Everywhere I look, the nation feels adrift. Politically, we're more untethered from our founding concepts and ideals than we've ever been. The economy is in a state of flux, obviously. Even though Wall Street seems to be on a rally, it's difficult to tell if this is the harbinger of a true economic rebound or just the effects of artificial government props and promises. The schools are devoted to relativism, materialism, and individualism; pop culture undermines long-standing values and all things non-trivial; the nature of the family is up for grabs; and the churches are more marginal than they've ever been.
And, of course, there's more. The Republicans, meanwhile, intend to make a run for the Congress by focusing on everything about President Obama that they're against. Very inspiring. The Tea Party Movement continues to grow, but they don't seem to have many serious ideas or people in their entourage. The only clear and resolute vision for the country is emanating from the White House, and, increasingly, most Americans are not in favor.
A people without a vision becomes grasping and opportunistic; we hold on to whatever is familiar and seems secure as we lunge for whatever promises to deliver us from whatever we dislike or fear. No one seems to have a vision to capture the imagination of the American people. This is the fruit of a generation devoted to the pursuit of self. Self and the satisfaction of its needs does not a compelling vision make for the nation as a whole. And where there is no vision, the result isn't pretty.
Shame on the churches of the land, and, in particular, the preachers. Why is there no vision resonating from the pulpits of the land such as moved our forebears to stand up for liberty even at the cost of their fortunes and lives? If this country continues to unravel as it has over the last two generations, don't blame the politicians, and don't blame the Wall Street financiers. At least, not in the first instance. Blame the churches, and especially blame the preachers of God's Word. Here is a Word filled with hope, wisdom, and power for newness, reconciliation, righteousness, peace, and joy. But, for some reason, we don't hear much of that, nothing like a vision for the revival of the Church, the renewal of the nation, and the awakening of the world.
Those preachers who turn the faith of Christ into a salve for the self will have to give an account one day. Do them - and all of us - a favor: insist that your preacher search the Scriptures for a new and compelling vision of what God might do in our midst, then insist that he preach it and preach it until we begin to hear and are revived.
T. M. Moore