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Woman Receives a Postcard from 1920: Remarkable Change and the Power of the Unchanging God

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Tuesday, September 15, 2020
an old post card, Remarkable change and the power of the unchanging God

Woman Receives a Postcard from 1920: Remarkable Change and the Power of the Unchanging God


The postcard has a green stamp of George Washington priced at one cent. Its front displays a Halloween cartoon; its back contains a message written in cursive. It was delivered to its address last week.

However, it was postmarked October 29, 1920.

According to the New York Times, it’s not clear where the postcard has been all this time or why it took so long to reach its address. A Postal Service spokesman explained that such incidents typically occur when old letters and postcards are purchased at flea markets, antique shops, or online, then put in the mail.

Burger King’s post-pandemic restaurants

The person who mailed the postcard would hardly recognize our world today. In the midst of a year unlike any other, it’s easy for us to feel the same way:

  • Burger King has unveiled its post-pandemic future: their restaurants will have a walk-up window for touchless orders and three drive-through lanes (one is for delivery drivers picking up mobile orders for customers).
  • Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is testing drone delivery as the competition intensifies to bring products to customers’ homes.
  • Engineers have developed a robot that can detect whether people are wearing a mask to guard against COVID-19. If they’re not, it can politely remind them to put one on and then thank them when they do.
  • UPS is hiring one hundred thousand workers for the holiday season as it anticipates a gigantic surge in e-commerce sales due to the pandemic.
  • Amazon also plans to hire one hundred thousand additional employees as online shopping escalates.

The foundation upon which our nation was built

At the World Economic Forum in 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”

No matter how quickly the world seems to change, human nature does not. We still face the same underlying fears and feel the same cherished hopes as our ancestors in 1920 and 1820. And we still need the unchanging truth of biblical revelation in 2020.

When we depart from God’s word and wisdom, we do not break his laws—we break ourselves on them.

Ben Shapiro’s latest book, How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps, focuses on our nation’s founding philosophy, culture, and history. According to Shapiro, the “unionist” sees America as a great nation that strives (though it often fails) to live up to our ideals but nonetheless is making progress and holds promise for an even better future.

The “disintegrationist,” by contrast, is convinced that America was irredeemably flawed from its inception. In their telling, we were founded on the subjugation of native Americans and then African slaves. They believe that our Founding Fathers created our nation to promote personal gain rather than the advancement of a unified mission for our people. And that only by reading our history through this lens and then tearing down the philosophical and cultural foundations of our nation can we hope to build a future that is equitable for all.

There is much more to the book than my summary, of course. But for our purposes today, I’d like to focus on Shapiro’s description of our founding philosophy. He describes this philosophy in terms of three principles:

  1. The reality of natural rights that preexist government
  2. The equality of all human beings before the law and in their rights
  3. The belief that government exists only to protect natural rights and to enforce equality before the law

By contrast, disintegrationists claim that natural rights do not exist. Postmodern relativism asserts that all truth claims are personal and subjective. As a result, human nature is malleable rather than consistent. We should seek equality of outcomes rather than opportunity. And the government should ensure such outcomes at whatever the cost to individual citizens.

The five words upon which our country stands

Our nation’s democratic experiment is grounded in five words: “all men are created equal.” This is an expression of Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image.”

We have equality with each other because we are all created by the same God. Our democracy grows out of this conviction. We refuse to submit to monarchs or dictators, convinced that we can and should govern ourselves by electing leaders who are accountable to us.

As we shift this foundation upon which our nation was built, we should not be surprised that cracks are appearing in our walls. Or that these cracks are growing wider every day.

We’ll say more about this fact tomorrow as we focus on one of the most disturbing stories I’ve seen in many years. For today, let’s note that the most patriotic thing we can do in these divisive days is to stand on the authority of Jesus and invite others to do the same. He is the only rock upon which to build a house that withstands the floods and storms of time (Matthew 7:24-27).

The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon testified, “I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to him.”

Will you make his prayer yours today?

Publication date: September 15, 2020

Photo courtesy: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.

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