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.”
Kentucky became the 15th state of the Union on June 1, 1792. A little over six months later, on Dec. 20, 1792, the first Kentucky General Assembly adopted the official seal of the Commonwealth, including the state motto, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”
Those words, however, did not become the state motto until 1918. The founding fathers of the great state of Kentucky full well realized, in order to survive in a harsh, cruel world, the people of Kentucky must become and remain united.
This country was originally named the “United” States of America. Until recent years, that uniting of the people manifested a strength often challenged but never defeated. Never had a people come together to create a super-power by people from many parts of the world as was done on the North American continent.
In the 1780s, the term “Melting Pot” was used to describe America. People had blended together to value hard work and determination to make a way of life unmatched in human history.
The words “American Dream,” are believed to have been first used by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, “Epic of America.” These two words described a dream every person could achieve and acquire if they were willing to work for it.
Even with the seemingly infinite opportunities, many, because of their individual circumstances, had to work much harder to reach that elusive goal. Nonetheless, that “Dream” was achievable for everyone. Examples of people that came from extreme poverty, the uneducated and even many with learning disabilities or being illiterate, reached that goal.
All was well and good in America until we began to divide ourselves into specific groups. Joseph Stalin is alleged to have said, “America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”
To destroy America from within is to divide us as a nation. We, indeed, have been that melting pot. We are “One from many.” E pluribus unum, meaning “one of (or from) many,” appears on the Great Seal of the United States of America. We have for decades recognized ourselves as a makeup of many nationalities, ethnic origins and skin colors.
Many excuses for failures have been given, but the fault lies mostly within the core values and motivation of the individual. Examples of successful people come from all ethnic, religious and racial people groups. No one can deny the success of Americans from every walk of life; the opportunities are there but must be diligently sought.
In the late 1980s and early ’90s, several people groups began identifying themselves as Americans, but prefaced American with the name of a country or other identifying designation. Suddenly, we were divided by nationality, ethnic origin, race or some other factor shared by our ancestors. The intention of this naming may have been well and good, but the end result was to drive a wedge of division deeper between us as a people.
Whereas, our ancestors in the state of Kentucky knew in 1792, that the people must remain united, people of the 21st century seem to be totally oblivious to that simple fact. As Stalin and other Russian leaders have known over the last generation, the way to destroy America is divide us.
In today’s America, it has become apparent, the chasms of division among us are growing daily and as the division grows, the more difficult it will become. In the weeks and months after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans saw a uniting that was unmatched since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. America came together as one to defeat the radical Muslim network that was and is so intent on destroying America.
Nearly 20 years later we are no closer to destroying the ideology of the radicals than we were on Sept. 12. One reason, and probably the greatest reason for that, is because we are so divided. We cannot agree on anything, including the preservation of America.
Our government is in ruins and politicians tend to say anything (and do anything) to be elected; then do as they please. Our political leaders bicker over racial differences, gender preferences, sexual offences and offending someone while other world powers are amassing some of the largest military arsenals in human history. When only a few problems exist, they can usually be reconciled. But when there are so many, to repair all of them is mostly hopeless. A basic reset of values and priorities would be a good place to begin.
We know a subtle plan of the enemy is to plant seeds of discord that lead to division. We see news reports most every day that teach us to separate ourselves from other people groups. That is not what America was built on.
Is there a way out of this dilemma? A return to God is a reasonable answer but with attitudes toward Christians and Christianity, that seems unlikely. Attendance in churches and synagogues is dropping like a rock and religious institutions are under attack both verbally and violently. A level of apathy often exemplified by Christians certainly doesn’t help this predicament.
Within Christianity, divisions are ever present among and between denominations. We argue over petty differences yet fail to preach and teach the fundamental of the Gospel. Have many forgotten (or never knew) Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and was resurrected?
Many of the misguided believe they’re going to heaven because they’ve been baptized, are members of a church or see themselves as being a good person and deserve eternal life in Heaven. Those beliefs are scripturally incorrect (Acts 4: 12).
People have become adamant and argumentative concerning religion or lack of it, to the point, many are afraid to give Christian witness, invite someone to church or even admit they are a Christian. We are constantly under attack from many directions, and the intent of attack, both spiritually and physically is to destroy us by dividing us.
Division is a wonderful thing for the enemy. The more we hear inclusiveness and diversity, the more divided we become. The more we talk racism or division because of any particular difference, the deeper that wedge will be driven. We have a choice in America; let the land heal or drive that wedge deeper! Which will it be?
All Christians have a common mandate and that is to unite the world by proclaiming Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. We must stop chasing those dissimilarities and pursue the commonalities in order to evangelize the world. Matthew 28: 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”