There is part of me that at this time in what has been called the land of the perpetual campaign is rooting for the outsiders. Actually, the most popular of these outsiders is not my candidate of choice, but I still applaud when any candidate wants to stick it to the insider class, the leftist media, the educational system that is awash in political correctness, the weak leaders who will not stand up to terrorists at home and abroad, the perjurers who promised to uphold the Constitution of the United States and have ignored its laws and give aid and comfort to other lawbreakers. It is long past time to turn out of office people in politics who are afraid of losing campaign donations so they sell out their own promises and show that their rhetoric was much loftier than their principles, officeholders who populate both of the major political parties. But then I come up against the realization that though one may be able to build a wall at our porous border, and may be able to help root out some of the established political/media/business corruption, and may even be able to rally a dispirited populace that has seen the demise of a once great nation, no candidate has what it takes to save America.
The problem with America is not with its leaders. The Scripture clearly says that “righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.” If the people embrace sin the nation will be reproached. If the leaders of our nation countenance the killing and cutting apart and selling the parts of innocent little human lives, it is because the people allow it. The people not only allow it, but fund it by tax money going to Planned Parenthood, which traffics in human flesh for monetary return. We have not had 55,000,000 leaders in this nation since 1973, but we have had that many abortions. This is merely one of many outrages that is countenanced by the general population of America.
The founders of our nation understood that if the nation as a whole would be blessed by righteousness, the people would of necessity need to be righteous. John Adams (later to be our second president) in 1776 wrote: “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”* His son, John Quincy Adams (who was our sixth president) stated: “From the day of the Declaration…they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.”
The religion they referenced was not just any religion. Joseph Story (1779-1845) served for thirty- three years as associate justice on the Supreme Court. He identified the Christian religion as that which was specifically addressed in the First Amendment.
“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.”
In this nation, the leaders are a reflection of the people. It was meant to be so from its founding. For this reason the founders were concerned about a populace that abandoned the principles of religion and morality. One of the founders was Samuel Adams, leader of the Revolution, involved in the Boston Tea Party, lieutenant governor and then governor of Massachusetts. He gave this warning in 1779:
“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While people are virtuous they cannot be subdued, but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
These men were well acquainted with the Bible and its depiction of men and nations. It is because they had an understanding of how God dealt with nations that the founders were careful and prophetic. They knew how God dealt with Israel when it was marked by oppression, idolatry, profaneness, lewdness, incest, extortion, and killing of children. The Lord had said to his prophet Ezekiel, “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD” (Ez.14:14). Why? Because the people as a whole were unrepentant. Similarly, if Noah were President, Daniel senate majority leader, and Job chief justice of the Supreme Court, it would not save America. America can only stop its slouching toward Gomorrah (to use Bork’s phrase) if the people turn from their sins and follow righteous ways.
Is there hope for the nation? There is under one condition. God gave that centuries ago to Jeremiah. “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them” (Jer. 18:7,8). The hope for the nation is under the condition that they turn from evil. That’s it. No politician, wall, political party, repeal of repressive laws, replacement of bureaucrats, or a combination of all these will save the nation. Only a national turning away from evil and embracing what is right will stop the inevitable downfall.
Who can lead us in such a time? We tend to think that we need a strong personality with power and ability to deal with the enemies at home or abroad. We conjure up a man of great leadership qualities. We think of a man among men. Yet Noah, Daniel, and Job were such men and they would not have saved Israel. Only one is sufficient to save America. His salvation comes not from what we normally perceive as strength but from His moment of weakness. John Newton got a glimpse of Him and penned these words:
I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.
O, can it be, upon a tree, The Savior died for me?
My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled, To think He died for me!
Newton saw the Savior and it changed his life. He influenced Wilberforce who for decades worked tirelessly to see the slave trade in his nation abolished. This nation needs people who will get a glimpse of Christ and follow Him. That is the hope for America.
*The quotations in this article can be found with documentation in William J. Federer’s America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations, Amerisearch, 2000.