The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10
The veneer of civilization that protects us from savagery is very thin. Those ties that bond us together as a society of law abiding, rational human beings are extremely fragile.
In the 1780s France was the leading nation of continental Europe. Despite decades of misrule, the country remained strong, and French society was the envy of its neighbors. French was the language of diplomacy and of every European court, and the influence of French fashions and philosophers was pervasive. The entire French system of government rested upon fealty to God and king, but it was undergirded by a rotting edifice of privilege. In 1789 the system collapsed. Simple reform was not enough for the advocates of change. In their rage the revolutionaries attacked the very foundations of French society. The old regime and the church were intertwined, so it meant that God Himself was banished from the new republic. Released from their old moral restraints, the French people went berserk and engaged in a bloody orgy of revenge. Soon, all of Europe was involved in the conflagration, and the resulting wars raged on for the next quarter-century. Millions died. In the end, the church had lost its place in lives of most Frenchmen, and the nation has never again been the same. A title once proudly claimed by kings of France was “Most Christian Majesty.” That label appears somewhat ludicrous today.
In 1900, Germany and the British Empire were considered the most powerful citadels of western civilization. German universities were the best in the world, and the nation was at the very forefront of social and economic progress. Christianity was a strong force among the people. The future appeared very bright. Unfortunately, Germany allowed itself to be led by a group of men who wished to prove their nation’s military prowess, and they propelled the nation into World War 1. That war was a disaster for all of Europe, and during the economic and political chaos that followed truly godless and evil men clawed their way into positions of power in several European nations. The new German leaders, the Nazis, were the worst of them all. They destroyed representative government, renounced Christianity, and sought to totally eliminate the Jewish race and other so-called inferior breeds. In their ravening madness they plunged the entire world into another catastrophic conflict that cost more than 65 million lives. Germany, most of Europe, and much of Asia were left in ruins. Eventually, Germany experienced economic recovery, but German churches, Catholic and Protestant, are just shadows of what they once had been, and something of essence was lost. A scar remains on that nation’s soul.
Today, in America, supporters of Antifa and BLM march our streets, assault the police, and attempt to establish a new order. Our nation has a wonderful heritage of freedom. America is not perfect, but over time we have made great progress in addressing inequities in our society. More reforms will be coming. Yet the radicals will never be satisfied. Like the French revolutionaries and the German Nazis before them, they reject Christianity and attempt to denigrate the religious beliefs and mores that bind our society together. They have abandoned rational thought and discourse and wish to rewrite our history. Should they succeed, it would lead to the same sort of bloody disaster that we experienced in 1792-1815 and 1939-45. We must stop them before it is too late.
George Washington wrote that religion is the source of morality and “a necessary spring of popular government.” John Adams insisted that “it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”
If people were perfect we would need no government. Recognizing that we are not angelic beings, our forefathers brought forth a system of government and laws based on God’s principles, yet balanced in a way to allow for human frailty. But the founders knew that the entire edifice rests on our religious faith – our Judeo-Christian heritage. If, as a body, our citizens turn away from God, the Constitution will not protect us.
Have you ever read Lord of the Flies by William Golding? It is a cautionary tale about the thinness of the veneer that regulates our civil and moral behavior and what might happen when a society rejects God’s law.
Learn from history, my friends. Look to the Lord, the author of our liberty.
One thought on “Thin Veneer”
I agree wholeheartedly.