America the beautiful is turning ugly

Introduction:

  1. My country ‘tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
    of thee I sing:
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the pilgrims’ pride
    From every mountain side
    Let freedom ring!
  2. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
  3. America is beautiful—I have just returned from Yellowstone. America is getting ugly with her turning to sin. In the cities there are drive-by shootings, murder in Washington, DC and robberies everywhere.
  4. My family military history (my dad served in WWI, my brother in WWII, I am a retired National Guard Chaplain, and my son is a pilot in the Air Force)

I. The American way of life is being destroyed

A.  America is in trouble
  1. The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34)
  2. The Bible proclaims, “Blessed (happy) is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Ps. 33:12)
  3. The Bible warns us that “confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” (Prov. 25:19)
  4. This nation is in trouble because her churches are in trouble—we preach a feel good gospel
  5. Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is good, and as long as America is good, America will be great. When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
B.    Some of the problems in America
  1. For the past 30 years we have been like a ship out of control
  2. Government has lost its credibility
    Hard work has lost its dignity
    Business has lost its integrity
    The church has lost its vitality
  3. Few today believe in government
    Only the naïve trust business
    People want more and more for less and less
    Ethical standards are no longer fashionable and the “Born Again Craze” Madison Avenue religion has replaced simple salvation by grace and faith.
  4. A writer has said Christianity has not been tried and found wanting by America; rather it has been found difficult and left untried.
  5. In America today we have political paralysis, economic chaos, and moral insensitivity.
C. Has America ever been a Christian nation?
  1. No!  But our country was built upon a Christian world view which in turn rests upon Christian principles.
  2. These principles have been eroded and now we have: homosexuality, equal rights, a permissive society, a poor education system, a judicial system dedicated to protecting the criminal, a breakdown in the family unit, and a religion with no power.
  3. Reggie White, a defensive back for the Green Bay Packers said in May 1998, “Homosexuals are trying to compare their plight with the plight of the black man and black people. Homosexuality is a decision. It’s not a race.”
  4. Trent Lott, majority leader in the Senate, said in June 1998, “Homosexuality is a sin.”
    Mike McCurry responded for President Clinton by saying, “No wonder we can’t get anything done in Congress with such backward attitudes.”
  5. The Psalmist said, “If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
  6. Maybe we can keep on being righteous, but for how long.

II. Some terrible misunderstanding about America and our government

A.  Christians do not feel they are responsible for freedom in America
  1. Baptists, in particular, have not run for political office.
  2. Preachers have hidden themselves within the 4 walls of the church.
  3. Deacons are more concerned about the church losing her tax exempt status than they are taking a stand for right in this nation. The only church to lose its tax exempt status for political activity was the Church at Pierce Creek. In 1992 they ran a full page ad in USA Today and The Washington Times saying “beware, Mr. Clinton supports homosexuality, abortion on demand, and distribution of condoms to teenagers in public school.”
  4. The politicians in America have failed and they know they have failed.
    A greeting was received from President Clinton commending the gay day faithful for helping America rise above “the voices of hatred and prejudice that drowns out the    harmony of national life.” (World Magazine, June 20, 1998)
    Who can respect a president who is accused over and over of immoral conduct? Who can trust legislators who scramble for the lobbyist dollars? Only about 20% of state legislators will vote for right no matter the consequences.
  5. When America loses her freedom that will protect the rights of the churches and the right to preach.
There are 3 major misunderstandings about our republic:
B.    First, we are confused as to the type of government we have
  1. There are 5 types of government
    1. monarchy-rule by one
    2. oligarchy-rule by the elite or few
    3. democracy-rule by the majority
    4. republic-rule by the law
    5. anarchy-rule by none
  2. Most people think we have a democracy.
  3. Ours is a republic. When we pledge allegiance we say “to the republic for which it stands”
  4. Our forefathers gave us a republic and a constitution which lawfully protects the right to religious freedom.
C.  Second, we are confused as to our source of rights
  1. Most people think our rights come from the government.
  2. Our rights come from the Constitution.
  3. The Declaration of Independence says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”
  4. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are endowed by their creator, not the government.
  5. If the government gave us our rights, the government could take them away.
  6. Tax and churches
    1. In 1990 the Supreme Court ruled in Employment vs. Smith that the government no longer has to demonstrate a “compelling interest” before regulating religion.
D. Third, we are confused as to the purpose of government
  1. Most people think the government is to provide for their needs.
  2. The Constitution declares that the purpose of government is to protect our life and property.
    • Now do you see why we ought to spend more on the armed forces than on welfare.
    • The government is to protect us, not to feed us.
    • A man on TV said welfare has become our Messiah.

III. There is an attack on our faith and freedom

A.  ­An attack from secular humanism
  1. Humanism denies the Lordship of Christ
  2. Humanism denies God as center of the Universe and says that man is self-sufficient.
  3. Humanism seeks a world government
  4. In 1950 a man from a foreign country came here and said to congress “We will have a world government.” The question is whether it will be by force or consent.
  5. On TV a business man said, “After WWI we had the League of Nations, after WWII we have the United Nations, after WWIII we will have world government.”
B.    Look at what humanism has done for us
  1. Until 1960 we were sound as a government. We were strong economically, and respected as a powerful nation.
  2. Then we took prayer out of the schools
  3. Now look at our schools
  4. On June 16, 1998, NYC fired a popular teacher because she told her students that another student who died in a drowning accident was in heaven
  5. Look at the unmarried couples living all around us and then 50% of marriages end in divorce
  6. Look at the use of drugs (68% of all young people have tried drugs)
  7. Look at the TV and movies – foul language, violence and nudity
  8. Look at the homosexual parade at Disney World
C.  Our government has gone socialistic
  1. Look at all the red tape a small businessman has to go through
  2. Companies waste 20% of their talent on complying with government regulations
  3. We used to reward those who worked hard, now we take from them to give to the lazy
  4. A nation who gives best treatment to the weak, lazy and no good, will end up with a majority of weak, lazy and no good people

IV. How should we respond?

A.  As a nation we have stopped marching to the beat of the drummer and now dance to jive sounds
  1. What can we do about the situation?
  2. Should we find a desert cave and drop out of society?
  3. Should we say what is the use, I can’t do anything about the situation
  4. Should we decide to do as the Romans do? – Some  ministers marry homosexuals
  5. We can stand on our Christian faith like the apostle Paul
  6. We can make our congressmen aware of the desire on our part to see something done
  7. We can vote – study and know the candidates
B.    We have forgotten where our wealth came from
  1.  Explain when Israel was going into the promise land: “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;” (Deut. 6:10-11)
          “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.” (Deut. 8:7-9)
  2. We have forgotten about those who died in WWII
  3. We have forgotten about those who suffered in Korea and South Vietnam
  4. A letter was left at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. It said, “Oh Johnny, your name is here—but you are not. I made a rubbing of your name. I rubbed as hard as I could, I guess because I hoped that if I could rub you name off that wall you could come back again.”
  5. I still don’t like Jane Fonda

V. What is the salvation of our nation?

A.  A turning back to God
  1. “In God we Trust” is still on our coins – the ACLU would like to take it off
  2. How many Americans thank God for this country
  3. Gen. Douglas MacArthur outlined the two possible paths for America, he said: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
  4. America must turn back to God, but nations do not turn to God or from God!
B.    Individuals turn to God
  1. Share your faith individually
  2. Jesus preached his greatest sermon to one man, Nicodemus, or one woman at the well
  3. Philip went on a missionary journey to one man in the desert
  4. Paul gave his most persuasive sermon to one man, Felix
C.  Laymen, not preachers, will change America
  1. It was 120 laypersons at Pentecost
  2. Persecution scattered the laymen in the early church at Jerusalem
  3. Stephen, the first martyr, was a layman
  4. Philip was a layman
  5. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
         My country ‘tis of thee,
         Sweet land of liberty,
         of thee I sing:
         Land where my fathers died,
         Land of the pilgrims’ pride
         From every mountain side
         Let freedom ring!
     I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Joe Bob Mizzell

Joe Bob Mizzell

Joe Bob Mizzell retired from the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions in 2012. He was most recently the director of the Office of Christian Ethics & Chaplaincy Ministries. Previously, Joe served as pastor of Alberta Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa.
Joe Bob Mizzell

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