by Deana Chadwell 5/18/17
In the summer of 1787 our founding fathers sweated out the details of the new Constitution in locked, stifling rooms. They were remarkably prescient considering they were so new to governance, new to the idea of federalism, unused to living in a constitutionally controlled republic. They had to take what they knew of human nature, connect that to their copious knowledge of ancient civilizations, and try to write into this fresh constitution methods of heading off every pit the nation may ever stumble into. They did a great job. Here we are, after 250 years of the most rapid change in human history, and the pattern they designed is still holding – but just barely.
Some things they didn’t foresee. They knew, as a matter of principle and from the prosperity that they had already achieved, that a decentralized economic setup would create affluence, but they couldn’t possibly have imagined the vast and unheard of wealth that resulted, nor could they have anticipated the intricacies of that economy. That a single company could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars (inflated or otherwise) would have seemed unbelievable.
The Industrial Revolution was right around the corner, but not clearly visible. They didn’t yet know the extent of the continent on which they’d set up shop. They didn’t know the plethora of natural resources that were at their fingertips. They couldn’t possibly have pondered jet flight or instant, visual, and auditory communication. War, to them, was still muskets and gunpowder.
I don’t think it occurred to them the amount of power that would settle on this new country. They wanted to hold their own on the world stage, but I’ve never read any of their writings that indicated a vision of being THE world power.
Our Founders figured correctly that aggregated power was a bad thing so they broke the power up – leaving most of it to the states. They set up a legislature to create law, an executive to carry out the desires of the legislators, and a court to sort out the details. They left the fourth estate, the press, outside of the government per se so that they could ride herd on the whole thing. All that, however, was dependent on the assumption that the American individual would continue to self-govern under the commands of Almighty God.
The average American, stressed as he may be over paying his bills, enjoys a standard of living far above what most of history’s kings ever managed. It’s not easy to remember God once you’ve gained control over the elements, have more than enough to eat, and don’t have to destroy your body to earn all that.
These were wise men, our forefathers, but they may have over-estimated our ability to continue to fear God once we became rich. The average American, stressed as he may be over paying his bills, enjoys a standard of living far above what most of history’s kings ever managed. It’s not easy to remember God once you’ve gained control over the elements, have more than enough to eat, and don’t have to destroy your body to earn all that. You get to thinking you deserve it. It’s a challenge to remain humble in the midst of wealth. Job did. Abraham did. And many Americans still do, but many have not met that challenge.
As a result, power has leaked out of the containers we thought were secured. It has metastasized and festered, worming its way into our most private decisions and experiences.
Official power in America is well curtailed, but the unofficial power is operating completely outside the checks and balances we have always depended on. The press, no longer hampered by any conscience demanding truth telling, and baptized into the change-the-world cult, appears drunk on the power it has to control the average voter. We can’t vote for the best solutions to problems if we’re being lied to about those problems.
The press and academia have joined forces to erase from the memory of man the original America and replace it with an ungodly, dystopian delusion in which reality plays no role. As our willingness to govern and provide for ourselves wanes, the bureaucratic part of government burgeons. In fact, this gargantuan web of agencies now dwarfs the three Constitutional branches of government, in both numbers and power, and no checks and balances keep it under our control. We are governed now, not by duly passed law, but by silent unrestrained regulations designed to appropriate our money and to steal our freedom.
The press and academia have joined forces to erase from the memory of man the original America and replace it with an ungodly, dystopian delusion in which reality plays no role.
This is shored up by special interests all vying for their slice of both the power and the secondary wealth accumulating in Washington. Some of this has developed as a way for business to manipulate crushing bureaucratic power to its advantage; some is the result of greed untrammeled by any vestiges of Godly morality.
We sent Donald Trump to Washington to unravel this grasping tangle, to “drain the swamp,” but that may be like sending St. George in to slay a thousand dragons – dragons we keep feeding, for as long as we demand that the government handle everything for us, the dragons will proliferate.
So, how do we fix this? Have you ever tried to untangle a snarl of yarn or silver chain? You can’t just cut it – you need it all in once piece. Unraveling the jumble takes ultra-patient concentration for with every bit of progress comes another snarl.
Trump fires Comey – now the Dems ramping up their Russian allegations. Comey is countering with allegations of arm-twisting. The press is salivating over the mere thought of impeachment – never mind the fact that no crime has been committed. No one human can fix this. Not even a whole battalion of right-thinking people can do it. It’s going to take divine intervention.
How do we plug into that? WE don’t. It can only be done individually, one person at a time under each person’s free will. It doesn’t require that every one of us sign on, but enough of us must, and no one knows what that number is.
God has a lot invested in this country – which is a subject for another essay, but His reputation is at stake here, so I have no doubt He’d like to straighten us out.
God has always been active in human history, no less so now than ever. We cannot untangle the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into without His active assistance. What can we do to avail ourselves of His grace? Nothing but believe, accept His offer – each of us individually – of a free relationship with Him. The crux of everything in this world is the answer to this one question: What think ye of Christ?
This is what I think of Him:
- He is who He said He was – the Son of God – “I and my Father are one.” It is either that or He was a liar or a lunatic.
- He allowed Himself (in spite of His being also the 2nd Person of the Godhead) to be beaten, illegally tried, and nailed to a Roman cross so that the justice of God could mete out the punishment all humans deserve. This incredible gift was necessary because all three members of the Trinity are perfect and cannot tolerate imperfection (All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23). In order for God to accept any of us, this price had to be paid and we can’t pay it ourselves any more than we could repay a trillion-dollar debt.
- He rose from the dead. Another issue that needs more discussion.
- He is accessible through His Word. Internalization of that Word is our main responsibility in this life. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
- We affect history through prayer.
We can do no more than this. The golden calves we worship in our souls must be replaced with divine thinking and that thinking will save our nation. Nothing else will. Nothing.
Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.
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