The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance declares us to be as a people, “under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Obviously, there is a great deal of contention among us as to exactly what that means and its veracity. Indeed, like any patriotic platform, it is both a statement of intent and a description of partial reality. History has proven that nations and civilizations tend to dissolve when the gap between reality and stated intent becomes so great that apathy, sarcasm, and divisive disillusionment eviscerate the core. I would painfully suggest that our nation has that possibility in sight and that its future will be cast in the next two decades.
I am not saying that the United States necessarily will cease to exist, but rather it may have turned so far away from its birthright intentions that it will actually cease to be the same nation as its root structures. If that happens, due to our global impact over the last seventy or eighty years, the whole world order will significantly change. Demographically, only India or China can replicate our influence if we look at sheer populations and economic and regional impact. Mere population, however, does not create a dominant nation. Dominance is an extension of a people’s belief systems and vibrancy of their united sense of superior identity. Ideas (not bullets), consumption rates, or sizes (economics) determine influence and win both hearts and wars.
So what are the key issues that will ultimately shape the future of our nation? What issues are actually transcended and not merely faddish, generational, or shorter-run? I would like to set forth the three following issues as major contenders for the transcendent issues that will ultimately define our national and global destiny:
1) Is there a Creator who establishes values, principles, and standards of conduct to which He holds mankind accountable and through which the laws of cause-and-effect establish discernible effects (Matt. 4:4)? If so, can an active, energized portion of the nation press the nation as a whole to freely observe and honor those mandates? If they cannot, at what point of disobedience to those mandates does the nation socially weaken to the point of fracture?
2) In strategic and visible accord with those mandates, can a nation create and sustain economic and legal systems that produce upward economic mobility for the majority of citizens while balancing personal rewards for essential inputs with the needs of the community and the less able being fairly cared for?
3) To those who believe that the above two questions are affirmative and can be the foundation of a blessed nation, are you willing to export these two positive affirmations without fear or conscription? Are you willing to defend and even die for them if required to do so?
I contend that these three questions and how they are answered and pursued are the three questions of supreme importance and that socially speaking, everything else is details. If this be true, then they must be supremely and vigorously pursued in every venue possible and they must gather people in significant numbers as they go. In a very real sense, because they are supremely spiritually based as they play out in the material world, they are my three “nailings to the door” of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses nearly 500 years prior.
We shall continue to slog through the upcoming elections here in the United States and globally through the Muslim-terrorist war which will force Islam to define itself as it incurs the wrath of military responses to its terrorist wing. We shall also slog through the tedious details of lesser, but still important issues, as tension increases between truth-seekers and the politically correct reality doggers. May those of us who see these three issues or their related spin-offs as the truly transcendent ones, stay resolutely focused and increasingly effective. And that is…
…THE BOTTOM LINE.