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Summary: Idea: No God. No gratitude. No accountability. No moral consensus regarding right and wrong. Law replaces national conscience.

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Idea: No God. No gratitude. No accountability. No moral consensus regarding right and wrong. Law replaces national conscience.

Introduction/Review

* For these two weeks, I'm putting on my prophet's hat.

* Several of the issues we face as a nation intersect with biblical principles.

* So, I decided we should talk about it.

* The current debate continues to be framed as rich vs. not so rich, capitalism vs. socialism, big government vs. big business, and Republican vs. Democrat.

* But there is another contrast that would better frame our current national debate--one that if taken seriously might restore our national conscience.

* Namely those who recognize God as the ultimate source of our provision and those who do not.

* Those who are not ashamed to say, "In God we trust" and those who say, "In government and American ingenuity we trust. In 'we,' we trust."

It's 'grateful and accountable' vs. 'ungrateful and unaccountable.'

If you are uncomfortable with connecting spirituality and state, that's understandable . . . especially as we watch the Middle East.

But if you remove religion--divine accountability and conscience--you have to replace it with law. As a culture becomes more secular, it requires law that is more complex and the culture becomes more litigious. At that point, right and wrong is not determined by law, but by judges and jurors. If a court finds you not guilty, you are not guilty. CASH replaces CONSCIENCE. The person with the most money wins.

Law without God means "I'm not guilty until I'm caught."

In China: The mountain is high and the Emperor is far away.

How many laws are there in a healthy marriage? Home? Company? Few.

1. Several weeks ago, President Obama appealed to the conscience of AIG employees who received big bonuses. He said, "You ought to give those back."

Based on what? Law? Nope. Fairness? Common decency? What is that based on? What makes something the 'right' thing to do if there is no law? He shamed them . . . the public sense of right and wrong that went beyond law.

2. Our national conscience was shaped by a sense of personal accountability to God--the God of the New and Old Testaments.

3. So much so that our current national motto is: "In God We Trust." [In 1956, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution to replace the existing motto with "In God We Trust." President Eisenhower signed the resolution into law on July 30, 1956.]

I. Accountability to God and God-talk has fallen and is falling out of favor.

A. We don't want to make people uncomfortable.

B. By eliminating God from our national conversation, we eliminate our ability to publically recognize the source of our prosperity.

C. If we can't give God the credit, we will take the credit.

II. Prosperity without gratitude makes us arrogant.

A. This is the number one complaint leveled against Americans by the rest of the world.

"Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?'" (Proverbs 30)


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