- - Monday, January 26, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It’s difficult to get Americans to agree on many things today, but there are a few exceptions. Three of four are unhappy with the direction the country is headed. Two of three think America is in a state of decline, and more than half believe that we’re no longer a country where anyone can get ahead and have a better standard of living.

This dismal outlook includes every major American institution. Strikingly, the one that enjoys the greatest public support is the military – but even at that, only four of ten adults have “a great deal of confidence” in our military. Next highest are churches, but only one of four has a high level of trust in our religious institutions. Only one in five has the highest degree of confidence in the presidency; one of seven in public schools; one of eight in the U.S. Supreme Court; one of ten in banks; and only one out of twenty in Congress.

Over the last generation, we’ve largely destroyed our uniquely American culture, created an activist government that pursues its own agenda, no longer serving the people or following the Constitution, banished organized religion to a place of public irrelevance, and reconstructed the traditional family into something never before known in the history of mankind.

Exacerbating these problems is the paralysis that citizens feel as a result of our 24/7/365 national news inundation. We routinely hear of maddening decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court, the president’s use of his phone and pen to enact unpopular policies and the Senate’s refusal to take up over 300 common sense bills passed by the House (more than 200 of them passed unanimously), and we know there is nothing we can do to reverse any of these things.

In tough and frustrating times, there is a tendency to look outside for help – for something to relieve the pressure, to solve the problem, or simply to give hope. For those in the religious community, the pressure-relief valve is often eschatology (the theological view of the final events of history, commonly described as the “end times”) They tell themselves that what is going on now is what was prophesied millennia ago – that current events were decreed by God and are beyond any human control.

But is America’s fate really predetermined? Is a solution beyond our reach? I firmly believe the answer is no – which is why George Barna and I wrote the book U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots. There are things that we can do that will make a difference.

Some simple facts from the American Revolution provide encouragement here. When we read of the Revolution today, knowing that we won the struggle against Great Britain, we assume that there was widespread public support for independence and liberty. Not so.

Historians report that only one-third of Americans supported independence; one-fourth opposed it; and the remaining group didn’t care who won; they just wanted to be on the winning side. Only 9 percent of Americans actually participated in securing liberty for the nation. Clearly, then, it doesn’t take a definitive majority to win; it only takes a dedicated and persistent core.

Another lesson from the American Revolution is seen in its early battles. When British troops approached Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Williamsburg, and elsewhere, Americans didn’t send a messenger to George Washington to ask what should be done. Instead, they simply stood up in their own local community to face down the enemy closest to them.

We, too, need to pay attention to what is happening locally. We need to fill our school boards, city councils, public utility districts and other city and county positions with common-sense, God-fearing, Constitution-heeding individuals. There are millions of such persons in America; and while it might be difficult to elect them to the U.S. Senate or House right now, it’s not difficult to elect them as mayors or school board presidents.

And for those in the faith community, our destiny is still in our hands. Most credible prophecy experts agree that America doesn’t appear in end-time prophecies. The fates of nations such as Gog, Magog, Israel, Egypt and others may be, but America’s is not. We still get to choose our destiny. So, Americans of faith shouldn’t use eschatology as an excuse to retreat into a shell of non-activity, but instead should obey Jesus’ direct command to His servants to “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13). We must adopt the attitude voiced in 2 Kings 7:3, when a handful of individuals looked at what was going wrong around them and asked the simple question, “Why should we just sit here, waiting to die?” They got moving and their seemingly inconsequential actions brought profound results.

This is not the time to back out of the battle. Instead, it is the time to go forward.

It’s time for us to restore America to the strength of its roots.

David Barton is a historian, author, and the Founder and President of WallBuilders - a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes.

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