Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)
It seems ironic, at first glance, that a nation founded on Christian principles has become the world’s standard for materialistic want. We live in a nation built upon both values of simple living and capitalistic gain. This is, in fact, is the argument of those opposed to capitalism–it breeds an unhealthy desire for more, leaving the poor in its wake. Of course, they are correct. Capitalistic gain without any governing restraint will create the two class system we see before us today. I reject the notion of a middle-class. There are only those prospering and those who struggle for survival.
And it is also these voices who demand the governing restraint come in human form. A strong central agency, they argue, must control the distribution of wealth to insure none starve while others enjoy every luxury known to modern man.
It is difficult to argue that statement if taken at face value. History has shown us, however, that any method of economic control only results in a larger class at the poverty end of the spectrum and a smaller class in the upper levels. No amount of government control will change human nature. Our sinful nature. The nature that drives us to put our needs ahead of the needs of others. It is our basic animalistic instinct for survival. And it will never be squelched through the efforts of men.
This is why, at the onset of America’s birth, the founders warned that freedom and capitol gain without a strong application of Christian principles is doomed to failure. One cannot argue that America has drifted far from her Christian moorings. One has merely to turn on the television and ingest a few minutes of the nightly spectacle on any major network to come to that conclusion.
In our rejection of Christ and His commandments, we find ourselves lost in the orgy of unfettered capitalism without the requisite governing principles. Which leaves us only with the option of human intervention in the form of powerful central government.
A Christian should not argue that a socialist government drives out Christianity. Our argument is that the void created by the rejection of Christ will always be filled by a socialist government. In essence, we have attained the government we deserve. In our rejection of Christ, we have inadvertently forfeited the rights granted to us by “nature and nature’s God.” If we have rejected God, then we have assuredly rejected the rights He has granted us.
It is in this void where we fight for freedoms that, as far as the ungodly are concerned, we have no right. The ungodly will rightfully tell us that we must be stripped of our liberties in order to create balance and fairness among the general population. For if we cannot restrain ourselves of our worldly desires in order to voluntarily provide for the poor and needy, then a small group of the “wise” among us must take on the responsibility in our stead.
Of course we know the outcome. The wise among us become the privileged class. After all, they are burdened with ensuring the welfare of an entire populaton. The individual will make no effort above what is required by the ruling authorities. Each man will do his job mechanically, having no compulsion to do anything greater. Such a society destroys the creativity of men. Imagine a society with no new inventions, other than what government employed scientists can contrive, no art, nothing that requires a man to challenge his abilities and accept his own success or failure. It would be a dark society indeed.
America has two roads to choose from: the road to socialism, where we accept the necessity of man made intervention in order to govern our materialistic nature. Or the road that will drive us to repentance as a nation so that we may remain free, but with a measure of self-control, as is the will of God.
Which path will we choose? We know the latter, if Israel is to be our historical guide, is wrought with hardship. Will America choose this path and endure the struggle to come, complete with the resistance of a powerful government that has grown comfortable in its new authority? Or will we choose the path of complacency, where we accept our fate and agree that freedom is much to precious to be entrusted to mortal men?
The writer will look at both these paths, as did George Orwell in 1984, and Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged, and put their futuristic vision into print. The Christian writer, of course, may be more hopeful. We would prefer that America return to God. In doing so, however, our minds must conjure the brutality standing in the middle of that path. No nation has ever chosen the path of individual liberty and rejected man made governing restraints without violent reprisal. Violence may come in the form of bullets or propaganda. For the slanderous accusations against the opposition is, indeed, committing violence upon their character.
The writer will envision every possibility. Some will see war. Some will see societal collapse. Some may see a peaceful transition. Some, like Orwell and Rand, will see a horrific society at peace, but where the human spirit is diminished and imprisoned as surely as if the housing body were in chains. And we will put our visions to print.
Hopefully, prayerfully, we will stir the faith of a dying nation and prepare it for the struggle to come.