They say that time heals all wounds (or wounds all heels, depending on who you ask), but what I’ve found is that time actually blurs the truth. There’s another old saying that goes something like “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Both of these are at play in our country right now.
What would you learn about the founding of our nation from what we see today? How about if I wanted to see about the founding of Rome? Does it look anything like the current Italian government? If I looked at research from the past 100 years of government in France, would I know about Charles the Great?
The interesting thing about the passage of time is that without constant upkeep, all things become like the car in the header picture– broken down and virtually shells of their former glory.
The same thing with our government. What it is and what it was is two different things. It was created free, as a response to the high tax and high oppression of the British Government. It had freedoms put into place to secure what people felt was missing under the old government. But I highly doubt what is would be recognized by the founders.
Taxes, Earmarks, and Big Government
One of the primary things that the Founders wanted to protect was to protect people from the government. They didn’t like the house invasions. They didn’t like the tea tax. They wanted the protection of government and protection from government.
Today, people look to government for money (whether it’s tax returns, tax breaks, stimulus packages, welfare, food stamps, hand outs…). They can’t imagine life without income taxes, sales taxes, etc. And they hope that government will pay for social security when they retire.
Emergent Church and Purpose Drive Life
The same thing can be said about churches. What we see now and the power that was available at the founding of the church are two very different things. At the founding of the church, the people were alive with the Good News of the Gospel. The revivals saw changes in whole areas where prisons would be empty– as were the bar rooms. The impact was felt throughout nations.
Today we have programs, processes, strategic planning meetings, etc. We have gimmicks and slogans, tee-shirts and billboards. We use sex to sell our church services, and call people together to see Christian magicians. We employ salesman tactics and use marketing groups. We’re not making the impact we should be because we’re more concerned with retention then we are with meeting needs.
The Solution is the Same
Just as the problems are similar, the solutions are similar as well. In order for the church to regain its place and its fervor, it must return to its first love. It must remember what it’s mission is. There’s a world out there that is needing a Savior.
The government is on its way to dark times. It’s borrowed itself into a deep hole. It’s eroded away rights to the point that soon it will not much different than the socialist state that it defeated at the end of the cold war.
And yet the first step in both of these cases is that we have to recognize that what we see is not what we were. That “what is” can be changed. The question is, will we see it, and when we do, what will we do about it?
8 thoughts on “Time’s Effect on All Things”
We had a guest speaker at church on Sunday who talked about these things. His viewpoint was interesting because he’s not from the U.S. Same problems, different lattitude.
Great post. Sad to say it’s true.
Christine’s last blog post..A Cinderella Story
I’m quite curious to see examples of this, because with as many flaws as I see in our church, I haven’t seen this.
Amanda’s last blog post..Grace, Peace, Love – Abounds
Christine, it’s interesting how the problems in churches are different in different places. We had a missionary in our home a few months back, and it was amazing to hear how much more violent America is than other places, and how God was at work in some new lands. Unfortunately, I believe that it’s a trend that once the Gospel has been in a certain place for a period of time, and then the culture goes Post-Christian that it’s hard for that culture to go back.
Amanda, I’ve actually linked to the latest church that’s using sex as a selling point. Now, I’ll grant that they are encouraging sex inside marriage and that people should abstain while outside marriage, but this is a campaign– press releases, bill boards– and this isn’t the only church doing this. Jesus did not come to earth so that we could have a better sex life. Nor did Jesus go around teaching about how to better make love as a way to get people to follow Him.
Wow. I actually do remember hearing about that now that I’ve seen the link. The most interesting part was this:
Now, is it just me, or does fiance mean unwed?
Yes, it means that the church acknowledges that they have members living in sin, but are only challenging them to go a month without sex. They would have been better off saying “let’s get married at the end of the month without sex” than just saying stay away for a month, and then you can go back to your sin…
Still, the point is the message. Churches are doing anything, bringing anyone in, using any gimmick they can to try to entertain and be attractive to the world. Instead, they should be seeing where God is working and joining Him in that work to accomplish His purposes.
Oh! I had read it wrong. I see, now.
I see where you’re coming from. But at the same time, sex is something that is talked about in the Word, but rarely spoken about in church. Maybe these folks have gone a little over the top, but it’s good to be open about godly sex.
Amanda’s last blog post..Exciting News! (Yes, I’m a Dork)
“It’s eroded away rights to the point that soon it will not much different than the socialist state that it defeated at the end of the cold war.”
I’m dying to hear some examples here.
Musicguy’s last blog post..Quote Monday
Well, we could start with the whole “ruled by a ruling class” to describe the current process by which our elected officials are chosen. We could then move to a centralized government gaining power. The absence of private ownership via property tax and the Celo decision that allowed gov’t to take them away by eminent domain. A Judiciary that has legislative power. The lack of historical and civics training in public schools. The redistribution of wealth done by the Federal Government. The constant encroachment on free speech and free exercise of religion.
Shall I continue?
A socialist government believes that the government is the answer, and seeks to grow government. Over the past century both the Republicans and Democrats have grown government by an alarming rate– both via earmarks, handouts, and taxes. It’s almost impossible not to violate some law because there are so many, and so many that we don’t know.
But great question Musicguy.