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Bible Search
The Times, They Are A-Changin' - Psalm 11
Singing the Songs of Zion
The Times, They Are A Changin’
Psalm 11
 
Back in October of 1963, a young hippie named Bob Dylan wrote and recorded a song called “The Times, They are a Changin’” that became the anthem for frustrated youth of the day.  In the liner notes of the album, Dylan wrote: "I wanted to write a big song, some kind of theme song, with short, concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. This is definitely a song with a purpose. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and who I wanted to say it to."  He wrote:
 
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'
 
Come writers and critics
Who prophesy with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
 
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'
 
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'
 
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'
 
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
 
Little did Dylan know how prophetic that song would be.  The anti-establishment feelings of people who would later be known as hippies began to express themselves in riots and sit-ins.  The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The drug culture was rapidly making an impact on the country.    
 
Less than a month after Dylan recorded the song, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The next night, Dylan opened a concert with "The Times They Are a-Changin'”.  He told biographer Anthony Scaduto, "I thought, 'Wow, how can I open with that song? I'll get rocks thrown at me.' But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there. I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding the song. And I couldn't understand why they were clapping, or why I wrote the song. I couldn't understand anything. For me, it was just insane."
 
There is no doubt that something had definitely gone haywire in the country and the times they certainly were a changing. What the country was experiencing was primarily the end product of the work of five 19th century thinkers. 
 
One of them was
 
Charles Darwin – Father of evolution
 
Born in 1809, Charles Darwin was the biologist who developed the notion of natural selection which gave birth to the theory of evolution.  His theory claims there is no supreme being who created all the living and placed the humans on top.
According to Darwin, what we observe in the natural order is nothing more than the survival of the fittest.
And with Darwin began the move to, not only kick God off his throne, but convince humans they are nothing more than a continually developing blob of tissue that has managed to survive the ages. 
 
Another major player in the process was
 
Karl Marx – religion is the opiate of the people
 
Marx was a political philosopher and economist who was born in 1818.  He co-authored The Communist Manifesto in 1948. He said his goal was to dethrone God and destroy capitalism. It was an open declaration of war on modern civilization. To clean out the rubbish of modern civilization, he proposed to:
 
1. Wipe out the right of private property.
 
2. Destroy religion, declaring it to be an opiate of the people.
 
3. Destroy the code of morality.
 
4. Destroy the family and set up a community of women.
 
5. Destroy the system of government.
 
6. Destroy the system of law.
 
7. Destroy the history books and rewrite it in terms of class struggle.
 
8. Destroy all art forms associated with modern life.
9. Wipe out the concept of civil rights.
 
10. Manage the people as a herd of animals.
 
Then there is
 
Friedrich Nietzsche – God is dead
 
Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844-1900). He was a German philosopher and psychologist and moral and religious nihilist. According to Webster, nihilism is the belief that traditional morals, ideas and beliefs, have no worth or value and a society's political and social institutions are so bad that they should be destroyed.  Furthermore, there is no such thing as objective truth and especially no moral truth.   
 
He declared “God is dead,” and considered Christian morality a myth. He said the strong were made to rule and the weak were made to be ruled. His writings were the focal point of a world famous criminal case in 1924 when Clarence Darrow used the teachings of Nietzsche to save two college students who had murdered a 14 year-old boy from the electric chair claiming they couldn’t help it because society had made them the way they were. 
 
Then along came a guy named
 
Sigmund Freud – If it feels good, do it
 
He was an Austrian neurologist, born in 1856.  At it’s core, his psycho babble set out to prove that most of the time people are not acting rationally because they are driven by sexual desires that manifest themselves in various ways. 
 
The idea that we can live with control over our desires is an illusion.  We have an unconsciousness that is leading us and influences us in ways we don’t even self understand. Therefore, we are not as clear and transparent as we think we are and we aren’t to be held responsible for our actions. His approach to life boils down to, “If it feels good, do it because repression will mess you up.”
 
Finally, there is
 
John Dewey – There are no moral absolutes
 
The only American born of the five, he entered the world in 1859 in Vermont.  He came to be one of the most influential figures in the American educational system believing the educational system, as well as society in general were in need of social reform. In fact, a “Review of General Psychology” survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century.
 
Responsible for the training of thousands of teachers at Columbia University, he became the father of what is known as Progressive Education.
 
Dewey and his associates said that the public school must replace the churches as the principal means of molding the thinking of the next generation. Students must be indoctrinated with a completely new value system. Old values must be denigrated.
 
Marxists in the American Civil Liberties Union initiated a series of cases to eliminate all religious related morality or religious symbolism from the schools. A majority of the United States Supreme Court sustained them in this purging process.
It was largely the work of Dewey that led to prayer and Bible reading being removed from schools. The Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule could not be exhibited on the walls of a school library.
 
Marxists in state departments of education imposed on the local schools an evaluation questionnaire specifically designed to prejudice the minds of students against traditional values. Federal funds were provided to subsidize counseling and value testing in the schools.
 
Here are some of the questions put to students in California:
 
  • Which is worse: spitting on the Bible or spitting on the American flag?
 
  • Which is worse: denying the existence of God or laughing while the Star Spangled Banner is being played?
 
  • How much money would you want to spit on a crucifix? Eat a pound of human flesh? Desecrate a church service?
 
Answer the following with a flat yes or no:
 
  • The world would be better off if science replaced religion as the guiding principle of men’s lives.
 
  • God answers prayers by actually intervening in people’s lives.
 
  • Christ was born of a virgin, as the New Testament teaches.
 
  • The world would be better off without religion because it is based on superstition.
 
  • There is no apparent eternal purpose for man’s existence in the universe.
 
  • Man has no soul or spirit. He is just a superior animal with nothing but a physical body.
 
  • Values are all relative. There are no absolute standards of right and wrong.
 
  • Religion is merely a crutch which insecure people rely on.
 
He was one of the original drafters of the Humanist Manifesto which introduced a new "religion", and referred to Humanism as a religious movement to transcend and replace previous religions based on allegations of supernatural revelation.
 
He was also a pragmatist which is the notion that meaning or worth is determined by practical consequences. If something works, it must be good.  If ti doesn’t it must be made.  At its core, it is a rejection of any moral absolutes.  What’s right for you may not be right for me. So his teaching basically removed God and replaced Him with human rationale. 
 
Now I mention those five only as representatives of a system of thought that has diligently and energetically worked to destroy the foundations of our great country.  And it is hard to estimate the damage that has been done.
 
Men like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were all deeply impacted by the work of Darwin and Nietzsche and Marx.  So powerful and massive and well-orchestrated is this movement, that it has been felt in the highest of offices. 
 
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, began his professional career teaching at several colleges, eventually becoming president of Princeton University.  Later he became governor of New Jersey, and in 1912 he was elected President of the United States.
 
It is interesting that in his campaign for President, Wilson said the Constitution was Darwinian in structure, and that all he would ask if he were elected, would be “to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle.”
 
We have built and were founded upon four primary pillars of support in America, the home, the church, the government and the school. 
 
Now when you study those five philosophies that I mentioned to you, whether you study them independent of one another or as a whole, it is easy to see the attack that has been waged on God’s plan for the home, the church, the government and the school.
 
In fact, in the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx wrote, "The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions." The three social institutions fit for overthrow are the family, the church and the state”
And the success, or better said, the failure of their ideologies are what we find hard at work in America today.  We are now told and many have come to believe, as Darwin taught, there is no design or intelligence involved in life as we know it.  We are simply a work in progress and only the strong survive. Evolution is taught as though it were fact while creation is ridiculed or even ignored.
 
With Marx and Nietsche, we now declare there is no God, therefore, there is no need for religion.  Religion is evil and to be blamed for all the social ills of the world.  It is best to declare God dead and take charge of our own futures.  If man will improve or have any hope, he must do it himself. 
 
We’ve come to believe that Freud was right.  We cannot control ourselves or our desires, particularly when it comes to sexual appetites.  Do whatever feels good and feel no remorse or guilt because there are no moral absolutes.  And we now follow the doctrine of Dewey believing that we are God, therefore each of us can decide what is right or wrong for ourselves and answer to no one for our behavior.  And we will intentionally usurp the authority of parents and teach their children the same.  After all, it takes a village to raise a child.   
 
People wonder how things came to change so rapidly in America.  They didn’t.  We are now seeing society embrace the teachings that have been chiseling away at the foundations of the home, the church, the government and educational system for well over a century. 
 
 
That explains why we are now endorsing radical departures from traditional Judeo-Christian values such as gay marriage and abortion and the use of public restrooms. 
 
We are living the end result of a century of teaching and influence that denies God and the authority of His Word, removes any moral absolutes, and elevates man to the place of deity.  So no doubt, Dylan had it right when he penned, “The Times, They are A Changin’”.    
 
Look at his lyrics.  They are an open challenge to the establishment.  He alludes to the preachers when he mentions those who prophecy. He calls for, by name, the fathers and mothers and congressmen and senators to either get out of the way or embrace the change that is coming.    
 
From Dylan’s point of view it is easy to see who’s at fault. It’s the old ways, the old ideas and if you can’t change and adapt and accept what’s coming, then you need to get out of the way because the times are a-changin’.
 
So what do we do?  David asked the same question centuries ago.  Let me direct your attention to Psalm 11. 
 
Psalm 11:1-7
 
We don’t know exactly when David wrote this psalm. Many writers connect it to the time when Saul chased David in the wilderness (1 Samuel 23:13-14), but we can't be sure.
We know the psalm comes at a desperate moment when his enemies seemed to be closing in on him and his friends encouraged him to run away.
 
But this psalm is best known for the question found in verse 3: “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
 
Now many will read this psalm and conclude there is nothing that can be done.  David writes from hopeless desperation to say there is p nothing the righteous can do.  But that is not at all what David says. In fact, just the opposite is true.
 
To best understand the Psalm, see it as a conversation between, either, David and a trusted adviser, or perhaps David speaking with himself.
 
In the opening verse, David states his trust in God and asks why anyone would advise him to run.
 
Verses 2-3 provides the answer:  Just look around.  Don’t you see what’s going on?  The very foundations of all that is right and moral are being destroyed. 
 
Then verses 4-7 are David’s response to this foolish advice that is given.  We don’t run.  We trust God, and we trust Him for these reasons.    
 
Let’s look at it a little more closely.  First of all, we must consider
 
1. Our Commitment
 
verse 1a
David begins with this very straightforward statement of faith, and we seem to pick it up in the middle of the conversation.  Someone has suggested that David run away and avoid these problems. 
 
He responds by saying, “I trust God”.  Why would you even suggest that I should run away or be afraid or worry about what is going on? 
 
And I would suggest that any answer to the question of what the righteous can or should do in light of what we see happening with our own foundations must begin there.  Let us unashamedly and confidently declare even as the times are changing that our trust is in the Lord. 
 
Then from that, flow three declarations that demonstrate our commitment to God.  First,
 
  • We Will Not Flee
 
Verse 1b
 
It is not wrong to flee persecution. Jesus told his disciples, “When they persecute you in one town, escape to another” (Matthew 10:23). The brave Christians in the Middle East who face beheading by ISIS are not wrong to flee.
 
But sometimes you can’t escape, and sometimes the Lord calls you to stand and face whatever comes. God’s people are not required to prove their faith by staying in one place when they could save their lives by fleeing to the countryside. There had been other times when David did flee.  He hid from Saul for years until the time came for him to become king.
 
But there are also times when we must not flee. Sometimes you have to stand and fight. This is one
of those moments.
 
When David’s friends encouraged him to flee the country, he replied, “I have taken refuge in the Lord.”  If God cannot protect him, then running to Egypt won’t keep him safe. I apply that same principle to the current moral crisis in America. I have no doubt that things will get worse in the near future.
 
Open hostility toward Christians will increase. Some will lose their jobs because of their convictions. Others will find their careers stymied because of the anti-Christian bias and hatred we see. Some will face huge fines, like Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers in Oregon who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, simply for standing up for their convictions. Some will end up in jail, like Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who refused to put her name on a gay marriage license.
 
Churches will face the loss of tax exemption. Increasingly believers will be marginalized and ridiculed. Christians who dare to speak out against the prevailing tide will be vilified on social media and in the news. Some will receive threatening phone calls. They will discover that other Christians don’t want to be around them.
 
We will no doubt be disappointed by church leaders who cave in to the gay marriage position. Suddenly they will discover biblical support for homosexuals  getting married that no other Bible scholar had ever  discovered in the previous 2000 years.
 
Their itching ears will lead them away from the Bible into the depths of moral compromise. Professing themselves to be wise, they will become fools.
 
All of this was foretold in the New Testament. Truly the “perilous times” of 2 Timothy 3 are upon us.
But sometimes you have to take a stand.
 
You may lose the battle.  You may be wounded.
You may not survive, but we must stand and fight for what we believe.  We leave the results in God’s hands.  This is no time to flee, and there is no place to go anyway.  In the Lord, I put my trust, therefore, I will not flee. 
 
Second,
 
  • We Will Not Fear
 
Verse 2
 
Now the friend makes a good argument.  Look around!  Don’t you see that the arrows are already pulled back, ready to be driven into your heart? And in David’s case, these were not metaphorical arrows. This was the real deal and when those arrows hit, they drew blood.
 
But we stand in the courage and strength of the Lord to declare His Word.  In response to the Supreme Court ruling regarding homosexual marriage, a group of evangelical leaders issued a statement called Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage. The statement begins with these words:
 
As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that redefines marriage. The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot.”
 
And I add my amen!  When the state issues a decree that opposes what God has said, we have no choice but to dissent publicly. And I don’t say that lightly or without knowledge of what that means.  I have no illusions about the battle we are in or the opposition we will face.
 
But truth is not a popularity contest. It is important for Americans to know that as God’s people we will not, we cannot surrender to the government or the courts the authority to redefine marriage or anything else that God’s Word addresses. 
 
And with David we say, “In the Lord, we put our trust, therefore we will not fear.  And third,
 
  • We Will Not Fret
 
Verse 3
 
The word translated “foundations” refers to the moral and spiritual underpinnings of society. He is talking about the very fabric that holds us together.  This is the support system for everything that is right and holy. 
 
So what are we to do when the foundations crumble?  Do we quit?  Do we despair?  Do we run away?  Do we sit around and complain about how bad things are and if only someone else was in charge? 
Do we hide in our churches and talk about the good old days?   
 
We need to give some thought to how we respond because these are real issues.  Christians in America now face things that no generation of Americans have ever faced. 
 
The foundations are being destroyed before our eyes. When you see the White House lit up in rainbow colors, you know we are seeing Romans 1 come true in our day.  When our schools are told by the president to allow boys and girls to share bathrooms and dressing rooms, you know somebody made the mistake in the voting booth of voting their party affiliation rather than their Christian convictions.
 
David says, “In the Lord I will put my trust.”
 
Our commitment must be we will not flee, we will not fear and we will not fret.  So how do we do that?  Think about
 
2. Our Confidence
 
Verses 4-7
 
Notice what David doesn’t say. He doesn’t call for the army to mount an offensive. He doesn’t say, “Let’s run for the hills.” He doesn’t raise money for a big political campaign. In modern terms, he doesn’t organize a social media blitz.
 
David says, “The Lord, in Whom I put my trust, is in His Holy temple.”
 
For David, and for us, it’s not about the what; it’s about the Who. To be sure, tactics matter. There is certainly a time to go to war to protect your nation.
It’s important that we vote our Biblical values and take every opportunity to stand for what is right.
 
But in times like these, we need God first and foremost. When the foundations are being hacked away, we’ve got to go back to the First Principles. That’s what David does in these verses.  So what are the righteous to do when the foundations are destroyed? 
 
First,
 
  • Rest in God’s Presence
 
Verse 4a
 
Now the significance of trusting the Lord will always be determined by the size of your God. If the foundations are being destroyed and you’ve decided to trust God, but you’ve got a small God, then you’ve got a big problem!  But if you’ve got a big God, you'll be okay even when the bad guys seem to be winning.  Understand:  it is not the foundations that support us anyway.  We are held in the hands of an unchanging God.
 
That’s what verse 4 is talking about.  Even when the foundations are destroyed, God is on His throne in heaven.  He is right where He needs to be.  He’s where He’s always been.  He’s where He shall forever be. 
 
 
This is David’s way of saying that God is everywhere. He is sovereign over the whole universe. I admit that it doesn’t always look that way. When you read the headlines, it can seem as if the whole world is spinning out of control.
 
We see the violence and hatred for America all over the world.  We are aware of the corruption and immorality within our country and it’s easy to conclude that God either is not on his throne or he doesn’t care what happens on the earth or perhaps there is no God at all.
 
But right at this point we see the fundamental difference between a believer and an unbeliever.
We believe there is a God who sits on the throne of the universe, a God who is absolutely sovereign, a God whose ways are far above our ways, a God to whom the whole human race must someday give an account.
 
Listen, God doesn’t pick the morning paper and check the headlines to see what’s going on.  He doesn’t depend upon Fox News or CNN to keep Him informed.  He’s not shocked by the spread of Islam in the world.  The Supreme Court’s decision regarding homosexual marriage came as no surprise to Him.  He saw the Planned Parenthood videos before they were ever recorded.
 
Listen:  Our God is never surprised, never asleep, never startled by evil, never shocked by natural disasters, and never astonished by Supreme Court decisions.  God is never surprised by anything that happens.
 
Look at verse 4 and just think about those first three words:  “The Lord is”.  It is no wonder that the like of Darwin and Dewey and Marx and Freud and Nietzsche have always started with a denial of God.  They are energized by Satan to do what he’s always wanted to do.  If he could just get rid of God or get God off the throne, then things could be run by him.  But “God is!”
 
Several years ago Dr. E. V. Hill preached a sermon at a Promise Keepers gathering in Chicago. In his own unforgettable style, he preached for 40 minutes on just two words: “God is.”
 
He said it over and over again. He whispered it and he shouted it. He illustrated it, declared it, proclaimed it, and dared anyone to deny it. You wouldn’t think you could preach that long on just two words, but he did.  And in reality, you could preach a lot longer when your topic is as profound as “God is.”
 
Here’s why those words are so important:  Once you get it settled in your heart that “God is,” a lot of other problems will be solved as well.
 
Do you know what the hardest verse in the Bible to believe is?  It is Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  
 
If you can believe that, you won’t have any trouble with the rest of the Bible.  But it is hugely important that the Bible begins with a declaration and not an argument or a question. In one verse, in ten simple words, the Bible simply declares that God is, He was around before anything else was and that he created everything.   
 
Maybe a good passage to keep in mind would be Isaiah 6.  It begins like this: 
 
 “In the year that King Uzziah died.”
 
That phrase is extremely important because Uzziah was one of the best kings Judah ever had. When he died, the nation was plunged into turmoil. A golden age in Israel’s history was drawing to a close. Would the people continue to walk with God or would they return to idolatry?
 
And it was during that very significant time when Isaiah came face to face with the living God.  He says it this way: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1).
 
It’s worth noting that Isaiah saw God in the same place David found Him here in our text.  Where was God when Isaiah encountered Him?
 
He wasn’t nervously pacing heaven wondering, “Who will I get to replace Uzziah?” At that very critical moment, when Isaiah might have been tempted to believe the foundations were being destroyed, God was where God always is, seated on his throne. 
 
Listen:  He’s got things under control!  He’s not nearly as upset about Trump being the candidate as the Republicans are!  He’s not nearly as anxious about the potential of Hillary winning as I am! 
 
I am here to declare to you, when the foundations are crumbling, you can rest in God’s presence. 
 
And you can  
 
  • Rely on God’s Judgment
 
Verses 4b-6
 
No one gets away with anything and these words of David remind us that there is a solemn and eternal difference between the righteous and the wicked.
 
That difference is sometimes easy to see in this life, sometimes not so easy. Suppose you go to a football game and look up in the stands. It’s easy to tell who is rooting for the Sooners and who is rooting for the Cowboys.  The fans let you know which side they are on.
 
But spiritual allegiance isn’t always easy to determine. Suppose you go to a cemetery and walk around. In that quiet, peaceful setting, saints and sinners rest side by side, six feet under the green grass. You can’t tell the righteous from the wicked simply by reading the gravestones. 
 
But God knows.  That’s the whole point of these verses.  His eyes behold.  His eyelids test the sons of men. 
 
God sees everything. He reads every heart, knows every thought, hears the words whispered in the darkness, and he knows us better than we know ourselves.  A day of judgment is coming for those who mock God and reject his Word.
 
In an image that reminds us of Sodom and Gomorrah, God promises to rain burning coals and sulfur on the wicked.
The scorching wind of judgment will wipe the smile off their faces.  We dare not water down these solemn words.  And when the foundations are being destroyed, we rest in God’s presence, we rely on God’s judgment and we are 
 
  • Relieved by God’s Deliverance
 
v. 7
 
The Lord stands up for those who stand up for him.
He takes the side of those who side with him.
David stands on the peak of faith and says, “Though the battle may be hot and we may be surrounded, God will win in the end.” This is the true position of those who believe God and his Word.
 
Listen:  These may be bad times, but they are the only times we are given. And I would remind you that hope is still a Christian virtue, and despair is still  a sin against God. 
 
No doubt, our leaders are spiritually corrupt and morally blind and we have no one fit to elect.  So does that mean I should despair?  Is God not still on His throne? If He is, then I have every reason to worship and rejoice that He is control for all eternity. 
 
Listen:  the most important thing I have to concern myself with is not what America will be like in a hundred years.  First of all, the good news is, I won’t be around a hundred years from now so what America is like 100 years from now will not concern me in the least. 
 
 
Secondly, I don’t have to worry about it because I serve a God who is eternal. He will still be on the job long after I go down to the grave. So I’ll just trust Him with the details. 
 
That’s David’s final answer to the many perplexing problems of this life. Those who know and love the Lord will see his face. We will behold the Lord in the most personal way possible.
 
So today we walk by faith.  We may stumble and struggle along through this life, but today is not the last day. Today is not all there is to it. 
 
There is a better day coming for the people of God when all will be made right. Between now and then we will have many days when the foundations seem to be crumbling around us and the wicked rise up and threaten us.
 
But I assure you, the wicked will not have the last word. Those who scoff at the Lord and his Word will be consumed with the fire of God’s judgment. So between now and then we move forward by faith, believing that our trials are sent by God to improve us, not to destroy us.   Take the long view because we’re in this for the long haul.
 
Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietsche, Sigmund Freud and John Dewy were not the only great thinkers of their day.  There was another, from France, a statesman, historian and social philosopher named Alexis de Tocqueville who traveled to America in the 1830s.
 
 
He came to discover the reasons for the incredible success of this new nation. He published his observations in his classic two-volume work called  Democracy in America. He was especially impressed by America's religious character. Here are some startling excerpts from de Tocqueville’s great work:
 
    “Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.
 
    In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
 
    Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United
States themselves look upon religious belief.
 
    I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion -- for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.
 
   
 
In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
 
    In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people...    Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent...
 
    I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.    
 
 Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.      
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
 
Make no mistake. The foundations are being destroyed right before our very eyes. Long-held moral values are being discarded for a new morality that is really no morality at all.  No doubt, the times they are a changin’.  But today is not the last day.
 
 
So what can the righteous do?  I have no political advice to offer even though I’m in favor of political action. Christians need to take their convictions with them into the voting booth. We ought to write letters, speak out, refuse to be intimidated, support good candidates and run for office ourselves.
 
I’ve never been in the “roll over and play dead” category.  We cannot retreat, and we will not run away.  We will not give in to fear.  When the foundations are being destroyed, we need a fresh view of God and a long view of history. The God who sees all things will judge the wicked and bring them down in the end, and the righteous will see God’s face.
 
So in the meantime, let us make a fresh commitment to unashamedly and steadfastly serve our God without fear.  With confidence, we can rest in His presence, rely on His judgment and expect His deliverance. After all, the time’s may be a changing, but He doesn’t.  Therefore, in the Lord, I put my trust. 
                 
Let’s pray.
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