Does the Bible Matter In the 21st Century?
By Vishal Mangalwadi, Published April 13, 2011,
Afghanistan, Iraq, Ivory Coast, and Libya ought to teach secular ideologues that freedom does not flow from the barrel of a gun. Nor does it flourish in every culture.
Why do most American presidents place a hand on the Bible to take the oath of office? Secular education has made that a meaningless tradition, but the tradition exists because the Bible is the secret of America’s freedom. Forget the Bible and America will go the way of the first Protestant nation – Nazi Germany.
Plato saw Greek democracy first hand and condemned it as the worst of all political systems. That’s why the spread of the Greek culture, called "Hellenization," did not stir a struggle for democracy. In AD 798, the English scholar Alcuin summed up the then European wisdom to Emperor Charlemagne: “And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.” Indeed, the voice of a corrupt people is often the devil’s voice.
The cancer at the heart of America’s political economy is cultural. This great nation was built by an ethic – a spirituality that taught citizens to work, earn, save, invest, and use their wealth to serve their neighbors. This biblical ethic has been replaced by secularism’s entitlement culture that teaches people that they have a right to this, that and the other without corresponding obligations to work, save, and serve. This new culture forces the state to take from productive citizens or borrow from other nations and spend it on man-made rights. This corruption of character is destroying the world’s greatest economy, but can democracy allow leaders to go against the voters’ voice?
The people’s voice began to be honored as God’s voice only because the sixteenth century biblical Reformation began saturating the hearts and minds of the people with the Word of God. Those who prayed, “Your kingdom come, your will be done in Scotland (or England, or Holland)” found the grace to free themselves from the tyranny of men. Not just Islamic, but every culture that rejects the kingdom of God condemns itself to be ruled exclusively by sinful men.
Almost everyone desires a happy marriage, but without the Bible, America cannot even define, let alone sustain marriage as one man–one woman, exclusive, and life-long relationship. The West became great because biblical monogamy harnessed sexual energy to build strong families, women, children, and men.
Human history knows no force other than the Bible that has the capacity to dam sexual energy to build powerful families and nations. Indeed, no non-biblical culture has ever been able to require husbands to “love your wives” and give them the spiritual resources to do so.
Vishal Mangalwadi is the author of "The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization." (Thomas Nelson)