I have written before that America is no longer one nation under God. Is it time to formalize the split?
That’s the question raised by Dr. Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, in his article, Thinking About the Unthinkable – Disunion.
We are two nations occupying one geography. One nation under man, one under God. The nation “under man” is grounded in the atheist-materialist paradigm rooted in relativism. The other nation is comprised of those functioning from the Judeo-Christian roots upon which America was founded.
A moment in the recent Democratic National Convention provided a dramatic illustration of this divide. The platform committee had removed “Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel and “God” as the source of our intrinsic values. When this omission was discovered, a floor vote was called to return “God” and “Jerusalem” to the platform language. If you watched this brief video clip you have seen evidence, within the Democratic party itself, of the nation’s division.
America is at a tipping point. Only one moral vision will survive. As President Abraham Lincoln gravely repeated words from Christ, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
I can envision four futures for America. Only one is desirable.
One America Under Man
In one scenario, those who want a nation under man will win by default. Every generation, fewer citizens remember the story of America’s founding, the theological language of our fathers, and the Biblical principles that created America. Those who have forgotten will embrace the modern atheist paradigm, promoted by academics, journalists, Hollywood producers, and politicians. Rejecting God’s sovereignty, they want a sovereign state. Hasn’t the Democratic party tacitly acknowledged this in their video, The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To?
Alas, their claim is truer than it should be. Today nearly half of US households are beholden to the federal government. And nearly half of all Americans pay no income tax. Note how steep the curve is during the last 20 years. More and more people are dependent; fewer and fewer are free men and women. We are approaching the mid-point between the earners and the takers.
President Thomas Jefferson observed, The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Likewise, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French Social Historian wrote: The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.
Civil War 2.0
A second scenario is civil war. Gun sales are at record highs. People are angry and frightened. Who knows what might escalate the culture wars into civil war? Clearly this would be highly undesirable. The destruction of families and communities would exceed the devastation of our last civil war. But the level of animosity among the political class and the news headlines indicate that many people sense we are in deep trouble.
Lipsman points to a third scenario: a peaceful division of America’s two countries. He notes a recent model: the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Founded in 1918 as a sovereign state, its political and historic differences fueled the “Velvet Divorce”of 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia .
What would amicable national divorce in America look like? Could the twin coasts, with their preference of a nation “under man,” live separately from the so-called “fly over country” with its moral vision of “a nation under God”?
Repentance, Revival, Reformation
None of these three alternatives is acceptable. Only one scenario remains. God is ready to heal the land. But His work is tendered by the repentance of his people. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us: 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.
Revival and reformation are born in repentance. Our inward focused churches, with their feel-good programs for members, must be transformed into kingdom outposts bringing truth, beauty, and goodness in practical ways to the community and nation.
The German martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, The church is only the church when it exists for others. Bonhoeffer called the church to repentance in Germany at the time of the Nazi Third Riche and died a martyr in the process. Salvation Army co-founder Catherine Booth famously said, “If we are to better the future, we are to disturb the present.”
If we would save our nation, the church must awaken from her slumber, repent, and begin to disturb the present. Christ followers are to live lives of love, compassion, and beauty; we are to speak truth and do good so that our lives and communities might shine as a city on a hill.
Far better that the church repent and become God’s instrument of revival and reform than for the nation to fall into the abyss.
May God help us.
– Darrow Miller