No Winner But Hate
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
This oft quoted proverb is usually attributed to Abraham Lincoln. While it makes for interesting conversation and scintillating debate, Lincoln did not make this statement. However, Lincoln actually DID say something which expressed a similar sentiment. And, I think Lincoln’s words are far more eloquent and deeply more disturbing.
I sat watching the news for sometime today, growing more and more melancholy as I did, while this supposed quote from Abraham Lincoln kept crawling around in my head. Since so many proverbs are attributed to individuals without anyone thinking to check on their authenticity, I decided to do a little research which revealed what Lincoln actually said:
“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.”
I am sitting here tonight as my wife and I prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of our marriage, convinced that we are living in the generation of Americans wholly engaged in what we suppose to be the “battle for the soul of America;” a great contest between conservatism and socialism, striving between right and left, the struggle a progressive new generation and the old guard. We are wholly deceived.
What we are doing is committing national suicide – the very thing of whIch Lincoln warned.
We see signs and placards in abundance proclaiming, “Hate has no home here!” Nothing could be further from the truth. Hate has received a warm welcome in America and has set up its tent in every corner of our nation. The growing hatred in our nation is not consigned to only one side, but is living and growing in every corner, billowing up in every party, playing all sides against the middle–growing inside the soul of our nation like a cancer, consuming us organ by organ until it devours the life within us til we be found dead.
Every group and party claims moral superiority, but when we examine ourselves carefully we discover that there is little high ground to be found. Our President leads the way, firing volley after volley of Twitter missiles meant to mock and humiliate his opponents while a bevy of spiritual advisors stand by and cheer him on instead of pleading with him that their might be a better, more honorable way. Of course, each volley from the Oval Office is met with a blitzkrieg of return fire from every direction in this unending war of personal assasination and public humiliation. In the meantime, every claim to greatness or exceptionalism as a nation we might have ever owned is being reduced to rubble and waste.
There is a war being waged in America today, but it is a war which no one can win, except the Spirit of Hate that drives it.
This is happening because America as a nation has forgotten God and He has given us up to a reprobate mind. We have turned our backs on God, no longer calling upon Him for Help and Wisdom, no longer walking in humility before Him. We proudly strut around in our own separate little worlds arrogantly claiming greatness and exceptionalism, only to discover that we have become common and petty, filled with bickering and wallowing in the foolishness of human wisdom, completely oblivious to the peril we have placed ourselves in. God is very clear in the Scriptures as to the fate of any nation that “forgets” His grace and benevolence.
And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 8:19-20)
We are a people drowning in a sea of our own putrid vitriol, shouting blame at each other when in truth – we are all to blame. We have become the author and finisher of our own destruction.
There is a single hope that America might be rescued from its imminent demise, and I cry out for it every day. That hope is that the Holy Spirit of God might break through our national arrogance and crush our proud spirits. I pray that the whole of us may come to understand that we have broken covenant with the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, that we might lay down our weapons of self-destruction, and on bended knee confess our sins to God and repent of them. If our leaders truly want to make America great – this is our only path – our only hope.
Instead of preaching conservative (or liberal) politics, we the church, must return to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, calling all men to repentance from their sins, for the Gospel is the only defense against the wrath of God. The apostle Paul gives us a stone cold warning in the Book of Galatians:
“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:15)