The Vicious Cycles of Nations
Ramon Arias | September 25, 2017Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 (ESV)
As we continue to witness the contortion and deformation of the United States of America and other nations of the world, don’t think for a moment you see unusual events. I don’t negate that the boiling point of national desperation is increasing and can lead to a dangerous outcome. I also know we can seize the moment and steer this nation back to the only reliable source that has all the solutions to the most complex problems created by misguided ideas.
America must not continue to look towards Europe for guidance because they are rapidly falling into the same social conditions that brought about two world wars. Even worse, Europeans are embracing the failed ideology of Communism and radical ideas promising to make them stable and to lead the world back to the tried and failed utopias of Nazism and Marxism. People embrace radical political messiahs every time the social climate worsens. There is truly nothing new under the sun and history is there to teach us, if our minds are open to learning from thousands of years of these vicious cycles: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV).
In America we don’t have to reinvent the social wheel, all we have to do is pay attention to those who understood the vision for the experiment of this new nation. There is a vast difference between the love of power and the power of love. Our first President, George Washington, understood the distinction and so must we. In His Farewell Address (1796) he warned the danger of the love of power that gives birth to authoritarianism if checks and balances are not upheld to limit government power:
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free Country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective Constitutional spheres; avoiding in the exercise of the Powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.
The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same Religion [biblical Christianity], Manners, Habits, and political Principles....
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion [biblical Christianity] and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens….
And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion [biblical Christianity]….
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion [biblical Christianity] and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? ...Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue?
Washington knew of God’s Providence and plans for the nation. He also understood that other countries would imitate the idea of this nation where citizens are the government and responsible for maintaining it healthy and free from corruption as they learn the practical application of God’s ethics in all areas of life, which is the only means for social order and unity.
From 1796 to 2017 two hundred and twenty-one years have transpired and the nation is facing her greatest challenge, not from foreign threats but from within our borders. The swift and rash movement into a humanistic culture and away from our original foundation in the God of the Bible will not end well; the past and present vicious cycles of nations attest to that fact.
Before and after the birth of this nation, voices have been raised to warn her with uncompromising admonitions to return to the biblical faith of the Forefathers. Thus far, to no avail.
Real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are not in the minds of individuals that reject God’s revealed truth as found in the Bible. Consider what William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) stated in his writings and speeches. Do you know who Seward was? For those who may not know the following is a glimpse of him as quoted by William Federer in his invaluable “America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations”:
Seward was Governor of the State of New York, 1839-43; U.S. Senator 1849-61; and Secretary of State under President Lincoln during the War Between the States, 1861-65. Lincoln's assassins also attempted to kill him; one of John Wilkes Booth's accomplices broke into Seward's home and wounded him. He later served as Secretary of State under President Andrew Johnson, 1865-69, working to implement the "reconstruction" in the South.
Among his accomplishments was the negotiation of the purchase of Alaska from Russia, 1867. At the time it was mockingly called "Seward's Folly," as the land was thought to be of no use, but it later proved to be of tremendous worth.1
William Federer goes on to quote the well documented and important statements by William Henry Seward that we must earnestly consider if we want to make the nation great not with the wisdom of men but the wisdom of God:
I do not believe human society, including not merely a few persons in any state, but whole masses of men, ever have attained, or ever can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible.
William Henry Seward gave an oration titled, The Destiny of America, in which he stated:
Shall we look to the sacred desk? Yes, indeed; for it is of Divine institution, and is approved by human experience. The ministers of Christ, inculcating Divine morals, under Divine authority, with Divine sanction, and sustained and aided by special cooperating influences of the Divine Spirit, are now carrying further and broadly onward the great work of the renewal of the civilization of the world, and its emancipation from superstition and despotism.
In 1836, as vice-president of the American Bible Society, William Henry Seward expressed:
I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible; the experiment has never been tried; but this I do know: that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible.
And, further, I do, in my conscience, believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land its republican institutions would be perpetuated.2
It is impossible to stop the vicious cycle that dooms nations unless we wise up and take the only way out found in a real return to the sure foundation and live the full counsel of God’s revealed truth. Do not believe the defeatist and escapist voices that say it can never be done; they are wrong, and always will be, and do not know the power of God or the Scriptures (Matthew 22:29).