America has drifted away from our core values?

America was founded on a strong character ethic–a Judeo-Christian ethic. Our country started with individuals who had a an internal true north pointed toward a strong sense of universal principles like hard work, honesty, kindness, justice, compassion, community and so on.

This is why the Founding Fathers said so often that “good government is based on self government.” Their point was that the way to have a good and limited government was for people to govern or discipline themselves. And, that is indeed what happened. People were disciplined around a set of principles or straight lines. They self governed which allowed for minimal external government. For instance, if a person is honest and lives by “my word is my bond” it minimizes external controls such as extensive, detailed legal documentation, courts to settle disputes and lawyers to make the case.

But we began to loose our straight lines. How? Some of my thoughts are…

  1. We’ve become more dysfunctional as a culture debilitating our ability to stay true to core value.
  2. Materialism has tended to make us less needy and dependent on character-based living due to apathy.
  3. Our faith-based institutions have ceased to elevate right living with a sense of urgency.
  4. The media has elevated values and principles that counter fundamental goodness and character.
  5. We’ve sought quick fixes and taken shortcuts that have lead to the violation of our core values.
  6. The family breakdown has confused values such as loyality, commitment, love, fidelity, etc.
  7. We’ve drifted (more on that in my next blog).

What do you think? I’d like your feedback on this and get your insights. Let’s try to figure this one out for all of our sakes.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “America has drifted away from our core values?

  1. I think “true north” is the key here. I believe the biblical God sets the true north standards. But humanists say that true north is what each person determines it should be, which in the end can be contradictory, since not everybody has the same personal values. Also, the sense of urgency you mention in point 3 is another key in that our churches and other Christian institutions, as well as Christians in general, need to make right living a priority. And, if I may add, we believers in Christ need to so stand out from the culture in that our goodness, compassion, etc., has an underpinning of true joy and selflessness that can only result from relationship with Christ, that others will be drawn to that and, ultimately and more importantly, to Christ .

  2. Here, here jeff. who do you seeing doing the best thinking in this area particularly as it relates to the culture at large?

    • Actually, my inspiration for being all I can be & doing all I can do in the context of my life as a Christian was inspired by your MAXIMIZERS acronym, which I learned while going through mentoring sessions a few years back under Greg Dolby…. And, while reading the Bible in recent months, I have been more aware of God’s expectations for us to not merely do just so so in life, but to excel as believers (love God with *all* our hearts, *abhor* evil, *crucify* our sinful nature, etc. There are many, many such passages in Scripture I’ve come across). I also see Christians like Zig Ziglar as inspirations in that mode. I do seek “authentic success” (as you’ve called it), and am glad that you and Zig and others include God in that equation.

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