“Can A Nation Be Great Without God?”
If you’ve followed any of my writings and radio programs over the last 15 years, you know that I believe with all my heart that America is the single greatest nation in the world. You also know that I believe the greatness of our nation is not by any of our own “self-greatness”, but the “Greatness” of God. Thankfully, our Founding Fathers saw it oh so clearly, that without God they would never even have a free nation, much less a great nation.
Just this week on my daily radio feature, “One Moment in America” feature, I focused on this idea of the greatness of nations, and I posed this question, “Can all nations be great? And how does a nation lose its greatness?” Here is what I have concluded from my own historical studies.
In 1787, there was a writing by a Professor Alexander Tyler, who brought forward a writing about what he called “The Greatness of a Nation”. Almost prophetically, Dr. Tyler said this – according to his historical studies of the great nations in our world history, the average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been about 200 years. And then they lose their greatness.
In Dr. Tyler’s study of this fall of great nations, he noted what he called a progression, a “Sequence of Downfall”. Follow this sequence and tell me what you think.
Dr. Tyler said in this sequence:
- First, a nation will go from bondage to spiritual faith. And I see that in the history of our nation. There was a time that we were all bound up by Great Britain. But then a spiritual awakening came to our America.
- Second, these nations go from spiritual faith to great courage. Now, those who study the beginnings of our nation can clearly see that the spiritual movement in our colonies did bring great courage; enough courage for an undermanned, ill equipped colonial army to take on the most powerful single military force of that time, Great Britain, and win that War.
- Third, from great courage to liberty. It took us so many years, but finally, with God’s help, our America won our freedom.
- Fourth, as our new and excited free America grew, we went from liberty to abundance. And after less than 100 years as the nation, we begin to be seen all around the world as a great nation.
- Fifth, but as can always happen, money and power and riches follow abundance and blessings, and a people can easily go from abundance to selfishness,
- selfishness leads to complacency. It’s almost like “What can I do about it, so why even try” attitude?
- Seventh, here’s where it gets scary. When the nation progresses from a spirit of complacency to downright apathy. And what exactly is apathy. It’s not having a wrong path – it’s having no path at all.
- And our greatness has just about gone – from apathy to dependency. This is the picture of socialism. And even though socialism continues to fail in nations all around the world, those who want it don’t see its continuing failure.
- Finally, when socialism fails, and it always does, the nation that was once great goes from dependency back to bondage.
All the way back in 1863, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was already concerned with our America’s heart as a nation. This is what he said in one speech, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
So, I asked you, “where is America in this sequence of greatness, and how much longer do we have?”
Lord, please don’t give up on us. Instead, put upon us whatever is necessary to bring us back to You.