There are Scriptures that address the subject of foundations, both for our society and also for the church. Just as the church is built on a solid foundation, America was also originally built on a solid foundation. That foundation was a combination of a trust in God to establish and sustain our country, and our Constitution, which itself was based on a belief and commitment to honor and worship God. One of the Scriptures relevant to the foundation of our society is in I Timothy 6:17-19, that says:
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. NKJV
Unfortunately, with regard to America’s commitment to a God-centered society, there has been a gradual abandonment of the original premises on which the American society was based. This process has continued since our founding and has progressed, or more correctly regressed, to the abandonment of many of the original principles. As a result, America is in rapid decline in most of the areas that are vital to our survival.
The crumbling of America’s foundations began with the diminishing trust in God. Our success and growth has become a source of pride and has caused us to ignore the command “not to be haughty, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
Not only has America abandoned the principles that made us successful as a nation, but what was once a foundation of strength based on the honor, integrity and character of our leaders is now a foundation of corruption and deceit that appears to be aimed at removing the power of the people to interfere and prevent the destruction of a free society. As a result, America is facing a downfall like we’ve never seen before. But, unfortunately, most are in denial that this is even possible.
To begin with, there is a persistent attack by our government against our Constitution. Our founders, realizing there would be efforts to distort the meaning of its passages, warned that great care must be taken to ensure that its integrity is maintained. Despite these warnings, voters, expecting those elected to guard against attempts to ignore our Constitution, have seen those elected, using collusion and even the assistance of our Supreme Court, persisting in misinterpreting the Constitution to enact whatever changes in our culture and our freedoms that our government desires.
The changes that have been successfully implemented have affected issues such as freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, the right to bear arms, freedom of privacy against government intervention, reservation of power to the states and to the people, rights to uncorrupted elections and freedom to worship, as well as giving our government and our leaders powers that were never intended.
These issues, along with other issues such as the disintegration of values pertaining to family, integrity, truth, morality, abortion, homosexuality, permissiveness, and many others, indicate that our foundations have been rapidly crumbling.
But is it possible that the cause of America’s crumbling foundations is rooted in the crumbing foundations of the church? How firm are the foundations of the church and to what extent are they also crumbling? How can we expect the foundations of our society to not crumble if the foundations of our church are crumbling? What are the indicators of crumbling foundations in the church?
Questions are easy. Answers are much harder. But the truth is, there are significant signs of crumbling foundations in the church. One of the most obvious signs is that the presence of the Holy Spirit has been steadily diminishing in churches throughout our nation. God sent us His Holy Spirit that It would be a major component of the foundation of the church. Now the Holy Spirit is being replaced by church business plans. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is often only welcome to the extent that It doesn’t get in the way of the church’s business plan. But the Holy Spirit will not operate subordinate to a church business plan.
Worship is also steadily diminishing. It’s being replaced by performances by praise and worship teams who, while insisting they are leading worship, are actually giving performances, as evidenced by their “Look at Me! Look at Me!” actions to draw attention to themselves. Much of the congregations present in these church services, instead of participating in worship, spend their time standing and watching the “praise and worship performance.” To add to this illusion of worship, most of the songs chosen for worship have some praise lyrics, but rarely any lyrics pertaining to worship. Therefore, what should be a balance between praise and worship, along with the inclusion of the congregation in worship, are largely missing.
Since the primary purpose of praise and worship teams should be to lead the congregation into a time of sincere praise and worship, the purpose of which should be to worship God and invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into the midst of the congregation, failure to use this opportunity appropriately results in little actual worship, and no invitation to the Holy Spirit being given. And since the Holy Spirit will not impose Himself where not invited, many services are never blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
And then, relevant to the crumbling of the foundations of our nation, what should be the reaction of the church? The Scripture in Psalm 11:3 is extremely relevant:
3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? NKJV
First of all, there is the issue of the church’s failure to be the “Salt of the Earth”, by failing to speak out against the many issues that are causing the crumbling of our foundations in our society. Admittedly, there is little power in individual Christians to take actions that would be effective on a large scale in bringing about changes in our culture aside from fervent prayer regarding these issues. On the other hand, here is where the church leaders, who have the power to marshal the forces of their followers, could put aside their personal goals for church growth and personal prosperity and utilize their influences to bring about a corporate outcry against those issues that are crumbling our foundations.
There is great camaraderie between pastors and Christian leaders throughout our country, much of which seems to be utilized to support and promote each other toward their personal goals. This brotherhood could be the basis of a coalition to address the crumbling of our foundations both in the country and also within the church. Instead of promoting the success of individual ministries, the goal should be to affect the overall stability of our nation and the church as a whole, with particular emphasis on the continued freedom of the church to function within its original purpose.
The likely response to this proposal by these leaders would probably be that they are experts at their professions and others should mind their own business and let them do their jobs as they perceive them. But, unfortunately, performing their jobs as they perceive them does not always result in meeting the needs of the church to continue to function in power, authority and continued freedom to worship. Nor does it necessarily comply with God’s Word.