According to President Obama, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” He made this statement while kissing up to the leadership of Turkey on what some are calling his “world apology tour” (David Limbaugh for example).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of our Supreme Court justices, recently defended her affinity for international law in her decision-making process. Wrote Adam Liptak in the New York Times, “In wide-ranging remarks here [Columbus, Ohio], Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the use of foreign law by American judges…” Said Bader, “I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” (NYT, April 12, 2009).

George Will writes that, “Rampant redistribution of wealth by government is now the norm. So is this: It inflames government’s natural rapaciousness and subverts the rule of law,” (Racing Past the Constitution, April 12, 2009, column). [I once had a publisher boss who routinely referred to “The Gang of 535” as “rapacious.” He’s been dead for a number of years. I wonder what he’d think now!]

Newsweek (April 13) has announced “The Decline and Fall of Christian America.” Writer Jon Meacham targets “the right” side of Christianity when he writes, “The right longed to engineer a return to a fabled Christian America of yore. For now, that project has failed, (p. 38, pull quote).

The “progressive” Left is now in power in the United States, and it is taking full advantage by entrenching itself in every aspect of American life. Micromanagement by burgeoning government is becoming a normative way of living. There’s no escape. The Constitution is in tatters. We are becoming “world citizens” and citizens of other countries are illegally pouring into this one with impunity. The moral authority of the Christian Church is under relentless attack. Yesterday’s sin is today’s celebration. Virtually all facets of society including Academia, entertainment, publishing, media, religion, education and even the weather, have been politicized, polarized and putrefied by Leftist ideology. There are few sanctuaries for traditional thinkers. Big Brother is on the march.

The forces of Progressivism and Internationalism are changing the nation we live in. These changes appear to be largely irreversible. The United States is moving incrementally away from the kind of nation envisioned by the Founders, and deeper into European-style socialism. Free market capitalism is giving place to government control of private industry. The current Administration is seeking to fund, out of thin air, the mother of all nanny states. The President is creating a dept that will burden our children and theirs for generations to come.

All this can’t help but change our ability to worship God freely and to publicly express our beliefs. Freedom of religious speech is being curtailed wherever progressives find opportunity. Anything that smacks of conservatism or traditional thinking is under fire. Conservative radio talk shows are being targeted by those who wish to revive the unfair “fairness doctrine.” Though politicians swear to uphold the Constitution, they are ignoring or reinterpreting it at every turn. Progressives see it as a “living” document to be reinterpreted in light of prevailing political ideology.

Any Christian, who recognizes the moral authority of the Bible, or the Church, is going to find a target hanging on his or her back. Why in One Nation Under God should this be the case? “This is so because the fleshly mind hates God…” (Romans 8:7, Beck translation). The natural, unconverted, mind of the flesh – the ungodly mind – “…does not submit itself to the law of God,” (Romans 8:7b, Alford). Put simply, we cannot expect converted behavior from unconverted people.

As Christians, we have no choice but to recognize “wickedness” for what it is and turn away from it (II Timothy 2:19b). Yet so doing, a price must be paid, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (II Timothy 12 NIV). At the same time, “…evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived,” (12b).

Human nature has not changed since Paul’s time. The same human types, godly and ungodly, continue to parade across life’s stage. Only their names and perhaps their languages and cultures have changed. As Christians, we must live our lives for the approval of Christ, not for that of the prevailing anti-Christian culture. Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets,” (Luke 6:26). The ungodly embrace their gurus, “holy” men, and religious figures – but we can know whether they are godly or not by the fruit they produce (Matthew 7:16). Evil is as evil does. If they produce the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19 -21) they are ungodly. If they foster the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26), they are godly. Hatred, murder, piracy, kidnapping, lying, racism etc. etc. are not engendered by the Spirit of God.

If we live godly lives, it is unrealistic to expect praise from a world that is headed in the opposite direction. Tens of thousands of Christians the world over are now under intense persecution by those who hate God and all that He stands for. Many have been tortured and murdered. The Lord may allow us to experience some of that suffering here in the United States. Current leadership is clearly headed away from God and his way of living. We may find ourselves saying with David, “My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42: 30).

David was often hounded by his enemies, but he remained faithful to God throughout his ordeals. He wrote, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God,” (Psalm 40:1-3a).

David’s psalms of deliverance were divinely inspired. They came forth from his trials and triumphs. In a world of violence and chaos, he held to The Standard. He was a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14).

No matter how far into chaos and ungodliness the modern world descends; we must maintain The Standard. Our instructions are clear: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers,” (Galatians 6:7-10 NIV).

—          Brian Knowles