|Young girls await in fear the arrival of the Taliban in Kabul|
feel heartsick about the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, particularly for the
women and girls who are about to be subjected to the most brutal forms of
Sharia Law. It is a travesty that should never have happened.
While many will be
debating the logistical decisions made by the president that led to this
catastrophe, I want to discuss the moral and theological decisions in America
over the past 60 years that I believe have played a primary role in this
The tragedy in
Afghanistan can be traced to America’s secularization of its culture and armed
forces. You cannot defeat ideas with bullets. Ideas must be defeated with
better ideas. The Sharia Law to which the Taliban are fanatically committed must
be challenged with more than tanks and bullets
defeated the mighty Roman Empire without swords, chariots, or spears. They
defeated Rome with a message—the Gospel message that Paul said is infused with
power to change lives (Romans 1:16).
missionaries, sailors, businesspeople, and soldiers alike shared the Gospel
message everywhere they went, and mighty Rome finally bowed its knee to the
message of the Cross of Christ. Ancient, pagan Rome was defeated by a message—the
In a similar way, 245
years ago, a ragtag army of American colonists, lacking armaments and supplies,
defeated the most powerful army on the planet and brought into existence a new
nation. They were able to do this because of the transcendent Christian ideals for
which they fought. The historian, William Novak, has said,
knew his only hope lay in a profound conviction in the hearts and daily actions
of all his men that what they did they did for God, and under God’s protection (Hyatt,
1726: The Year that Defined America, 114).
therefore, issued an order stating that each day was to begin with prayer led
by the officers of each unit. He also ordered that, unless their duties
required them to be elsewhere, every soldier was to observe “a punctual
attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of heaven upon the means
used for our safety and public defense.” He also expressed his desire that,
“Every officer and man will endeavor so as to live and act as becomes a
Christian soldier” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 114).
Americans believed they were fighting a just war for the ideal of God-given Liberty
and that God would, therefore, fight for them. This internal belief in an ideal
and cause bigger than themselves gave them the courage and fortitude to
overcome tremendous obstacles and win the fight against a more powerful
the 21st century. A secularized American army was sent to
Afghanistan without a message for the Afghanistan people. The troops were given
sensitivity training and told not to share their Christian faith with the
people of Afghanistan including the troops whom they would be training.
dollars were spent, and thousands of lives sacrificed, to equip and train the
Afghanistan people in the use of guns, tanks, and planes. They did not,
however, equip them with a message or ideal that would give them the internal
fortitude and commitment to fight for the freedom of their people.
With no ideal higher
than their own personal comfort, the Afghanistan army wilted and ran when the
U.S. pulled out its troops and the Taliban advanced. Their bullets were no
match for the Taliban’s devotion to an Islamic ideal, be it ever so wrong.
What if American
military brass had allowed the troops who were Christian believers to share their faith with the Afghanistan people while going about their duties. What if they had allowed
Christian social groups, such as Samaritan’s Purse, to help the distressed Afghanistan
people in the name of Jesus Christ?
I know my leftist
friends will scream that this is colonialism. Not it isn’t! It is freedom to
share truth that will lift people and change their lives for the good.
I want the best
for people and so did George Washington, which is why he encouraged some
Delaware chiefs, with whom he met after becoming president, to embrace “the
religion of Jesus Christ.” He said,
You do well to
wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of
Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are
(Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 172).
founding generation believed that it was Christian principles and morality that
would lead to happiness for both the individual and the society. That is why
Thomas Jefferson took money from the federal treasury to pay for a Christian missionary
to the Kaskaskia Indian tribe and to build them a chapel in which to worship.
It is why John
Hancock, president of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of
Independence, wanted the entire earth to hear and embrace the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. He expressed this in a Prayer Proclamation he issued while Governor of
Massachusetts. In the 1793 Proclamation, he exhorted the people,
That with true
contrition of heart we may confess our sins, resolve to forsake them, and
implore the Divine forgiveness through the merits and mediation of JESUS CHRIST
our Savior . . . and finally, to overrule all the commotion in the world, to
the spreading of the true religion of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, in its purity and
power, among all the people of the earth (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 173).
The recent attempts
to export American-style democracy to other nations, such as Iraq and
Afghanistan, apart from any connection to Christian faith and morality have
proven futile. America's Founders would say that such efforts are futile because true
liberty cannot be had apart from Christian truth and morality.
It is time for all
Americans to revisit our founding principles of faith and freedom. Otherwise,
we will see even more tragic calamities unfold in the days ahead.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.