I’ve been watching some of the Republican National Convention this week. I noticed, not too surprisingly, most of the speakers in one way or another advocate the importance of values.
We’ve heard about values of honor. Honesty. Hard Work. Integrity. Truthfulness. Law and Order. Respect. And, of course, Republican values.
The futurist writer, Arnold Brown, wrote: “People are searching for absolute values and a sure grasp of right and wrong. They really want to return to eternal verities. They long for something permanent, a transcendent set of values.”
By definition, values are “the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group have an affective regard.” (New Random House Dictionary)
In America today, and even in the church, there has been a shift of values. There was a time when everyone believed that America was a “Christian nation” and should be governed by “divine values.” Today that is not the case. However, it is ironic that our law was rooted as John Adams put it, “in a common moral and religious tradition” that goes back to Moses and Mt. Sinai.
Every monument in our nation’s capital has a scripture etched in concrete or stone, our money says in “God we trust” and our Congress begins every day with a prayer, and yet we are not only failing to live up to those standards, as a nation we are rejecting them.
Something is wrong when we place more value on an animal than human life. It is unlawful to kill Eagles. In fact, the federal protection of eagles is not just limited to live birds, but extends to their eggs and nests. It is even unlawful to possess one feather from an eagle without a government permit! Yet, the unborn child can be sucked to pieces from his or her mother’s womb!
Several years ago the late Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of Great Britain, was in New York City and spoke at a banquet. She talked about many of the concerns in today’s world. She said, “Just a note about your moral decay. It should be no secret that you have such troubles. Your founders believed you should be one nation under God, and now so many of you are committed to eliminating God from your life.”
What’s The Answer?
Hyrum Smith says, “Whatever your particular governing values may be, they are represented by the clearest answers you can give to these questions: What are the highest priorities in my life? and Of these priorities which do I value the most?
For the Christian the answers to these two questions ought to be found in the answer to Jesus’ question in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
It has been said that “we live in an age that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” When we spend most of our time, talents and money on things pertaining to the material, we have little energy or incentive to focus on matters that are spiritual. W.R. Jones once wrote: “When our values come into proper focus we will attend to the matters of the soul.”
Do you treasure the spiritual over the material? Do you want to go to Heaven? Do you value your soul? Do you care about the eternal destiny of your family?
It is not enough to give lip service to “Christian values” we must live our lives and make decisions based upon what we claim to value most. I like the statement: “It is unlikely you will become the person you want to be, if the decisions you make conflict with your values.”
It’s time to wake up and realize it’s hypocritical to condemn our politicians, educators and entertainers for corrupting our society, when we fail in our families to “live soberly, righteously and godly.”
We need a return to values. Not Republican values. Or American values. But a return to Bible-based spiritual values.
Our values define who we are.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman