Christianity, current events, morality, religion

Evaluating the events of Ferguson et al through the lens of Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail:” A social commentary in the wake of the Ferguson et al riots

8 December 2014

16 Kislev 5775

When Martin Luther King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he was engaged in a struggle against the injustice of segregation that existed in the south. When it came to the injustices perpetrated in the south, he could not stand by in good conscience and do mothing: he felt that action was needed: “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God.” With this in

Diane Nash and Freedom Riders

Diane Nash and Freedom Riders

mind, Martin Luther King and other like-minded individuals (e.g. the Freedom Riders) participated in a series of nonviolent marches, sit ins, and protests against the injustice practiced in the south, and history records that the legacy of this movement changed the social structure of southern society and finally ended segregation’s hold in the south. This template of nonviolent resistance is powerful, but I would also like to add that there is more that we need to add to it to affect the changes we need in this hour. For now let’s concentrate on King’s letter, but before we contrast this letter with the Ferguson riots, it would be well to discuss Martin Luther King’s strategy to end injustice contained in his letter.

Martin Luther King used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience as a way to bring about social change. Violence would not be included as a strategy to end injustice, and there are good reasons for this. Violence just leads to more violence, which goes to the principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow wheat, you harvest wheat later. The same is true of violence. Violence is something that forces itself on others against their will, and involuntary change is not the strategy heaven uses as a change agent. God wants us to make voluntary change, as when He stands at the door and knocks. He does not force His way into our hearts, but allows us to make that decision. Some of the fruits of violence on those touched by it are resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, hatred, and revenge; this shows that violence is immoral. If these things are the results of violence, how can we ever expect to use violence to get a good result? The law of sowing and reaping does not allow this, and we delude ourselves if we think a good fruit results from immoral means. Martin Luther King himself wrote about this in his letter when he said:

Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends.

If we want to change the world for the better, then our methods must use God’s strategies which allow His power to manifest. When He does the work, the change is lasting (Psalm 127: 1) and we become “co workers with God.”

Martin Luther King also employed civil disobedience as a strategy to end injustice, but he was careful to define what he meant lest others think he advocated anarchy. King wrote that there are just laws and unjust laws on the books. We can distinguish which is which by their agreement with the word of God. King writes that “A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” In other words, just laws advance good government as well as the happiness and safety of society; therefore it is necessary to obey just laws. On the other hand, King defines an unjust law as “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law…Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” Segregation laws are unjust because the concept of segregation “distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.” King mentions the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as an example of civil disobedience. They refused to obey the command to bow down to the image King Nebuchnezzar set up because it violated the commandments of God.

King wrote that any campaign of nonviolent protest must include these four steps: “Collection of facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.” Let’s address these one at a time.

Collection of facts

The question of whether or not an actual injustice occurred must be definitively answered before action is taken. This seems like an obvious precaution, but history has many examples in which action proceeded on the basis of impulse and sketchy facts rather than irrefutable evidence. Strong and passionate feelings that an injustice has occurred are never sufficient cause for action to proceed. When this evidence has been obtained, then the next step is to negotiate.

Negotiation

The evidence of injustice is now the basis for negotiation between the parties for redress of grievances. If the negotiations resolve the injustices, then there is no need to proceed further.  But if negotiations fail, then the next step will be self purification.

Self purification

King realized that his opponents would be out in force to resist their efforts, but they cannot meet the opposition on his own low ground if they want to prevail. Pure means must be used to gain pure ends, so the participants must be properly trained to stay true to the principles of nonviolence. They cannot fight back if they are beaten, and they must be prepared for arrest and jail for their activities. They are now ready for the last step.

Direct action

Left by itself, negotiation will never happen unless circumstances prod it into action. According to King, the purpose of nonviolent direct action “is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” Direct action creates the necessary tension that drives the parties back to the negotiating table so that the injustices may finally be resolved.

The church

There is one more point I would like to address from King’s letter, which was his disappointment with the church. The church is God’s visible representation on Earth. The members of the church are God’s ambassadors, and as believers the church is to continue doing the same works that Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) did. If this is true, then where are the works? Why is society tearing itself apart when the church has the words of life? Why isn’t our nation getting the balm it needs to heal its wounds? Martin Luther King had high hopes that the church would work with him against injustice in his day, but that hope was to end in disappointment.

What has happened to the church? In the book of Acts, we read that when people came together, there was a sense of awe about the power of God in their midst (Acts 2: 43), and when Ananias and Sapphira died in church, people rightly feared offending that power (Acts 5: 1-13). We don’t hear about that any more, do we? The church has become a mere shadow of its former self. There is no expectation that congregants and visitors will experience the supernatural power of God when they come to church meetings.  Many churches don’t even believe that the gifts of the Spirit are in operation today. Hurting people need a touch from God, but instead they hear a dry sermon void of any power to give them the help they need. When they cannot get what they need from the church, they become disillusioned with God and look for any other way to alleviate the suffering they feel. The church needs to recapture its power and purpose if there is going to be any hope for change. King makes this clear when he writes:

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

We have seen many of these disgusted young people in the Ferguson riots and in the satellite protests in other cities. We need our church leaders to stand up as never before and speak “thus says the Lord” in power and demonstration of the spirit, but many are silent instead; they prefer to take a path that doesn’t offend anyone and friendship with the world. The consequence of this is a self-destructing society and a church that has become an enemy of God. The cold and worldly church of Martin Luther King’s day has become even more so today. This spiritual decay will also be mentioned as a contributing factor when future historians write about the decline and fall of our republic.

Now that we have taken a look at Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” let’s evaluate the events of the Ferguson riots and subsequent Eric Garner protests (hereafter referred to as Ferguson et al) using King’s letter as our guide.

Nonviolence

Marching with Martin Luther King

Marching with Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King advocated a campaign of nonviolence because only pure methods can achieve pure results. If King had gone to Ferguson, he would certainly not be a part of the violence that is still ongoing. If he were to participate, it would be to lead peaceful, nonviolent protests that don’t result in offense and destruction. The destroyed businesses of Ferguson would still be standing if the protesters had chosen to follow King’s path of nonviolence, and the citizens would all benefit from this respect for life and property.

Civil disobedience

There can be no doubt that civil disobedience is happening in Ferguson et al, but it certainly isn’t the civil disobedience Martin Luther King advocated. The situation in these cities is really bordering on chaos and anarchy; respect for the rule of law is at an all-time low, and there is a complete disregard for obeying just laws.

Martin Luther King’s civil disobedience preserved the rule of just laws, which is something that ought to never be neglected. Nothing good will ever come when just laws are disobeyed. The situation in Ferguson et al and the attitude of some of the people show how little regard there is for the rule of law and due process. When Sean Hannity recently interviewed Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, she wasn’t concerned about the evidence. She unbelievably said that it doesn’t matter what did happen, but what should have happened. This is especially shocking since she is a lawmaker; what’s the point in having laws if we disregard them whenever we don’t like them? In that case we could disband our legislatures and do whatever we want.

Respect for the law enforcement is also under assault because Michael Brown’s death is touted as racially motivated. They have come to see the police and law enforcement as defenders of the corrupt status quo, and so they are reviled and disrespected. This appalling behavior was recorded in Denver when protesters openly mocked a police officer, who was protecting them, was hit by a car. We cannot say we have become better as a nation when the suffering of another human being is mocked like this.

Collecting facts

The evidence collected by the grand jury in its decision about Michael Brown’s death has been released for public scrutiny, but that made no difference to Ferguson et al. It was totally ignored in favor of the supposition that a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager, ergo it was a racially motivated homicide and the grand jury is just letting Officer Darren Wilson off the hook. It was a perfect reflection of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s thinking in this matter.

Facts were important to Martin Luther King, and ought to be to everyone. Without the evidence of injustice, there could be no justification for protest or civil disobedience. When facts are thrown under the bus, we begin the shift from a nation of laws to a vigilante nation where emotional fervor supplants rational thinking, evidence, and the rule of law. We are well on our way to making Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s “The Ox-bow Incident” a reality.

Negotiation and self purification

Negotiation and self purification were non factors in Ferguson et al. There was no dialogue or negotiation in Ferguson et al, just flames of discontent fanned white hot by the racial stokers of our day, nor was there any serious consideration of using the strategy of nonviolent protest.

Direct action

The Ferguson et al riots went immediately to direct action, but it was not the nonviolent direct action Martin Luther

Kristallnacht in Berkeley CA Kale Williams 8 Dec 2014

Kristallnacht in Berkeley CA Kale Williams 8 Dec 2014

King advocated. The violence and lawlessness in Ferguson et al rolled downhill like a boulder destroying everything in front of it. Glass shards from broken windows littered the streets like an American remake of Kristallnacht. Crowds blocked highways and refused to even allow emergency vehicles to pass through. Zemir Begic, an innocent Bosnian man, was bludgeoned to death by black teenagers during the “protests.” Five days later a Bosnian woman was dragged from her car, threatened with murder, and beaten. Businesses (including the one Michael Brown robbed) that had no connection whatsoever to the grand jury verdict were targeted for vandalism, looting, and arson. As if to spite King’s strategy of nonviolence, rioters even vandalized the Martin Luther King building in Berkeley CA. All this violent direct action achieved was to create offense in hearts of many people and decimate the neighborhood. Sowing violence will reap a harvest of violence if the process is not stopped.

Berkeley MLK building damage Karl Mondon 8 Dec 2014

Berkeley MLK building damage Karl Mondon 8 Dec 2014

The church

All that Ferguson et al did was show us the true spiritual condition of our country. As is the condition of the church, so is the condition of the nation; and right now, our nation is on life support. Many will disagree and say that it’s not that bad. They may admit that there are times when the waters get choppy, but they calm down again. Our real condition is like the ocean waters that cover a sunken city. While the surface waters appear calm and serene, they cover the true state of affairs, which is a scene of ruin and destruction. A powerless church that has made peace with the world has helped give birth to legions of disappointed and disgusted young people who arrogantly say “who is the Lord, that I should obey Him?”

There are better ways to handle injustice than violence. Even if all the people of Ferguson et al did was to consider the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and glean its wisdom and advice to advance their cause, the riots of Ferguson et al would never have happened because the facts would not support direct action. And even if direct action were appropriate, it would have been nonviolent in nature.

Reconciliation

Our President has recently spoken about the need to rebuild trust between our communities and law enforcement. I agree with this, but not for the reasons our President might give. When he includes that fact that law enforcement needs to rebuild trust with the community, he presupposes that the law enforcement community is the one at fault and needs to make amends for their actions. We can see this in his statement (4 Dec 2014) after the Eric Garner verdict. President Obama said:

Some of you may have heard there was a decision that came out today by a grand jury not to indict police officers who had interacted with an individual with Eric Garner in New York City, all of which was caught on videotape and speaks to the larger issues that we’ve been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the last year, and, sadly, for decades, and that is the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way.

What? This has been going on for decades? He makes it sound like the problem is widespread and vast, but I take exception to his statement. Our law enforcement community has been unfairly portrayed by the President’s words. While it is true that there have been instances of bad apples in police departments across the nation, it does not follow that this is indicative of a widespread problem. With this in mind, I would like to offer up my contribution to the reconciliation of law enforcement and our community with an open letter to all of those serving in law enforcement.

To all our brave men and women serving in law enforcement,

President Obama (4 Dec 2014) has made remarks recently that paint a picture of law enforcement officers in a negative light. I want you to know I strongly disagree with the allegation made in his statement that you have not treated all the members of our community fairly. This blanket statement lumps all of law enforcement into one basket, and to use the President’s own words, this doesn’t treat everyone fairly.

It has to be admitted that sometime there are bad apples in the police department, and it is unfortunate when the press focuses attention on them, or when politicians blame our problems on law enforcement officers for the sake of politics. For every bad apple, there are scores of officers who are serving with honor and distinction. These are the officers I want to recognize and thank; they don’t always get the credit they deserve, but their work and sacrifice are what help make our community a better place. They are well trained professionals we depend on when things get out of hand.

I want to thank all of you for your service to our community. You do a thankless and dangerous job, and you do it with honor and professionalism. I gratefully acknowledge a debt of gratitude that I owe you for your service. I pray that the Lord will send His angels to watch over you when you report to work, and bring you home safely to your families at the end of your shift. I would encourage everyone to also extend their thanks to our law enforcement officers for the work they do. Thank you again for your service and a job well done.

Reconciliation means we also need to actively forgive each other. Unforgiveness only advances the Adversary’s kingdom, and we don’t want to be on his team, do we? We are also in a shemitah year, which is a year of release. At the end of the shemitah year all debts were to be cancelled. Let’s make the shemitah year real again and cancel all debts whether they are physical debts or spiritual ones. Forgive freely because you have been forgiven. Set your debtors free because the Lord has set you free. The only debt that is allowed to survive the shemitah year is the debt we have to love one another (Rom 13: 8). Love is the glue that will bring us together and heal our wounds. Therefore love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Race stokers are still fanning the flames of racism in our communities, but we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into their camp. We must not embrace violence as a way to change society. Yeshua mentioned an incident in which Pilate killed a number of Galileans while they were sacrificing (Luke 13: 1). Yeshua knew about this, but He didn’t use this to advocate rioting and protesting the Roman occupation. It was more important to Him that we repent and get our affairs with God in order. While nonviolence is a powerful way to change society, given the late hour that we live in, it is absolutely necessary to redouble our efforts using the supernatural power of God. We must press on to better things by using a more excellent way to change our society for the better than the race stokers. The church must not forget that we have the weapons of God at our disposal; they are mighty and powerful beyond anything man can conceive of:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

2 Cor 10:3-5 (ESV)

And don’t forget this:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

James 5:16-18 (ESV)

We need to continue to pray that our nation will see massive repentance, revival, and reconciliation with God. When this happens, we can lay hold of God’s promise to heal our land (2 Chron 7: 14). I would like to close with a final quote from Martin Luther King. Even though these words were written from a Birmingham jail in 1963, one could mistake them for the situation in Ferguson et al:

Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Fare ye well, my beloved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christianity, current events, morality, religion

The ruin heaps of 9/11 and Ferguson: We have met the enemy, and they are us

2 December 2014

10 Kislev 5775

As a prophetic sign, the shemitah year of 2001 witnessed the fall of the twin towers in New York. The ruin heaps of the towers were eventually taken away, but as with ancient Israel, it was a sign of things to come unless the nation changed its course. It was a clear warning that the nation needed to make things right with God. They had two possible choices. On the one hand they could repent as a nation and be reconciled with God, but on the other hand they could harden their hearts and continue doing what got them in trouble with God in the first place. In ancient Israel’s case, they chose to stubborn and continue business as usual which eventually caused the entire nation to be conquered and deported. Their words are preserved for us in Scripture:

“The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.”

Isaiah 9:10 (ESV)

Israel felt the answer to their Assyrian problem would be found in their own efforts and strength. Their solution was to rebuild the ruins with stronger materials and replace the sycamores with a better tree, but their solution never included repentance and reconciliation with God. The initial ruins cause by the limited Assyrian incursion became a foreshadowing of things to come in which the entire land would be filled with ruins. This brings us to 9/11.

The ruins of the twin towers are also a foreshadowing of things to come unless our nation repents. In the same way that God gave Israel a season of grace to make things right, America is also in a season of grace. Unless this nation changes course and repents, the ruin heaps of the twin towers will also be a sign of what the land will look like. This became especially clear in the Ferguson riots after the grand jury verdict. Ruin heaps of destroyed businesses now litter the city of

Destruction at Ferguson

Destruction at Ferguson

Ferguson. In this case it wasn’t the act of terrorists, but homegrown lawless rioters that caused this destruction. They were completely unrestrained by the normal restraints of a civilized people such as conscience, decency and common sense; they used the grand jury verdict as a justification (or cover) as they went about destroying and looting their own neighborhood. America is thus engaged on two fronts: it tries to defend itself from foreign aggression, but it is being torn apart by internal strife. Heaps of ruins such as this will become widespread unless change is made. The Ferguson riots are symptomatic of a much more serious problem facing America. We have met the enemy, and they are us.

What is the greatest threat to America? Is it ISIS, or some other foreign power such as China or Russia? The greatest threat to America’s survival is not found overseas, but in our own hearts. It is the apostate spiritual condition of the people. Just as Israel responded to the initial Assyrian invasion with pride and arrogance, America is following in those same steps. Like Israel, after 9/11 there was a surge in church attendance, but there was no resulting national revival or repentance. It was felt that this problem would be solved by our own efforts and wisdom. In order for the country to be safe again, the Department of Homeland Security was created and the Patriot Act was quickly signed into law. Our leaders put their faith in the intelligence infrastructure with its sophisticated technology, which was used to spy on our enemies and the general population in order to detect potential terrorist activity in the making. They neglected a very important truth when they took this course of action:

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalms 127:1 (ESV)

God has to watch over our nation and keep us safe. If He doesn’t watch over us, there is absolutely nothing we can do to keep our nation safe. George Washington knew our nation would never endure by offending God when he spoke these words at his inaugural address in 1789:

Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained

How did we get from a president that feared God, to a national leadership that places more faith in technology than the favor of God?

America did not get to its present condition of spiritual decay overnight; America died the death of a thousand paper cuts. As can be seen in George Washington’s words, America held the favor of God in high regard at its founding. We openly acknowledged Him and depended on His benevolence for the blessings we had. In order to change a nation from God fearing to a nation that is hostile to God, the nation’s foundation must be destroyed, so when a future Edward Gibbon pens his seminal work about “The History of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic,” there can be no doubt the following points will be included as contributing factors: hijack education, rewrite history, and call what is good evil, and what is evil good. Because space is limited, only give a cursory discussion of each point will be made. An in depth discussion would have to be the subject of future posts.

Hijack education

The educational model used by America was not the same as it is today. If we could go back in time and visit a classroom during the early years of the republic, many would no doubt be shocked to see that the Bible was openly used and discussed in the classroom. The Founders felt that knowing God and the Bible was essential to the development of future generations, and the reason children were taught to read was so they could read the Scriptures for themselves. Their sentiments were expressed in the Northwest Ordinance: “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” As we can see, the first educational model used in this country had three pillars: Religion, morality, and education. In order to set this nation at variance with God, this educational model must be changed.

The modern educational model focuses only on knowledge, which excludes morality and religion and is fatally flawed. First, knowledge by itself leads to arrogance. Second, without including the God’s faithful instructions of right and wrong, those who learn knowledge may end up using that knowledge to harm society. If we are going to teach anyone skills that could harm society if used incorrectly, then logic demands that education also includes the contributions of religion and morality to restrain the misuse of knowledge. If we deny students the contributions of morality and religion, we end up with students who learn computer skills, but only to use them to hack into other systems for harm. They are not taught why this is wrong and amend their behavior. This is what modern education denies its students. Even when morality and ethics are discussed, they are only based on human reasoning and wisdom (e.g. Peter Singer et al). Ethics and morality that are conceived this way are malleable, arbitrary, and change with the caprices of the times; the Ten Commandments would not be considered as a basis for morality and ethics in an “enlightened” discussion.

The changing nature of manmade morality and ethics make them totally unsuited to the needs of creating a healthy and happy generation. What future generations need to form a solid foundation that will serve them throughout their lives is the unchanging standards of right and wrong found in God’s word. When we depart from that, the result is generations of children who will act out a life that does not include God’s standards of right and wrong. It also denies the very thing they need to succeed in this life and the life to come.

Rewrite history

Another step that must be taken to alienate a nation from God is to rewrite history. The people must be made to forget their true origins and who their ancestors really were. For example, if we were a righteous people, but were persuaded that we were really godless and secular, then we would not fear God and behave as godless and secular people would. It is really a form of identity theft because it robs future generations of the true knowledge of their origins.

The effort to rewrite history began in earnest in the last century, and it was a slow process that did not arouse suspicions among the people. It used a two prong approach that went through academia and the courts. Academics taught their students that we always were a secular nation, and that’s what the Founders intended to give us. This deception also made its way into the law schools and influenced legal thinking, which would later produce the lawyers, judges, and Supreme Court justices who would interpret our laws. It was these Supreme Court justices who would one day write the Everson v. Board of Education (1947) decision that argued “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” As time went on and people accepted this doctrine as fact, and subsequent court decisions would be increasingly hostile to religious expression. One of the finest examples of this is Judge Samuel B. Kent’s invective against students who would dare mention Jesus Christ at a high school graduation:

And make no mistake, the court is going to have a United States marshal in attendance at the graduation. If any student offends this court, that student will be summarily arrested and will face up to six months incarceration in the Galveston County Jail for contempt of court. Anyone who thinks I’m kidding about this order better think again….Anyone who violates these orders, no kidding, is going to wish that he or she had died as a child when this court gets through with it.

The apple has fallen a long way from the tree when George Washington warned us we must not think we can endure without God’s favor.

Call what is good evil, and what is evil good

It will also be necessary to rewrite the moral code of a nation to ensure it is alienated from God. The old standards must be thrown out as out of date so the new and enlightened standards can be installed. The moral revisionists searched for and found ways to set aside the commandments of God in favor of the doctrines of men. The very things we call good now would have shocked the generation of my parents and grandparents.

An example of this is how society has evolved on the issue of premarital sex. When society respected God’s rules about sex, blessings followed. But society deviated from those standards and started calling abstinence bad and indulgence good. They stopped telling their children to wait until marriage and argued that “if we know our children are going to do it anyway, we should show them how to do it safely.” This is bad logic from the start because it assumes that our children will have sex before marriage without giving them the benefit of the doubt that they really might want to wait until marriage, but that option is not seriously discussed as a possibility because it is already assumed they will do it. By assuming that our children will have premarital sex, we indirectly give them the expectation that they will do so, and so it is not surprising when children start giving birth to children.

This argument also presupposes that premarital sex can be made safe, as in free of consequences. This is never the case. Even if a child does not get pregnant or contracts a sexually transmitted disease, they are still damaged spiritually. Sexual indulgence hardens the heart and encourages the child to continue sexual activity and disregard God’s warnings about this. The result can include broken hearts and lives, sexual disease, and unplanned pregnancy. Children conceived in these encounters and raised in a single parent household are much more likely to get in trouble with the law. What we need to realize is that it isn’t possible to ever make premarital sex safe because it violates God’s standards and subjects a child to God’s wrath. There is no manmade intervention that can shield them from that and make things “safe.”

We have met the enemy, and they are us

Unless we change, the ruin heaps of the twin towers will become more common in other places as time passes, and Ferguson is an example. The people who engaged in rioting, vandalism, murder, arson, and looting (this is the short list) have justified their works based on a morality that does not include such old fashioned notions as “love your neighbor as

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

yourself” and “love your enemies.” The children raised by teachers who told them we are a godless nation, who gave them no Godly sense of right and wrong, and called good evil and evil good could not express themselves better than what happened in Ferguson. They had no fear of God in their eyes, and their love had grown cold. They have seized hold of Dostoyevsky’s maxim “if God does not exist, then everything is permissible,” and acted accordingly. The enemies of America may not have to lift a finger to defeat us in battle. The whole structure of society has decayed to the point that it will go whirling to destruction all on its own. This may very well be the generation that witnesses the end of the American republic. In that case, our future Gibbon will rewrite the words of the Gettysburg address to reflect the arrogance and pride of this generation:

that we here highly resolve that these dead shall have died in vain, that this nation [that was once] under God shall not have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall perish from the earth.

We have come to the point where our situation resembles Humpty Dumpty’s: “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put America back together again.” The only hope we have to reverse this disaster is national repentance. God faithfully promised that if we turn from our wicked ways and repent, He will heal our land (2 Chron 7: 14). There is no manmade intervention that will heal our nation. We need God’s help. We can have heaps of ruins, or God’s power and intervention to heal our land. Which will it be?

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