What’s Missing in America?
by Josh Smith
Can we just be honest? America is in trouble. America is divided. America is looking for answers. There are so many people from varied backgrounds, races, incomes, religions, and political views that understand we have a problem yet as I have listened, the solutions offered are extremely varied. Whether we want to admit it or not, many of our best thought up solutions come directly from our viewpoint.
There are so many issues that affect so many people in different ways. Many times the solutions given have featured statements such as for (fill in the blank) Americans the answer is…… That blank has been filled with all kinds of pre-qualifying statements whether it is Hispanic, African, white, rich, poor conservative, or liberal. What if there was no blank before those statements? What if the solutions we were seeking after were not for a class of Americans but for ALL Americans?
While much debate has been given to the intent or mindset of our country’s forefathers, the only thing we can go by is what they wrote.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In one of the most important documents in our nation’s history, the writers declared not a class but that all men were created equal. What would America look like today if in fact all men and women regardless of race, income, political views, or any other factors were treated equally? The first thought is that it is the goal of many of the causes in America today. However, there is one fundamental thing that is missing, ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
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Absolute truth is that which does not change based on circumstances or viewpoints. It is true all the time in all situations. Many would say we want equal treatment and blessing but with it comes equal responsibility and accountability. It requires that all men are rewarded equally, but for equal work. It requires that all guilty men are given equal punishment regardless of any other factors in their lives. It provides opportunities to those that reach for them yet does not offer free handouts to those who will not seek them diligently as those that do.
Absolute truth could not come from a political party. It will be slanted. Absolute truth cannot come from a man for it would be based on what would be best for his own good and often miss those not like him. So where does it come from? The Word of God.
Now before you say that is too simple, think about the principles mentioned above and then listen to what the Bible says:
Concerning our relationship with others and how we treat people
- And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31
- For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Galatians 5:14
- Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
- And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
- And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Concerning our work and rewards
- For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
- Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
- Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28
There are many other topics we could look at Scripture on but think with the events of just the last several weeks in America how different would things have been, if these principles had been applied?
No doubt there would be those that would question why the Bible? Why does God have a right to instruct us in our daily lives?
First of all, He is the Creator. He created us. He made us just the way we are and He made us with a purpose in mind. Because He is Creator, he has the right to instruct us and to use our lives in the way He sees fit. Let me illustrate it this way.
I have a cousin that I am quite envious of. He is an amazing woodworker. He can take a chainsaw and from a tree or even a stump make some absolutely amazing creations. He once asked one time how do you do it and he responded I see what is in the wood and take away the parts that aren’t needed. The results are just amazing.
Now suppose he had been working on a project for a week or so. He had cut, sanded, and maybe even begun to seal it when he notices something that he is just not pleased with. He decides that the project is just not up to par and that he doesn’t like the imperfection and scraps the whole project using it for firewood instead of a beautiful piece of art.
On the other hand, let’s say that the circumstances are the same. He has done the work when I as a spectator come and notice a small imperfection in the wood. I decide that the project needs to be halted and I take an ax and reduce it to firewood. The cause and action were the same but the reason there is a difference is simply this; who created it. Since my cousin was the creator, he thought of it, he formed it, he had an end in mind ultimately he has the right to do with it whatever he pleased.
The same is true with our lives. Because God is the creator of all life (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalms 139:14) He has the right to instruct us as His creation. Because He was impartial as Creator and because He has an end in mind, He has the right to instruct us.
If we are looking for justice it is available. If we are looking for love it is there. If we are looking for peace and hope there is a bountiful supply, but it will only come from one place, the Absolute Truth found in the Word of God.