Our political landscape does not afford a bright view of the near future. As much as I am concerned that we encourage and experience positive change on the political level, it must be understood that the necessary change to accompany, in fact, produce, this change comes from the bottom up.
I have emphasized on many occasions that relationship and government are two foundational aspects of life on earth. The most fundamental relationship a human being will attend to is one’s relationship with God. Every human being has a relationship with God! We can humble ourselves before Him, acknowledging His intrinsic supremacy, expressing due reverence and seeking to understand and obey Him or we can disregard His value and significance. One approach produces a good relationship while the other, a bad relationship; one is right and one is wrong. In order to produce good character, a genuinely proper relationship with God is crucial. There are two errors that are far too common to the human race – rejection of God and superficial (possibly artificial) approach toward God. Of the former we read, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good” (Ps.14:1). Regarding the latter, the apostle John wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth…” (1Jn.1:6). In right response to the Creator, human beings begin to learn how to govern themselves in a proper manner. This approach is characterized in the following statement: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal.5:22-23).
Individuals who manifest the above character make good husbands and wives. Marital relationships begin to forge the foundation of the corporate structures that are so important to a healthy society and stable nation. When we dismiss or overlook this fact, but we do so to our own detriment. Noticing waywardness on this level, should serve as an alarm to greater deterioration on the horizon. In most cases, husbands and wives eventually become fathers and mothers.
Fathers and mothers are charged with the indispensable duty of preparing the next generation of adults by the way they raise their children. Such adults will serve to oversee the affairs of the nation. If they are not encouraged to know God, taught self-government, prepared to be responsible and provided sufficient intellectual training, it can be expected that they will produce “bad fruit” and become subjects of captivity (moral, spiritual and political). Charles G. Finney states, “The particular form of state government must, and will, depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the people.” This is a principle noted by many of the founding fathers of the United States. The process of developing “the virtue and intelligence of the people” begins in the home. Fathers and mothers are the primary educators and preparers of their children. A solid foundation on this level is crucial. As well, decline and corruption in this area of human relationship and government are harmful. The battle for liberty is vain if families consistently fail in their primary duties.
As mothers and fathers prepare their children with vision, character and mental development, the church is called to assist in the process by encouraging spiritual and moral maturity. The “raw material” the church works with is influenced by the effectiveness of the family. Though evangelism is a ministry of the church, we should not assume is it necessary to have absolute scoundrels to evangelize. The best-case scenario is providing children with a solid spiritual and moral foundation upon which, when they resolve to love, please and serve God supremely, they begin to build. The discipleship process which equips the Saint for the work of ministry is duly enhanced and aided when this is the case.
When we populate our society with citizens who are spiritual and moral giants, we have a solid foundation upon which to build a nation capable of blessing the earth of which it is a part and the Creator and owner of all the earth (Ps.24:1).
We can attempt to provide top-down solutions but without a sufficient foundation, such efforts will fall short. This is not to say that pains taken in this arena are to be abandoned, it is simply to say that underestimating the bottom-up approach to building a stable nation and civil government will make such effort futile in large measure.