Changing the Way America Thinks
By Dave Breese
Im sure that, along with me, you have noticed that our American society is becoming increasingly volatile, unstable, changeable, dangerous. We have ever-increasing demonstrations, picketing, frivolous lawsuits, personal and corporate bankruptcies, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicides in ever-growing numbers. What does this mean? It means that the great heart of our American society is beginning to fibrillate, to beat maniacally, to become uneven and unreliable. In human beings, this is a sign of great danger! In society, it is the sameit can be the prelude to the collapse and the death of a formerly viable culture which has lost direction, motivation, and a reason for living.
Let us make no mistake about itcultures, like people, can die. Before they do, they give early warning signs, such as lack of confidence in government, the erosion of the prestige of religious leaders, demonstrations in society against their political officials, the rise of taxation to a confiscatory level and widespread moral irresponsibility on the part of the people. Is this happening today? How else can we explain the daily death toll of 4,000 abortions, the conferring on sodomites of special rights, the colossal rise in the national debt, the unspeakable foolishness of denominational leadersa hundred evidences could be added to this.
We know, of course, that many Americans, many Christians, are dimly aware of the progressive ruin which is coming upon us in our American society. However, the problem seems to be so great and the enemy so well entrenched that many say, There is nothing that I can do so I will hide my head in the sand. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Seriously, there are multitudes of people who are checking out of any personal involvement in our modern, decadent culture. They anesthetize themselves with amusement, alcohol, sexual dissipation, or even involvement in some foggy little cultic religion. Such withdrawal from responsibility and great opportunity is a great mistake. Such people will miss the adventure of living today and will deprive society of the great things that, under God, they might otherwise do.
If not withdrawal, then what? Well, there are a hundred things that can be done by people and institutions in terms of their opportunity, ability, resources, and the like. We could suggest a score of activities that could yet produce a saving effect upon a deteriorating culture. Most of the alive, awake Christians of our time are at least doing something.
But at the bottom of it all, there is little hope unless we can do a very special thingwe must change the way America thinks. We must produce a change of mind in the lives of thousands, millions of people if we are to alter the crash-dead-ahead direction of our society. There is no permanent change that can come in the world apart from getting sufficient numbers of people to think differently from the way they now think. In fact, the concerns of our society can easily be explained by noting the fact that most people simply believe the wrong things about God, about themselves, about the purpose of life.
About God, most people think that He either does not exist or is totally irrelevant to life. Consequently, it has been years since most people asked the question, Who is God and what does He intend for me to do? For want of proper attention to the question, they live like animals, motivated merely by pleasure or pain, rather than any sense of divine purpose.
The thinking Christian makes no such mistake. He knows that God is that holy and infinite Being who operates the universe with perfect attention and before whom some day we shall stand. To keep this truth in mind produces a profound effect upon the way we live.
Concerning man, the world believes that we are merely a result of an evolutionary process. Each individual is what he is because of accidental chemistry, mere chance, uncontrolled biological history. Every child, every young person who attends the public schools of America is taught that man is an animal. When a boy or girl believes such idiocy, how can we be surprised when they begin to live like animals when they arrive at their teenage years. Modern secular education guarantees future disaster by what is contained and what is omitted from the curriculum today.
The thinking Christian makes no such mistake. He knows that man is not an animal! Rather, man is an eternal being made in the image of God. He, therefore, is endowed with moral agency, responsibility, and divine destiny. The Christian mind is profoundly different from anything the world has to offer.
Concerning the purpose of life, the world has no answer. The world is secular, hedonistic, without a guiding star. With the help of John Dewey, the humanist father of modern education, the thinking of the world starts with man and ends with man. How incredibly depressing is the idea that life has no purpose beyond itself. When youre dead, youre dead is the ghastly best that the world can say when it faces the results of its own philosophy. People sicken and die from lack of purpose. How sad to face the darkness of a non-tomorrow without Christ.
The thinking Christian knows better. He knows that the purpose of life is not simply to exist, to be amused and intoxicated, to eat and indulge oneself and then die. He knows that the Kingdom of God is not food and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit(Rom. 14:17). He knows that the purpose of God reaches out into eternity, motivating him to live a thoughtful and godly life.
Why is it so impossible for groups of people to come to any agreement about what should be done concerning the critical issues of our time? The answer is that our society has lost any sense of a final standard by which things can be measured. In absence of this final standard, pompous people attempt to buttress their argument by saying, Studies show , The experts say , The polls indicate , Our people want , The public has the right to know , My mother used to say , and expressions along this line. Such resources should not be used as justification for anything!
These discussions become especially absurd when the subject is morality. It is often heard that You should not press your moral values upon others. There is, of course, no such thing as your or my moral values. There is but one final authority. That is the Bible! Until the thought-leaders of our culture are willing to present the Bible as final authority in these matters, the senseless discussions will go on and on. All other implications of a given subject are pointless unless they are judged against a final authority.
Even as we speak, we sense that more and more atrocious people and ideas will move into positions of influence where they can control the lives of others. The Scripture says, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God (II Sam. 23:3). That principle, if ignored, will produce the death of a nation.
How shall we then live in a world like this? Francis Schaeffer asked that question as the title of one of his books. Many years have passed since that book and the answer to the question is more complicated than ever. Nevertheless, there are several points that must be included in that answer:
Carol and I want to thank you once again for your wonderful support of the ministry of Christian Destiny and especially the place that you have given us in your prayers. Just to know that we are being remembered before the throne of grace by you is a marvelous source of reassurance indeed. Together let us believe God so that we may be adequate to the stellar opportunities and great occasions that lie before us in the days ahead.
Write for your free copy of the booklet The Future of America by Dave Breese. See enclosed insert for the book Seven Men Who Rule the World From the Grave by Dave Breese.