E Pluribus Unum

by Charles E. Bryce

World renowned religious leader and friend of U.S. presidents, Mr. Billy Graham, wrote these words for the Wall Street Journal, page B3, dated October 18, 2012:

The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

Millions of voters heeded Mr. Graham’s well–written and timely message and voted in line with his positions during the presidential election of 2012. On the other hand, millions of voters voted against those positions. This is only one of many indications which underscore that we are living in an America that is divided—perhaps more so than at any time in our history, since the Civil War of 1861–65. But what happened to e pluribus unum?

This motto was selected for the Great Seal of the United States of America in 1782, and still appears on American coins today. It is a Latin phrase having to do with unity, meaning “from many, one”, or “out of many, one.” In other words, America is a nation that is populated by many different nationalities that form into one nation, intended to be indivisible and united.

President Abraham Lincoln had to deal with this same problem of a nation divided when he issued this proclamation in 1863:

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven....But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self–sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us:

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness:

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views, of the Senate, I do by this my proclamation designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863 as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer...

All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

Can you imagine what would happen if the President issued a proclamation such as this, calling for a “day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer”, for our day and time? Surely it would be met with ridicule and disdain, or ignored altogether by nearly everyone. Perhaps a relatively small number of citizens would heed and act on this request.

The divisions in our beloved country run deep and wide, and they are on the increase. Starting at the top in Washington, D.C., the political splits and acrimony are so rampant and strong that gridlock has set in on a daily basis. Paralysis has virtually stalled all branches of the government, leading to the people’s business being neglected and shut down. I have lived during the terms in office of thirteen presidents, starting with Franklin Roosevelt. I have never seen national divisions as bitter as today.

These fractures in our nation are evident across such issues as gun control, abortion, health care, the budget, education, the institution of marriage, immigration and on and on. These schisms take place at the local level of every day life, then regionally, state–wide and on up to the national level. Racism, special interest groups, religion, home life and families are all points of contention and hostility in the steady march toward the total obliteration of our way of life, known as the American dream.

This is not the first time the world’s foremost superpower has gone into decline, then a free–fall—followed by complete collapse. It happened to the Roman Empire of old, and for essentially the same reasons that it is happening to the United States of America today. This was something deemed impossible then. The Roman Empire was simply too big and powerful to ever fall and be conquered. But the impossible took place. This mighty giant on the world scene at that time, fell in 476 A.D. It was invaded and conquered.

Many experts deem it impossible for such a fall to ever happen to America and her allies today, but the truth shows otherwise. The United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the rest of the western world are headed for the same fate suffered by the Roman Empire, and basically for the same reasons—internal crumbling of the infrastructure of values and standards which led to greatness in the first place! (You can find out, in detail, about the cause and effect principle of our decline and fall by requesting our CD series on “The Modern Romans”, which will be sent to you free and without obligation.)

No lesser authority than Jesus Christ, Himself, made plain why this fall of the modern western world is going to happen if national repentance and a change of course to the right direction does not take place and quickly! Notice what He said in Matthew 12:25: “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”

In fact, we may have already passed the point of no return. And as we pick up speed toward the precipice and reach the tipping point of critical mass, the inevitable will take place—implosion from within and destruction from without. Don’t allow yourself to be blinded to the facts about where our beloved nation and her allies are headed right now, today! It has become a critical situation for all of us.

However, God has provided a way out for those who will heed and take action in their own personal lives. Please read what Christ said in Luke 21:34–36: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

“Take heed,” He says. Watch and be ready spiritually, and don’t get caught carelessly drifting and letting your guard down. All of us need to live our lives just as Joshua said he and his family were going to live theirs: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Don’t put this off. Now is the time to seek God and walk with Him, navigating through this ever growing chaotic and disintegrating society around us today. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Be prepared! Be ready and be worthy to escape and to stand before the Son of Man!

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