February 12, 2020

Many people have pondered the question, “What made America great?”

America is still the number one destination people want to move to if they have to leave their homeland.  There must be a reason for this greatness.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a French statesman and social philosopher.  He wanted to know the answer to that question.  So in 1831, he took an extended tour of America to discover for himself the reason for her greatness.  Eventually, he would write a two-part book about what he discovered.

A brief excerpt from that book says:  “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.”

Of course America’s churches and the sermons from preachers are what helps to create strong individual citizens and families.  Unfortunately, a recent Pew Research report said that fewer people in America are identifying as Christians.  And fewer people are attending churches.  This is bad news for America and humanity in general.

In a recent speech, Pope Francis also said that Christianity is not the great influence on the world that it once was.  Christianity does not shape moral behaviors like it previously did.  He went on to cite many sins in the world, particularly the great increase in abortions.  But he concluded his remarks by saying that Christ is still the greatest hope for the world.  (This was condensed and paraphrased.)

We must conclude that Christians can not force other people to become Christlike.  It just doesn’t work that way.

It reminds me of the old Southern addage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
Force has been tried throughout world history to make people convert to their religion.  Even now many radical Muslims are in a jihad {holy war} to force their religion on people.

Last week I heard a report from my friend, Randy Grasso, who just got back from a one week mission trip to Nigeria.  He was picked up at the airport by armed guards to take him to the church where he would be teaching locals how to evangelize for Christ.

Gangs of Muslims are breaking into homes and demanding that people convert to the Muslim religion right on the spot, or else the whole family is killed.  One woman saw her family killed and the Muslims began cutting her arm off little by little if she would not convert.  They left her for dead. But fortunately she lived to tell the story.

So, then, how do we make Christians so that America can stay great?  Only by example, prayer and Christian leadership.

Are you a part of the problem?  Are you caught up in the modernism movement?  The Bible teaches us we must die to the world.  The Apostle Paul said, “I die daily.”

America and other parts of the world “worship” too many idols. Possessions, pleasures – anything we put ahead of God becomes our idol.

Every Christian should read “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.”  It’s a hard read because of the old English.  But it’s been updated to make it easier to read.  The book tells of martyrs from Jesus, the disciples and apostles up through the 16th century.

I close by reminding you of the original cost of making America great.  The fifty-six signers of The Declaration of Independence agreed together in 1776 that “We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Many of those signers died for their beliefs in the cause of a great country.
Are we any better than they were to risk everything to make America great and keep our families great?

Do your part as a Christian. Charles G. Finney, a great American preacher said once when preaching about The Kingdom of God, “Every member must work or quit.  No honorary members.”

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley