IN THE DISTANCE, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS coming, this split in the American road? Well, here it is. And no one can go back. We must all choose on which path we are going to continue.
Secular Citizen or Citizen of Heaven
How Did We Get Here?
You are either going to be American first and give your prime allegiance to the state, or you are going to be a Christian. No longer can these two remain in equilibrium. One must grow while the other diminishes. We can only be fully loyal to one. As Christ said, "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other: or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Our secular culture is seeing to it that our patriotism and loyalty to God are being pitted against each other. We are now seeing that rent in the garment of our futures. You cannot serve both God and America without compromising your loyalties to one.
How Did We Get Here?
Until recently, Americans had a Judeo-Christian worldview which permeated everything from how we educate our children to the rites of our marriage ceremonies to how we conducted our businesses to how we bury our loved ones.
Generally, Americans had a commonly shared view of what was morally evil, and within the Judeo-Christian context we could safely allow the freedom of personal conscience and religious conviction on matters that fit within that worldview. When we agreed the Bible was the Word of God, our moral codes basically aligned.
America's God-given rights and freedoms were understood within Christian culture. When we sent our husbands and sons to war, Americans understood that they were not fighting to defend a person's right to lie, steal, cheat, rape or watch child porn. Americans shared a belief in the sacred dignity of human life and the value of the traditional family.
We are no longer being powered by a historical Christian perspective. A humanistic worldview is fueling America's laws and policies.
Today, secular relativism demands U.S. citizens have the right to live according to their personal view of morality which is not necessarily based in scripture or any commonly-held moral code. Judeo-Christian values (basically, the Bible) are no longer the community standard. In the shattering of Christianity, American rights have taken on a new meaning.
In the Judeo-Christian worldview, the purpose of the right to free speech, press and religion was that we all may be allowed to pursue truth! Our assumption was that within this free market of ideas and reason we would reach truth. In a secular worldview there is no goal of truth to the freedom of speech. Lies are valued and protected the same as truth. Truth becomes a casualty of secular freedom.
Our present culture of individualized morality has led to us casually dismissing lying politicians, lying commercials, lying bosses because truth itself has no meaning or anchor. Many no longer believe it is a sin to lie. Many do not believe in the idea of sin itself.
While Americans in the past have fought noble battles over paying too much in taxes, today we don’t protest because we no longer share a common idea of a work ethic or private property. Instead many Americans simply cheat on our tax return to avoid what we believe is oppressive taxation.
Relativism is the polar opposite of the gospel. The gospel preaches repentance and turning from sin and sin is clearly outlined by God, not individuals.
Abortion Brings Grisly Clarity
How clearly we see the radical collapse of our mindset when we used to debate whether or not to baptize babies--now we are debating whether or not to kill babies.
Those who have placed their citizenship above their Christianity argue: "I personally believe that abortion is murder. I personally wouldn’t have an abortion or encourage anyone else to have an abortion. But everyone in this country has a right to do what they want so I would never impose my personal beliefs on others. That is not democracy’s way. That is not America’s way."
That was the reasoning of German citizens during WWII about Naziism. The German Christians placed the state before their faith. That conviction is clearly condemned in scripture where we are often commanded to actively seek justice for the innocent. We cannot know murder is evil and then support the right of others to murder. Those two positions cannot peacefully coexist. One loyalty must take precedence while the other must be submissive. Like 1940 Germany, Americans are finding it impossible to reconcile our patriotism with our Catholicism.