Monday, February 22, 2016

What’s the Big Idea?

In a previous column, I wrote how General Petraeus said there are four tasks he thinks strategic leaders have to perform:
- First, “Get the ‘Big Ideas’ right.”
- Second, “Effectively communicate the Big Ideas.”
- Third, “Oversee the implementation of the Big Ideas.”
- Fourth, “Capture best practices and lessons…to help refine the Big Ideas.”

I think there is an excellent example of getting the “Big Idea” right in our domestic political world right now, i.e., “Make America Great Again!”  It is an awesome slogan.  Sadly, there is one big problem with it, and that is that it’s true – we do need to make America great again. 

Before attempting to make America great again, it would be wise to understand what made America great in the first place.  Perhaps it’s the fact that we had a Godly start -- the key is contained in the founding document that set the course of our country.  Our Declaration declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”  No Creator, no America. 

The Founding Fathers wisely concluded that divinely inspired document, which declared our independence from an unjust king, by declaring our complete dependence on the King of Glory.  It closes with, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”  No Divinity, no America. 

How far we’ve fallen that so many fail to recognize, or acknowledge this “self-evident” truth. 
The Father of our Country prayed a prayer for our Nation’s future that laid out the required conditions for perpetual greatness.  “Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection…  Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.  Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.”  Although George didn’t get the memo on political correctness, he did recognize the source of greatness.

Our Founders were sober-minded that the liberty we might enjoy required that we could be self-governed.  President John Adams made this clear in a 1798 letter to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia:  “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

What made America great was a source of intrigue for the French historian and social philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville.  In May, 1831 he published a two-part work titled Democracy in America which has been described as, “the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.”  Among de Tocqueville’s notable findings: 

“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, to which I was unaccustomed.  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.” 

Our founding is unique in the respect that our founders believed that our rights came from the Author of Liberty.  As scripture records, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 

While I agree with the “Big Idea” to Make America Great Again, I’m not sure everyone agrees on the solution.  King David said it this way:  The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”


Anonymous said...

Sadly, the people in this country have turned their back on Him. There is no reverence, there is no fear of God, there is no understanding 'in all thy getting...'
We (not all of us, but as a nation) have forsaken the gift, the blessing; that this country was, to our oppressed forefathers. Blessed with bounty, abundant natural beauty, and potential - not only in resources but in character of its citizens; we have become worse than complacent, we have become an affront, an insult - to a Holy and Righteous Lord... to our peril.
To assume we will escape His wrath is the height of American arrogance.
But, because He is a loving God, He has given us a three step plan for restoration...
"If My people, who are called by My name... will:
1) humble themselves
2) pray and seek My face
3) and turn from their wicked ways
THEN... I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
That is the only hope for this country.
A gentle reminder from Grandpa... said...

I'm with you Grandpa! And your title underscores the absolute tragedy of it all - our offspring deserve better! To have squandered the blessings He has so lavishly bestowed on this nation is a crime. May God have mercy on us.