America is not the nation it used to be. According to a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the percentage of Americans who still hold traditional values—those values that laid a solid foundation for the nation’s ascent to greatness in the 20th Century—has plummeted.
For instance, in 1998 when this poll was first run 62% of Americans said that religion was very important to them. Now, however, 25 years later only 39% of Americans now say their religious faith is very important to them. This is a drop of 32% in the number of Americans who say the are religiously motivated and convicted.
A generation ago (25 years) 70% of Americans said patriotism was very important. Now it’s just 38%—a decline of 45%! It would appear that these declines in traditional values increasingly reflect the generational shift in population numbers between the aging post WW2 Baby Boomers and the generations of Americans younger than them.
Are those declines in traditional values in the American population being accompanied downhill by a corresponding decline in the younger generations’ standards of living? The answer is a clear yes.
According to a recent consumer finances survey conducted by the Federal Reserve, the Millennials have the dubious distinction of being the first generation to fall behind their Baby Boomer parents’ standards of living.
High debt, high housing costs, high inflation, high taxes, and expanding government regulations are making life not as good for the younger generations of North Americans.
Millennials (and the kids born after them) are also being called the “unhealthiest generation” in human history by some medical insurance industry analysts—facing diagnoses, mysterious illnesses, behavioural/mental health issues and conditions that our parents never faced. According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health IndexSM (BCBS Health Index), a third of millennials have health conditions that reduce their quality of life and life expectancy, according to this recent study of their medical claims.
There is a spiritual connection between the values we hold and our material welfare. Traditionally North American society lived according the Judeo-Christian morality and ethics, and the overwhelming majority of people said the Bible’s God was their God. This was the status quo for many generations. But now in 21st Century America and Canada, we live in a “post-Christian” era that values neither the worship of the Bible’s God nor appreciates the great material advantages with which our ancestor’s God blessed us. So now the people’s of North America are being cursed.
You see the Bible’s God made a covenant, a binding relationship, with those people who took Him as their God. Worship of such a God must be done in spirit and in truth—and this requires obedience to His teachings by those who say they love Him. Those who take the Bible’s God as their God experience blessings if they live with integrity according to His scripturally revealed morals and ethics. But if the descendants of those faithful forbears who took the Bible’s God as their God should turn their back on their ancestor’s God, they will experience a life that is cursed (read Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy 28). The Bible’s God does not change the way He works with humanity. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Here what this prophet of old once called out to our ancestors in the faith who lived through a time of similar national decline:
This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!” Jeremiah 6:16 New Living Translation
Jesus of Nazareth also once invited a generation experiencing financial pressures, dispossession, and high taxation to re-discover the peace of mind and a sense of hope for a better future that comes from re-engaging with the traditional biblical values, teachings, and virtues:
“Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. Accept my teaching. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest. Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 Easy-to-Read Version