Thursday, February 18, 2016

U.S. Facing Identity Crisis

An interesting article from about the U.S. identity crisis. This follows this post about Christianity and Capitalism. This follows this post about diseases like Zika.This follows this post about the papacy. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.

In my neighborhood vandalizing mailboxes is a way of stealing the identity of homeowners. Identity theft from unlocked mailboxes, a relatively new form of crime, is often devastating to its victims. And it also is difficult to deal with.
The United States is a prime example. The U. S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear cases regarding a Ten Commandments monument in a park surrounding the Texas Capitol and a Mercer County courthouse display of the Ten Commandments as a legal document in the state of Kentucky. Plaintiffs' attorneys argue that these are offensive, unwarranted intrusions that represent unconstitutional governmental attempts to establish religion.
One attorney stated that the Ten Commandments are “enormously divisive.” Ironically, there is a measure of truth in this statement. They are divisive because they are very definitive—defining morality by specific prohibitions of sinful behavior.
Paul explains the reason in Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” The New Living Translation paraphrases, “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.”
This hostility is at the root of the current court cases, which are part of a larger identity crisis regarding morality. What is sought is not freedom of religion, but freedom from religion, which ironically amounts to religious oppression by denying the freedom to express religious convictions.
But are Ten Commandments displays appropriate on governmental property?
Justice Scalia of the Supreme Court has referred to the Ten Commandments as, “a symbol of the fact that government derives its authority from God” and thus “an appropriate symbol to put on government grounds.” This reflects the views of America's founders.
Ten Commandments displays on public property spring from America's national heritage, not from isolated demands of religious extremists. They are displayed in numerous governmental locations, including the Supreme Court building where the current cases are being considered. References to God appear in America's pledge of allegiance (which has also been challenged) and on its dollar bills. And sessions of Congress open with prayer.
Attempting to remove these monuments, displays and other religious customs is a serious threat to America's national identity. Some warn that if its history is rewritten, the nation's future may change as well. A completely different set of values will shape its laws and public policy.
Individual identity is also threatened, not only in America but around the world, by attempts to redefine the institutions of marriage and family. Sexual identity has become distorted by sex-change operations and many forms of bizarre behavior. Some look forward to the time when “marriage” can be available under virtually any circumstances. One woman recently expressed a desire to “march down the aisle … hand in paw” with her Great Dane. Sadly, hers is undoubtedly not an isolated case.
History is replete with examples of civilizations that perished as result of losing their identity. Other nations and cultures have survived for millennia, largely because they have retained their identity. A prime example is the modern nation of Israel, descendants of the ancient nation of Judah. The Jewish religion is well known for its traditions that celebrate the unique identity of the Jewish people and acknowledge the biblical roots of their history.
God gave the ancient nation of Israel the weekly Sabbath and annual Holy Days to remind them and their children of their identity (Ezekiel 20:19-20). He also instituted a theocracy based on the Ten Commandments and other laws (Deuteronomy 4:13-14) to preserve their national and individual identity and freedoms.
Sadly, wholesale neglect of these customs led to tragic results including civil war, division into two separate nations and finally national captivity. Although the Jewish people have retained their identity, the northern Kingdom of Israel became lost to history and is often referred to as “the Lost Ten Tribes.”
The good news is that when Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, the law of God will be restored to its rightful position as the core of the government and morality for all nations, resulting in a happy, peaceful way of life for all (Isaiah 2:1-4).

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