Lanterns: Not Us, But We Through I

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Not Us, But We Through I

Although we’re in the midst of election season, many people are taking the time to contemplate what happens after the election and where we go from here. If you’re someone who considers themselves principled, rational, and moral, it’s normal to feel like you’ve failed in regards to our presidential options. Chances are, though, that you’re also deep in thought and self-reflection. What can I do different? How can I be better? How can I be a part of a system that seems to not want me a part of it? Is it too late?


Many people are blaming “We the People” for the nation’s current condition. We feel that Americans, as a whole, are responsible for the economic, political, military, moral, cultural, and spiritual condition. The simple answer is to say that “yes,” we have let our guard down. We have become untethered from the principles of our founding. We seem to have forgotten the lessons of history and previous generations. We, however, are not a collective. “We the People” should not be used when referencing the social media-centric, reality, anti-Judeo-Christian secularists who have actively worked to destroy the foundations upon which our nation was built and albeit, shakily, stands today.


I will not allow myself to be lumped in with people who have taken their liberties for granted. I do not consider myself someone who has neglected to fight for the freedoms of all Americans. I do, however, believe it’s time to name names and call out our fellow citizens who are derelict of duty as an American. All Americans have rights, responsibilities and duties. We all love to express and defend our rights as Americans, but we don’t always like the responsibilities and duties that come with living free. Being and living free is work. It isn’t easy or transient or unnecessary. One of the most important responsibilities is upholding and clinging to truth.

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<p>This, however, leads us to a major problem. We have a system of government today where politicians write bills that are unreadable without a team of attorneys and a vocabulary of a 18th Century poet or philosopher. How do Americans today, who, for decades have been dumbed down by the current system of education and now unable to critically think for themselves, decipher truth from fiction? Remember, these are people who think reality TV is real. They frequent news websites they believe as factual, when, in reality, the websites provide them information slanted in such a way that agrees with their preconceived belief system. This isn’t only a problem on the Left. It persists on all points of the political spectrum. Even sites that were once thought to be reliable and “fair and balanced” are now to be questioned and not trusted. Truth, I believe, must be a part of who you are in order for you to recognize it when it is spoken, written, or debated. This is a fundamental truth of our country and a foundational truth that was believed by many of our Founding Fathers.


One only need to listen to our nation’s founders and our constitution’s framers to get a glimpse of their wisdom and of the eternal truths they presented. Here are a few examples:

  • Benjamin Rush - Signer of the Declaration of Independence –  “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
  • George Washington - Father of Our Country – “[T]he [federal] government...can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.”
  • Jedediah Morse - Patriot and Father of American Geography – “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys … Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”
  • Fisher Ames - Framer of the First Amendment  – “Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits...it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
  • Charles Carroll of Carrollton - Signer of the Declaration of Independence – “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
  • Samuel Adams - Signer of the Declaration of Independence – “[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”
  • John Adams - Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States – “[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.” “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” “The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.”


How so many Americans have run every stop sign and ignored every “bridge out ahead” sign that was placed in the path to where the country is today. The wisdom that should resonate with you as you read the aforementioned words does so if the Truth is in you. If these words seem like dribble and make you angry, or you just don’t see the relevance and timing of these words, it is likely that the Truth is not in you.


America is the country I live in. America is where my citizenship resides. America is where I’m proud to call my homeland. But America is not my home. In fact, no where on earth can I call home. Hebrews 13:14 says “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” 1 Peter 2:11-12 says “Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.”

The record of history is clear and precise on this fact: empires rise and empires fall. America is a different country but it isn’t impervious to the very corruption, immorality and debauchery that is undefeated throughout history against the greatest empires who in their times believed it impossible to ever happen. The idea of America is strong but it has been stronger. America needs to become great again if America is going to remain. But if America needs to become great again, it’s because it isn’t great currently. And if it isn’t great currently it is only because it isn’t good anymore.

The following thoughts are attributed to 19th Century French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (emphasis added):

 “In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious. There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth. In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people. Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent. I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom. The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts -- the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.”


There seems only one Way to “make America great again.” There is only one train to jump on that has both temporal and eternal value. There is only one Life that if lifted up will draw all men unto Him. Christians don’t need to be in every part of government or political life or, by a belief in dominion theology, dominate the culture or transform society. We’re to preach the gospel in season and out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “You must tell God’s message to people. Always be ready to tell it. Continue to tell it, whether people want to listen to you or not. Tell people when they are doing something wrong. Tell them that they must stop doing wrong things. Explain to them what they ought to do. Be very patient while you teach them.” (Easy English Version) We’re to transform hearts and minds by the power of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Truth is undeniable and unable to be missed when the Spirit of God is living on the inside of a human being. The internal governing and witness God places inside one of His children sort of makes the need for external government unnecessary.


For everyone who wants to shrink the size and scope of government in America, one need only to work to grow the influence of Jesus Christ in the lives of Americans. The impetus and momentum needed to shrink the federal leviathan can only come through the moral and spiritual growth of the very people wherein popular sovereignty lives. Forsaking the “American dream” and living a life that aligns with the perfect Will of God and denying the carnal desires and secularized indoctrination that the progressive left has lifted up as standards to strive for will accomplish the goals that freedom loving patriots say they aspire to achieve. The patriots of the revolutionary area were virtuous, moral Christians. There were atheists then as well but the respect for the Christian ethic was present. Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism couldn’t have created America. Atheistic, secular humanism couldn’t have even thought up the United States. Marxism, Socialism and Communism, although not yet birthed at the time of the founding, we now see the type of nations created and the carnage that ensues. It is solely the principles and teaching of the Bible that a country like the United States of America was even possible.


If you’re looking for answers on how to “fix” the country, open the Bible. If you want to know how to “make America great again,” read the scriptures. If you’re looking for the next great collective movement to fundamentally transform the country back to something constitutionally recognizable, you won’t find it outside of the teaching of the Bible. Am I Bible thumping. No. It’s more simple than that. I’m Truth thumping. Know the Truth and you’ll know truth when you see, hear or read it. Know the Truth and you’ll have wisdom beyond your peers. Know the Truth and be prepared to lose everything, including your life. Know the Truth and you may not “fix the machine” but you’ll gain eternal life and your family and your generations may be changed and maybe just maybe somewhere in the future, we’re doing better than we are today and America still will stand as that city set upon a hill, lighting the way for mankind to know where liberty and freedom can be found in the earth.

Written by Trey Roberts

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