by Tim Salley
I have lived and worked as a cross-cultural minister outside of my home country, America, for almost 80% of the last 15 years. I have been immersed in many cultures and traditions that are not my own. I have met and befriended Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. I have eaten a variety of new foods. I have learned a few new languages. I have lived in emerging democracies and in free market socialist countries. Although I remain an American citizen and still hold a USA passport, these life and work experiences outside of my home country have truly given me a different perspective of the world and America’s place in it.
I am currently in the middle of a one year stay in America. Staying in the USA during this time has been very interesting & enlightening. Many conversations I have had with most folks here have centered on the topic of the moral decline in America. I hear many complaints about all the bad things that are happening (i.e., gay marriage, drug legalization, illegal immigration, Obamacare, etc.). Most of the people I have spoken with would be considered conservative Christians. Most usually people speak of how things were in the “good ole days”, when America was truly a Christian nation.
Before my life as a cross-cultural minister, I would have been considered a right-wing conservative; a member of the Republican Party, the Christian coalition and the Pro-life movement. I held leadership posts at the grass-roots levels of all these organizations. I was a constant watcher of Fox News and daily listener of Rush Limbaugh. However, over the years, I have become less comfortable with certain aspects of these movements. I also find myself more capable of having conversations with people that don’t view the world the same way as I do. I have also realized that praying for leaders, instead of defaming and cursing them, is what the Lord has required of me as a follower of Jesus Christ.
During this current stay in America, I find myself very disturbed as I listen to good Christian people talk about the moral decline in America. I usually hear fear and hatred in their conversation. I usually don’t hear much about hope and a good future. I have begun to grieve and have begun to ask God why my fellow believers in Christ are reacting in this fashion. I think I have just heard God’s answer.
God’s answer to America’s moral decline is simple; “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Being involved in the political process is necessary. Preaching great sermons on Biblical and moral principles is necessary. Standing up for the Truth is necessary. All these things and many other godly actions are all necessary. But there will be no halting, or reversing, of the moral decline in America without true humility & prayer, the true seeking of God, and true repentance of sin by God’s people! Plain and simple!
What would happen if the next time I wanted to moan, grumble and complain about America’s moral decline, I would instead, with true humility & prayer, seek God and repent of my sins? I honestly can’t wait for those that I have identified as the perpetrators of America’s moral decline to repent. They are spiritually and morally bankrupt at this point. I must take the lead, I must seek God and I must repent of my sins!
What would happen if the next time God’s people wanted to moan, grumble and complain about America’s moral decline, God’s people would instead, with true humility & prayer, seek God and repent of their sins? God’s people honestly can’t wait for those that they have identified as the perpetrators of America’s moral decline to repent. They are spiritually and morally bankrupt at this point. God’s people must take the lead, God’s people must seek God and God’s people must repent of their sins!
What are we all really waiting for? The solution to America’s moral decline is in our hearts. We really do not have anything to lose when we humble ourselves before God, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. All we have to gain is a revived Church and a mighty, great awakening that will spread like wild-fire from sea to shining sea!