Recently, I wrote a letter to the Naples Daily News about how we have gone from righteousness to economics as the basis of our public policy in America.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29: 2 KJV Regarding this verse, Matthew Henry stated, “The people will have cause to rejoice or mourn according as their rulers are righteous or wicked; For, if the righteous be in authority, sin will be punished and restrained, religion and virtue will be supported and kept in reputation: but, if the wicked get power in their hands, wickedness will abound, religion and religious people will be persecuted, and so the ends of government will be perverted.”
“Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34 KJV Again, Matthew Henry states that, “Justice, reigning in a nation, puts an honor upon it. A righteous administration of the government,…charity and compassion to strangers, these exalt a nation, they uphold the throne, elevate the peoples minds, and qualify a nation for the favor of God, which will make them high, as a holy nation. Vice, reigning in a nation, puts disgrace upon it: Sin is a reproach to any city or kingdom, and renders them despicable among their neighbors.”
According to God’s Word, Christians are called to represent the righteousness of God individually, in our families, in our churches, and in the civil arena. So, since we have removed ourselves from public arena why should it come as a surprise to us that immorality is running rampant in our nation? We must once again represent the righteousness of God in our public policies so that those living in darkness can be shown the light.
Samuel Adams a signer of the Declaration of Independence stated, “that ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation’ and communities are dealt with in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character.”
Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added (economy) unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
Thomas Hughes, Naples
Throughout America’s history, both political and religious leaders cited righteousness as the basis for our public policies.
Frederick Douglass, minister of the Gospel and political leader, stated, “I have one great political idea …. the best expression of it I have found in the Bible. It is ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people’ Sir, this constitutes my politics — the negative and positive of my politics and the whole of my politics.”
Today, economics has become the basis of our politics. It’s all about my job, money and worldly possessions.
Jesus’ disciples were also concerned about economics — food, clothing, and income. He reminded them, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew)
In 1909, the Rev. Francis Grimke warned America about departing from righteousness. “If the time comes when we shall go to pieces, it will … (be) from inward corruption — from the disregard of right principles … in the Declaration of Independence, in the Golden Rule, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Unless we …. hold firmly to these great fundamental principles of righteousness … our Union … will be ‘only a covenant with death and an agreement with hell’ (Isaiah). If it continues to exist, it will be a curse and not a blessing.”
America has changed its basis for public policy from righteousness to economics. The result, according to the Rev. Dr. Jim Garlow: “We are now exiles in our own country — citizens of Jerusalem and residents of Babylon.”
Blessings – Thomas Hughes
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