I think many Christians would agree that the United States is still the greatest nation on earth. America’s history is only matched by ancient Israel when it comes to material wealth and moral character. I think that many Christians agree that our economic prosperity is diminishing and our moral character is dwindling. In light of this trajectory, it’s good to ask, “What made America strong?” and “What can we do to stop the downward spiral?” Let’s answer these questions.
Everybody falls somewhere on a spectrum between weak and strong, lazy and diligent, faithless and faithful. When a nation falls on the side of being strong, diligent, and faithful, it sees the material blessings of God. The puritans knew this and they were a people of a strong moral character. They were diligent and faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ in everything they did. The average puritan farmer knew the bible from cover to cover far better than most pastors do today.
Because of their faithfulness, God poured covenantal blessings upon them. Their churches, families, and businesses prospered. The puritans knew that God did not keep His reign inside the boundaries of the church, but His Word spoke to every area of life. They exhibited godly character and put it to work in their lives. And as any good economist will tell you it takes an attitude of work and thrift to build wealth. It takes money and assets to build church buildings, schools, hospitals, and other institutions of dominion. It takes capital to manufacture tools, highways, and factories to allow men to obey their callings and a nation to flourish.
Economist Roger Babson wrote, “Only righteousness exalteth a nation today, as it did 3000 years ago. Hence, speaking strictly as a statistician, I say that the safest hedge against inflation is the development of character.” This character is developed by hearing and applying the principles that govern the home, business, and government, principles found only in the Bible.
But the world surrounding us is growing more hostile to the type of character that is required by God and essential for prosperity to occur. While the Bible commands us to be frugal and forego present pleasures to save for our kids and grandkids, the world tells us to spend all our money now on ourselves because “we deserve it.” While the Bible instructs us over and over to work and labor sacrificially for God’s Kingdom, our TV’s and phones tell us to put our tools down and take it easy. Instead of reading, studying, and meditating on the Scriptures, they tell us to put our feet up for recreation and amusement.
Another theologian says, ““Education, television, the press, and all other media foster relativism and humanism; they promote the decapitalization of character. We have seen the progressive decline of public and private morality. We who stand for Biblical Christianity thus face a steadily more hostile world. We are everything which socialism and inflation hate most.” The reason America was so great is because of its Christian character and its diligence in applying God’s Word to more than just the inside of the church. A solid economy, thriving businesses, and God-centered homes are products of the puritan worldview which is really the biblical worldview.
America’s downward spiral is also a product of a contrary worldview: secular humanism. The people cannot expect men who lack biblical moral character to have assets to build a culture. It won’t happen. So, what do we do? How do we defend ourselves against this? How can we get back to the days of economic certainty?
Back in 2016, many uninformed Christians put their money on a certain presidential candidate to get things back to the way they used to be. But that’s not how it works. A certain theologian notes writes, “Capitalization does not depend on winning elections, important as elections are. No election has yet really reversed decapitalization. The demand is for more welfare, more social security, more medicare, and the like. For the past generation, no office-holder has done more than to slow down this process very slightly. An election does not produce character, which is the foundation of capitalization.”
Now, I’m not saying that congress, courts, elections, and political activism isn’t important. The humanists are using these tools to destroy America and its future. It is very important that we stop their evil bills in congress and challenge their court decisions in order to survive. But in the end, all of these things are merely defensive measures which inevitably lead to a political stalemate. They give us time to formulate an offensive plan and that’s good. But we must make use of that time and make a plan! Going on offense is the only way the church of Jesus Christ will win! We are told that the gates of hell will not prevail against us. This implies that the church will attack the gates. Gates are not weapons. They are defensive shields. We have been told by God to attack and take captives in this war of values, character, and knowledge. That way the wheat can germinate and spread and the tares can get uprooted. Christ is the victor!
In my opinion, the strongest weapon we have right now is Christian education. It took many years and generations to build the wealth that made America prosper. It also took many years and generations for the kingdom of darkness to take back what Christians have abandoned. And it will take more years and generations to take it back and build again. It will take Christian men and women of character and conviction sacrificing now for the glory of God later. These men and women must have eyes of faith believing that the church will win the victory.
The only way these men and women will come about is through Christian education. This must occur when they are young and they must be discipled over the course of many years. It can’t happen in a day or in one election. It will take sacrifice on the part of the now-living generation to plan and work for the future. Only a bottom-up Christian School movement, faithful to the Bible, and dedicated to the future, can bring spiritual and material prosperity back to America. As one writer said, “We need the sword of political action. But we’ll never see the New Jerusalem without the trowel of Christian Schools.”