The news media reminds us daily of the type of world in which we live: unsettling stories of unemployment; the looming threat of an unbalanced national budget; increasing instances of justice run amok in our courts; wars in all parts of the world; cases of people treating people, including children, in gruesome ways. Here in Oklahoma we are looking at legalizing marijuana and installing a satanic monument on the Oklahoma City capitol grounds, right alongside the Ten Commandments monument.
The shape of things
Is this the kind of world in which we want to live? If it is, then we should just keep moving away from God. If we continue relying on our own limited wisdom, and following our own lusts and desires, we will keep sliding down the path of increasing degradation until we will end up in a world that does not even resemble the one we thought we were building.
Amazingly, there are some who approve of the direction in which America is moving. They see nothing wrong with the ‘grab all you can get; anything goes’ mindset. Their focus is on outward appearance, or selfish pleasure, rather than inward integrity. “He who dies with the most toys…wins” could be their motto. Any moral standard is flexible if it gets them what they want.
There are others, who do not approve of what is happening in our nation, know the cause, but continue to stand by in silent passivity, as decisions are made that directly affect them and those they love. These people, knowingly or unknowingly, are still part of the problem.
What is the solution?
The solution to this problem is to live by the standards that the Creator of the universe gave us. He made us and He made us to live in a certain way. We were created to live in a loving relationship with Him. Any other way of life is a perversion of the ideal. Living any other way than God has prescribed will end up in heartache, misery, and failure.
The urgency with which this article is written reflects this writer’s sense of impending disaster if our hearts are not changed. If we are not motivated to give God our lives and our country, we will lose them both. The overall spirit of America is one of rebellion against God…and He will not tolerate it indefinitely, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8 NASB).
What, or Whom, we consider our authority has lasting consequences for us as individuals, our families, our communities, our cities, our nation, and our world. Each of us makes choices, and the effects of those choices ripple out into the rest of the world. Our choice to follow or reject God affects not just our own personal life and destiny, but the life and destiny of our world. Our future, the future of our children, the future of our country, and the future of our world, is directly tied to our relationship with God.
As Joshua reminded the people of Israel, we have no choice but to choose, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NASB).
God’s Will and the Laws of the Land
In this country there is often a conflict between standards of authority. On one hand we have God and His standard. On the other hand, we have the laws of the land (federal laws, state laws, local laws, etc.). At times these two standards are at odds. Non-believers are quick to attempt to use the laws of the land to squash any public awareness of God or His word. They persist in waving the flag of ‘separation of church and state’ to prevent the opinions of those who love God from getting a fair hearing, even though that phrase comes from no legal document and has nothing to do with our laws.
God, and His Word, is eternal. He has existed before time began. God, as our Creator and Sustainer, is the authority to whom we must ultimately answer. When His laws and the laws of the land clash, we should serve God, not man. More and more, we see people attempting to pit the Constitution against the Word of God. They believe that anything that conflicts with the Constitution, or anyone’s civil rights, the words of the Constitution are the final authority. Granted, the Constitution is an important document, foundational to the fabric of this country; however, when it is used to oppose God’s Word, it becomes something harmful and destructive to life in America and, inevitably, the eternal destiny of many. When the Constitution, or any other man-made construct, is used in this manner we Christians must oppose it.
This lesson is made clear in the teachings of the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 5. The apostles of Jesus had been instructed to stop preaching. The Jewish leaders demanded that they no longer spoke in public about Jesus or His offer of salvation, “When they had brought [the apostles], they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us’” (Acts 5:27-28 NASB). Although the Jewish leaders had given them specific orders not to preach about Jesus, the apostles knew that it was right to do what God had told them to do, “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29 NASB). The apostles were keenly aware of their responsibility and they knew that the real authority came from God, not the laws of man. When the two standards clashed, they rightly chose to obey God.
In today’s political climate it is sometimes difficult to remember where true authority comes from. We must always keep in mind that all authority comes from God and is only on lease to mankind. More and more, even we Christians are losing sight of the fact that no man-made law that is in conflict with God’s Word can be allowed to sway us in our commitment to God and His Word. Man-made laws are fallible, God’s Word is not. Christians should not be troublemakers, however; when man’s law contradicts God’s will, we should say with the apostles, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Related reading: A Prayer for the United States of America 
Resource – “Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)