America: ‘To Preserve It, We Must Love It’
I love America. I am very thankful to have been born in this most-blessed country in history. I love many of the ideals on which it was founded. I’m impressed by the efforts of the founders to create a new government that applied the best lessons of history and sought to avoid the traps that have brought down great powers of the past.
“Now a government is like everything else,” Thomas Jefferson said: “to preserve it, we must love it. Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education” (emphasis added throughout).
To be great, any nation or people—or even individual—has to believe in what it stands for.
Historically, there have been many evil regimes that have benefited from such confidence and conviction. But I believe America—though it was messy and not without sin—represented a noble cause. It has rightly served as a beacon and a blessing to the rest of the world. It has been a bright spot amid so much dark human history.
At one time, American education did a good job of establishing that sense of confidence and purpose, that love within its people for what the nation represented. And generations of Americans learned, believed and fought for a better way.
Today, though, education in America increasingly does the opposite. It actively teaches an ideology that emphasizes America’s flaws (real and imagined) in order to accuse, condemn and dismantle the principles this nation has stood for. And generations of Americans are learning to hate America.
If Jefferson was right—that to preserve a government, we must love it—then the hatred many Americans have come to possess will lead to our ruin.
Biblical prophecy confirms this is exactly what will happen to America. (Read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove this crucial point.) But the evidence of just how much this crash will be self-inflicted is growing every day.
Surely the self-destruction of this richly blessed nation will rank as one of the great tragedies of history.
Considering this sad truth reminded me of an article from last year (July 15, 2017), by John Hawkins, titled “Our Civilization Deserves to Fail.” “[T]he truth we all hate to talk about is that America deserves to fail,” he wrote. “I don’t want that to happen. After all, this is the greatest country ever on God’s green Earth. … Without us, the bad guys would have won World War i, World War ii and the Cold War. We’ve been the indispensable nation.
“Are we still?” He answered that question this way:
Today, Americans would rather sit out a war, no matter how important, rather than see our soldiers die as they did during World War i. We weren’t able to deal with less than 4,000 deaths in Iraq while we lost more than 13 times that number in World War i. Our industrial production was the decisive factor in the Allied Victory in World War ii. Just to give you one example, when the war started, we had 3,000 planes and by the time it was over, we had produced 300,000. Could we do that again? No.
What is remarkable is how much greatness America still has and could have—if we weren’t fighting among ourselves! If Americans united with each other and behind our government, we very likely could do that again. But many factors in America as it is in reality would make this impossible.
Mr. Hawkins wondered whether we “still have the sort of leadership it took to win the Cold War.” He wrote: “If the Soviet Union was still around today, half our military secrets would be leaked to it through the New York Times while idiots would laud the leakers improving ‘transparency in government.’ Even while Reagan was taking the steps that brought the Soviets down, Hollywood and the Democrat Party were fighting him every step of the way and we’ve gone even further backwards since then.”
At the Trumpet, we often point to Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, chapters where God instructed the Americans’ ancestors that if they obeyed Him, they would receive blessings, and if they disobeyed Him, they would receive curses. Included among the latter is this pronouncement from God: “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:18-19).
Broken pride in our power is a curse! And the United States of America is suffering this curse right now. This nation still has power, but our will to use it has been broken! We hesitate, we waver, we fear, we disbelieve, we apologize. Some Americans even push back against the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan—because they don’t believe this country was ever great!
Along those same lines, Hoover Dam was built in five years. Today, there would be hashing things out with lawyers and environmental rights wackos for that long and it is doubtful that it could be built at all. Remember when we shocked the world by putting a man on the moon in 1969? Well today, we’re no longer capable of going to get the flag we left there. Instead, we’re obsessing over whether men with mental problems who believe they’re women should be treated like real women.
This appalling short-sightedness is playing out in arena after arena. America is facing genuine, nation-threatening, existential crises: national debt, insolvent welfare programs, insecure borders, racial strife, political division and nuclear proliferation. Yet we are preoccupied instead on issues that are, at best, trivial by comparison and, at worst, manufactured lies. Our leaders have us focusing on irrelevancies like how much Native American blood a senator has, whether or not a judge drunkenly assaulted a girl at a party 36 years ago, or the fact that the president said a Confederate general was great.
A major segment of Americans today simply do not love America. If you were married to someone who continually pointed out your flaws, fixated on your weaknesses, and minimized or ignored your strengths, or was constantly trying to remake you into someone different, would that be a loving relationship?
A government is like everything else: to preserve it, we must love it.
An end-time prophecy in the book of Isaiah, aimed at the modern descendants of Israel—America most prominent among them—well describes the way that America is dismantling itself from within: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity …. [T]he whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores …. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (Isaiah 1:4-7).
That is a severe assessment. Many people are concerned about the corruption and division within America. But we need to recognize it to the extent that God does—and accept His evaluation and correction.
As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained in his article “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily,” a lot of corruption is being exposed because of Donald Trump having become president—corruption that otherwise would have remained concealed, and only grown more malignant. God wanted America’s sickness exposed! He is giving us a good look at ourselves!
Seeing the outrageous anti-American behavior of the left, some Americans are walking into a trap. Recognizing the evils of their political adversaries, they think that the problem lies entirely with the other side. If only they were set right or eliminated, we would all be OK, because we are righteous!
You cannot compare yourself to the left and feel you are OK. If that is your standard of measurement, you are deluding yourself.
The truth is, the reason why the left is having such success is that the nation’s will has been broken! The nation is suffering curses for having turned its back on God. As in the vision of a defiled temple in Daniel 8, evil prospers and “cast down the truth to the ground,” why? “By reason of transgression”—because of the sins of the people! Truth in America has been cast down because our families are weak, our morals are in the gutter, and our sense of national identity and purpose is destroyed!
A strong, moral nation with pride in its power would never grant the radical left the kind of power it has usurped in America today.
The truth is, the righteousness of God is all too rare in America and nowhere in American politics.
God is cursing us for a wonderful reason—the same reason that a parent disciplines a child he loves: to correct us, to prevent us from making even worse mistakes, and to turn us back to Him.
Yet Americans have become too “wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” to take the correction (Isaiah 5:21).
Weather disasters are part of God’s correction (e.g. Nahum 1:3; Job 37:11-13; read our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? for proof). After Hurricane Michael struck Florida on October 10, the devastation was so catastrophic that some people compared American cities to a Third World war zone, or a nuclear bomb detonation site!
Will people accept God’s rebuke? Here is cnn’s answer, in its imperatively titled “How to Talk About Hurricanes Now” (October 11):
Hurricane Michael isn’t a truly “natural disaster.”
Neither was Harvey in Houston.
Nor Maria in Puerto Rico.
Yet we continue to use that term.
Doing so—especially in the era of climate change—is misleading if not dangerous, according to several disaster experts and climate scientists ….
“The phrase ‘natural disaster’ is an attempt to lay blame where blame really doesn’t rest,” said [one mit expert].
Where does blame really rest, according to cnn? Backed by their experts and scientists, they claim that America needs to repent of our sins—not our sins of apostasy, idolatry, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, familial dysfunction, hatred, adultery, lust, stealing, lying and covetousness—but our “sins” of emitting carbon, building beach homes, and electing a president who withdrew from a climate-change accord.
People took that calamitous storm—which killed 48 people and caused $8 billion in damage in America alone—not as an invitation to repent, but an opportunity to advance this political agenda. And others, surveying the damaged homes and businesses, viewed it as a chance to steal. Police reported widespread looting in Michael’s aftermath.
That reveals a breathtaking level of spiritual sickness.
Read Isaiah 5:24-30. This is a shocking prophecy of this great nation—so compromised and vulnerable because of civil infighting, so self-absorbed and oblivious to external threats—being blindsided and leveled by foreign invasion. It says that God actually invites this attack, removing the restraints presently holding these enemies of America back.
There are still a lot of good people in this country, but as a nation, we’ve become complacent, decadent and jaded. We’re the trust-fund kid living off the money great-great-grandad left us while the family business we don’t understand fails. What we have in America [is] rare. Historically, there are not a lot of extremely prosperous, free nations that don’t have to fear invasion because of that powerful military. That means we are squandering an inheritance left to us by previous generations of Americans that we may never have again once it’s lost. We foolishly assume it will be this good forever even though we laugh at and impugn many of the ideas, attitudes and principles that were responsible for our success in the first place. America is not on track for a happy ending and as much as I hate to say it, we’re going to richly deserve the pain, misery and disaster our own actions are going to bring down on our heads one day.
That is a terrible future—for people who have tolerated and committed terrible things. That is a cursed future—earned by a disobedient people.
What a shame—and what a condemnation of the sickness within the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9)—that even when God gifts us with a great nation, with noble principles, with a shining hope, we let it burn out—or enthusiastically douse it.
We must recognize the truth about American greatness: Everything that was truly good about American principles and American greatness came not from men, but from God. He gave it to a people who tried to acknowledge Him and follow Him, in fulfillment of promises He made to the biblical patriarchs. We have squandered this greatness and turned our backs on Him, and now He is taking that greatness away. He will allow us to experience the consequences of our actions and will punish us to teach us the lesson. Like a loving Father who knows how to handle a rebellious son, He will deal with us appropriately.
Because I love America, I wish our example to the world was demonstrating, not the curses of disobeying God, but the blessings of obeying Him.