The Divided States of America

December 31, 2016

“At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together.” –George W. Bush in a Memorial speech for the five police officers killed in Dallas, Texas, July, 2016

 

“Today, it appears that we have divided ourselves into ever-shrinking tribes isolated by our own truths which are encased in the bubble of our own self-serving realities. We are largely no longer the USA, but rather the Divided States of America.” John Ziegler, mediaite.com

 

You will notice that the Preamble to the Constitution reads, “We the People!” It does not say, “We the whites, we the blacks, we the Spanish, we the Asians, or we the Native Americans.” Nor does it say, “we the “Democrats, we the Republicans, we the Liberals, or we the Conservatives.” It says “We the People of the United States of America.”

 

“We the People” have been a unified people in every national crisis in our history! “We the People” have pulled together in the most horrific circumstances, and under the most intense pressures! Oh, there have been times when we have been torn apart by strife from those who would betray our great nation, but in the final analysis Americans stick together! 9-11 proved that! You would think after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, our enemies would get the message, “Don’t Tread on Me” that symbol, pictured with a snake ready to strike is a warning, telling the world not to step on or take advantage of the Americans or they will strike. National tragedy pulls us together! The American attitude is, you can say what you will about me, but do not attack my family, and America is my family!

 

Here’s truth, it's not about being black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern or any other ethnicity; it’s not about being a good Democrat or a good Republican, it's about being a GOOD AMERICAN!

 

In 1944, 18-year-olds were storming the beaches of Normandy, today many 18-year-olds are burning the American flag and protesting any threat to their lifestyles, or their not yet developed belief system. According to Judge Judy, their brains are not yet “fully cooked.”

 

Dramatic social and demographic changes are very rapidly dividing us into two separate nations.

 

We are divided POLITICALLY: What ever happened to the America that graciously accepted defeat, then got on board to help our new leaders to make a better nation for all of us? As Benjamin Franklin said, “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.” In other words, the enemy of our freedom is watching for any weakness so that he may take advantage of us. There is no greater weakness than disunity!

 

As a Christian, our God-given responsibility is to pray for our leaders: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1,2).

 

I also have a responsibility to obey my government authority:  “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1,2).  

 

But my first responsibility as a Christian is to follow God and obey Him. So unless my government leaders violate Scripture, I must obey them. Acts 5:29 NLT, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”)

 

We are divided RACIALLY and ETHNICALLY: “Those contrasts were brought into sharp relief in the hours after Donald Trump was elected president. Voters in the Rust Belt and rural regions of country who felt left out of Obama's vision of economic prosperity and progress celebrated, in part, because they felt they once again had a champion. Meanwhile, across the country, thousands of minorities, millennials and women in urban enclaves went into a period of mourning and took to the streets in protests fueled by frustration, fear and disillusionment in a country they feel that, by electing Trump, is now entering a dark and divisive era.” – nbcnews.com

 

Being a white American, I can’t even begin to imagine what is like to be other than white. I will  not even pretend to understand your frustrations. I do understand though, that you are no less American than I, and you are not second-class citizens, with less privileges than I. We are all Americans! We are not white-Americas, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. We are Americans. If you must define yourself as such you are demeaning your American citizenship.

 

I echo the sentiments of Rodney King, a black taxi driver who became internationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991. On the third day of rioting, King emerged from seclusion to make a plea: “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?”

 

We are divided RELIGIOUSLY: Personally, I am a Evangelical Christian. It’s no secret that many, if not most of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ fall dreadfully short of living the life that Jesus taught us to live. Being a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey toward conforming ourselves to His image (Romans 8:29). So, as a real, live, flesh and blood human, my toleration fuse is a bit short, as David said of those who speak against God, “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies” (Psalm 139:20-22 KJV). I do not hate or even dislike those with whom I disagree biblically!

 

God commands us to love our neighbors. Jesus was questioned by a Pharisee, an expert in religious law, who asked, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39). And who is our neighbor? Jesus then gives the illustration of the “Good Samaritan,” who cared for a man who was hurting without considering his ethnic or religious background. All of mankind is my neighbor, and as a believer I have a responsibility to treat him with respect, love and a caring spirit.

 

When we consider the differences between Liberals and Conservatives as to religious beliefs, we encounter Biblical differences in salvation by grace, abortion, same-sex marriage, the sanctity of marriage, living together without the bonds of marriage, homosexuality, legalizing drugs, prayer in schools, praying in Jesus name at public government functions, displaying Christian symbols publicly, political correctness, ie: Merry Christmas, et al.

 

President-elect Donald Trump said, “Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag.”

 

As Evangelicals we believe the Bible is the very word of God, that it is God-breathed. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed)” (2 Timothy 3:16). “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8).

 

So that means that Evangelical Christianity is the only true religion and Jesus Christ is the only way to God! Jesus, Himself said, “I am the way (so there is no other way), the truth (so there is no other truth), and the life (so there is no other source of life). No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

 

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