When a nation loses its moral foundations, it is doomed, as history has taught us over and over. The clearest lesson is found in the Bible itself. Israel, God’s chosen people, were redeemed from slavery and set free to establish their own nation in their own land with their own precepts. Those precepts were found in the Bible. I’ve often compared America’s foundation with that of Israel. Though many argue about it, it seems that our nation was founded by many different religious expressions; the key to it all was the Judeo-Christian ethic that held them all together. We had Catholics, Episcopalians, Baptists, Puritans, and other groups. But they all held the Ten Commandments and the idea of Freedom of Religion as their core values. Without them, we would not have gotten very far. America is under great pressure to forfeit those values today in exchange for humanism, secularism, or socialism. If we don’t stand up for our values in this country, the same will happen to us that happened to Israel. Joel 1:10 tells us what the invading army did to their country, “The fields are destroyed; the ground mourns because the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil languishes.”

 The equivalent of “fields” in today’s America might be the source from which our livelihood comes. There are no more jobs, and the populace can no longer be supported by the works of their hands. The means of “sowing” have been destroyed. The ground mourns is a reference to the people who live on the earth. It’s not speaking of literal dirt unless it is referring to the dust from which man is made. No, it speaks of the result of sowing, i.e., reaping! The rewards from hard work, and sowing, are removed, and it is meaningless to put forth effort to produce anything of value. Wine is the symbol of joy over and over in the Bible. Rogers says that wine, as well as oil, “In the Bible, is an emblem, a symbol, of joy. For example, you read in Psalms 104:15: And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine and bread which strengthen man’s heart. (Psalms 104:15) So, God here speaks of oil and bread and wine as that which gives joy and strength.”[1] With the loss of the means of production, followed by the lack of resources, comes the end of joy in life.

Biblical values upon which our nation was founded involve a profound commitment to capitalism. Sowing and reaping is the principle which establishes what has been called the American dream. It is worthwhile to work hard and put forth effort in life because you get exactly what you put forth. In America, one can advance his status, increase his standing in the community, improve his lifestyle, and even enjoy conveniences if he follows the simple rules of capitalism: sowing and reaping. I know there is a religious movement that argues for a more socialistic state, whereas the government takes care of its children regardless of their work ethic. This is one value that all the founders of America had in common, regardless of denominational preferences. Like Israel in the days of Joel, America is deserting its roots and listening to the voices of the liberal media and politicians who want to make America a socialist country. It’s interesting that about 70 years ago, Christianity Today published an article regarding the trends toward socialism. It says, “And at this point, Christian criticism cannot keep silent. For, even if influential Protestant clergymen during the past generation tried to make collectivism out to be Christian and Capitalism Satanic, they were false prophets. By their proclamations, they revealed that they misunderstood Christianity and that their devotion to the writings of Marx ran deeper than their fidelity to the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. For Capitalism is biblical.”[2]

[1] Rogers, Adrian. 2017. “Jesus Is God’s Answer to Man’s Disappointment.” In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive, Jn 2:1–20:31. Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.

[2] Christianity Today. 1956. “Christian Criticism and Labor’s Big Stick,” 1956.