Disillusionment and distrust of the government has always existed among fringe groups, but in the 1930s, ‘40s, and most of the ‘50s, the majority of Americans trusted their government. Many still do.
But in the 1960s, things changed. It started in the late ‘50s, with new and daring music, pulling at teens who were already pulling away from parents. In the ‘60s, the Vietnam War was the breaking point. Draft-aged young men and their families had a notion that this war was somehow not right – nothing they could put their finger on, snippets from here and there we couldn’t quite put together; but the notion was spreading like wildfire. We now know the government lied to the American people for the sake of saving their own faces and for power.
The government had long been split over the issue of treatment of people of color. God says that He created us as equals. Our very Constitution states that we are equal. But too many in leadership worked to soften the edges, for fear of the people. Few stood up to do the right thing, fearing re-election time.
The disillusionment of authority and government wracked the youth. Who could they turn to, if all their authorities lied to them, could not be trusted?
This instability has grown and tilted. We question everything. No one can tell us what to do. Right and Wrong is in the eye of the beholder: the people do what is right in their own eyes. Daily we hear of yet another politician or celebrity or religious leader (or group) who has been lying to us all along, keeping secret sins.
“My God,” people say, “If we can’t trust the government, who can we trust? They control everything – they control our lives, in one form or another.”
The answer is in that very question: My God.
Sadly, many people think that what they see of God, what they sense in the people around them, is who God really is; the Catholic Church, who has been abusing children, and protecting themselves; the Bible-toting old auntie who scolds harshly for running in with muddy feet; the pastor daddy who beats them; the never-miss-a-Sunday momma who keeps her vodka in the locked cupboard. The list is endless, of course, because all of us, even the most devoted followers, are a sinful people.
No wonder we as a nation, a culture, a world, have turned away from whatever calls itself an authority. We learn we must make our own rules, follow what’s best for us, cut ties to anything perceived as unhealthy or not nurturing. We huddle together with like-minded friends until they, too, betray us.
In God we trust. In God we can trust. In God we must trust.
No one else can be a final authority. No one else has the power to determine the destiny of a person, a community, a nation, a world. No other entity is perfect, perfectly loving, and perfectly just.
It is God who allows or disallows a government. It is God who puts us in families, Who determines who our father and mother will be. It is God Who is the authority and Who establishes authority.
Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Matthew 22.21 Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
Titus 3.1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work
Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God
And it is God Who loves us.
Psalm 86.15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
And it is God Who provides a remnant. There is always a remnant. That’s us, you know – you and me, my friends. Let us be the ones to show others Who God is, what He wants for us all.
Joel 2.13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
2 Chronicles 7.14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.