The gospels tell us that Jesus tangled with demons during his days on earth. Things did not go so well for the dark side in those conflicts. Okay, I don’t know much about demons, but this much I do know: they believe in God! The apostle James wrote:
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (James 2:19)
If a survey-taker asked me if I believe in God, I would say “Yes!” If he asked me if I shudder, I would say, “Sometimes.” Nevertheless, the Bible indicates that this is not enough.
Surveys tell us that a vast majority of Americans believe in God. This is like saying most politicians believe in “the future.” Actually, believing in God has little to do with how we answer surveys, what we verbally claim, labels we wear, or what we post on Facebook. It has more to do with what we do.
Long ago, the apostle Paul knew people who claimed to know God, “but by their actions they deny him” (Titus 1:16). Brace yourself for what follows. Paul continues; “They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
Paul was not writing to Titus about avowed atheists or agnostics. He was referring to people who would tell a survey-taker that they believe in God, but still live on terms (spiritual and moral) of their own making—as if God were non-existent. For many of us, believing in God means having someone to be angry at when things go wrong. Some of us focus more on our disappointment with God than on God’s disappointment with us.
Faith must run deeper than all this. James also said, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (James 1:22). Our eternal hope is not rooted in what we claim but in what Jesus did and what we do about that.
Years ago, people generally spoke of motherhood and apple pie as quintessential qualities that would always define America. Okay, baseball sometimes gets pitched in too. Today, sadly, America has descended into a strange antipathy for motherhood. The evidence:
- With great vigilance, America’s government and culture defends the “right” to kill innocent babies at will in a mother’s womb. America even uses the force of politics to ensure that taxpayers play a part in subsidizing this atrocity against motherhood. Planned Parenthood provides for some 327,000 abortions per year and government grants, funds, and reimbursements account for 41% of their income. I know of no greater evidence of a nation’s rising antipathy for motherhood than this.
- America has radically altered the legal definition of marriage itself to marginalize motherhood. If any two males (or three or five) can now constitute a “marriage” and adopt children into their redefined “family” on fully equal terms, then motherhood has been legally regarded as disposable. The sacred and specific qualities of motherhood and fatherhood are devalued when “marriage” is redefined in a way that displaces either one.
- As of 2015, America can officially send young moms into active combat with lethal enemies. This is a natural result, in my view, of our growing disregard for the significance of motherhood and the ongoing emasculation of vast numbers of American males. There are other good reasons to oppose women intentionally being placed into lethal combat on front lines but the motherhood factor is the most important one to mention here.
None of the three national pathologies above could possibly flourish free of serious opposition in a nation that seriously honored motherhood. British author G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936) once said, “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”
As multiple free-for-all definitions of marriage and family “evolve,” culturally and legally, such terms as “husband”, “wife”, “father”, and “mother” become increasingly less meaningful. Some states have already passed measures to cleanse public documents from such allegedly horrific and hateful terms as “husband”, “wife”, “father”, and “mother.” Genderless definitions (forced on us from the top down) mean that “motherhood” and “fatherhood” must morph into an amorphous and neutered form of “whateverhood” in an anything goes culture.
In her speech at The King’s College in New York (March, 2010), Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of The Ruth Institute, said, “For the state to make a proclamation that mothers and fathers are intrinsically interchangeable and that nobody’s allowed to say otherwise, that is not really true.” Sadly, truth may be one principle in America today that gets even less respect than motherhood.
But take heart, most Americans still love apple pie!