Trading Excellence for Mediocrity in the Name of Progress

The United States of America has a proud history. From it’s beginning, this nation has served as a refuge for people who are looking for freedom and a new start. People from all over the world and from every ethnic group and background have found safety and success on the shores of this nation.

While this nation has served as a refuge for many, the US has also made it’s share of mistakes. Like every other nation, we have not always applied the principles upon which we were founded equitably and justly. But, unlike many other nations, the US has a framework established by it’s Founders upon which to correct mistakes and bring justice to those who need it. The US has been established upon the principle of the value of human dignity which serves as a beacon – when followed – to bring us back home to our foundation.

But, there is another “beacon” out there beckoning for our attention as a people. It is the beacon of progress. When seen at face value, progress seems to be a goal to which we should aspire. And, in truth, progress in the areas of medicine, transportation, communication, etc. are worthy and healthy goals to pursue. When many look back at our nations past, well, even at some current events they see the need for progress in how people have been treated. I don’t disagree with this assessment. Many have been treated unfairly by those who live in the land of liberty and human dignity.

Many of the folks who see the need for progress in the area of unfair dealings feel that we need to change some of our primary systems to correct what they see as “hypocrisy”. They feel that there are certain beliefs in place that serve as a “breeding ground” for the violation of human dignity. Christianity is one of the systems in which many see “hypocrisy” and unfairness. They see the system as being fatally “flawed” with inherent beliefs that destroy liberty and encourage oppression. Christianity’s belief in one god and it’s moral code which restricts certain behaviors seems to be, in the opinion of many, the source of much oppression. Even if our Founding Fathers did use the Bible and Christian teachings as a basis from which to write our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we must “progress” beyond these teachings and their inherent “weaknesses” to establish what our country can be.

I too, see much “hypocrisy” in our nation and it’s people. How do we fix this reality?

In 2 Chronicles, chapter 25, Amaziah faced a daunting enemy. The Edomites were pressing upon the kingdom, threatening to attack. Conventional wisdom said to employ all resources at your disposal to handle the problem. So, Amaziah, gathered everyone together to create a force powerful enough to handle the encroaching enemy. He even hired one hundred thousand fighting men from Israel, which appeared to be a wise investment. As Amaziah prepared for war, he was met by a “man of God” who told him that the hired men from Israel were not an asset but a liability because of the fact that Israel had forsaken God. If Amaziah, took the men of Israel to war with him, he would be defeated. God will bless Amaziah if he obeys God, the “prophet” states.

Where do these religious nuts come from with their “divisive” ideas? Unity is what is needed in a crisis! If everyone can be tolerant of one another, we can solve any issue in front of us! Wasn’t this “religion” what caused Judah and Israel to be divided in the first place?

If we could just get everyone to work together……..!!!!!

Amaziah sends the men of Israel home, to their chagrin and goes to war. He defeats the Edomites, just as the “man of God” said he would. Verse 14 says this:

Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.

Even though God’s word had proven true, Amaziah didn’t like the division it was causing and the apparent “unfairness” to the people of Israel. So, in affect, he knew a change in belief systems was needed. He ditched Jehovah and grabbed an idea everyone could rally around.

Verse 15 states:

Therefore the anger of the Lord was aroused against Amaziah, and He sent a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?”

Amaziah’s solution seems to be repeating itself in America today in response to our “hypocrisy”. As a nation, we are not just protecting, but promoting all types of religious beliefs and trying our best to eliminate Christianity from influence in America. We are giving preference to Islam, Hinduism,occultism, and every type of “ism” there is and are working as hard as we can to legislate Christianity out of American culture. I know this is a “free country” with freedom of religion. But, we don’t have to promote these beliefs and adopt them as the foundation from which our freedoms are derived because our freedoms weren’t derived from these beliefs!  Why, in God’s Name would we want to adopt religious beliefs which have no power to change the nations from which they originated? Why adopt a system that promotes institutionalized poverty, class warfare, hatred of women, the killing of unbelievers, and the rejection of those unlike you?

I know, you are saying, “Well, we find many, if not all of these in Christianity as well!”

Maybe, but let’s not forget that it is by belief in Jesus that this nation received it’s courage to fight for freedom – religious and political. The teachings of the Bible played a major role in the creation of our Bill of Rights and many of our laws. It was belief in the Bible that affirmed the “pursuit of happiness” was a fundamental right of all men, regardless of class or ethnicity. It was belief in Jesus and the Bible which served as a major push behind the correction of one of our nation’s moral and social failures – slavery. Without the Bible and faith in Jesus, this nation would not be what it is, period!

I’m not afraid to have other beliefs practiced in America and their right to do so protected. I know that, when placed side by side with other religions, Christianity will be proven to be the Truth. Even if we choose to legislate it out of influence, it will still serve as the Answer and will still influence billions of people. But, just because we protect a right doesn’t mean that specific right has to be adopted as a “national identity”. Just because something is allowed doesn’t mean it is desirable for the health and welfare of the corporate body.

The definition of “hyprocrisy” is “to play act” or “to say you are something you are not”.

To correct hypocrisy, you don’t eliminate the system, you eliminate what is keeping you from following the system in spirit and in truth. The answer for our problems is not to change our systems but to live up to them as they were designed to be lived.

America has been, and still is the greatest single nation in the world. But, to remain so and to fix our problems, we must return to our roots: the roots that made us great.

If we fail to do so, we will lose our excellence – become mediocre and will do this all in the name of “progress”. We are on this pathway now. We need to get rid of beliefs that couldn’t save the nations from which they originated, we need to eliminate our hypocrisy and stand firm behind our foundation.

Truth is both divisive and unifying. Which effect it has depends upon us.


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