by Brian G. Bettes
Having just finished a horrific election cycle in the United States of America, I want to talk about a phrase taken from the campaign of president-elect Donald Trump. Mr. Trump anchored his entire campaign to this concept using the phrase: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”.
This will NOT be a blog about politics, or the carnage we witnessed over the past year and a half during that run for the presidency. I personally would like to remove myself as far as possible from the evil of that race and never think of it again. In the meantime, America has picked yet another “king” who will not be exalting the Great God of Heaven as the foundation for his “leadership”; a statement that would be true no matter which of the two candidates won the election. This blog will attempt to ask, then answer, a single question:
EXACTLY WHAT IS IT THAT WOULD MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?
As president-elect, Mr. Trump will work to institute various policies: economic, health care, national security, foreign, educational, agricultural, and many more. Mr. Trump believes that the ideals on which he ran his campaign is the best way to return America to its former glory. It is an America where abundance abounded, peace and safety for our citizens existed, and as a nation we were respected around the world. Today, America is viewed by the rest of the world as a faltering, weak, and divided “lumbering giant” of a nation with more problems, fears and foes than it has successes, faith and friends. Why is that?
Through the Psalmist God says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever” (Psalm 111:10 KJV). A vital key to note here is, proper fear (reverence) for God brings wisdom, and obedience to His commandments brings understanding. So if we are to gain insight into what is really going on in this country, or any country for that matter, we must go to the Source in reverence, humility, and with an obedient heart. In doing so we will tap into the single central issue He proclaims as the reason for the current downward spiral of America.
Our forefathers founded the United States of America on the solid footing of being a Christian nation. They invoked His name, stating “In God We Trust” and calling us “one nation under God”. As such, America should have learned the lessons of history from ancient Israel, another nation that covenanted with God to be their Leader in their inception (Exodus 19:5-8). But America did not learn.
Israel strayed from obedience to God, and, after repeated warnings they were punished for their disobedience. God told them over and over what would happen if they rejected His commands (though it is long, read Leviticus 26:14-39 as just one example of these warnings; Deuteronomy 8:10-20 is another). In the end Israel was destroyed and perished as God said they would because of their sinful disobedience. The prophet Daniel chronicled this destruction and the cause of it in his famous prayer of repentance (Daniel 9:3-15).
Unfortunately, America has shadowed the sins of ancient Israel, and as such, God has removed more and more of His blessing from us. Our sins include following after the gods of the nations around us, which God said not to do (Joshua 23:6-7). There has been a systematic effort to bring in and emphasize other religious faiths that are not associated with our Judeo-Christian beliefs or the moral values associated with them. To our shame, we have not stood up and denounced the message of current leaders who have stated that we are no longer a Christian nation. This is a direct rejection of the God who gave us this nation and blessed us because we put Him at the center of our culture and society at our inception.
We have sinned by allowing the “LGBT” agenda even the slightest entrance into our way of life. God speaks directly against homosexuality and pronounces a curse on those who practice and live that lifestyle (Deuteronomy 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). We have sinned by murdering unborn children through abortion. We have also sinned by turning a blind eye to adultery (Exodus 20:14), fornication, pornography, and every kind of sexual immorality (Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3), by being negligent toward the corruption of bribery (Amos 5:12; Isaiah 1:23), by accepting lying as a “norm” (Isaiah 59:3-4), by accepting rampant greed as a way of life (Ephesians 4:17-19), and a whole host of other sins that we as a nation participate in.
Some consider the above list as “political issues”. Many have deceived themselves into thinking that they get to make the decision as to what is right and what is wrong for themselves. They claim it to be their “right” to decide these “issues” when it comes to how to live. But as seen by the scriptural quotes above, these are sins that God’s Word speaks directly against. Participating in these sins is direct rebellion toward God.
As a nation we have taken to deciding what parts of His Word are no longer relevant because they don’t fit with our “ideals”, meaning our lusts and desires. Those who insist on rebelling against God’s commands accuse those who point out these sins as bad people. They call them “haters”. They accuse those who want to follow God of spreading hatred against them. Why? Because they don’t want to accept God telling them how to live. The sad thing is that they are actually the ones spreading hate – a hatred of God and His way. True Christians don’t hate the sinner, but we do hate the sin.
As a nation, we have come to believe it is our right to live as we please. At the end of the day, it comes down to the decision on who will run our lives: God or us. So far, we as a nation have overwhelmingly chosen our own way.
Those are not the ideals and principles our forefathers founded this nation on. They knew, and voiced, that if there was not an overriding adherence to the Word of God, this experiment we call Democracy would fail. They proclaimed us to be a Christian nation. However, through the years Satan has systematically deceived many in our nation into believing that they can reject God and His commandments. Those people will angrily defend their “right” to live in accordance with their own thinking, instead of in obedience to Him. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken. It is time that we as a nation “wake up and smell the coffee” as the saying goes.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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 will heal their land.” There are multiple admonitions in scripture where God corrects those who say they are His, and where He even begs and pleads with them to return unto Him (Isaiah 1:16-20). And yet, every time, including in our current day, those people have turned away from Him through sin.
We must go back to not only proclaiming to be, but being a Christian nation. That is the key. Putting God at the forefront of our thoughts and actions, both individually and collectively as a nation, is the only way we will secure God’s blessings, rolling back the curses that we have brought on ourselves by our rebellion to Him. We must learn from the ancient city of Nineveh and repent of this rebellion that says we know how to live better than God does (Jonah 3:5-9).
Making America great again has little to the with policies established by our government, other than those policies must reflect God’s way of governing, based on His Word. What will make America great again will depend solely on a revival that returns us to our Christian values, turning our hearts back toward our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ. It is only through the blessings afforded us as a result of our obedience to Them that will “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”!