Sunday, September 25, 2011
Be the People
It's time for WE the people to BE the people the founding fathers intended for us to be when they framed the Constitution. It is time for all of us to take action and stand up for the Christian values that our country was built upon. If we refuse to defend the moral standards that the 78% of Americans who claim to be Christians should be believing in if they are, in fact, Bible believers, then we should not be shocked when government, society, and media continue to veer away from conservative values. This is the message of Carol M. Swain's book Be the People, published by Thomas Nelson.
Dr. Swain states, “Cal Thomas, a Christian syndicated columnist, has written, 'Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed.' The moral decline continues because we haven't quite reached the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans who consider themselves Christians, yet know very little about Biblical teaching, the history of our nation, and its founding documents."
"All we need is for the majority of Americans to stand up and take responsibility for the condition of the nation. 2 Chronicles 7:14 makes the condition for national repentance and redemption quite clear. America needs its religious and political leaders to take responsibility for leading the people in a Godly direction, and the people need to take responsibility for fearing men more than they fear God.”
These are humbling words, because the truth is that many of us sit impotently by, commenting on how our country has gone to the dogs, or lamenting the loss of "the good old days," yet very few us us actually do anything to try to change the status quo. One of my favorite literary quotes is from Dante, "The hottest places in h*ll are reserved for those who in times of crisis remain neutral." With God, neutral, or lukewarm, is not a good thing. He wants us to want what He wants...and to do that we need to go back to His word and see what His plans are, and fit our plans into His plan, instead of trying to fit our limited vision of church and Christianity somewhere into the prevailing culture.
Dr. Swain also reminds us that "the futures of our children and grandchildren depend on the choices we make today." Will you stand up and walk forth to defend a Biblical vision for our country, or will you sit idly by, believing that Christians are a minority and it does no good to try to be heard because the voice of the liberal nation is so strong? Dr. Swain urges readers to stand up for traditional values and to defend their beliefs. She tackles tough topics in chapters on issues such as racism, immigration, divorce, abortion, moral decline, and homosexuality. She also includes appendices containing the full text of the four of the most important documents our country has at its disposal: The Ten Commandments, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.
You can hear Dr. Swain speak about her book by watching the clip below.
As a homeschooling parent who likes to use literature (vs. textbooks) to teach various subjects such as history and political science to my children, I believe that this book would make a solid addition to a high school level government course of studies. Not only are there "Action Points" at the end of each chapter, which makes it easy for readers to think more deeply and personally about what they have read, Carol Swain offers a free online study guide with even more thought-provoking discussion questions which also makes the book ideal for use in a study group or co-op class.
While this book is a pretty heavy read, especially if political science and government are not your strong points, it is not written in a way that will make it impossible for a beginning student of politics to understand. Since poly sci is not my forte, reading the entire book was a challenge for me, though I think I would have had an easier time getting through it if I'd had at least one person with whom to read and discuss it's important issues.
If considering the ramifications of failing to stand up for our Christian beliefs by becoming personally involved in the governmental process in ways both big and small is something you feel is important, you should consider reading this book. It will make you think, and I believe you will have a hard time ignoring the call to get involved once you have read the carefully considered, bluntly spoken, well-defended truths presented in Be the People.
Should you feel the need to become involved, Dr. Swain lays out suggested "Steps Toward Reclaiming America," such as being prepared to give an answer to any who question the truth of Biblical principles, reading and understanding our country's important documents, staying up to date with a variety of news sources (and questioning them carefully), consistently making your voice heard by voting, and contacting your representatives to share your opinions on key issues.
Dr. Swain concludes her book by saying, "Our love for God, our families, future generations--for all who will be required to give an account to God--demands that we take seriously our obligation to warn society of God's impending judgment on those who continue to pursue an ungodly course. Let us choose wisely the course we will follow." Strong words, but undeniably true.
You can find ordering information for Be the People at the publisher's site.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze for the purposes of writing this review on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review.