How should we then live?
'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other'. These words, spoken by John Adams, one of this nation's Founding Fathers, go well with another statement he made in reference to 'we the people'; he said '[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.' The vision that our Founding Fathers pursued was that of a free society, one which was based upon self-governance, and not upon the rule of a king, or any other sovereign, a master, you might say.
The place to begin this reform, then, is in the hearts of 'we the people', and this reform must be a 'top-down' reformation! The past two hundred years or so of our history as a nation has shown us that, unless, as John Adams prophesied, we remain a wholly religious and moral people, our Constitution would do us no good, and in fact, could end up doing more harm than good ( this is starting to sound strangely familiar! )!
I have recently had the privilege, though no doubt, you will not find even a 'blurb' of this story in any major news media ( in this country ), an account of the current Ugandan president doing something that every national leader needs to do; leading his nation in a prayer ( and hopefully action ) of repentance!
He prayed, 'I stand here today to close the evil past, and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness, we confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal'.
This prayer to an Almighty God sounds much like that of Daniel, in his intercessory prayer for the children of Israel in their Captivity. It also sounds very similar to the prayer that we should be voicing, not only with our hearts, but with our hands as well, before our Almighty God and Father! We are as guilty as any Ugandan, of the sins of idolatry and witchcraft! We have as much need as they, to confess our sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal!
Why have we not done this, as a nation?
One can easily and quickly answer this by blaming these atrocities on someone else; from saying 'the devil ( 'Satan' ) is the true ruler of this world', to saying 'our political leaders have become more and more corrupt, and have led this nation to the brink of disaster' ( I believe that this, somehow, is related to the first reason ), but when we say things like this, we do two things ( for starters ); we take the focus off ourselves and our own wickedness and pure laziness, and two, we admit that we have become a nation of 'sheep', and fit only to be led or driven!
The Constitution of these United States, as I am beginning to understand it, puts the power of life and death, so to speak, squarely in the hands of 'we the people'! Don't get me wrong; I am NOT saying that this is a perfect document, or completely in alignment with the Law of God, but I do believe that, as our Founding Fathers fought to ratify this document according to their understanding of the doctrines of True Liberty, strict adherence to this document is not what has gotten us to where we are today!
Many think, and there has been a great push to do this, lately, that if we can just get our leaders to return to the 'first principles' ( of the Constitution ), then all will be well once more, and our nation will once again thrive with the liberty and security she enjoyed in the beginning: sadly, this is not the case! If you will honestly think about how we got to where we are today, and how long we have been sinking into this pit of slime and ooze; I believe you'll find that it was not to long after the ratification of this Constitution ( 100 years, give or take ) that things began to transpire that led to the tyranny and misery that we see so rampant and blatant today!
The only effective response to the degradation that we see in this nation is a full-scale repentance and return, not merely to the Constitution, or to the principles upon which it was formed, but with all our heart, mind and strength to True Worship of our God and Father!
We can strive as long and hard as we want, to make sure the right man gets elected as 'the leader of the free world' ( president ), and that may seem to go far toward solving our problems, but until there is a change of heart in 'we the people', not even the best, most Christian man ( or woman ) in these United States would be able to make much difference!
The prayer of the leader of Uganda, as we noted above, could go a long way, if in true earnest & honesty, in restoring that nation, but he cannot do it alone; every man ( and woman ) must recognize, and repent of, this same selfish idolatry that he admitted to and interceded for. In our nation as well; if our president was to become the leader he should be and lead his country in an active prayer of repentance; I believe that it is quite possible many in this nation would turn from their idolatry back to the true worship of God. Again though, sadly, there is a far greater number, I fear, that are far too ensconced and comfortable in their own idolatry, and such a president probably wouldn't be president very much longer!
Obviously, we cannot 'fix' our problems by using the same means that created them ( politics ); that is, unless we start raising up the kind of people that John Adams envisioned, 'a moral and religious people'! How can this be accomplished? Well, put simply, we could have a big genocide of sorts ( 'kill'em all & let God sort'em out' ), then start the process all over ( that's almost inevitably what would happen-John Calvin's Geneva? ), or just start another nasty Civil War, the effects of which last for many, many decades & centuries ( in fact, we still feel its effects today )! A better solution, though, and one maybe more in line with Kingdom principles, is to transform society from within, beginning at the beginning, so to speak, the family!
With a good, Godly focus on the family, teaching our children Kingdom principles & raising up a generation of men & women who would not only vote for & support good, Godly leaders, but would themselves step up to the plate & be good, Godly leaders; Politics could well bring this nation out of her idol-worship & back on track to becoming a free society! Until that happens, politics as usual will have the same effect it's always had, no positive & lasting one! As basically the decision of the people, politics will always be effective & and if the people are corrupt, so then will be the politics!
The only hope we have for a truly Free Society, is for one without rules & regulations, one where the people themselves live & do what is right, because it is right! If one only does what is right out of fear of reprisal, are they truly doing right? Can morality be legislated? Many Christians would most likely answer 'yes', but is it truly morality if the laws are obeyed through outward, but not inward observance?
May we, as a Covenant Community, purpose within ourselves to live these Kingdom Principles & raise up a generation of men & women who will govern themselves by these same Principles & themselves to raise up their own generation of men & women who would in turn govern themselves by these Kingdom Principles & so on & so forth! Politics is dead; let's bury her on move on, or rather, 'back' & start where we should; at the beginning!