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1-4-18: The Demise of Patriotism in America

Sam Rohrer: 

Well, all across America today, the arctic wind is howling, probably is where you are right now, ladies and gentlemen. The thermometer is falling, the snow’s blowing, earthquakes are literally shaking the ground in California and around Mount St. Helens. People are shivering, a snow cyclone is literally moving up the East Coast as we speak. We note and measure these types of events in many different ways, and the airwaves are filled with commentary about these things as really rightly they should, because they all affect the way we live. These things affect our comfort, and so we measure them. We put them into historical analysis, and we comment on them to find out if our times and our weather is in fact, changing, but let me turn that, ladies and gentlemen.

When’s the last time you considered or measured the aspect of patriotism? For instance, would you call yourself a patriot? Matter of fact, let’s go even deeper. How would you define patriotism or being a patriot, and how has the level of patriotism changed over the years in America? Frankly, does it make any difference? I submit it does, and I think it’s worth measuring, so today our theme will be “When Patriotism Dies”.

We’re going to talk with a favorite and returning guest here on Stand in the Gap Today, George Barna, who is the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute, which just released research results on this very important topic, and with that, I welcome you to Stand in the Gap Today. I’m Sam Rohrer with American Pastors Network and host of Stand in the Gap Today, and I’m going to be joined by cohost, Evangelist Dave Kistler, President of our North Carolina Pastors Network chapter and President of Hope to the Hill in Washington, D.C., as well as Dr. Gary Dull, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and Senior Pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona in Pennsylvania, and, of course, our special guest today, Dr. George Barna, formerly with Barna Research, now the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute.

With that, I want to officially welcome you, George, back to the program this beginning of 2018. We’ve missed having you on the last month or so, and we’re glad you’re back with us.

George Barna: 

Well, gentlemen, it’s great to be back with you. I missed you all, too, and looking forward to talking about things that matter.

Sam Rohrer: 

Well, George, this topic today and your last research I think is something worth talking about, and so we’re glad you’re with us. Your most recent survey, which is our theme for the day or the basis for it, focuses on patriotism, and without yet getting into the details of the findings, if I could put it this way, let’s set the table before we begin to eat the meal. Why were you directed to select the theme of patriotism, George, as a focus for your nationwide research?

George Barna:

Well, we were working with a group doing something called the Ear to the Ground project, and the idea was to try to understand what’s going on in our culture. As you know, that’s what the American Culture and Faith Institute does. We study what’s going on in the culture so that positive transformation, bringing America back to Christ can actually occur. As we looked at all the resistance to and the disrespect toward Donald Trump, as we look at many leaders in the left, saying that they wanted to do things like literally take down America, as we looked at the confusion among many people that I was seeing in the surveys that led up to these regarding what they believe, what America is, what it means to be a citizen.

As we saw personally, I mean I saw so few people doing something that I expected to see in 2017, which was people wearing maybe Make America Great Again hats or pro America type shirts, didn’t see a whole lot of that. It began to raise questions in my mind about what’s really going on here, “What does it mean to love America, to be a patriot?” and so we did these two surveys related to that topic.

Dave Kistler:

George, it is a delight to have you back on the program. I want to echo Sam has said, and years ago a gentleman, who is a retired lieutenant general, said this to me, he said, “Dave, you were a patriot before patriotism was cool.” I took that as a real compliment, and I love what you’ve done with this survey, but you entitled it Patriotism Looks Different to Christians. I’m curious as to why you chose that particular title.

George Barna:  

Well, Dave, as you know, I mean when we do these surveys, we have all kinds of background information from the people that we’ve interviewed. We ask them about their demographics, their faith, their family, all kinds of other things, so we can see what kinds of relationships there are between their personal background and choices and some of their beliefs or lifestyle choices. In this case, as we looked at all those different correlations of segmentation analysis, if you will, what we found was that one of the strongest correlations, and in some cases, the strongest correlations we were finding, were between faith and people’s views and behaviors related to patriotism. That became a very important thing for us to focus on is to try to figure out, “All right. Does it matter if a person is a Christian? Does that seem to have a positive or negative effect on how they feel about and act towards America? What about people who don’t buy into Christianity? Does that affect the way that they think about, react to America?” Consistently, we found that yes, it does make a big difference.

Sam Rohrer:  

Well, George, that leads me now into the next statement or question here as we continue to set the table before we begin to dine here really in the next segments. If you look back over the survey research that you’ve done here, and you were to identify the one most encouraging or perhaps maybe the one most alarming, or one on either side, depending, to the Christian listener, the conservative listener who’s probably listening to our program today across the country, what would be that one perhaps most encouraging and that one perhaps most alarming finding that came out of this research?

George Barna:  

Well, I’ll tell you one of the things that certainly was most alarming to me was the fact that when we asked people if they considered themselves to be culture warriors, we found that born-again Christians, not people who call themselves that, but people who say that they believe that when they die, they’re going to go to Heaven, but only because they’ve confessed their sins, accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, that they can’t earn their way into Heaven. It’s only because the gift of Christ dying on the cross for them that they can believe that they’re going to Heaven. Well, we found that the born-again Christians in America are less than half as likely as non-Christians across America, and realize that born-again Christians, right off the bat, are outnumbered by more than three to one.

Yet, when we asked, “Who are the culture warriors?” we found even then that non-Christians were more than twice as likely as born-again Christians to say that they’re going to fight for the kind of culture they want. To me, that’s a very scary awakening about what we can expect in the future. This culture war that we’ve been waging for years and years, what we see is that there’s momentum growing on the side of those who want to completely reform America and not along Biblical or Christian lines. They want to take it to a whole different place, and we don’t see the born-again constituency at this point willing to stand up.

Sam Rohrer:

If someone were to ask me if I was a patriot or if I was patriotic, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to say, “Absolutely. Yes.” Now if I were to ask you, ladies and gentlemen, who are listening today to this broadcast, if I were to ask you right now if you would describe yourself as patriotic, and I were to ask you to raise your hand right this moment, I would most likely see a sea of hands go up all around the nation, but if I ask you several more questions about what it means to be patriotic, I would probably see hands begin to fall, because according to the latest research by George Barna and the American Culture and Faith Institute, there is probably more disagreement perhaps than agreement on what being patriotic actually means.

As we measure the temperature, the snowfall, and the wind speed, so it’s a very good idea to measure the level of patriotism in America, and what it means to be a patriot, and with that, I’m going to welcome back here again now, George Barna, and George, let me get back into it with you, into some of the details of your research. In simple terms, according to your findings, is patriotism in America growing at a healthy level, or is it anemic and dying?

George Barna:    

Well, Sam, as you know, I mean there’s a lot of different ways to measure that type of thing. In the survey, we found a lot of evidence or almost any point you wanted to argue, but by and large, I think it’s important to recognize that about four out of 10 people in America do not even consider themselves to be patriotic. Usually, we over estimate who we are and what we represent, but in this case, we find that people really aren’t sure what patriotism means. We find that they’re not necessarily willing to embrace that label. We found that less than half of Americans say that they’re completely behind the idea of being proud to be an American, and when we asked them, “Well, what’s going on in terms of patriotism? Is it growing? Is it declining?” we found that most people said that it was declining. About half of Americans said it was declining, only about one out of every eight people, just 13% said they felt that patriotism was rising and growing stronger, and about one out of four said they felt it was stable.

When you look at all of this, of course, when people are talking about what they think other people say, they’re really again reflecting typically what they believed, because we see things through a distorted lens often, and so we’re in a situation where, by and large, I think it’s pretty safe to say patriotism as we’ve traditionally thought of it, defined it, historically as it’s been described, that’s on the decline.

Gary Dull:  

I think this is something that should concern us, particularly as Christians when we see a decline in patriotism, and as we are talking about this, and as I’ve read your survey, George, I just can’t help but ask the question: What got us to this point? To get directly to your survey, you make a statement in there, and I will quote. It says, “Most American adults have lukewarm or ambiguous views regarding their commitments to their country and its governance. Slightly less than half completely embrace the idea that they feel proud to be an American.” Now, again, that concerns me greatly, but my question to you, George, is: Who are these American adults who have such a low view of patriotism in our country today?

George Barna:  

Well, in a survey like this, where we’re trying to represent all people across the country, get a representative sampling of them, what we find is that it really is a cross section of Americans. There’s no one particular group that stands out as anti-American if you’re speaking demographically. Now, if we’re speaking ideologically, what we would find is that the people who have a very, very different idea about what America should be, two primary groups. One would be what you might call liberals, and that’s how they would describe themselves, and we give people various scales on four different elements of ideology, and so overall, when we look at liberals and also people who are not of the Christian faith. Now, those could be people who are aligned with a faith group, but it’s not Christianity, or it could be people who would be part of the skeptics, the atheists, the agnostics, the nons, all of those people.

The other side of that coin if we wanted to look at, well, who are the people who are most likely to hold fast to a traditional view of patriotism, and are most willing to invest themselves in it, we find that it tends to be born-again Christians, it tends to be people who are 50 or older, and people who are white, people who live in the Midwest and the South. I mean we found much stronger correlations with those groups, oh, and excuse me, ideological conservatives, also, very much so. Those were the groups that hold to that kind of traditional view of patriotism.

Sam Rohrer:   

Well, George, what you’re saying about this research is really, I mean it’s staggering. I’ve been taking some notes as you’ve been answering the question here, and I’m sure our listeners are, too. From your perspective, you, like us here at Stand in the Gap Today and the American Pastors Network, are very concerned about the culture. We’ve started this program, and we’re using a phrase now that we’re trying to transform the culture one heart at a time, because ultimately, we believe that that’s how it happens, but you’re obviously talking about the culture as well, because you’re talking about the American Culture and Faith Institute, so this linkages of these things we’re talking about is clearly there.

The implications of this demise of patriotism, the implications of this anemic fear, of either the fear, you could put it that way, of people wanting to be called cultural warriors that you talked about. It’s an incredible thing when you think about it. From your perspective, share with us what you perceive to be some of the greatest implications to the future of our nation that results from this sick and anemic patriotic spirit that you’re basically finding as a result of this research.

George Barna:

Yeah, Sam, I go back to over the holiday season. I had the opportunity to teach at a church, and one of the things I was talking about was Proverbs 29:18, which in part says without a revelation from God, the people run wild. As I look at the information in this survey, it strikes me as a similar kind of thing where people have lost their sense of a deeper connection with God and with His values, His principles, His way of understanding and living life, and so without that kind of a personal stake in His truth and how it relates to how we live, and in this country, we lose that sense of duty to America, that sense of obligation to truth and righteousness. What’s happening when we look at the country, perhaps through a vehicle like these surveys, we see that our citizens are running wild. We’re doing what we think is right on our own minds. We’re making choices that are not in the best interest of the nation, and so what’s happening is we’re abandoning the principles that made America a great and unique and enduring nation.

It raises the question of: Are we going to be able to remain a great nation, a unique nation, an enduring nation if we continue down the path that literally tens of millions of Americans want to pursue? The answer, I’m certain, is no, and that’s why we need this moral and spiritual revolution in America, this transformational process that through one life at a time, being transformed, and grasping truth, we’ll be able to actually understand and appreciate and defend the freedoms and the ways of life that we enjoy uniquely so in American, but that are rapidly going out the window, because we’re doing things that tend to be more narcissistic and selfish and, frankly, ignorant.

Yeah, I mean I think there are enormous implications from something as simple as looking at do you consider yourself to be a patriot. I mean we had 90 questions about patriotism in these surveys, so I mean we looked at it from a lot of different angles, and I think there’s a lot of reason for us to say we’ve got to get back to basics and understanding what does it mean to be an American, how can we do that, how can we really love and appreciate and defend this country.

Dave Kistler:  

George, let me ask quickly before we run out of time in this segment. Did you see any kind of trends based on age? For example, millennials views of patriotism versus baby boomers or generation Xers? Did your survey reveal any kind of interesting information there?

George Barna:

Yeah, consistently what we were finding, Dave, was that the older a person was, the more likely they were to have traditional views about America, traditional views about government, traditional views about lifestyles, and so as we looked at baby busters or Gen X, we looked at millennials, Gen Y, whatever you want to call these groups, the younger people, the people under the age of 40 in particular, seemed to be most anxious to redefine America, to redefine patriotism, to redefine their role in what their nation becomes, and particularly to redefine the role of government. We found the younger a person was, the bigger the role they wanted to give to government. They wanted to see more kinds of entitlement programs, more kinds of government authority to make decisions over their life.

In fact, we find that across America right now, about 38% of Americans, we track this every month, and it’s been pretty consistent over the past year, that about 38% of Americans are saying that they prefer socialism to capitalism. Now, you don’t find that with the 65 or older crowd, you don’t find it with the 50 to 64 crowd, but you consistently find even higher numbers than that, in fact, the majority among the millennials with the young people, so that again is indicative of the kind of change some people want.

Sam Rohrer:

The theme for the day’s program, ladies and gentlemen, is When Patriotism Dies, and you heard George Barna just say very clearly you can describe our nation in that citizens are running wild, doing what is right in their own eyes. Frankly, that’s very Biblical.

Let me go back now here as we connect and put together the link between patriotism and the Bible, were a lot of references to that. When it comes to patriotism, loving one’s country, trusting one’s leaders, honoring one’s flags, and then living as responsible citizens who think in terms of what government, not of what government owes them, but what they can do for their country and their fellow man. Historically, our citizens have stepped up to the plate and have demonstrated great patriotism, yet, now, according to the latest research we’re finding from American Culture and Faith Institute, that patriotism is in America, in my words, anemic and very sick, and if not changed soon, may die, and with it, the America that you and I have known.

We can’t determine solutions until we determine the cause. How’d we get here. To discuss some of these causes with us today, I want to invite back in George Barna, formerly of Barna Research Group, to help us in this analysis of the research he just completed, so, George, let me come back to you right now. As I look over your research findings, I do find an undeniable link between patriotism and Christianity, between the concepts of patriotism and the Bible. Now, that doesn’t surprise me in the least, but your research is compelling on this linkage. Could you expound on this, please?

George Barna:  

Yeah, I mean there’s a lot we could say on that, Sam, but I mean certainly one of the ways of looking at that is that as we looked at all the data that we got back, and then we look at what the scriptures teach us. I mean clearly there are things to be learned about concepts such as loyalty and commitment and responsibility, obedience, the consequences of one’s actions, things like duty, sacrifice, truth, righteousness, community, respect. Those are all core principles of the Christian faith that were brought into the development of America, and they form part of the foundation of what made this country so unique and gave it that persevering quality that it’s had.

As we are in a nation now where people are spending less time reading the Bible, they are less connected to a place of faith, we’re finding that we’re losing a lot of the understanding of those concepts that the Bible consistently taught us about, and therefore, we’re losing that patriotic understanding at the same time. It’s one of those things where I look in the data, and I see: What is very meaningful to you? I mean that’s one of the questions that we ask people. How meaningful are each of these following things to you? We asked about things like freedom of religion, the Bible, citizenship, the American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem. We found that when we compared for instance, born-again Christians to skeptics, there were differences between those groups of as much as 75 percentage points. That’s huge.

You have to understand that in America today, what we see happening is that our country is moving more in line with the skeptics than it is with the born-again Christians. That’s the direction the country is gravitating toward, so this is a wake-up moment, I hope, for all of us who are believers, who can look at our churches, look at our families, look at our personal relationships with other people, and recognize that we need to be strong in our understanding of the Scriptures, so that we can take it into those elements of life where we have that influence, and we can bring about positive change.

Sam Rohrer:  

Wait, George, I want to come back and ask you another question follow up, and then I want to go to Dave for his perspective as an Evangelist traveling the country, what he’s seeing, but offline, we were just discussing a little bit here about this aspect, and I have perceived, and you can tell me whether or not you found this in your survey or not, but I have talked to many, particularly more younger individuals, who actually feel guilty or feel that they cannot, as if it’s almost a sin to be patriotic, because if they say, “We’re patriotic, and we say, “America is great,” that we are somehow violating some kind of an understanding that we’re a part of the Kingdom of God, we’ve got to be concerned about Heaven, and it’s almost a sin to be patriotic or love the country in which you live.” It’s very subtle, but I think it’s very strong. Did you find any of that kind of a mentality coming up in your survey?

George Barna:  

Well, yeah, and frankly in my analytic process here, it comes back to this whole notion of tribes. Every person in America belongs to various tribes, and we take cues from those tribes, we try to be seen in a positive light within those tribes, and frankly with young people, their generation is one of the stronger tribal relationships that they have, and one of the things that we find with the younger generations is that it is unpopular to talk about being pro-American. It’s unpopular to talk about being a patriot. That’s seen as being unsympathetic to what the tribe stands for, what the tribe hopes to achieve during its tenure of leadership within America, so, yes, there is that kind of sense of guilt I think is what you said about being patriotic, and it’s one of the things that we need to be able to address. It’s not being addressed right now.

Sam Rohrer:

Dave, let me go to you now. You’re an Evangelist. You travel the country in churches all over. I want to come to you. You obviously described yourself as somebody saying you were patriotic before it was a word. I think all of us on this program would say we’re very patriotic. You are a patriot. You travel the country. You preach the Word. What are you finding as you traverse a large number of churches, and what connection are you seeing between a patriotic congregation as an example, and the level of involvement that the pastor has? Connect some of these dots as you’re seeing it, Dave.

Dave Kistler:  

Well, Sam, a great question. What I’m seeing is this. The pastors that are willing to address issues like this from the pulpit, their congregation, we shouldn’t be surprised by it, is a very patriotic congregation. Again, I am in good churches, and I’m thankful for that, but what I have seen over the last 18 months to 24 months, certainly leading up into the November elections of 2016 was a re-emphasis on this, a refocusing on this.

My personal opinion would be that the election of Donald Trump is directly tied to those people who heard their pastor address the fact that God is the author of the home, God is the author of the Church, He is also the author of this thing called civil government, and if God expects us to be involved in our homes, and He certainly does, He expects us to be involved in our churches, which He surely does, then He expects us to be equally engaged in that third institution that is His idea called civil government. The more addressing of that that there is from the pulpit, the more patriotic by very nature the congregation of that church is going to be.

Sam Rohrer:  

Well, Dave, what you’re talking about is a Biblical worldview, which we talk a lot about, which, George, you talk a lot about. Let me come back to you now, George, if I could on this. We talk about these things in details for a long time, we’ve also talked about previous research that you’ve done that indicates a very sick and lethargic church in American. Matter of fact, one article, not yours, but another kind of research piece that have before me, a separate study, says that the sick church in America is really the result of poorly formed Christians. I think that’s kind of interesting. I tend to agree with that assessment, but I’d like for you to answer the question, which is the theme of this segment, the linkage between patriotism and the Bible, or put on the other side, the linkage between an anemic patriotism and a sick church. Connect some of those if you can, George, please.

George Barna:

Yeah, you know it does all come back to this issue of worldview, because when people have a view of America or a view of patriotism or a view of personal responsibility, those views are based upon their worldview. Everybody has a worldview, but as we’ve talked about previously on this program, currently only about one out of every 10 adults in America has a Biblical worldview. When we talk about concepts like truth and responsibility and respect for authority, obedience to the law, commitment, community, all of those things we learn about from the Scriptures, and the teach us to think and therefore to behave in a particular way.

When you have a nation of people who are only being taught about that by the media and by the public schools, then you have a nation that’s in trouble, because when we look at the ideology behind what the media in America and the schools are pushing, it’s very, very different from a Biblical point of view, and that’s what gives us the problems that we have in America today.

Sam Rohrer: 

Anemic patriotism, lack of trust in leadership, be it in civil government or in the church, a lethargy towards one’s nation and one’s flag, or respect and honor, and the result in commitment to defend one’s nation and freedom are all wrapped up together. It’s also clear that one’s view of God, the Bible, Christianity, a Biblical worldview, is inextricably linked in many ways, therefore, you could say that a sick church, weak Christians, will contribute to an unpatriotic and purposeless citizenry, and I want to go as far as saying that, in my opinion, a people who don’t know where they came from, or who they are, or knowing God’s purpose and plan for the nations, stand in dire jeopardy of losing all that they cling to for comfort and security.

I believe our circumstances in this country to be dire. In our nation today, very serious, as this current research we’ve been talking about today confirms, so as we often do in this fourth seg, we’re going to try to go to some solutions now, and, George, I want to come back to you in response to this, one of the responsibilities I know that you incur with producing sobering credible research such as we’re talking about today, is that to some degree, you also have some responsibility to come up with some solutions or at least point the way to a re-calibration of the circumstance that you’re researching. I’d like for you to identify for us in this last segment here, a couple of significant questions here at the end, but I’m going to ask you four quick questions that will tend to summarize somewhat what we’ve talked about today, and if you could, just give us brief answers as you could to them.

If I could, let me just go over the first question here. In your opinion, is patriotism or being a patriotic American critical for the future of a free America and our constitutional republic?

George Barna:  

Yeah, I think it’s easy to argue that we’re close to the precipice of losing many of those freedoms. I think over the past year, we’ve come back to the precipice a little bit, but, yes, absolutely that is the case. It’s critical.

Sam Rohrer:    

Okay. Let me ask you a second question, then. Is there a clear connection between one’s level of Biblical understanding and one’s level of patriotism?

George Barna:

Yeah, to me, that was one of the benefits of doing this research is that now we have quantified evidence of the fact that there’s a strong correlation between what a person believes personally, and what they believe not only politically, but even about patriotism. Yeah.

Sam Rohrer:  

Okay. Third question. Then is being a good Christian foundational for being a good patriot and for the continuance of our constitutional republic?

George Barna:

Again, I think the answer would have to be yes, there’s certainly an abundance of historical evidence of that. The Founding Fathers of the country relied upon it, so, yeah, it’s not to say that you can’t be a good citizen if you’re not a Christian, but the evidence certainly points toward Christians having a clearer understanding and pathway toward being good citizens of a nation that was designed like America.

Sam Rohrer: 

Okay. Then, the last question here, just kind of a summary question. Is there then a direct connection between silent pulpit and a lethargic church and therefore, anemic patriotism in a divided nation?

George Barna:

Yeah, I believe that there is. What we’ve come to know is that when you look at the entities that influence our culture, the church has the opportunity to be one of those, but to a large extent, that kind of silence on these types of issues has rendered it to be virtually impotent in that cultural development discussion. I think we’d be better off we had churches that were willing to speak up about these core Biblical principles. It’s our job as a community of believers to really be addressing those things, and to be relating them in very pragmatic ways to the nation that we live in and our responsibilities to it.

Gary Dull:   

George, as we sort of wrap this up, how long has this demise in patriotism been before us, and can we tie that into the Obama Administration and some of the principles that has come out from that period of time in the nation? If you could answer that briefly, then could you identify the most practical solutions to healing this current anemic patriotism that we’re facing in America today?

George Barna:

Wow, and you want me to do this in like two minutes, right?

Gary Dull:      

Less.

George Barna: 

Thanks for that generosity.

Gary Dull:       

Yes, sir.

George Barna:

Yeah, I mean this is a process that’s been going on obviously for years. I mean in the 1960s, you had Lyndon Johnson who was President, you had cultural Marxism rising in our universities, you had school unions embracing a lot of these things, socialism and the kind of flirtation that we’ve had with that has been rising for the last 50 years. Yeah, I think that’s all been in place, and did the Obama Administration advance that? Obviously. When you look at the agenda of their accomplishments, they are not the kinds of things that advanced anything other than a socialist agenda in this country.

Now, your other question about some of the practical solutions to dealing with that. I’d say that certainly parents have to be teaching their kids what it means to be a patriot and certainly going back to the Scriptures to do that is a great way to start. Holding our schools accountable for what they’re teaching about America, about American history, whether or not they’re teaching and using the Pledge of Allegiance, whether or not the kids get to sing the National Anthem.

I think looking at how we’re getting our news, where we’re getting it from, we’ve got to change those sources, because we’re being hit left and right, day after day, hour after hour, by our primary news sources in ways that are un-American. I think ultimately, as individuals, we need to be examples of good citizenship, of the patriotism, and we need to be exhorting our churches to be teaching us what we need to know in order to understand the concepts that underlie what great patriotism is.

Dave Kistler:  

George, you did a stellar job answering a couple of very difficult questions in a short amount of time. I’m going to ask you just one. In your opinion, what is the solution, the one key answer to healing the current sick and lethargic church in America?

George Barna:

Well, I think pastors have to if they’re going to take a position of leadership, then they’ve got to lead, and part of that leadership capacity means that they are going to speak out about truth and what that intern implies is that they are going to consistently be teaching their people how to think Biblically about all the issues of the day, about their personal responsibility in light of those issues, and they are going to develop a community of believers who are mutually accountable for being great patriots, for being great Christians, not in that order, but for really knowing the Scriptures and being able to apply them consistently in their own lives, and for celebrating the successes in doing that, because there are no other places that are likely to celebrate those successes.

I think we’re really talking about shifting the mindset of a typical church to be one who sees its business as being about the things of the Lord, by teaching people to think like Him so that they can behave like Him.

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