Our National Scorecard

TenCommandsDisplayby Deana Chadwell7/19/15
Nations rise and fall. The fall is inevitable because people build nations, and, broken human nature always breaks out of whatever society has built to contain it.

Here in America we tried something new. We tried letting each individual build his own cage for his own sin. We assumed he would accomplish this with the assistance of Almighty God, so it seemed doable. We also built a cage for government, knowing that it, also being built of humans with tragic flaws, would need containing.

Only one other nation ever came close to a governmental arrangement that worked – ancient Israel. Instead of the Constitution, Israel had the Mosaic Law in which is contained the Ten Commandments – a list of behaviors that will make or break a nation. These were not, as many think, rules to follow in order to get into heaven, but rules each citizen needed to live by to make the new nation function. When the Hebrews followed those laws, they prospered and they had no need of a king.

In spite of what our president, and leftist college professors claim, America was founded with those same laws in mind, those laws and the clear understanding that a nation of people who followed them willingly would need very little government. This was true of ancient Israel; for nearly 400 years they were kingless.

We in America have been at this for only 239 years and it seems many Americans already want a king. This is frightening at many levels. In less than a hundred years after the 3rd Israeli king – Solomon – there was a civil war that split the country. Only 200 years after that the Northern Kingdom was destroyed by Assyria and after another 200 years the Babylonians decimated Judah.

The Law, it seems, was an experiment of sorts – a way God could demonstrate humanity’s need for salvation. A perfect law given to a brand new perfect nation should have lasted forever, right? Wrong.

Then, roughly 1800 years later another new nation comes on the scene, a new nation with a fresh way to apply those commandments – a way to allow men to follow their biblically informed consciences, their divine gifts. This new nation attempted to head off at the pass the mistakes Israel made; there would be no king, but only if the nation can continue with the Law God had provided over 3,000 years before and chief amongst those laws was the first, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

How are we doing on that one? A quick perusal of the other nine commandments is not real reassuring – we worship another god – our government, and we rely on it;  a third of us depend on it for our very existence. We swear on the name of God without even giving it a thought, without even believing that He exists. We no longer honor our parents. We kill – even our babies and then part them out like they’re stolen cars. We commit adultery and fornication and even honor it in our drama, our “literature,” our music. We steal, cheat and lie, thinking that the end justifies these spurious means. We covet —  hate the successful, and envy the rich. We’re not doing well. It feels, in human terms, like we’re about to lose the game. Let’s take score:

Iran is out to kill us and we just arranged a treaty that allows them to do that. ISIS is also after us. Ditto the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Palestinians..  Just this week another jihadi stormed through Chattanooga killing 5 military men and no official will say that act is connected to militant Islam. We can’t even name our enemies, let alone confront them. Add to that the Genesis 12 promise to Abraham “I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you” and the fact that it has been carried out over and over for the last 4500 years. And we have a president that has kicked Israel in the shins for the last 5 and half years. This whole mess earns us a -500 points.

We are trying to operate a democratic nation filled with two generations that have been badly educated by parents, schools and churches. Relatively few people in this country are biblically literate. Very few know anything accurate about the past, rendering them incapable of thinking intelligently about the future. And way too many of us had to raise ourselves, and neither know nor care how a decent person should behave. Another -500 points.

Connected to the latter is the condition we’re in morally. Even the Supreme Court plays fast and loose with age-old moral prohibitions, mandating gay marriage (a 1st class oxymoron). The acceptance of the inherently promiscuous homosexuality removes all other sexual mores and without those there is no family and without family, no society. The willingness of mothers to sacrifice their children to the god of sex is not much different from the ancient phallic cult practices. We’ve lost nearly 60 million babies this way since we okayed abortion in 1973.  That alone has to be worth another -500 points.

How are we doing financially? Our national debt equals our gross national product. Over a third of the population is out of work, 49 million on food stamps, even more people underemployed, and the Fed has been manipulating the stock market by filling it full of phony dollars. No one in Congress seems particularly interested in stopping the bleeding and the executive branch keeps poking new holes. Another -500.

This is to say nothing about the Constitution being in tatters, the military and police being under constant attack, and Christians becoming targets of lawsuits and general vilification, not to mention the other divisions in this country – poor vs. rich, black vs. white, left vs. right. Our president never stops stirring up divisive crises, nor will he even consider closing our borders. We have borders?  Who knew?  Another -500 on the chart.

So, are we dead? No. Not yet. We have a lot going for us. The Constitution still exists; it just needs dusting off. The Israelites at one point had annual public readings of the Law; maybe we should do that with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. +500. We still have Bibles and most of us can read them, if we will. +500.

We could disband many of the federal agencies and the millions of regulations those agencies have used to tangle business and stifle the economy, and all sorts of amazing things would happen. Business would thrive, people would have jobs, get off welfare, pay taxes with which we would pay off the debt. +500

This would inspire the astounding ability of Americans to produce more and more innovations, which would bring in even more profit and therefore taxes. And, thanks to fracking, we have enough energy to accomplish anything we want to do. +500

How do we solve the education problem? We get government out of the school business and we get rid of the unions. If we open up school choice, educational problems will solve themselves through innovation and competition. Science is helping now, too. More and more, science is discovering the validity of the biblical worldview. Science no longer playing for the other side. +500

We finally have methods of spreading truth – now, when truth is being badly maligned, we can fight back. Radio and television have proved their ability to disseminate valid information. We can all take part via the Internet. Christians are even making inroads on Hollywood turf.  We wouldn’t be under attack if we weren’t making a difference. +500.

But what about our moral morass and our divisiveness? What about our families? What about our lame churches? That goes to the heart of it all. “Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.” Jeremiah (26:13) said this to the Israelites 39 years before the Babylonians descended upon Jerusalem and hauled the Jews back to Babylon. During part of this time Judah was under the reign of Josiah, who instituted many reforms and attempted to bring Israel back to God and His Law, but it didn’t last, didn’t “take.”

The question is, is America another one of God’s national demonstrations? Are we going to prove again that man cannot choose the right way even when he’s been given everything needed to succeed? Or, are we going to heed His warning, revive our faith and climb out of this hole?

America has been through several very effective revivals – the Great Awakening in the mid-1700’s, the Second Awakening in the early 1800’s, and another right before the Civil War. Each time the nation took a huge surge forward. It can happen again. We are neck-and-neck down this stretch of history. God has provided the people, the energy, the ideas, the Bibles, — everything we need to make America greater than it has ever been. But our attitude toward Almighty God is the key factor; either we change our national mind about God, and about Christ, or we go the way of every nation that has ever fallen – we won’t be a cut above; we’ll be exactly where Assyria is today, where Babylon is, where Rome has been and soon will be again.

We listen to the news and despair, but we need not. “Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) And the writer of Chronicles records God saying, “If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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5 Responses to Our National Scorecard

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, it would help if the people who run America were actually on our side. All too few of them are — and all too many are on the side of our various enemies. (The rest are simply narcissists.)

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    +500 points for thumping! 😀 I read this, Deana, and, geez, you almost make a believer out of me.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Sometimes the job of a writer is thankless (often deservedly so because of unclarity or mediocrity). But more so because sometimes I wonder if people actually can get outside themselves and read what others have to say. (For the record, sometimes I have difficulty with this myself. I do a lot of skimming.)

    But I did read Deana’s article in full when it was posted here. And I noted this morning that it was up at American Thinker. And because the comments below the article are constantly being added to, I can only comment on what I read this morning when there were only about eighteen.

    I thought, Geez, doesn’t anyone read the article? Everyone uses it like a blank slate, a jumping-off point for their own pet (and often half-realized) theories.

    Deana’s premise is completely clear and simple: God is active in the affairs of mankind and of nations. And if nations turn from god by indulging in sin, God can withdraw his favor.

    That’s it. I may agree or disagree, but she has done what is so rare and something that Dennis Prager advocates: clarity before agreement.

    Because she has stated her proposition clearly (well…not *her* proposition…she didn’t invent it) we can then talk about it. But so few do. So few take these writers — who go to pains to try to make a point — seriously enough to actually either read them or respond to what they are saying.

  4. Brad — Thanks for the vote of confidence. It is interesting how much irrelevance appears in the comments on some websites. I don’t see that much here, but AT seems to attract far more trolls — determined and verbose trolls. Alas — they have the right to free speech as well.

    And thanks for the accurate summary of my point — it’s heartening to know my words made sense to someone. 🙂

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      One of the things I will always do is protect yuze guys from the trolls. Not from hard questions or contrary opinions, but from those who are so lunatic about their views as to be beyond rational (let alone civil…which I do not absolutely require) conversation. I’ve been around the block a few times in this regard and am not easily fooled.

      Your words made perfect sense. But it is very difficult these days (perhaps on any days) for people to crawl outside of the self-obsessed tune they have going inside their heads and take in something new. I was very heartened when I was reading a movie review the other day at IMDB.com where someone pointed this out (if only tangentially) in regards to movies. I was watching “Mogambo” with Gable and Gardner. And as is typical with the most obnoxiously self-righteous people the planet has ever known (Progressives), some jackass comments on Gable trying to capture a baby gorilla to take back to the zoo. And he’s motivated by that awful thing called “profit.”

      Well, one can debate whether or not there is a place for zoos in the world. But we still do have them. Anyway, a guy answered this schmuck by saying, “Fictional characters frequently do things we don’t like.” LOL. I had to love this guy’s wit.

      Just from reading movie reviews, or comments about movies, you glimpse a bunch of self-righteous little Puritans (and surely Puritans were nowhere near this obnoxious) who moralize over everything. There is no room for actual life within the bounds of their totalitarian ethics. I’m sure Bogart committed some hate crime when he shot the Kraut at the airport in “Casablanca.”

      So, anyway, I guess I got onto another topic. But the point is, these days it is very difficult for people to see outside of the fuzzy cloud that has become their mind.

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