When Was America Ever Great?
“When was America ever great?” he asked me. The individual was sharing how he wrestles with this question in relation to the idea of restoring America. In fact, with slavery and Jim Crow laws in her past, he was sharing how the concept of “restoring America” is oftentimes misunderstood. For my readers, you’ll know that the idea of restoring America is an aim of a Principle Approach® to education. But, what exactly is meant by restoring America and when was she ever great?
Defining the Word Restore
Defining words is what we do here. Right?
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines restore, v.t. as:
“1. To return to a person, as a specific thing which he has lost, or which has been taken from him unjustly detained. We restore lost or stolen goods to the owner.” 3. [B]ring back or recover from lapse, degeneracy, declension or ruin to its former state. 5. [R]epair; to rebuild. 9. [R]evive; to resuscitate; to bring back to life. 13. [R]ecover or renew, as passages of an author obscured or corrupted; as, to restore the true reading.”
Okay, well, wow. There’s a lot to break down there. So, let’s get started.
To Restore America is to Return to Her First Biblical Principles
Firstly, it’s important to know and understand our first seven basic Biblical principles as a nation. Because of these principles—America at her founding—has the heart in place for honoring God’s order and honoring others. And, I’ll say it again as I’ve said it here before: God’s principles found in the Bible are for all people and all nations. So, as a reminder, here they are once more:
- Quality Character
- Private Property (beginning with one’s conscience)
- Biblical Form of Government
- Local Authority
Secondly, at different times in America’s history, these principles have been “unjustly detained”. In spite of sinful individuals who interfere with these principles—whether via legislation, judiciary, or executive branches—God is One God Working.
Ultimately, God has been working in and through individuals throughout all of our history as a nation. For example, we see that the abolitionists of the past help to end slavery. And, we see the abolitionists of our time work to put an end to human trafficking (slavery) and abortion. Of course, this is only one example of how God is moving— even though we see that some individuals are dishonoring God’s principles.
So, many of us are at work via education to restore America back to God. This is because at her founding, the intent has been to honor God with this principles in place and in practice. So, we work to restore the original intent.
Recovering America From Lapse, Degeneracy, Declension or Ruin
To begin with, for America’s first 200 years our seven basic founding principals were taught to consecutive generations. Furthermore, godly morals were taught and expected to be lived out by individuals in our nation.
Contrast that with today and we can see a huge laps in quality character. Without a doubt, there is a major decline in good qualities of character with the past few generations.
According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, degeneracy, n. means:
“In morals, decay of virtue; a growing worse; departure from the virtues of ancestors; desertion of that which is good. We speak of the degeneracy of men in modern times, or of the degeneracy of manners, of the age, . . . virtue, etc. sometimes without reason.”
In the end, even though individuals back in the day were also born of a sinful nature, there is a degeneracy of manners in our time. Further, it doesn’t take a genius to see that children are under ruin by the trash that is being taught in government schools. And, I’m sure you’re well aware of all of this without my having to give examples. However, if you are unaware I’ll point you to Alex Newman’s talk: Rescuing Our Children. In fact, I highly recommend watching it. Of note: This is not for viewing near children and there is disturbing content.
As a result of restoring education back to teaching our first principals and godly morals, we really do have a chance for improving the individual child’s character and our nation.
What it Means to Repair, Rebuild America
To be clear, America has been undergoing a state of decay for a few decades—since the time of Mann and Dewey. These men knew exactly what they were doing when they started to modify public education to government education. Indeed, this transition began in the 1800’s (on the Expansion and Erosion Link on the Chain of Christianity®). But, socialists/Marxists/communists are hundreds of years patient.
Sadly, much of the Church has been asleep while implementation of this plan slowly creeps along. It accumulates into the utter chaos we are beginning to witness today. But, they aren’t through with their plans yet as not all they want has come to fruition.
This is where education comes in to help repair America. They work at destroying via education, and we work at rebuilding (principles and godly morals) via education.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary explains that to repair, v.t. is:
“[T]o restore to a sound or good state after decay, injury, dilapidation, or partial destruction.”
We’ve got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure. Maybe we won’t all reach out to teach others outside of our own families. But, certainly some of us can at least teach our own children. Yes?
Bringing America Back to Life
As individual Christians, we oftentimes cry out, “Revive us, oh Lord!” Is this not also a cry that we have for our nation?
It can feel like America’s founding Biblical principles are barely hanging on by a thread. This is because of how many counter principles to our Christian form of government have been put in place of our founding Biblical principles.
These counter principles are sin—they are not God’s idea of man and government.
Ben Gilmore identified the counter principles of our Biblical form of government and he taught to me:
- Collectivism (counter to Individuality)
- Degradation (counter to Quality Character)
- Manipulation (counter to Self-Government)
- Socialism (counter to Private Property)
- Globalism (counter to Biblical Form of Government)
- Centralization (counter to Local Authority)
- Social Engineering (counter to Liberty)
The counter principles to God’s idea of man and government enslave each and every individual. In order to help restore full liberty to the individual, we need to teach and put into practice God’s principles (our Biblical form of government). This will help to revive America!
Recovering America’s Primary and Secondary Resources
While these resources are still available, by far and large they are not taught! Instead, many use textbooks that narrate or rewrite our history. But, so much context is actually missing when we rely on modern resources. In short, we need to restore education to the true reading of our history through her primary and secondary sources.
Again, When Was America Ever Great?
In contrast to other nations who do not have a Biblical form of government, and in this context, yes America was great. That said, was every principle ever fully implemented? Unfortunately, no. But, America was taking steps in the right direction from the beginning. Her founding documents record it.
Examples Regarding Slavery
In fact, the two-thirds clause was in place so that men and women who were enslaved had the Principle of Representation applied to them as well. Again, here is an example of a step in the right direction. Did that make slavery excusable? No. There were some sinful men in the way of putting it to an end at the start.
Were there some roadblocks to end slavery immediately? You betcha. To begin with, Thomas Jefferson actually put in place an anti-slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence—as a part of America’s moral mission statement. But, there were some sinful men who blocked it so it was removed. However, the statement that “all men are created equal” was still in place—awaiting God’s Providential Hand through the abolition of slavery. The fact that it was acknowledged and in place for the the final step of all people in America living freely is something not seen in other nations.
Was it only “white men” who enslaved others? No. For example, Anthony Johnson was a “black man” who was a land-owner in Virginia. And, he owned slaves. Consider also William Ellision who owned and sold other African Americans into slavery in America. To say nothing of the Africans who sold their own African men and women into slavery the Arabs as well as some Europeans. In relation to this, a gal had said to me that the Africans wouldn’t have done it if there wasn’t a market for it. That sounds strangely familiar . . . like Adam blaming Eve for his sin. Truly, sin knows no skin tone.
Once again, America was taking steps in the right direction to end slavery despite sinful men standing in the way of liberty.
People Born of a Sin Nature
Was America ever great as far as the people themselves go? Well, I’d say that our primary and secondary sources reveal that some people honored God’s principles and morals while others did not.
That’s very much like today—some are born again in Christ and choose to be governed by Him. Thereby, they choose to honor God’s principles and morals. Some individuals are not born again, but they still choose to live by godly principles and morals. Whereas, some individuals aren’t born again and they dishonor God’s principles and morals.
Although, I’d say that today there are less individuals who honor God’s principles and morals. And, that’s because of the downhill route that the educational system is continually taking. A nation’s character is reflective of her people.
Can America Be Made Great?
Remember, someone’s morals will be legislated. Thus, the character of a nation’s people will be reflected in a nation’s government.
So, can America be made great? That largely depends upon how individual Christians will choose to be involved in education (discipleship) and evangelism (reaching the unsaved with the Gospel). And, it depends on the character of the individual in general.