Mychal Massie had an excellent column today entitled "What Made America Great". Below is an excerpt from the column. You can read it in its entirety here. He also gives solutions on how to get us back on track.
..."In 1835, French sociologist and political theorist, Alix de Tocqueville, wrote “Democracy in America.” It was the culmination of his thoughts after touring the United States in 1831 with his friend, Gustave de Beaumont. They traveled here to analyze the prison system, but consequently, de Tocqueville, the son of two parents that were imprisoned during France’s Reign of Terror, became passionate about our successfully emerging Democratic Republic. It should be noted that during this period of time, America was not counted among the world’s super powers. Never-the-less, de Tocqueville saw a greatness in America that transcended the traditional definition of greatness based on economic prosperity and/or military might.
The credibility of de Tocqueville writings lies in his fulfilled predictions and warnings about factors that would contribute to the demise of America. In “Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans,” he wrote: “…one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.” He also warned about the tyranny of the majority and the threat of a Congress that might someday discover that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. In harmony with the philosophy of our Founders, de Tocqueville expressed that “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith,” and he further wrote: “Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of the morals amongst all.” But perhaps his most noteworthy quotes is:
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless forests – and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there; in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
Rev. Charles Finney of the Second Great Awakening made a similar statement from a more negative perspective. He said:
If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.
The decline we are now experiencing in the areas Finney mentioned above are stunning. Both men recognized the role America’s churches played in securing liberty and in establishing America’s greatness. And both men would understand how the silenced voice of the church today has contributed to the demise of this nation..."