June 5, 2011
For God and Country
Pastor Philip De Courcy
Time:
Proverbs 13:34
Scripture: 
Topics: 

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The series That Makes Good Sense teaches from the book of Proverbs on the essential nature of godly wisdom to live life well. The series reminds believers that wisdom is about choosing to live rightly, righteously, and timely so that God is honored in all areas of life.

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Transcript

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Proverbs 14:34. “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.” A young French politician visited the United States in its early days. He had come to examine our prisons and our penitentiaries on behalf of the French government. But as he was here he became intrigued by our system of government and its institutions and spent some considerable time analyzing life in the United States. As he left he took with him this abiding impression of this fledgling, emerging young nation. These are his own words, “America is great because America is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Those are the words of Alexis de Tocqueville and they’re right and they echo the wisdom of Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exaltation but sin is a reproach to any people. America is great because America is good but if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” We need to be reminded of that this morning as we spend these days celebrating and commemorating our nation’s birth and our nation’s blessings. Let us not forget what was the bedrock to those blessings.
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It was a commitment to goodness. It was a commitment to moral righteousness on behalf of our leaders and the people of this nation. But I fear this morning that America is ceasing to be good. America is ceasing to be good because in America today some species of birds have more protection under the law than the unborn child in its mother’s womb. In America today we are harvesting the unborn for medical experiments much like the Nazis did in the Second World War. In America today, Christian symbols such as the cross are being removed from city logos in places like Los Angeles and San Diego. In America today we celebrate Christmas and Easter without mentioning Christ. In America today, school textbooks ignore the Christian heritage of this great and free nation in favor of multiculturalism. In America today the Bible believing Christian is being portrayed as equivalent to the Taliban and just as dangerous. In America today our children say the pledge of allegiance about being one nation under God.
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Then they sit down in their classroom and are taught the evolutionary hypothesis which teaches them that life has no point and history has no meaning. In America today an unconstitutional wall is being built between the church and state in an attempt to secularize our society. A wall not envisioned by our finding fathers. In America today marriage is being redefined to mean one man and another man or two women, not one man and one woman. In America today the CM Supreme Court that meets under the Ten Commandments itself has banned it from our schools for fear of what it may produce in the children that read it. Let me read you part of the decision from the Supreme Court that banned the posting of the Ten Commandments on the walls of the schools of Kentucky. “Last looking upon them from day to day, the students should be moved to obey them.” What a tragedy to teach our children not to steal, to be faithful in marriage, to respect other people’s property. To protect the sanctity of life, what a tragedy that they would learn such things from such a threatening document.
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America is ceasing to be good, wouldn’t you agree? In ceasing to be good we will cease to be great. These are dangerous days for our nation and we need to go to the ancient wisdom of the book of Proverbs to remind ourselves that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. Faced with the tragedy and the transgression we are facing in our culture. Our country needs to look to the wisdom of the book of Proverbs and we need to heed its council as it regards issues of political leadership and social order. If you’ll remember back to our opening study in the book of Proverbs, you will remind yourself that this very book has a political audience. This is a book that was written to the young princes of Israel. This is a book that was written to the emerging leadership of Israel, telling them how to conduct themselves both nationally and internationally. Page one of the political manifesto, according to the book of Proverbs is the thought that good government begins with leaders recognizing God’s rule over their rule.
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Let’s go back to Proverbs eight and verse 15 and you’ll see this, “Good leaders are led by God.” Proverbs eight verse 15, “By me says God, “King’s reign and rulers decree justice, by me prince’s rule and nobles all the judges of the earth.” In Proverbs 21 verse one, we’re told that God is able to turn the heart of a king. Godly leaders and good leaders understand that political success and political stability involves a commitment to righteousness. It is righteousness that exalts a nation for obedience to God’s law invites God’s blessing. It is a moral and God-fearing government that produces strength and stability and smiles within a nation. Look at Proverbs 11 verses 10 through 11. “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there is jubilation by the blessing of the upright the city is exalted but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.” Go on to Proverbs 29 and verse two, and again will underscore this idea. Proverbs 29 verse 2. “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules the people groan.”
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When a nation is good, following the wisdom of God’s law a nation will be great. When the righteous are in authority calling the people to righteousness, the city prospers. You see the strength of a nation lies in its leaders in citizenry walking in uprightness, standing for truth and justice. Reaching out in mercy, bowing in reverence and kneeling in submission to God. Sinful and shameful living weakens a nation. The book of Proverbs wants us to know that whatever form of government we have, it must be moral government. Whether it’s a theocracy or a democracy or a plutocracy, it must be a moral government. Government serves no good purpose if good is not its purpose. “For righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.” I want to look at a few things in the book of Proverbs that will help us think about exalting righteousness in our nation. But before I get there, I want want to remind you on this 4th of July weekend that this very thought of righteousness according to God’s law exalting the nation.
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This was the very reference point for the framers and visionaries of this great nation. Those that wrote the Constitution, history tells us… Although our school children aren’t hearing this, that our constitution was prayed over. Benjamin Franklin called those in Philadelphia to take some time to pray to our powerful friend. The early leaders of this nation understood the relationship between good government and biblical morality. In not wanting a church state, they were not in fairing a separation of God from government. The modern rush to evacuate anything Christian or biblical from the public square would be foreign to our finding fathers. They understood that God is sovereign over every king. That God turns the heart of the king whatsoever way he wishes and therefore he must rule the rulers and his law must guide the people under those rulers. Righteousness will exalt the nation but sin will bring it crashing down. Listen to these words from John Adams, the second President of the United States. He declared, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to govern it any other way.” I hope America’s listening.
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We cannot have our constitution, we cannot have our Bill of Rights except we understand that in the framework of biblical morality. Where we acknowledge God as our king and Lord. Listen to Thomas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence. He said this, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift from God?” One more quote, James Madison the fourth President of the United States known as the father of the Constitution. He stated, “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the governor of the universe.” These men understood as they prayed and as they wrote and as they thought about this young emerging nation that righteousness will exalt it, sin and shameful living will bring it down. America must be a moral people, its government must be a moral government. We need to be a people and a government that recognize God’s place, that every inch of this earth including this great land is his and we want to recognize his place among us.
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Therefore, for a few moments this morning. I want to study this subject of forgotten country from the perspective of the book of Proverbs. I want to help you to act in America’s best interest by pointing to three things, maybe we’ll only cover two that the book of Proverbs encourages you to pursue and promote. By the way, I hope your interested in promoting the prosperity of this nation. Christians ought to be good and involved citizens. It’s interesting to me that in Jeremiah 29 verse seven. Jeremiah tells the exiled people of God in Babylon to seek the prosperity of the city. You and I are ought to seek the prosperity and the peace of this nation and we know the secret is this righteousness. Three things and these are ideals. Remember, the book of proverbs are principles, maxims, truisms. You and I are ought to seek to approximate the principles of the book of Proverbs as much as we can and as much as providence allows us. The first thing that you and I are ought to do is this, we ought to elect righteous leaders. Number one, we ought to elect righteous leaders.
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Number two, we ought to enact righteous laws and number three we ought to effect righteous lives. What about enacting righteous leaders? That will promote righteousness, after all leaders make laws. If the leaders are righteous we hope that the laws will be righteous and if the laws are righteous and people seek to live within those laws, prosperity comes. We have a safe and prosperous society as much as it’s possible this side of the fall. This was certainly the heartbeat of the authors of the book of Proverbs. The gains that had been made under David and Solomon were to be secured, protected by a new generation of moral and godly leaders. There was always the clear and present danger that their blessings and their birthright could be squandered by faithless leadership and foolish leadership. Therefore, these young princes are addressed throughout this book and they are reminded of their responsibility to God and to the people. So if you study the book of Proverbs, you’ll find a progressive profile of the character and conduct of a person fit for government office. Because remember ladies and gentlemen, as goes the leader so goes the nation.
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I trust none of us need convincing of the importance of leadership. In football for instance, no team can rise above the quality of its quarterback. Leadership is influence and therefore leaders make a profound impact for good or evil upon a team or a nation. Therefore, this book challenges us to look for certain qualities and character traits within those who are seeking to occupy political office. By the way, as we quickly look at some qualities and characteristics. We are going to see that the book of Proverbs hits on the head this silly notion that’s so prevalent in America today that it doesn’t matter what your leader is in private. As if you can separate character from conduct, you have to be a good man to be a good leader. That’s just the way it is and the book of Proverbs reminds us of the fact that a leader must be what he should be if he would do what he must do. Now, I’ve got a list of things here, they’re not exhaustive.
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I’m going to go through them quickly because there’s much to cover in this sermon and I just want to do it today. We’ve got to get back to the other message in Proverbs next Sunday morning. But let me run through a list of qualities and characteristics that you must bear in mind if you’re voting or if you want to serve this city or serve this state or even serve this nation. These are the things that God wants to find in you and we want to find in you. Number one, leaders fear God first. Leaders fear God first, good rulers know that they are a man under authority. We read in Proverbs eight verse 15, “By me says God rulers reign, judges passes laws, good leaders are led by God.” They seek God’s counsel in prayer, they surround themselves with spiritual leaders who will show them God’s law and its applications just like we have here in the book of Proverbs. Folks think about this, we want those who make the decisions for us to have first made a decision for God.
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Because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, how can our leaders be wise? Because the fool says in his heart there is no God. It’s the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and you and I should look to leaders to fear God. To understand the relationship between God and government, who understand that it is his righteousness that exalts a nation. Who understands that there will come a day when the nations that forget God will be cast into hell. Psalm nine verse 17, “We want men who don’t forget God. We want men who remind us of God.” Leaders fear God first, leaders seek to be sexually pure. Over in Proverbs 31 and verse three, we have the words of King Lemuels mother to him, “Do not give your strength to women nor your way as to that which destroys kings.” Family is the cornerstone of a stable society, therefore leaders ought to be the kind of people who protect marriage. Are faithful to their wives and are examples to their children. This verse is a warning against the debilitating effects of adultery within government.
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Leaders should fear God, leaders should seek to be sexually pure, leaders thirdly don’t abuse alcohol or other drugs. Look at verses four and five of the same passage, Proverbs 31. “Is it not for kings Lemuel, is it not for kings to drink wine nor for prince’s intoxicating drink. Less they drink and forget the law and pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” Now this is not a prohibition to drinking in terms of government officials because verses six and seven go on to say, “Give strong drink to him who is perishing and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more.” It would’ve been unheard of in Solomon or David’s day for a king not to have had a wine cellar. But what this verse is reminding the king is this, that they are never to succumb to drunkenness because it will lead to a dereliction of duty, it will lead to perverting of the law. The mind that is clouded with alcohol will become befuddled. No leader can make a sober judgment under the influence of alcohol or some other drug.
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If you think about it a drunk is a danger behind the wheel, how much more a drunk who’s a head of state? So this word encourages us to look for certain qualities in our leaders. We ought to look for reverence for God, we ought to look for sexual purity and fidelity within marriage. We ought to look for a man who exercises self-control in the area of alcohol. Fourthly, leaders select wise counselors. Leaders select wise counselors listen to Proverbs 15 verse 22. “Without counsel plans go awry but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 24 and verse six is another example of what we’re talking about. “For by wise counsel, you will wage your own war and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” You can tell a lot by the company a man keeps. A good leader, a godly leader will surround himself with good and strong advisors. He knows his weaknesses, he knows that he’s not the complete package. He wants his ideas to be challenged and scrutinized so that they can be made better or be exchanged for better ideas.
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We ought to be looking for leaders who select wise counselors. This is important, because a leader directs us and his advisors direct him. Therefore, we should be just as interested in them as we are in him. Fifthly, leaders get to the bottom of the issues. According to God’s word anyone who makes a rash decision without diligently searching out the facts surrounding the case in hand is a fool. By contrast the wise ruler will search out a matter, he doesn’t want to fall foul to gossip. He doesn’t want to become the victim of a fabrication on behalf of his advisors. So he will seek to have the best, the most honest, the most trustworthy advisors he can find. Along with them he will seek out the facts, he will want to know clarity on the issues. He will want to get to the bottom of the matter. Look at Proverbs 25 and verse two and you’ll see what I’m talking about here. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of a king is to search out a matter.”
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God knows everything, some things he tells us some things he doesn’t. The secret things belong to the Lord, the open things belong to us. It’s a responsibility of a godly king and a good leader to seek to investigate everything. To seek to understand divine government and God’s ways as much as possible, and then to come to a clear and intelligible decision. On the local level that will involve him being in touch with his constituents. How can he rule a city he’s out of touch with? On an international level it will involve good diplomatic work and accurate intelligence information. Here’s another trait of a good leader, a godly leader. Leaders are dependent on people, leaders recognize the sacred trust of their office. It has been given to them by God and it has been surrendered up to them by the vote of the people, by the submission of the people. That’s a sacred trust and any good or godly leader will handle that well and he will become dependent upon people in the sense that he will listen to people, he will love his people.
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Listen to Proverbs 14 verse 28, “In a multitude of people is a king’s honor but a lack of people is the dying fall of a prince.” In the best sense a leader ought to enjoy popular support. He is seen as wise, he is known as just, he is considered fair and therefore he enjoys the support and the respect of the people. Someone has said that a leader if he is not careful can get so far out in front of his people that they will my mistake him for the enemy. But a good leader doesn’t do that, these young men in the court of Hezekiah, in the court of Solomon are hearing wisdom on how they ought to behave nationally and internationally. They ought to be those who acknowledge God’s place in Israel. They ought to be those when they find themselves in a banqueting house don’t give themselves to greedy eating or excess drinking. They ought to be those who are impervious to sexual temptation, they ought to be those who are surrounded by wise and godly counselors.
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They are diligent in the discharge of their duties, they get to the bottom of the issue. They listen to the people, they govern with consensus. They win the favor and the respect of the people, because they’ve never left them and they’ve always loved them. Here’s another tomb will be done with this thought of electing righteous leaders, leaders oppose wickedness. Righteous leaders oppose wickedness, you see they know that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a dagger through the heart of an nation. Therefore, as good leaders put there by God to do good, to prosper the city, to advocate for the weak, to protect the vulnerable. They promote the moral good and they stand implacably opposed to that which is evil and that which is morally repugnant. Look at Proverb 16 verse 12 as an example of what I’m talking about. “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness for a throne is established by righteousness.” Good leaders know right from wrong, they stand in the way of its entrance in the public life. Good leaders have moral fiber as part of their character. Good leaders by the way are not moral relativists.
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They are willing to judge between right and wrong because there is a basis for that judgment, the moral law of God. Expressed in the Ten Commandments, embodied in the life of Jesus Christ the spotless son of God. There is a straight edge by which our leaders both locally and nationally can know what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad for the nation. A good leader will show moral fiber when it comes to those kinds of debates, when it comes to those kinds of decisions. They will not be led by public opinion or polls, or interest groups. Listen to these words from President Harry Truman. He once commended this insight regarding the value of polls and public opinion on leadership. “I wonder how far Moses would’ve gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt. What would Jesus have preached if he had taken a poll in Israel? Where would the reformation of gone if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn’t the polls or public opinion of the moment that counts.
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It is right and wrong in leadership, men with fortitude, honesty and belief in the right that makes epics in the history of the world.” Amen. Great statement from one of our former presidents, we don’t want leaders who appease evil. When Churchill watched Neville Chamberlain come back from the Munich dialogues with Hitler with his peace agreement in hand, he was skeptical. He realized that Nazism can never be appeased. He realized that Neville Chamberlain had had the wool pulled over his eyes by the trickery of Hitler and commenting on Neville Chamberlain. He said this, “He has a lust for peace.” That’s a danger in a leader, when they have a lust for peace. When they’re willing to appease evil, now leaders stand opposed to wickedness. Finally, leaders display integrity. People entrust leaders with great power and if you think about it, our leaders make all sorts of decisions for us that affects us immediately and in the long term. That affects you, that affects your children and it affects your grandchildren. These men and women have great power, God has given them that power to exercise.
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We have surrendered up that power in our voting and in our submission and we should ask from them, honesty, integrity and a commitment to truth in terms of ethics and morality. We ought to look for men and women in our nation who are of an impeachable character. Men who we can trust our lives and our livelihood to. Listen to Proverb 17 verse 7 as an example of what I’m talking about. “Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool much less lying lips to a prince.” We ought to demand honesty of our leaders. I don’t know about you I’m getting tired of the political jargon, I’m getting tired of politicians parsing words. I’m getting tired of politicians getting interviewed in the spin room. I don’t want the spin, I want the facts, I want honesty, I want integrity, I want transparency. Because these men and these women affect my family, affect your family. I will respect them, I will follow them but I want honesty, I want integrity, I want moral character. Because righteousness exalts this nation, sin will bring us down.
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Folks those are the ideals that we ought to look for in our leaders. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to its people. If we want to exalt righteousness, let us elect righteous leaders. The Great Wall of China is one of the wonders of the world built of stone and bricks. It was begun in 221 BC, it snakes itself 2000 miles across the northern borders of China. The walls are 25 feet wide, at the base 25 feet high and have 30-foot towers every 200 yards along the wall. Maybe some viewers have got to see it, it is a magnificent wall. When it was built the Chinese people behind it saddled on to a time of security and stability, or so they thought. It was too high for enemies to scale, too strong to be battered down. But if you study Chinese history you’ll realize that across the history of this great nation the wall was breached three times. It wasn’t scaled and it wasn’t battered dying, you know what happened? Gatekeepers were bought, gatekeepers betrayed their people and they opened the gates to the enemy.
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Through that illustration, you and I are reminded that we need to learn what the people of China learned. That the strength of a nation is not finding the height and thickness of its walls or in the size and strength of its armies but in the character of its gatekeepers. Our president is a gatekeeper, his cabinet are gatekeepers. Everybody you send to the Senate is a gatekeeper, everybody that you send up to Capitol Hill is a gatekeeper. There are gatekeepers done in Columbus, there are gatekeepers down in Toledo and the strength of our nation depends upon the moral character of our gatekeepers. So whether locally, nationally, when it comes to voting elect righteous leaders you probably won’t get that shopping list. You won’t be able to tick that all off probably in most cases but try to approximate it the best you can. Regardless of the political label, whether the person’s riding a donkey or an elephant. You make sure that they’re marked by righteousness in these areas. Let’s look at the second thought and we’re only going to do two thoughts.
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They’re the most important of the three and we’ll be done this morning. We need to elect righteous leaders, secondly and finally we need to enact righteous laws. Amen. We need to enact righteous laws because America is great, has been because America is good and has been. But when America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. We need to be people governed by moral maxims, absolutes because it is righteousness that exalts a nation. What is righteousness? It is uprightness, it is a behavior or an action according to a standard. You can assume without argument that when these writers wrote of righteousness, they had in mind the righteous standards of God’s moral law. Codified in the Ten Commandments, embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ. Righteousness exalts a nation, therefore uprightness of behavior in accordance with the moral law of God is the path to prosperity. Whether you’re a Jew or whether you’re a Gentile, our universe is not a moral vacuum. It is one designed by and directed by a holy God who wears the actions of men and then he reacts accordingly.
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Look at Proverb 16 verse 2, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes but the Lord wears the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” This is a moral universe. Just as the physical aspect of the universe is governed by natural laws such as gravity and we must live within those natural laws so there is a moral component to this world. It is governed by a holy God who has a righteous character which was revealed and put on display in the Ten Commandments. You and I if we’re going to enjoy life, liberty and happiness must recognize our creator and we must live within his moral maxims and laws. That’s what the book of Proverbs wants to remind us. Good government therefore takes God’s holy nature and moral governance into account. Atheists and agnostics do not make good leaders, because they deny there is moral order to this universe. They deny the supreme lawgiver and high is a nation to be exalted if there is no righteous standards to live by. But there are.
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According to Proverbs 29, here’s what we read verse 26. Proverbs 29 of verse 26, “Many seek the rulers favor but justice for man comes from the Lord.” Proverbs 16 verse two, “Bare in mind justice comes from the Lord.” God determines what is just, God sets the standards by which we live and a good leader is cognizant of that. Because in Proverb 16 verse 12, he establishes his throne according to righteousness. As the Proverbs teach the king, they also instruct us that justice does not come from any person’s sense of right or wrong, not even a king. The king is to administer God’s justice, the king is to establish God’s righteousness. Morality is not relative, it is not given in the context of a person or a problem and changes with different persons and different problems. No God’s standards are like God himself, they’re sovereign and steadfast. Morality is rooted in the absolute righteous character of God revealed to us in the Holy Bible and put on display in the life and times of the Lord Jesus Christ. Folks listen to me, right is right because God said so.
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Wrong is wrong because God said so. If God does not exist, if there is no transcendent absolute moral law by which you and I might measure our behavior to know whether it’s correct or incorrect then all things are permissible. If God does not exist then all is permissible and I’ll tell you why I believe that. For no man has a right to tell another man what to do unless that man is telling that man to do what God commands all men to do. Why should I obey the laws of the government because God told me to and if he’s not the authority, who is? What is? We’re left drifting on a sea of relativism and pragmatism to the rocks of our own destruction. Therefore, despite secular voices crying out that morality is relative and cannot be legislated. By the way I agree with James Kennedy here, “If you can’t legislate morality, what in the world can you legislate?” Laws are all about morality, laws are all about behavior. Of course you can legislate morality, that’s the role of government. You can’t force obedience but you can legislate what is the best for society.
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The Bible and the Ten Commandments tell us that there are certain standards that are absolute and God will hold us accountable to them. Bare with me here for a few moments, let’s just look at the Ten Commandments. Let’s remind ourselves of some of the things that are just absolute. As far as the Ten Commandments are concerned, the circularization of society in the worship of the material is wrong. Nothing must be put before God, Exodus 20 verse three and six. “The profaning of the sacred is wrong, we’re not to take God’s name in vane. The godless and relentless pursuit of material gain is wrong. We’re meant to keep a day holy set apart to reflect upon God’s goodness, his place in our life and our place in his providence.” The undermining of family life, parental authority and marriage between a man and a woman is wrong. We need to honor mother and father all the days of our life. The taking of innocent life is wrong whether by genocide, homicide, abortion, euthanasia or an unjust war, it’s wrong because we shall not murder.
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The committing of sexual sin outside of marriage between a man and a woman for life is wrong because we’re not to commit adultery. The act of stealing or lying is wrong, we shall not steal or bear false witness. The act of material, greed and the spread of discontentment is wrong for we shouldn’t covet our neighbors possessions. Not as wife, not as servants, not as oxen. Folks, when it comes to certain standards God doesn’t stammer and God doesn’t stutter. God has not only written these laws on stone, he has etched them on the heart of every human being and we need to write them into the laws of our land for we discard them and disregard them at our own peril. Because righteousness exalts a nation, righteousness put on display in the commandments embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us not forget that America first proclaimed its independence on the basis of self-evident moral truths. Our founding fathers believed in absolutes, they believed in a supreme lawgiver who had given us his law and life and liberty is found within the law. Happiness is found in obedience.
(43:31):
If America wants to know peace and prosperity, then America needs to embrace truth. Truth revealed by God and his word and through his son. We need to stop living by the dictum that everything is right sometime and nothing is right every time. We need to stop confusing the concepts of diversity with pluralism, we need to stop thinking that tolerance prevents us from making judgments. We need to move from feeling good to being good. We need to realize that ideas have consequences. When you teach men that they’re apes life becomes a jungle. We need the repent of the idea that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes, which is a complete contradiction. If there are no absolutes, then there can’t be that absolute and you’re left in a total mist and fog. We need to stop living like Willie Nelson plays golf, let me explain. I was reading a while back that Willie Nelson bought his own golf course and somebody asked him what par it was. He replied, “Anything I want it to be. You see that hole over there?” He said, “That’s a par 47 and yesterday I birdied it.”
(44:59):
Now that would be laughable if it wasn’t a picture of what’s going on in America today. Because people don’t believe there is a right and wrong, they believe it’s whatever they want it to be. Therefore, we are at a crucial and critical hour in our history. “If the foundation of moral consciousness and conduct as a nation is destroyed, what is left?” Psalm 11 verse three. If we forget what George Washington told us in his farewell address so many years ago, “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” John Adams, Dakota McGee. “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is holy, inadequate to govern any other way.” Folks, we need to build upon the foundation of God’s word. Evolution provides us no inalienable rights, relativism provides no path for our children to follow. Pluralism provides us no heritage or no hesty to rejoice in. Everything must have a foundation, our founding fathers gave us a foundation.
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They built a philosophy of life, political and personal upon moral absolutes rooted in the character of the creator revealed in the life of his son and sat before us in the words of his book. This is the genesis and the greatness of America. America was great because America was good, but America’s not so good and therefore America’s not so great. We need to build upon the foundation of God’s word. Let me finish with this illustration and then Ron will come up and lead us in a song. A television news camera crew was on assignment in southern Florida, filming the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew. Amidst all the devastation and topple buildings, they were struck at a single house that remained on its foundations in a particular district they were reporting in. They found the owner of the home and they said, “Sir, why is your house the only one standing? How did you manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?” The man answered, “I built this house myself. I also built it according to the Florida State building code when the code called for 2×6 roof trust’s, I use 2×6 roof trust’s.
(47:54):
I was told that a house built according to the code could withstand a hurricane, I did and it did. I suppose no one else around here followed the code.” As I look around our crumbling culture, where young people are turning to suicide as an escape from life. As marriages crumble into divorce, as people have no sense of purpose and wellbeing in life. Seems to me that very few in our nation are building to the code. But Jesus told us, there is a foundation upon which you can build and it’s the bed rock of God’s word. I trust that each of us this morning, as we close will commit ourselves to continue to build according to the code. I pray that we as a church will seek by God’s grace to elect righteous leaders and hold them accountable to enact righteous laws and we’ll all be the better for it.