As a lurker mostly I'd like to say a thing or to in response to
a couple of recent posts.
I am somewhat familiar with the "Wall Builders" literature
and their lovely graph correlations. In their discussion of causes
they neglect to mention that two other very powerful dynamic social
forces were taking places. First was the Civil Rights decisions and Act
that allowed and even required minority participation in a number of things.
I think that the drop in average SAT score has a lot more to do with having
greater number of poorly educated minorities take the test than a lack
of prayer in the classroom.
A second, perhaps more important factor, is that during
this time, the US Interstate system was being built and many city planners
and sociologists say that this caused great demographic change.
Urban flight of businesses, jobs and people didn't leave much behind for
those who had to stay.
A second point I'd like to bring up for consideration is the
difference in the nature of the Old and New Covenants. The Old
Covenant was made with a people (or a nation). Hence, the people
were responsible for corporately fulfilling their part of the covenant.
The New Covenant in Christ is sealed on an individual basis. We are
baptized individually into Christ. I think anyone would be hard pressed
to find an event where the nation of the United States or some reasonable
representation of it has undergone a baptism experience similar to
that of the nation of Israel. Hence, it seems to me that while we may be
punished individually for a failure to pray that isn't part of the New
Covenant agreement on a "peoples" or nation level. Additionally,
I don't see that as being part of the New Covenant on an individual basis
either. Jan correctly points out the John passage here relating the cause
of the man's blindness in this instance.
Cloud County Community College