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
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.
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.
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
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?