I recently received an email with this article which talks about atheistic China’s startling discovery regarding the prosperity of the West. The article reveals that Jiang Zemin, president of China from 1993 to 2003, was tempted to make Christianity the official religion of China. He pondered this because of twenty years of research from leading scholars in China. Here is their conclusion:

One of the things we [Chinese scholars] were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact the pre-eminence of the West [America] over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you [America] had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on the economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.

What I find most compelling about this research is that it confirms something John Adams, our second president and one of the prime architects of the Constitution said in a speech in 1798, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

While the motivating premise of each statement is different (economics vs. governing morality), there is a common thread in these statements made over 200 years apart. It is a universal moral foundation of social and cultural life, largely shaped by religion, that sustains the greatness of Western culture. The reason for this is because a shared moral foundation leads to voluntary submission to what is regarded as accepted social, cultural and economic practice, and without this voluntary submission, it is impossible to maintain any degree of freedom and self-government (for more about this interview with Richard Land by Marvin Olasky).

But there is a frightening trend emerging in America. While spirituality is widely accepted and cherished, the institution of religion, especially Christianity, has been increasingly marginalized, and to some degree, demonized. While the US has never been a “Christian” nation in the evangelical sense of the word, we have been a nation of Judeo-Christian values, which our Constitution reflects. However, the current cultural climate, while not currently completely hostile to these values, is at the very least antagonistic to historic Judeo-Christianity morality. The propoganda of our day is rapidly staging a coup designed to redefine sexuality, family and ethics. This “new” morality is a frontline assault on the next generation and has quickly eroded confidence in Christianity in particular in the West.

The problem with this erosion at the founding principles of our nation is that the “new” morality embraces far too much in regards to social and cultural life. The boundaries for morality are so broad that they feed unbridled passions (morality and religion) that cannot be adequately governed, and thus Western culture will soon implode and the triumphant shouts of self-expression and individualism will become the fading echo of our own demise. “freedoms”.

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