Modern life affords many opportunities, but along with it comes many challenges. Adversity has the potential to overwhelm us. This is where America finds herself at this very moment. We seem to be adrift on an ocean of uncertainty, with a crew that we don’t trust fighting for control of the ship. The passengers rightly ask, “Who can correct our course?”
In a new book called Good as Gold, the granddaughter of the only surviving senior officer of the Titanic, Charles Lightoller, claims that the collision with the deadly iceberg was actually the result of human error. She claims that the man at the wheel misunderstood an order and turned right instead of left. After hitting the iceberg, the chairman of the White Star Line instructed them to keep sailing, hoping to avoid lawsuits and embarrassment. Two hours later, the Titanic sank.
Our ship of state has taken a wrong turn. Both visible and hidden dangers await. The consequences can be catastrophic. We need a course correction and we need it soon! No giant ship can be foolishly and abruptly jolted back on course, but corrective measures must be taken and they must be taken soon. Presently, those in control seem to have taken a hard left when it seems a better correction would be to the right.
We must reverse the ever-increasing, out-of-control spending before we drown in depressive debt. Government must be limited and brought under control and no longer perceived as the all-provident God. There must be a return to law and order, and people must understand that our blessed liberty demands responsibility and personal accountability. The very nature of freedom enables us to abuse www.trusted-treesurgeons.com and neglect its privileges.
Betty and I have 11 grandchildren. Most of them are now old enough to drive. At that age, most teenagers feel like they have suddenly gained their wings and been granted a new freedom. Many teens fail to understand that with this freedom comes the necessity of responsibility and self-control, as well as an awareness of negative tendencies on the part of other drivers. If a young person granted this new-found freedom does not think and drive responsibly, the consequences can be catastrophic and even deadly. Such is the case with our national freedom. It is being abused, neglected, and the positive effects are being driven into horrible negative consequences.
So again, I ask, “Who can and must correct the course?”
I am confident that I know, and through many months of prayer, study of the Word and history, I can affirm the following to be the necessary agents restoring our nation, rescuing our freedom and resetting our course toward security and safety. The agents of positive change are people who understand the importance of faith, family and freedom. People of faith are those who have placed their trust in that which is reliable. What is reliable? Truth.
Our founders understood self-evident truths – certain rights we have been granted by our Creator. Some people do not understand this truth. There is a God – a Creator – and there are absolutes that are not only biblical, but have been time-tested and historically proven. The rights we enjoy are derived from truth that can only come from God. They do not come from man, reason, creation or any other source. Only God.
True people of faith have had a supernatural change in their lives because of a personal relationship with this living God. The God of the Bible invites us to call Him Father because He has adopted us as His children. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we know that we have a personal relationship with God. As a result of this relationship, a difference has been made in our lives. Because a difference has been made, we become difference makers. We make a positive impact on everything around us. We truly become the light that pierces the darkness and helps provide guidance for others. Together we become a city set on a hill.
Leaders who are people of faith can help set the course, determine the agenda, and insure domestic peace and tranquility. Only people of true faith can rightly create a society in which others have the freedom to claim other faiths or no faith. God created a world where people have the freedom to live with their fist clenched to His face. Likewise, people of faith understand that distinct differences must not only be tolerated, but allowed to take part in public display and discourse. True faith understands that truth withstands debate. Truth is never afraid of lies, because truth, when shared and heard clearly, always prevails.
Far too often, people of faith are rightly concerned about their own circle of influence, but wrongly ignore their responsibilities related to community and country. If we’re not careful, good people will mind their own business, while activists take over — even radicals and extremists. When people of faith live in this manner, they are hiding the light of God’s love and truth under a bushel of comfort, conformity and compromise.
Unless people of faith stand up and become difference-makers, helping return our nation to sanity and stability, we are deep trouble! That’s why I am crying out: WAKE UP CHURCH! MAKE THE DIFFERENCE YOU WERE LEFT ON EARTH TO MAKE!
Stop looking unto Jesus as the escape mechanism and start looking unto Him as the blessed present hope. Let Him live His life through you! Be a witness, beginning at home and ultimately to the ends of the earth. Disciple the nations by making disciples of your family, neighbors, communities and everyone you encounter. The love of God released through us as believers will never fail. We’ve been holding back this river. It’s time to release it!
In a constitutional republic, where we choose our leaders through a democratic process, we are responsible for those we put in leadership and for the principles and policies we enable them to enact. People of faith, please remember, government is not capable of creating wealth. People create wealth and government, by its very nature, takes a piece of it to address the most basic and common needs of society. When government takes money inappropriately and excessively, it diminishes the people’s ability to create wealth. When the wealth-takers exceed the wealth-makers, the system implodes. We are quickly approaching this tipping point in our country.
The second identifiable group that can help correct the course are all people who understand the importance of the family –a husband and wife, their children and relatives. These families are to love their neighbors and make positive contributions in their community.
We not only have our individual families, but we have church families in fellowship that impact the greater family in the entire community and ultimately the nation and the earth. This means that we have to pursue harmony. Every family and every person of faith needs to learn how to disagree and engage in healthy discussions and debate without allowing a spirit of divorce to prevail. Disagreement can be positive. Iron sharpens iron! We hone one another in serious (even heated) discussions as long as we understand that we are honing the edge and not blunting it by hitting it head-on with no possibility of learning or being corrected.
Betty and I discussed the necessity of healthy discussions including confrontation, and even heated discussions without allowing the spirit of divorce to come into the picture in our book Living in Love, which we pray every couple will read and share. There is an all-out assault on the family today by various groups seeking to justify particular lifestyles and relationships, putting them in the same category as marriage and the biblical picture of a family. No one should ever be mistreated or assaulted because of a particular lifestyle or practice. There is no place for hate and hate crimes, but it is also incorrect to compromise moral standards because of the demands and practices of some. We must all be called to accountability and repentance, even though evildoers assault biblical morality and legitimate family relationships.
Last, but not least, those who can help correct the course are those who understand true freedom. By this, I don’t mean the ability to act however we wish, as an animal in the wild. I am talking about what our founders clearly understood, that the freedom we enjoy is actually liberty. Liberty implies responsibility and accountability. The freedom we’ve been granted gives us the opportunity to live with creativity and expression including legitimate self-interest. If we do not care about ourselves, how could we be right in loving our neighbor as ourselves in obedience to the commands of Christ?
Self-interest is a part of the effective free market, and free market capitalism grants us the greatest possible opportunities to be successful, to be prosperous and a blessing to others. Freedom, including a healthy free market, is the only way we can enjoy the life, possibilities, and prosperity that everyone desires. No one sets out or seeks to be a failure, to be poor, to be bound by poverty. If our teenagers who have just been given their freedom and their license to drive, abuse that freedom and damage is done, that should not for one moment lead to an assault on teenage driving. The right and privilege to drive is not the problem. Irresponsibility and the abuse of freedom is the problem.
If the American people do not recognize the absolute necessity of keeping the free market free, we will never again enjoy economic opportunity or financial stability. Successful people who have accumulated great wealth may have problems. They may have been adversely affected by selfishness and greed, and may have mistreated others, but that does not nullify the incredible beauty and possibilities that the free market affords.
Jay Richards, the author of Money, Greed, and God (a book I consider “must reading” for everyone who cares about our future), has become a close friend who shares my concerns. We have agreed to prayerfully work together to share necessary steps for restoring our nation’s great foundation and preserve freedom’s blessings. Jay is a brilliant philosopher and economist. In clearly explaining how free market capitalism is, in fact, biblical and consistent with Christian principles, he shares: “Many of capitalism’s champions and critics miss the subtleties of the capitalist system: to prosper, a market economy needs not just competition, but rule of law and virtues like cooperation, stable families, self-sacrifice, a commitment to delayed gratification, and a willingness to risk based on a future hope. These all fit nicely with the Christian worldview.… Free market capitalism is an economic order which allows wealth to be created in abundance. And only the creation of wealth will reduce poverty in the long run.”
Of course, love and compassion must kick in here. Richards goes on to state, “Wealth is created when our creative freedom is allowed to prosper in a free market environment undergirded by the rule of law and suffused with a rich moral culture. Christians believe that human beings are made in God’s image. Our creative freedom reflects that divine image. Christians can be and indeed should be good capitalists.”
By fighting the wrong enemy and pursuing the wrong villain, Christians have squandered their energies which would be much better spent fighting the real culprit – an insidious world view that denies the great truths of Christianity which led to the birth of the most prosperous, benevolent nation in history.
It is the responsibility of the church and all people of influence to impact people who are successful and who can create wealth and opportunity to focus on others and to learn to love their neighbor appropriately while also helping to provide opportunities for others. If we are going to see jobs created, our economy stabilized and America restored, it will come through the involvement of people who understand the importance of faith, family, freedom (liberty) and a healthy free market. We not only pray for those in authority and pray for God’s will to be done, but we put feet to those prayers and stand firm. Christians in the New Testament stood in the face of persecution and said, “We can’t help but speak the things we’ve seen and heard.”
As believers we have seen the truth, we know truth, recognize it, and we’ve got to speak it and stand for it regardless of the challenges, criticisms and consequences. Those who do not understand liberty will accuse us and try to discourage us, as Christians, from actively participating in the democratic process. Still, we must engage in the prayerful and wise selection of our leaders so that they will enact meaningful legislation and policies. This is a call to action for everyone who understands the importance of faith, family and freedom.