This week I’m letting freedom ring away from my normal sales-related messages! The older people get, the more often weird thoughts, memories, and even songs flash through their minds. I know this because I’m old and it happens to me.
Five times each week I walk two miles for exercise, and my route includes trekking around and through a hospital parking lot. During one of those outings last month, while passing the front of the hospital, I glanced up and noticed the American flag waving in the spring breeze. Out of the blue it flashed through my mind and then automatically out of my mouth for anybody nearby to hear…
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I started reciting that pledge as a first grader in 1955; so although I might have forgotten what I had for lunch yesterday, I don’t stutter when I reel off that one long sentence that defines our nation.
So, as we devise a plan of how to blow out the 243 candles on America’s birthday cake, I have a couple of concerns I want to share today about two specific disconnects with our Pledge that could limit how many future birthdays we may have the opportunity to celebrate.
“One Nation under God” – I am sad to say that this pillar of our pledge is no longer true. I’m not naive enough to believe that Americans were ever totally in unison with one another and in lockstep as God-fearing believers, but our spiritual condition as a nation has definitely declined.
According to recent polls and surveys by the Pew Research Center, barely 50% of Americans state they absolutely believe in God, without any doubts. The other half shared shades of indecision from “fairly certain” there is a God to “really not sure.” These also reveal that in addition the percentage of staunch atheists has doubled to about 10% over the last 10 years.
I’m not here to preach to you or attempt to influence you about any particular faith. But I know that every nation that has turned its back on God has eventually fallen. This principle is mentioned over and over in the Bible, and here is just one example:
Job 8:11-15 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? While it is yet green and not cut down, it withers before any other plant. So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust is a spider’s web. He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure.”
If your response is that you don’t believe in the Bible, well I guess you just confirmed the point I’m making. As Americans we brag and boast about our lifestyle, our wealth, and the security our military provides us. We are the country everybody wants to inhabit. Every day thousands risk their very lives and pour over our borders illegally, in an attempt to get a taste of life in America.
But our nation is quickly deteriorating from the “promised land” everyone thinks it is. This decline parallels the independence from God we are demanding. Look around at the addictions, relentless severe weather, lack of respect for unborn and newborn human life, and hatred resulting in violent crimes; just to name a few. The answer to our dilemma is readily available, but requires action on our part that most people don’t want to consider:
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Now is the time for us to act, before we go any further down this slippery slope.
“Indivisible” – Secondly I’m alarmed how far we have moved as a people from being inseparable. We have always had differing viewpoints about everything from athletic teams we cheer for to political parties we support. We have preferences about city or rural living, marriage or the single life, and on and on. I won’t blabber on about things we’re partial to, but that’s not the problem, that’s diversity.
However, we are more divided than ever over core issues that have never been up for discussion in our history. Socialism, “free” everything, hatred of leaders that is greater than love of country, open borders and abortion on steroids expanded even to legally kill live-born babies. I’m not intending a political rant, but we must stop these insane trends, before America as we know it, disappears.
I don’t believe we can negotiate or legislate or deregulate our way back to indivisible. The dilemma we have mired ourselves into is now beyond our human capacity to resolve and restore harmony. The only solution I conceive working in our fractured nation are “heart transplants for all,” as opposed to all the proposed “programs for all” currently being bandied around. These transplants are available to all as outlined below:
Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart—I will give you new and right desires—and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love.”
So, there’s my two cents worth for America on her birthday. At my age she will probably outlast me, but I harbor grave concerns for what my adult children and grandchildren will face. How about you?
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