America Must Repent

When I see what’s happened to the United States, it breaks my heart.

We were once a great nation.  We loved God, and God blessed us.  We have never been perfect, but although evil has always existed in our country, most people recognized it as evil, and fought against it.

Today, this has changed.  The majority of Americans no longer follow God.  We not only accept evil, we embrace it.  We embrace greed and materialism.  We embrace abortion and hedonism.  We accept hatred and violence as a means to achieve our ideological goals. We elect evil leaders, and then defend their evil words and actions.

For the most part, the American church no longer stands on the Bible as truth.  Most Christians try to justify sin by ignoring the parts of the Bible that condemn their actions, or by twisting God’s words to mean the opposite of what they actually say.

Because America has turned from God, He is judging us.  We are reaping what we have sown.  9-11, Ferguson, Charlottesville, Obama, Trump, the alt-right and alt-left, anger and hatred, are the direct consequence of our turning from God.  And, unless we repent and turn once again to Jesus Christ as our foundation, things will become progressively worse than they already are.  The United States will collapse from within.

Woe to us, a people who once knew God, but have rejected Him.

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Over the Edge, Plunging Toward Destruction

I used to think that the United States was teetering at the edge of disaster.  I no longer believe this; we’ve deliberately jumped off the edge and are plunging toward destruction at the bottom.

Bush and Obama are not what caused this; they are merely symptoms.  And neither Trump nor Clinton can save us.

The United States was founded on Biblical principles.  For the most part, we followed Jesus Christ and built our values around the Word of God.  Although evil has always existed in America, we knew it was evil, and most of us worked to get rid of the evil.

Today, we’ve mostly rejected Jesus Christ.  We follow whatever we want to follow, and embrace evil as “diversity” or “protecting our rights.”  The American Church, for the most part, embraces behavior that the Bible clearly labels as sin, and claims it’s the only “loving” thing to do.

Although the prophet Isaiah was talking about Israel, he pretty much nails the situation in America today:  “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

As it was in Israel, so I believe it will be in the United States:

Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against His people;
He has stretched out His hand against them
And stricken them,
And the hills trembled.
Their carcasses as refuse in the midst of the streets.  (Isaiah 5:24-25).

This year’s Presidential election only confirms my belief.  We the people have selected the two most corrupt, evil candidates in American history as our Democratic and Republican nominees.  It doesn’t matter which one is elected; either way, we’re putting an evil person into the highest office in the land.  Many Christians are saying, “Yes, Hillary’s evil, but at least she’s not Trump,” or “Yes, Trump’s evil, but at least he’s not Hillary.”  And they’ll go on to talk about what will happen to the Supreme Court and Congress if their candidate isn’t elected.

I’ve got a news flash for you, Christian:  Either way, we put evil into the White House.  Either way, God is judging us for our lack of faith in Him.  Either way, we are plunging to our destruction.  And either way, nothing will stop the destruction other than repenting, and once again turning to Jesus Christ, rather than trusting in ourselves.

This election is not about whether Trump can save us from Hillary, or Hillary can save us from Trump.  It’s about whether we continue trusting our politicians to save us, or once again turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.

I fear America is about to crash and burn.  Then, out of the rubble, God can make us His people again, if we so choose.

Obama Has Lost Touch With Reality

President Obama is delusional.

“The world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today,”

~ President Obama, during a speech at the White House Summit on Global Development, July 20, 2016.

“…less violent…”  Nice, Munich, Dallas, Paris, Baton Rouge, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Syria, Orlando, Baghdad.

“…healthier…”   Obesity, zika, AIDS, heart disease, cancer, measles, malaria, MRSA, skyrocketing insurance costs.

“…better educated…” Declining test scores, declining job skills, declining STEM education, failing schools.

“…more tolerant…” BLM, Donald Trump, ISIS, Westboro “Baptist,” anti-Christian, anti- LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, Al Sharpton.

“…more opportunity…” Declining wages, rising food stamp participation, declining household incomes, increased poverty, recent college grads can’t find jobs, declining home ownership.

The Sinking Ship

Listing Ship

Once upon a time, a passenger ship struck a reef and tore a hole in its hull.

As the ship began to sink, it listed to the starboard (right) side.  The passengers on the left side were unhappy.  They got rid of the captain, and replaced him with a new captain who turned the ship so that it listed to the port (left) side.

The people on the right side were now unhappy, so they got rid of that captain.  They replaced him with a captain who turned the ship so that in now listed to the right again.

The passengers on the left and the passengers on the right began to argue over whether the ship would sink faster listing to the right, or listing to the left.  Each side would get rid of the opposite-leaning captain, and replace him with one that would turn the ship to their side.  Each time the direction of the ship changed, it listed further and further to either the left or right.  As the ship swung further to the right, then the left, the passengers on each side became angrier and angrier.  Each side became convinced the ship was sinking because it was the other side’s fault.

Eventually the ship sank, not because it was listing, but because everyone ignored the gaping hole in its hull.

The sinking ship is the United States.  And we’re sinking fast.

 

The problem is not that we have swung too far to the liberal left or the conservative right.  The problem is that we have a gaping hole in our foundation that neither side is willing to recognize and address.

The United States was founded on biblical principles.  The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were based on biblical concepts.  Granted, we have never completely followed those principles in actual practice – we did allow slavery and we did exterminate millions of indigenous people, among other things.  Nevertheless, we generally acknowledged right and wrong based on biblical principles, even though we often failed to follow those principles.  Our foundation was based on God’s truth, even if we didn’t always follow the truth.  God blessed us as a nation, because we acknowledged Him.

Somewhere along the way, we began to reject the truth.  Cracks appeared in our foundation, and God’s blessing began to diminish.

We swung to the left under F.D.R. and Truman.  We swung back to the right under Eisenhower.

A little further to the left under Kennedy and Johnson.  Back to the right under Nixon and Ford.

Hard swing left under Carter, with an ever harder swing to the right under Reagan and Bush 1.

Clinton swung us left again, Bush 2 back to the right.

Obama has nearly capsized us to the left.

Now we’re fighting over whether to allow Hillary to push us further left, or whether to have Trump jerk us completely over to the right again.

The problem is, the cracks in our foundation have become gaping holes, and we’re too blind to see it.  And, we’re reaping the consequences.

Americans no longer have a biblical foundation for their worldviews.  Both the left and the right openly defy God.  The left openly mocks biblical truth regarding sex and marriage.  The right has abandoned biblical truth regarding the poor and greed.  Although many on both sides give lip service to God, the vast majority of our leaders and most of the population live as though God is irrelevant.  Because we have rejected God, we are reaping what we have sown.  We are reaping terrorism, racism, hatred, and fear.

America is sinking fast.  Unless we repent and turn back to Jesus Christ, we will destroy ourselves.  We must plug the gaping hole in our national foundation.  It won’t matter if we capsize to the left, or to the right.  The result will be the same.  We will be destroyed, unless we turn back to God before it’s too late.

Who Can Save America?

The United States of America is more divided than at any time I can remember.  We are divided by politics.  We are divided by income.  We are divided by religion.  We are divided by ethnicity.

The current campaigns for the Presidency exemplify this division.   Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has used the most divisive political rhetoric I’ve ever heard, and has drawn protests and threats from many different groups, from far-left liberals to far-right conservatives.  Other candidates are exploiting Trump’s rhetoric to further divide Americans.  It seems that all of the candidates are seeking to divide Americans into “us” versus “them,” although most do it far more subtly than Mr. Trump.  From Bernie Sanders, it’s the “have nots” versus the “haves.”  From Hillary Clinton, it’s women versus men and the white majority versus racial minorities.  From Donald Trump, it’s anyone who disagrees with him versus those who don’t.  And, from Ted Cruz, it’s anyone who supports the Democrats or Trump versus conservatism.  We have candidates who want to make us into a socialist state, who are being sued for fraud, and who are facing possible FBI indictment.  There have been protests, some with violence; threats against candidates’ families; and threats of more violence.

Trump-Protests

America is a mess.  The police have been accused of racially motivated killings.  Police officers have been assassinated.  Protests are becoming more frequent and more violent.  Terrorism and mass murders are becoming common.  The average household is becoming poorer, while the rich are becoming richer.  Abortion, homosexuality, divorce, pornography, and sex outside marriage are widely accepted, and pedophilia, polygamy, and bestiality are gaining acceptance.  Greed and power are considered to be virtues, and caring for others is considered less important than taking care of self.

Who can save America?

Depending on who is asked, the answer varies.  Many point to Trump, Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, or Kasich.  Others point to third-party candidates from the Libertarian, Green, or other parties.  Many point to ideologies, such as conservatism, liberalism, democratic socialism, or libertarianism.  Some point to the government; others point to the free enterprise system.  Others say that no one can save America, that the decline has become too great ever to overcome.

trump-clinton-sanders-cruz

In order to answer the question of who can save America, we need to look at what made America great in the past, and what changed to cause America to decline.

I contend that what made America great in the past was following Biblical principles, and what has caused its decline has been the rejection of those principles.

adultery_BibleThe United States was never a “Christian Nation,” whatever that means.  We were, however, a nation built on Biblical principles.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights were based on the Bible.  The vast majority of Americans were Christians, or, at least had a respect for Christianity and Biblical principles.  The principles found in the Ten Commandments and Sermon on the Mount were the foundation for American ethics and law.   We were never perfect; we allowed slavery, and we tried to exterminate indigenous peoples.  However, the opposition to both was led by Christians who decried the practices on Biblical grounds.  The concepts of individual responsibility and caring for others were both embraced.   And God blessed the United States because of our respect for Him and our commitment to Biblical principles of morality and law.

Americans no longer have this ideological foundation.  By and large, Americans have rejected Biblical principles.  We no longer accept individual responsibility for our actions, nor do we accept our responsibility to help the less fortunate.  God and the Bible are openly mocked; those who hold to Biblical morality are ridiculed and hated.  The laws are changing to permit and encourage sexual immorality, greed, and other ungodly practices, while penalizing those who follow Jesus Christ.  As in the days of the judges of Israel, everyone does what is “right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

Even the Church has largely rejected Biblical principles.  We pick and choose those bits of the Bible we like, while ignoring the rest.  Most of mainstream Protestantism and Roman Catholicism did this many years ago, but now, even much of Evangelical Christianity is doing the same.  The goats are leading the sheep (Matthew 25:31-46); we have become the Laodicean church (Revelation 3:14-22).  And God has cursed us (Galatians 1:6-9).

churchconstruction

Because we once respected and largely obeyed God, He blessed us; and because we have now rejected what we once knew to be the truth, God has now removed His blessing.  America is in decline, because we have rejected that which made us great in the first place – God’s blessing for obedience and respect.

Who can save America?  Not Obama, nor Trump, nor Sanders, nor Clinton, nor Cruz or Kasich.  No political leader can save us.  Only Jesus Christ can save America; and He will not save us unless we repent and turn to Him once more.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Psalm 33:10-12

 

 

 

Gay Marriage is a Symptom of a Deeper Issue

This week, the United States Supreme Court will be considering arguments on the constitutionality of two key laws dealing with so-called gay marriage rights: California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Gay Marriage BarsThose who support granting the legal right for homosexuals to marry frame the issue as a civil rights issue. As one of my Facebook friends put it, “What possible good does it do us as a people to arbitrarily deny others the opportunity to achieve their dreams? Equal rights: I’m for them.”

Those opposing the legalization of gay marriage usually frame the discussion in terms of an attack on the family. As one prominent evangelical put it, “Now, this institution that has preserved the context for intimacy, procreation, and the raising of children is threatened with a redefinition that would render the state’s conception of marriage at odds with millennia of human wisdom, putting human flourishing at risk.”

I contend that the debate over so-called gay marriage rights is really just a symptom of a much deeper issue. Who determines what is right and wrong? Who determines what is moral and immoral? Is truth determined by public consensus, or by Almighty God?

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Romans 1:18-23).

1Man1WomanThe gay marriage issue is a symptom of society’s rejection of the truth of God. It’s not that people don’t know the truth; God’s truth is seen in everything He created. Everything around us points to the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. The problem is that our culture suppresses the truth – we make up excuses, we devise clever arguments, and we make up our own “truth.” Human nature is to rebel against God. We think we’re smarter than God. We set ourselves up as the rulers of our own lives, rather than submitting to the true Ruler of all – God. This is complete and utter foolishness.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Romans 1:24-27).

Most homosexuals claim that the reason they are gay is because they were born that way. They claim that there is a biological basis for their homosexuality.

First, there is no scientific basis for such a claim. Despite objections to the contrary, a so-called “gay gene” has never been discovered. There isn’t a shred of observable scientific evidence supporting the notion that some people are born gay.

Second, suppose, for the sake of argument, that a “gay gene” is eventually identified and scientifically verified as existing. What then? Would this support the argument that God made some people homosexual, and that this therefore makes gay marriage morally acceptable?

gene_mutationGenetic mutation is a result of the Fall of mankind in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve were genetically perfect when God created them. Six thousand years of mutations have accumulated in the human genome since that time. Genetic abnormalities are responsible for numerous conditions, from Sickle-Cell Anemia to Down’s Syndrome. God didn’t create these conditions; they are the result of the sin of Adam, and subsequently, the sins of all humankind. So it would be if a “gay gene” were to be discovered. Such a gene would not exist because God created it; rather, it would exist because of the corruption of the genes God originally created.

Even if a so-called “gay gene” were to be identified – which it has not – this would not logically support the concept that homosexual actions are acceptable to God.

According to Romans 1:24-27, homosexual behavior is the consequence of rejecting God. Because people have suppressed the truth and exchanged the truth of God for lies, God has rejected them, and given them over to the consequences of their choices.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:28-31).

Here’s the part that many Evangelical Christians miss: homosexuality is just one of a plethora of sins, and we’re all guilty, not just homosexuals.

In this passage, God puts sins such as envy, whispering about others, unforgiveness, and lack of mercy on the same level as homosexuality, murder, and sexual immorality.

CrossAll sin, from “little” sins like boasting and gossip, to “big” sins like homosexuality and murder, are the result of rejecting God’s authority over us. All sins, whether we consider them big or small, are offensive to God, and worthy of His wrath. The gay marriage issue is a symptom of the deeper issue of rejecting God. Not only do those who practice sin deserve death, but also those approve of those who practice them. Acceptance of sin is the same as actually practicing sin in God’s eyes.

Should so-called gay marriage be accepted as normal, and made legal? Absolutely not! But, neither should other kinds of sin. When sin is recognized as normal and acceptable by a society, that society opens itself to God’s judgment and wrath. When people turn to God, repent of their sin, and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, they receive God’s grace, rather than His wrath.

We are reaping what we have sown. The evil we have increasingly seen in our world is the direct result of God’s judgment of our culture’s increasing acceptance of sin.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

~ Isaiah 5:20

The Politics of Economics

Let me start with a premise: Neither the Democratic Party or the Republican Party exists for the purpose of bettering the lives of the average American. The primary purpose of both parties is to gain and maintain power. Every policy, every bill, every major candidate, is chosen and designed for the single purpose of keeping the party in power.

This does not mean that individual politicians – of both parties – aren’t trying to make things better for the average American. But, such people rarely last long in national politics. Those that last are those who follow the party line, those who contribute to the power of the party.

In the American political system, votes equal power. The more voters a party can convince to vote for the candidates it puts forth, the more power the party will have. Therefore, everything the Republican Party and the Democratic Party do is designed to produce more voters who will vote for candidates from their party. It’s not about what’s best for you and me, or what’s best for the country; it’s all about getting votes. Period.

Of course, both parties portray themselves as the “party of the people.” Both parties constantly undertake massive propaganda efforts to convince the public that they are the “good’ party that can best create a strong economy, is the most moral, and cares about America, while portraying the other party as the “bad” party. Americans have been intensely indoctrinated for so long that most believe that one party is “good,’ and the other is “evil.” We’re largely blinded to the true motivation of both parties – power.

If this premise is true, the implications are profound.

There is a very strong correlation between personal wealth and which party Americans support. The wealthy overwhelmingly support the Republicans; the poor overwhelmingly support the Democrats. The Democrats are perceived as supporting the poor, while the Republicans are perceived as supporting the rich. However, if my premise is correct, then these perceptions are wrong. Neither party supports the rich, the poor, or the middle class – they only support themselves. Neither party actually cares about whether you and I have jobs, or whether the economy is doing well – they only care about getting votes. If a strong economy will give a party more power, the party will work to strengthen the economy. If a weak economy will give the party more power, they party will systematically work to weaken the economy.

Assuming my premise is true, does a strong economy help the Democrats, or the Republicans? Which party benefits from low unemployment and high paying jobs? Which party benefits if the economy stays in the toilet?

It all comes down to votes.

Voters from low-income households overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Voters from upper-middle class to wealthy households overwhelmingly vote Republican.

It is to the Democratic Party’s advantage to increase the number of poor people. Poor people vote Democrat. The longer the economy remains weak, with high unemployment and low-paying jobs, the more people will vote for Democrats.

On the other hand, it is to the Republican Party’s advantage to increase the number of wealthy people. Wealthy people vote Republican. The sooner the economy can turn around, with low unemployment and well-paying jobs, the more people will vote for Republicans.

If my premise is correct, and the primary motivation for everything the Republicans and Democrats do is gaining and maintaining power, then which party is going to work to improve the economy and help people get good jobs?

It seems ironic to me that the party that is stereotyped as supporting the poor is actually the party that benefits the most by keeping them poor. It is equally ironic that the party that is stereotyped as being against the poor is the party that benefits the most from ending poverty.

If my initial premise is correct, then the Democratic Party is systematically working to manipulate the economy to keep people unemployed and underemployed. It is to their advantage to do so. The Republican Party, on the other hand, is systematically working to manipulate the economy to produce high paying jobs for as many people as possible. It is to their advantage to do so.

I don’t particularly like either the Republicans or the Democrats. Both parties are self-serving and power-hungry, and neither actually cares about what’s best for America. But, since it actually helps the Republican agenda for the economy to grow, for people to have jobs, and salaries to increase, I’ll hold my nose and vote Republican. It may not be their intent, but the side-effects of their self-serving agenda benefit the average American far more than the agenda of the Democrats.