A guy smarter than me: Schaeffer on how to save America

In “A Christian Manifesto”, Francis Schaeffer discussed how the Judeo-Christian worldview that America was founded on has been replaced by Humanism:

Humanism means that the man is the measure of all things…Man beginning from himself, with no knowledge except what he himself can discover and no standards outside of himself. In this view Man is the measure of all things…

Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

Schaeffer wrote this from Europe in 1981.

The following is an excerpt from “A Christian Manifesto” by Francis A. Schaeffer.

The world view which produced the founding of the United States in the first place is increasingly now not allowed to exert its influence in government, in the schools, or in the public means of information.

The results of the original base in the United States gave the possibility of “liberty and justice for all.” And while it was always far from perfect, it did result in liberty. This included liberty to those who hold other views—views which would not give the freedom. The material-energy, chance view has taken advantage of that liberty, supplanted the consensus, and resulted in an intolerance that gives less and less freedom in courts and schools for the view which originally gave the freedoms. Having no base for law, those who hold the humanist view make binding law whatever they personally think is good for society at the moment. This leads increasingly to arbitrary law and rulings which produce chaos in society and which then naturally and increasingly tend to lead to some form of authoritarianism. At that point what the country had in the first place is lost and dead.

What is now needed is to stand against that other total world view. We must see and make clear that it is not the truth of final reality; and we must understand and show that it is producing its own natural results which are opposite to those upon which the United States was founded. It is opposite to the great freedoms produced which everyone now enjoys. What is needed at this time is to take the steps necessary to break the authoritarian hold which the material-energy, chance concept of final reality has on government and law.

The result would be freedom for all and especially freedom for all religion. That was the original purpose of the First Amendment. 

With this freedom Reformation Christianity would compete in the free market place of ideas. It would no longer be subject to a hidden censorship as it is now. It can and would give out the clear preaching of God’s “good news” for individuals, and simultaneously it is also the view which gives the consistent base for the form-freedom balance in government and society — the base which brought forth this country with its freedoms. It is the responsibility of those holding this view to show it to be unique (the truth of total reality) for individual salvation and for society — by teaching, by life, and by action.

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