In America, the threat to Christian principles and freedom has come from the growth of a socialistic government intent on purging religious-based values and principles from our culture. As government grows, it displaces faith in God as the source of security and hope. As faith retreats, morality and virtue decline, extinguishing the ability of the people to live without external controls. When virtue is lost, government force is all that remains to control an uncontrollable people. The more external force is used, the less freedom can prevail and the more the people contrive to throw off all restraints. Lawlessness and immorality rule.
Because we live in an era when many parents have neglected the Christian education of their children, too few understand the crucial role Christian ethics have in our society. We have inherited the blessings and the practices of Christianity, but each generation has become successively more ignorant of the origins of those blessings. What too few appreciate, we now risk losing.
Both our individual and national salvation lies in understanding the wisdom contained in the Bible. Consider one short chapter, 1 Corinthians 12, for example. Here the Apostle Paul writes of spiritual gifts. Some have miraculous gifts, but most of us only have the opportunity to use what we consider ordinary gifts. Yet Paul speaks of the importance of even the most mundane gifts. Each of us has a gift that is needed for the good of the body of our society.
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (Today’s New International Version)
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
America’s government has never held America together. Because of our mutual concern for each other, we Americans have held America together. Even during the most bitter moments of the Civil War, both Blue and Gray remembered that Jesus wanted them to love each other. So as best they could, each side strove to fight an honorable war. Generations latter, even though we are appalled by the bloodshed, we still admire their chivalry and bravery.
What holds our nation together no political party can manufacture. We cannot arrest and reverse the decline and fall of America by choosing to be a Republican, a Democrat, a Conservative, a Liberal, a Libertarian, a Progressive,…. We can only save ourselves and our nation by obeying the command Jesus gave his disciples.
John 13:34-35 (Today’s New International Version)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How important is love? How do we love one another? The Apostle Paul explained that in one of the most beautiful passages ever written, 1 Corinthians 13.