Our world today seems in turmoil, the discordant doctrines of, what the media keep referring to as, the three main religions in the world, are manifesting themselves in terrorism and the grabbing, through the earth’s resources, of political power; coupled with such basic sins as greed and sloth, these actions make for some trying times for us all. It would take reams of text to get into every dogmatic principal accepted as valid, by the followers of these religions, and I will not attempt it here today. However, I can talk on one aspect of Christianity and its place in the founding of America. I will leave it to the reader in his / her own good time, to compare these findings with the other religious groups.
Christianity has not always been benign, but it has always been progressive. It is this progression, this development, this very evolution that makes it such a credible force. In our modern age, Christians have applied their religious beliefs to society’s newly formed scientific findings, on the whole they find them quite compatible. Jesus told us that, what was to come, was not for us to know at that time, he didn’t say that we were never to know it. This was very astute reasoning, imagine if he (Jesus) has tried to explain some of the laws of physics that are so familiar to us today, lots of those around him were skeptical of his profundity as it was, they would have almost certainly walked away in complete disbelief. With the explanation that he gave, they simply relented to give it more thought, thus here, we have Jesus planting the seeds of the upcoming knowledge that he knew all too well would befall us.
When Jesus walked the earth, things look very primitive to us today, but the intellectual journey was already underway. Our misunderstanding of that relevance is usually formed from our limited historical sense. The Romans, although profane, a very enlightened people, were the political and military power of the day. It was no accident that Christianity was born in the midst of this; and it is also no accident that the continuance of our thirst for knowledge, for the understanding of our surroundings, and Christianity have been joined at the hip ever since. Through the various powerful empires of Europe, the Renaissance and including, the immense geographical structure of the British Empire, Christianity has been there, sometimes seemingly unkind, sometimes obviously teaching us a valid lesson.
Then came the Revolutionary War…the break from the power of the day. The foundations of The United States of America, founded assiduously by this same thirst of knowing; simultaneously, tempering our headlong rush to the finish line with the faith of our ancestors. That faith was the word of knowledge, the Biblical word that sometimes didn’t seem to explain itself very well. Hence our mistakes along the way.
Knowledge…learning is exponential by its very infinity. If you have trouble believing this, think it was a Scottish born, Christian American that gave the world a rather clumsy wood and Bakelite® construction he called the telephone; take your cell-phone out of your pocket and look at the result that one hundred years of Christian thinking brings to such an invention. This is but one example, I will leave it to you dear reader, to search out your own favorite aspect of modern life, then find out it’s relevance to a thoroughly Christian America.
Yet what does access to all this knowledge do for us as Americans? When we look around the world and see the myriad of injustice, poverty and ignorance that, by anybody’s standards, is unnecessary…unfair and sometimes downright evil, what are we to think of this God given faculty for learning? To answer this, we must return to Jesus’ simple explanation of “Not for us to know”. We have come a long way, but there is an incalculable distance to go. Yes it is 2010…Yes, we as Americans, are far more erudite about our place amongst the stars than any who have gone before us; and, as Christian Americans, we share this knowledge with the world, Christian and non-Christian alike, for ’tis our noble place in history to do this. As science moves us all forward, more and more , we find that our faith in Christianity should be re-enforced, for as the old adage goes, “The more we know, the more we realize we don’t know”.
If your faith is waning, if science and your belief in God are clashing, maybe you should set that aside for a moment and ask not what is happening, but why. It will not be hard to realize that the numbers of Americans that celebrate total belief in Christ Jesus with the same resoluteness of our founding fathers, are shrinking. Along with this decline will surely go the God given expanding knowledge that has blessed our race these last two hundred plus years.
It would also be simple to assume that we have reached our pinnacle, that we’ll continue to learn without Christianity in the mix. There is no God, Jesus Christ was just a guy who made an impression for good in the world, much like many of the saints…apostles and revered world leaders who have come and gone over the millennium. If this is your outlook? I urge the reader to look into the pages of history, as the powers that were, slowly slipped into self glorification, deluded by what they saw as their own ingenuity, why are they no more?