Digital News Report – American institutions of government/politics, industry, and economics are in a state of collapse and the leaders of those institutions do not show the courage to correct their flawed paths to restore America to the independent, self sufficient republic of her birth.
The collapse of those institutions has the potential to cause America’s institutionalized church—particularly American Christian Protestantism—to collapse as well. American Christian congregations support the costs of huge amounts of land and the buildings upon that land. As the economy weakens and the country faces the penalty of its profligate spending and forfeiture of its labor intensive, production-based economy, it is not difficult to suggest that the donations required to support those assets will not be as available as when the decisions were made to develop those assets.
Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” American Christian congregations have accumulated sizable debts to sustain physical assets that will face the ravages of time, and it is interesting that a recent Internet search of “church burglaries” brought nearly one million references suggesting that churches are being victimized by, “…thieves (who) break in and steal.”
This is not a suggestion that Christianity is going to die out in this, or any, hemisphere. Indeed the very fact that Christianity has survived this long, even though its leaders through the centuries suffer same flaws that have corrupted all humanity since the Garden (that being, as John Calvin termed it, total human depravity), is considered here to be a Divine miracle on the same plane as the parting of the Red Sea and just beneath the creation itself. The Bible and the Holy Spirit will long outlast those organizations supposedly dedicated to discipling its members to live with integrity to the principles of Christian morality.
Consequently those who claim to be Christians will need to begin making their own decisions on the world around them without the help of talking points of huge denominations or para-church organizations. Before rank-and-file Christians consider this to be such a frightening undertaking, look at the growth of “religious” organizations during the past, let’s say, 37 years and the coinciding social slide that has absorbed America. A very strong argument could be made that Christian devotion of time and resources to fighting battles against an ever-corrupting political and governing system has been an abject failure. Christians need to recognize that.
What is more important, to fight to change an entrenched political and governing system that has destroyed the republic, or to devote ourselves to building moral, honorable lives? Which is going to most impact our immediate surroundings; government policy or personal moral integrity? Are we going to care more about what is happening in Washington than we do for our personal reputation, our families, or our neighbors?
It is at this point, the building of individual moral character, that Christianity in Western countries will find its future. Those who claim to be Christians have certainly been part of the most damaging causes of American social decline. Christians have divorced at rates that are even higher than non-Christians. Christians routinely call government to honor the limits of the U.S. Constitution, but when it comes to the War Against International Terrorism, support for Israel, or national laws supporting a “Christian” social agenda, the Constitution is an after thought. How might America’s current situation be different had “Christians” not given themselves to hypocrisy in these few areas? Consider, then how our relationships, neighborhoods, and towns have been affected by “Christian” duplicity regarding honesty, promiscuity and coveteousness.
Building large church buildings and joining huge congregations has not kept “Christians” from participating the moral slide that is behind the diminution of what once made this republic strong and stable. Christians would do well to confess our role in the decline of the former republic and turn from the thoughts and practices that made them such willing participants. In the meantime, they have the opportunity and time to give their thoughts to how the record of the Bible can begin restoring their sanity and integrity so they can be true moorings in their immediate communities where such are going to be needed as America goes through the process of decline.
By: Bob Strodtbeck