rights” and “equality”— their unacknowledged code words for snuffing out the lives of those they deem unworthy of life.
Over the course of one week, the despicable acts and philosophy of the pro-death feminists will be juxtaposed with the peaceful and loving throngs of pro-life supporters, who will march this Friday, seeking merely to bring an end to the murderous act that was legalized by Roe v Wade in 1973. There could be no greater contrast in the messages of these two groups than the feminists versus those who are pro-life.
And there is no greater disparity between life and death, as God reminds all of mankind:
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”
May our nation, and our people come to our senses and move diligently to protect the most innocent and fragile, and in so doing, may we find the mercy and grace that only a sovereign and forgiving God can extend.
In my post earlier this week, I attempted to make the case for what happens when one votes for the lesser evil and how that ultimately results in a continued race to the bottom of the barrel. If this year’s election proves anything, it should affirm that truth, with a couple of candidates who may be amongst the most depraved and immoral ones in our nation’s history.
In the same article, I also attempted to lay the groundwork for why the Bible affirms that when confronted with evil, of any kind or in any setting, the Christian is called to reject it, have no fellowship with it, and to even expose it. I often hear the response, “well, we’re not electing a pastor in chief” to which I respond, “ok, but where in scripture does it limit our rejection of evil to simply when we are selecting a pastor?“
That said, if you’re reading this post, then I assume you may either 1) be curious about more of my rants and ramblings, 2) you truly are interested in exploring your options because you find both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton unfit to serve as President of the United States, or 3) you want to see just how crazy I am.
Consider these statistics about the feelings of Americans:
- 57% of Americans believe a 3rd Party is needed (up from 46% in 2012) and 51% of Republicans agree, according to Gallup.
- 33% of Americans believe Hillary Clinton would be a good/great President while 25% believe the same about Donald Trump. Gallup
- Trust in political leaders is at an all time low, with just 42% of Americans having a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust. Gallup
Given these numbers, it’s highly likely that we will see a record number of voters either stay home, vote only the down ballot, or vote third party or independent.
So in the chart at the bottom of this post, I have attempted to layout just a few of the other “credible” alternatives that are available for those interested. While I started with a larger slate, as I continued my research I narrowed it greatly. I have presented the positions on key issues from these final candidates primarily from their websites and/or platforms. But in a case or two I have gone to the internet to quote their positions from interviews they have given. If you want to see the more than 400 Presidential candidates, you can find them here.
Wasting Your Vote
I am told by some that voting for a candidate other than the Republican or Democrat means you just wasted your vote. There are several responses to that perspective but first, if you follow that logic, then voting for any loser was a wasted vote. So if my vote for a candidate who did not win is a waste, then it must stand to reason if you vote for Trump and he loses then your vote is a waste as well. Furthermore, under that line of reasoning, if you voted for Romney four years ago, or even your local dog catcher (if he lost), you wasted your vote as well. That hardly makes sense.
I would never assert your vote is a waste, regardless of who you voted for. I may disagree, but it’s rather presumptuous of me to assert that your vote, cast from your personal values and beliefs, is a waste. That’s the height of mocking and belittling someone’s deeply held convictions and a very arrogant attitude to assert that someone else must vote as you believe. In fact, it may border on the kind of elections that Saddam Hussein would have expected you to participate in. Vote as he demands or else!
But let me move to a different angle. While as Americans we are conditioned to win, voting should not be about just winning. Fundamentally it should be about expressing your values. Where those values can align with a candidate and actually win, that is the best outcome for you and your values. But when one wholeheartedly sacrifices those values, particularly when those values are deep, fundamental and non-negotiable, one’s character is diminished, and ultimately the character of the nation devolves. Many of our founding fathers spoke about voting and I think their views are worth being reminded of. I’ve included a few below:
Founding Fathers on Voting
In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate. Look to his character. When a citizen gives his suffrage [vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.”
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men.
Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .And the people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.
Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.
I have one great political idea. . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics – the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.
What’s at Stake
I am fully aware of what is at stake in this election. As someone who has been on the front lines of the battle for our Constitutional Republic politically and culturally for the last decade, I can recite very succinctly the threats that are posed to you, me and our nation. The loss of religious liberty. The loss of the second amendment. The loss of free speech. The further encroachment on civil liberties and property rights. The increasing attack on Life and Marriage. The further opening of our borders and national sovereignty. Increasing terrorism. And more and more.
Yes, our nation hangs in the balance. But as bad as that is, or perhaps because it is so bad, I must turn to God and His Word for instruction and direction. And if one is willing to study, search and dig, it’s not only amazing, but encouraging to find how much is in the Word of God that speaks to the very issues we are facing. Truthfully, doing so will give you peace in the midst of this Cat 4 storm we appear to be in.
One story in the Old Testament stands out in particular, that is no doubt familiar to you. Recall the three Hebrew young men, millennials perhaps, living in the Babylonian empire as captives. They were faced with a dire choice. That choice was not on par with losing their right to bear arms, or their freedom of speech, or even simply religious liberty. It was actually much, much worse. They were threatened with the loss of their very lives in a fiery furnace if they refused to obey the king. And yet, read their response:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
While these exemplary young men knew their God could save them, they also understood He might not. But they trusted Him with their lives nonetheless. And God delivered them.
So this is the question I ponder: Is it to much for me to do something lesser and trust God with my nation?
Let me close with some references from the ultimate source for me, God’s Word. For right or wrong, my default is to seek God’s views on all matters of life. Given that He created it all, and we are navigating through His world, I subscribe to the notion that one should look to the owners manual for instruction. For me, that owners manual is the Bible. As you read the passages below, I encourage you to continue to seek God in prayer, asking Him to make your decision clear. He promises to do so, if we will ask, and when He does, you will gain a supernatural peace.
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…” Exodus 18:21
“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Daniel 2:21
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, have a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Peter 3:1-5
“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” I Thessalonians 5:21-22
“And why not say, Let us do evil that good may come?” Romans 3:8
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
“The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I have had a number of readers ask me about who I plan to vote for so I will share that openly. While I am in agreement with many of the positions for each of the candidates below, I have some non-negotiable values as well. And given those non-negotiables, two of the candidates disqualified themselves for me. So the individual I plan to cast my vote for, barring any other “new information” that might come to light, is Darrell Castle with the Constitution Party. The Party’s website is extensive with a strong and very detailed description of their views on all of the salient issues of our day. And while there are a couple I may not agree with wholeheartedly, on the fundamentals for me, the Constitution Party is solid. (In Tennessee where I live I will have to write-in the name Darrell Castle as may be the case in your state as well.)
Finally, consider the down ballot as you go to the polls, regardless of your Presidential pick. At the end of the day, the many lesser positions can have a profound impact on our lives as well, particularly in your local community. So I encourage you to apply the same standard to those other choices as you diligently and prayerfully make your selections.
As indicated in my previous article, I welcome your thoughts, critiques, and feedback. This continues to be a learning and growth process for me so your perspective is always valued and respected.
NOTE: Chart below works best on computer or to view on your phone click here.
Over the last decade, I have interacted with hundreds, if not thousands, of fellow Americans, as we have shared our grave concerns over the direction of our nation. There is no doubt that the land of the free and home of the brave is on a course that threatens our future and the very survival of our nation. So we must ask ourselves this question.
Have we reached the point of no return?
Some may brush off such concerns, believing that America is too big to fail, and asserting that as the world’s superpower, our future remains secure. They reject the voices that continue to warn our leaders, citizens and neighbors that something is seriously wrong, and that never before has a nation ignored and rejected so many warnings and foundational principles, and survived.
One only needs to shuffle through history to recognize that nation after nation has ultimately stumbled and fallen when it turned its back on the basic building blocks of any exceptional civilization. Today, I would like to briefly touch on a few of the key foundation stones.
If there is one thing that dominates the hearts and minds of Americans it’s the almighty dollar. The economy consistently scores at the top of issues that concern Americans. In fact, the phrase, “it’s the economy stupid” became an often used slogan during the Clinton-Bush presidential campaign in 1992.
But with our nation’s current debt at $19,500,000,000,000 (that’s trillion) and its unfunded liabilities exceeding another $100 trillion, many would say that this issue alone has already taken us past the point of no return. Regardless of who is elected in November, both Clinton and Trump’s plans will continue to increase the national debt, at alarming rates.
However, it may surprise you to know that according to a recent study by Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, our nation’s federal debt would fare far worse under Trump with the debt in 2026 soaring to $39.5 Trillion, double the current debt. Under a Clinton administration, the national debt would rise to $29.6 Trillion. While $10 Trillion less than Trump, both candidates’ plans would put the final nail in the fiscal coffin of our nation.
The idea that we can continue to spend into oblivion with no consequences whatsoever is one sign that a nation is on the path to ultimate collapse.
There have certainly been periods of political dysfunction and turmoil over our 240 year history as a nation. And I suppose that occurs when men seek and desire power, often above all else. But as we see the magnitude of the problems facing our nation increasing exponentially, the prolonged polarization we are experiencing represents an existential threat to America. Good men and women can disagree, but at the end of the day, opposite sides of an issue must find some common ground if they are to solve problems in a republic, the system chosen by our founders. Of course, this also assumes that both sides are honest players in their desire to solve our problems, which is no longer the case.
Without our political leaders seeking the best for our nation, it’s unquestionable that the course we are on is headed for a ruinous conclusion.
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” — the bedrock values of our nation. In selecting these words, our founding fathers sought to affirm the fundamental rights granted to man by God. By doing so they established the ground rules upon which we would live with each other. These rules, or sacred rights, would be the basis for all future interactions between the hundreds of millions of Americans that would follow them.
But in this era, no longer is Life revered and protected. Liberty is being handcuffed and under constant assault. And the Happiness one was once free to pursue is subject to approval, or disapproval, by the state.
As all of these founding rights have come under attack, corruption within our government and businesses has skyrocketed. Politicians use government as their own private wrecking ball in destroying those citizens, groups and states with whom they disagree. Businessmen use their enterprises to achieve personal gain, irrespective of the customers they manipulate, prey on, or defraud. Consequently, it’s only fitting that the two candidates for President exemplify the worst this nation has to offer, when it comes to candidates of high ethical standing.
We see then that as a nation’s ethics plummet and it removes the foundations of truth, the structure upon which it was built begins to sway and will ultimately topple.
Morals, the system by which we determine good and bad, is absolutely crucial in directing the ultimate destination of one’s life, enterprise and even nation. Morals are impacted and greatly influenced by the culture and society. Yet all morals are not equal.
Consider that under the teachings of Muhammed, the founder of Islam, it is appropriate to lie to advance the cause of Islam. It is also valid to subjugate non-Muslims, since they are deemed to be inferior people, referred to as kafirs. In contrast, the teachings of Jesus Christ instruct humanity to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the golden rule. And Christ also taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Clearly, these two ideologies, Islam and Christianity, are at two extremes in defining their morals, what is good and bad.
Over the last half century or so, our culture has radically redefined our morals. What was good 50 years ago is now bad, and what was bad then is now good. I could spend the next several paragraphs providing examples, but if you’re awake, you know how what was considered evil just a few decades ago, is now embraced, celebrated and promoted.
Morals, like ideas, matter. When a nation rejects good and elevates evil, and when that same nation punishes those who embrace good, and it codifies that which is bad, there can be no doubt that such nation is on a short path to collapse.
For America, perhaps this is the seminal issue upon which the ones above all rest. A skyscraper is only as sturdy and secure as the foundation upon which it rests. Likewise, the American experiment over these last 240 years has been an extraordinary success because of the Judeo-Christian values upon which it rested. But as those values have not only been attacked, but ultimately replaced over the last few decades with secularism, it’s clear that the experiment has begun to falter. And as it falters, we will have reached the point of no return.
We read in Scripture this promise, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” But we also read that “A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order.” Could there be any more fitting description of the condition of our nation today? And if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, as He declares, then we must certainly expect the coming extreme judgment of a Holy God as He has shown in so many other examples over the millenniums.
Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, while imperfect, exemplified the values of our founders and sought to redirect the trajectory of our nation. The course we were on was taking us to the point of no return but Reagan’s commitment to revitalize our economy, politics, ethics and morals, while elevating the spiritual, slowed our nation’s arrival at the edge of the cliff.
In one of Reagan’s most famous speeches entitled “A Time For Choosing,” first delivered in 1964, Reagan exposed the threat to peace by the Soviet Union. But his comments then are likewise applicable to my discussion today. In his closing remarks, Reagan stated:
“Someday… our surrender will be voluntary because by that time, we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally and economically… You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this the last best hope of man on earth or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
Our rendezvous with destiny is upon us. By our choices and priorities over these last 50 years, we have established that destiny. And while our national destiny is perhaps past the point of no return, individually we can and must establish our own personal destiny, which does not have to mirror that of America’s. I pray you will embark on a plan to secure your destiny, economically, morally and spiritually.
To find out how, check out this previous article I wrote providing some specific and practical steps that we can all take.