Thirteen British Colonies declared their independence on July 4th, 1776 with a goal to form the United States of America. Despite the odds against our founding fathers, this rebellion lasted eight years until their quest for freedom became official on September 3rd, 1783 with the end of the Revolutionary War. Before public education was formed in the United States, local churches started schools and colleges to teach biblical values to the first generation of students in this new country. Unfortunately, it only took sixteen years for young people to turn their hearts and minds away from God. By 1799, Christians began to meet secretly on campus as their classmates held mock communions. This spiritual darkness set the stage for the first Great Awakening to spread throughout the East Coast via concerts of prayer and tent revival meetings.
Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go, Joshua 1:6-7.
As I fast forward to the present, today’s age of technology has transformed what Americans believe about current events, education, and social norms. Between big tech, cable news, newspapers, and the social media giants, a few elite individuals control the content of information distributed to American citizens. Thus, if any beliefs, convictions, and opinions posted or shared on the internet is deemed controversial in any manner, actions are immediately taken. While anyone can be get into trouble, the last four years have seen a growing number of Christians, Conservatives, and Republicans banned, censored, de-monetized and removed from social media sites. As this trend continues, banks, credit cards, and insurance companies have bowed to progressive demands to punish these offenders even more by refusing to do business with non-conformists. As I have sat back and watched what has happened since the 2020 Presidential Election, the first amendment is under attack without many Americans raising an eyebrow.
This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. 9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, Joshua 1:8-9.
Although Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the right of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction, recent court decisions provide a glimpse of what lies in wait for the future. America’s current tract reminds me of the 2005 film The Lost City. Andy Garcia stars as Fico Fellove, a wealthy Havana club owner in Cuba prior to the rise of Communism. When a new leader takes over his country, freedoms of wealthy Cubans began to vanish. Thus, Fico’s family is torn apart by the violent sociopolitical upheaval brought about by the transition from the dictatorial regime of Batista to the Marxist revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1950s. Viewer discretion is advised as this is one of the saddest true stories that I’ve ever seen. Nonetheless, I’m fearful that if leaders of the United States reject their spiritual heritage as it appears, the future of America is leaning toward a modern day Cuba. Yet, if God can send a Spiritual Awakening to America in 1800, another revival is possible to save freedom and faith for future Americans.
by Jay Mankus