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Americans believe the country is moving backwards

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Americans believe the country is moving backwards

Polls reveal Americans believe the country is moving backwards. God, surely, never moves. His ways are eternal. We can move away from Him, even run away, and pretend that truth and stability follow us. But we deceive ourselves. God cannot be moved, and neither does He allow Himself, for long, to be mocked.

Civil eruptions everywhere, from American streets to foreign cities. Financial doom. Social decay. Dirty politics. Depressing statistics. Polls that reveal Americans believe the country is moving backwards.

Indeed, Americans have moved. Christians have moved.

In truth, we once were tipping, then sliding, then running away from our foundational heritage; and are now in a free-fall. We chose to move from so many secure places, and now we moan about the consequences.

We act like we have no faith in the Faith we profess, as Christians, or as Patriots. It is natural that our children grow up doubting what we tell them, because parents and pastors try to fit every “truth” into the molds of peoples’ desires. The Bible’s words can apply to the duties of sound citizenship as well as religious practice: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall turn toward fables.” (II Timothy 4:3-4). Itching ears.

Citizens become disinterested, or embarrassed, or ashamed, of their nation when leaders stumble down such pathways themselves. The same applies, though more subtly, to religion.

We see people of other religions jeopardize their lives for their beliefs. Not only jihadists who attack embassies and murder people; but Christians, too, around the world, who are persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred for their faith. More people lost their lives for professing Christianity in the twentieth century than in all previous centuries combined. Yet in the West we apologize for Christianity, endure insults, and too often regard it as a personal quirk instead of the hope of humankind.

Once upon a time the kidnapping of an American would have citizens breathing fire, because the average American was viewed by average Americans as more exalted than any other country’s Sovereign. Today Americans watch their soldiers killed and humiliated in the streets; and the American flag desecrated every week, some place on earth… and too many citizens turn the page or switch the channel, and yawn.

America’s new religion is “fairness,” “kindness,” “hope,” “openness,” “transparency,” with no real meanings to those words. People whose minds are so open that their brains have fallen out. All that remains is Ego, manifested, for example, in the belief that a couple decades of sins and social fads cancel the wisdom of human history and the words of Scripture -– the commands of an Almighty God.

American believers, even Christian patriots, have moved from places where once we stood. We are pushed, and moved, every day, by circumstances, by fear of what others might think or say. We make excuses for our own discarded values; we act as if moral cowardice is a positive virtue in this New Age. We fool no one but ourselves. Especially not God Almighty, who showed us the Truth, and instructed us in diverse ways. Neither will we fool History: if the world indeed survives, future generations will look back at Western Civilization, Post-Modern Christianity, and the American Culture circa 2012, in wonder.

What we have squandered. The things we have surrendered. The bad choices we made. The leaders we chose and the policies they inflicted. History will weep in sorrow, or laugh in derision. And will wonder, over and over, how we cut off our own roots, how we allowed ourselves to be moved, and toppled, and to decay. Once we were, like the old spiritual song said, like trees planted by the waters, never to be moved.

God, surely, never moves. His ways are eternal. We can move away from Him, even run away, and pretend that truth and stability follow us. But we deceive ourselves. God cannot be moved, and neither does He allow Himself, for long, to be mocked.

+++

I mentioned that old spiritual song. Its words are a reminder:

Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved;
In His love and favor, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

In my Christ abiding, I shall not be moved;
In His love I’m hiding, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

If I trust Him ever, I shall not be moved;
He will fail me never, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

On His word I’m feeding, I shall not be moved;
He’s the One that’s leading, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

Chorus
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

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Four young musicians from around the South, starting their careers or hoping to, gathered in a humble studio in Memphis in 1956. They all were raised in the Assembly of God Church, and they knew the old hymns. As they gathered around the piano, very informally, and sang from the wellsprings of their heritage, someone was smart enough to turn microphones on. Rough, but heartfelt and all from memory, the de facto “Million-Dollar Quartet” -– Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins -– spent an hour sharing their music, including songs like “I Shall Not Be Moved.”

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals; co-author of The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the “Christian Encounters” series (Thomas Nelson) was released in April, 2011. His history of cartoon Advertising, Drawing Power, will be published in July 2011 by the Marschall Books imprint of fantagraphics Books. In October his major biography of Theodore Roosevelt, BULLY!, will be publ;ished by Regnery History of Washington DC. He is currently working on a One-Year CDevotional for Tyndale House; and edits the the reissue of Harper’s Weekly — the Civil War Years for NOVOink e-books. Rick is a former Director of Product Development for Youth Specialties. He is recipient of the 2008 “Christian Writer of the Year” award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, “Monday Morning Music Ministry.” His e-mail address is: RickMarschall@gmail.com.

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Rick Marschall is the author of more than 60 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals, co-authoring The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow, and writing a biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the “Christian Encounters” series published by Thomas Nelson (2011). He is recipient of the 2008 “Christian Writer of the Year” award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, and produced a weekly e-mail devotional, “Monday Morning Music Ministry.” His e-mail address is: AmericaCiv@aol.com

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