It’s Christmas, when believers in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, celebrate His divine birth and life. We have had His teachings since He taught them to our first parents in the Garden of Eden. Throughout history, societies that have honored Christian principles have prospered and those who have renounced them have fallen. The strength of a nation’s character can be measured by its devotion to Christian virtues. They are the glue that binds us; they keep a culture sane.
Even those who claim to not believe in a God cannot make society work without Christian principles, the foundation of all good relationships. Kindness, fairness, honesty and integrity are Christian components. Thrift, responsibility, love and compassion are also among Christian principles. Who would want to live in a society without those attributes? It is not from isolation or from nothing that these virtues have emerged—they came from the teachings of Jehovah. The world doesn’t work without them. People descend into selfishness and ultimately into depravity without the tethering influence of Christianity.
During our prosperity years, Christian values supported US social policy. We went to church on Sundays and lived our Sunday principles all week. We believed in living within our means, individually and collectively. We accepted the sanctity of marriage: that intimacy was reserved for marriage and children deserved a father and mother who were married to each other. We expected businesses and government to operate with integrity.
Not only are Christian principles the basis of religious law, they are the basis of civil law, as well. We have the pattern in the Old Testament. Our Founders’ concept to divide power between an executive, a legislative body and a judicial system came partly from Isaiah, who explained the roles of Jesus Christ concerning the law: “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22) Our Founders knew the ancient law well, as they were, almost to a man, devout students of the biblical record. Under the pattern of Christianity’s Old Testament civil law, the United States became prosperous: by 1905, we produced 50% of the world’s goods with only 5% of her land mass and 6% of her population. Our common written and ratified “constitutions”, rights of self-protection and private property ownership, and duties matched to rights also unite us. Justice based on investigation of facts and multiple witnesses defines both cultures. It isn’t hard to find the gold and silver standard and the free enterprise system that prospered in ancient Israel as well as in our nation during our prosperous days. (Sadly, we have abandoned our precious metals standard and regulated free enterprise into atrophy.)
A serious argument can be drawn about America’s devotion to Christian ethics today. We have aborted 55 million babies. Pornography is rampant and the traditional family is in decline. Many of our larger cities are rife with random shootings and lootings and individuals are not safe—we are awash in violence. Our national policy has embraced Frederic Bastiat’s “legal plunder” of workers to support the deliberately idle. Forty percent of babies in the US are born out of wedlock, indicating that promiscuity is the norm. Groups with radical agendas are pushing Christianity out of the public square and it is increasingly difficult for ordinary citizens to express personal beliefs. Greed from both the corporate and government sectors is appalling. Apathy shrouds us, as many Americans ignore their responsibility to be informed and take action to change our circumstances.
George Orwell is credited with saying, “In a time of universal confusion, stating the obvious is a revolutionary act.” This, then, is the obvious: the United States is falling apart morally. If the Constitution doesn’t work today, it’s because we are no longer a people worthy of its principles. It is not just America that is careening down the road to disaster; Christianity is headed there, as well. Too many Christians are either buying into anti-Christian beliefs and practices or compromising them into obscurity—beliefs in moral integrity, the sanctity of human life, the traditional family, sound economics, and the necessity of Christian worship, to name a few. We are losing the concept that Christians do what Christians are supposed to do, and they believe what Christian values teach. Our enemies are systematically dismantling both constitutional liberty and Christian principles.
The United States was founded on Christianity and the great men in our history warned that it must remain so. Samuel Langdon, a Congregational pastor speaking to the New Hampshire state legislature in 1788, before its vote to ratify the Constitution, said: “I call upon you to preserve the knowledge of God in the land…If you…renounce that religion…commanded in the Holy Scriptures, think no more of freedom, peace and happiness”.
Many solutions are offered for our increasingly lawless moral morass: take away our guns, give still more welfare, impose more regulations and allow even less individual autonomy, among others. None of these will solve the problems. If we want freedom, protection, prosperity and peace, we must return to the widespread practice of Christian principles. Only virtue will restore safety and security—the virtue of people who choose to do what is right because it is right.
It is part of the season to evaluate our commitment to Christianity. May we engrave its virtues on our hearts! Merry Christmas!