America is known throughout the world as the place to go to make your dreams come true. Unfortunately, the dreams of most natural-born Americans are far from admirable.American children, today, dream of being famous. From becoming an actor or actress, to a star athlete, to a super model, the aspirations of our children are a far cry from the dreams of children around the world.
Kids in many other countries simply dream of coming to America to be free. Free to pursue their dreams of getting a good education, becoming entrepreneurs, marketing an invention, working hard in order to buy a house and enjoy their new-found freedom. American children are significantly behind in the areas of Math, Science and Reading, ranking 25th out of 34 countries on a math test given to 15-year-olds and around the middle in science and reading. (see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-07/teens-in-u-s-rank-25th-on-math-test-trail-in-science-reading.html)
While our founders were inventors, scholars, ministers, and revolutionaries, today we have become a nation that spends our time watching ridiculous reality television shows like Jersey Shore, with our girls aspiring to be like Snooki.
However, as alarming as these numbers are, far worse is the spiritual state of our nation. In The United States of America, the fast growing religion is Islam, surging by 66.7% from 2000-2010. Contrarily, Mainline Protestantism declined by 12.8% and Catholicism by 5% during the same time period. Evangelical Protestantism did grow from 2000-2010, but only by 1.7%.
America has fallen asleep.
We constantly seek to be entertained and hope to become famous. Very few, these days, seek to do good in the world, to make a difference. Instead of reading, learning, and gaining knowledge and wisdom, we waste our time away in front of television and computer screens.
While occasional entertainment is not harmful and can even be a welcome retreat from the stress and chaos that is our world, it is the state of keeping our minds perpetually entertained that prevents us from using them for the reason God created them – to help others and improve our world. But, that is not all entertainment does.
The movies, television shows and video games that entertain us give us a false sense of reality. From unrealistic glamour to the horrors of violence, Americans seldom know what is real and when our lives and relationships do not measure up to TV, we disconnect or run away. If our marriage, spouse or children do not emulate those on our favorite sitcom or reality show, we get disenchanted. And many have been driven to horrific acts of violence because the violence that they are bombarded with through the media has so desensitized them that murder has become a game and real people are no different than the characters on the game.
So, what do we do about it? Well for starters, why not turn the TV off for a few hours every day. Get outside and play with your kids or learn something together. Grow your mind!
And, more importantly, grow spiritually.
Go to church together. Read the Bible together. Discuss spiritual matters. Learn about church history and the history of God’s people, Israel. The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and thus, as our nation has lost it’s fear of God, we have become vastly unwise.
Most of our founders were Christians, despite what the schools and liberal media purport today, whose primary objective was worshiping God freely as they chose. And, as proven by history, when you seek God and spiritual things become your priority, you can’t help but become intelligent and wise. Einstein, Newton, Pascal, Galileo. All of these were Christians! Because, you see, when you set your life to follow God, He will guide your mind as well and you will achieve all that He destined for you.
There is an old saying that some attribute to Alexander Tytler, an 18th century historian, which describes the spiritual cycle of a nation.
“From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”
Where would you say that America is? I believe that we are somewhere between apathy and dependence. Wake up, America. You have fallen asleep and if you do not awaken soon, you will once again find yourself in bondage.