“If we ever forget that we are One Nation under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.” - Ronald Reagan
A little over ten years ago in the wake of the 2000 presidential election debacle, I wrote an article called The Next American (Un)civil War. Recent developments in this country have prompted me to revisit that topic and, once more, address a point I made years ago.
Back then I was struck with the interesting similarities between the 2000 and 1860 general elections – namely that both resulted in the nation being divided into two camps. In 1860 it was North and South, in 2000 it was “Republican” and “Democrat.” As a result of the 2000 election, the US Senate was equally divided 50/50, very much resembling the nation. Both Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush reluctantly became war-time presidents, both hailed and hated by many. In 2000 and beyond, Bush was lampooned by his detractors as a buffoon and considered to be “unintelligent” and “ignorant” by his political enemies. Actually, compared to the names and epithets railed at Lincoln, that was pretty tame.
The point is, both men were castigated and verbally abused by their enemies without restraint and the nation was divided along political lines. In 1861, that political division erupted into bloodshed – the American Civil War. In 2001, I was asking how long before the current division repeated that violent part of the pattern. I suggested then that, if that were to happen, “the distinction will be that, battle lines will not be determined by geographical boundaries but by ideology. Your mortal enemy won’t necessarily be in another region of the country but may be right next door or even in your own home.” Ten years later, I have come to seriously consider that we may well be at the threshold of widespread violence and bloodshed – not on fields like Manassas, Shiloh and Gettysburg but in schools, courthouses and city streets across the country. Allow me to share a few recent events that, I believe, support my concerns and expose the moral collapse and incendiary disposition of our once-great nation.
When Good is Evil and Evil is Good
In our culture, advocacy groups are a dime a dozen – people are always championing the rights of something or someone who they believe to be downtrodden and oppressed. Yet, have you noticed how very few of these groups defend biblical principles? Have you noticed just how hypocritical most of them really are? Take PETA for instance. This group (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is extremely aggressive in its war to defend the rights of animals. They wage relentless campaigns against hunters, meat-eaters and furriers and, yet, take no official position on the slaughter of unborn babies – their position is to have no position on the issue. Yet, PETA is viewed by many, and especially by the Hollywood elites, as “good.” At the same time, those same people consider a person who protests against abortion as a right-wing religious fanatic – “evil.” Using this as just one of many examples, I believe we have officially arrived at a time when good is evil and evil is good. Consider some recent news items.
In September, 2011, a Fort Worth, TX high school student was sent to the principal’s office and spent a day in in-school suspension for telling another classmate he believes homosexuality is wrong. According to the student, “We were talking about religions. I said, ‘I’m a Christian. I think being a homosexual is wrong,’ ” He said his statement was spoken to a friend sitting behind him. Unfortunately for the student, his teacher overheard him, started yelling at him and sent him to the office where, apparently, those in charge thought he should be suspended. This kind of reaction to a student who holds to “traditional values” isn’t an isolated incident – it is becoming the norm. So, in today’s world, an honor student who holds to the biblical view of homosexuality is evil. He is construed as a bigot and guilty of “hate speech” while those who wholeheartedly embrace the gay agenda are virtuous and good.
In a city where being gay is widely celebrated - San Francisco - public nudity is becoming chic. In the city by the bay, this practice is not only lawful but is staunchly defended while, at the same time, circumcision – a biblically acceptable practice for those in covenant with God – is frowned upon and disparaged by the city fathers. In fact, the San Francisco city council had recently tried to outlaw circumcision even as they defended the right of its citizens to parade around in the buff displaying their … uh … uncircumcision. For the record, God prefers that people cover up and not parade around nude (Gen. 3:21) and, so, I’m sure the Creator would not be welcomed in San Francisco. Again, good is evil and evil is good.
Since we are speaking of California, recently an Orange County, California family was fined $300 for holding Bible studies at their home because it violates a city zoning code. According to San Juan Capistrano city officials, a special permit must be obtained in order to host such events IN THEIR OWN HOME! How absolutely ridiculous it has become when government is permitted to essentially outlaw Bible studies, first in public schools and now in private homes. It makes me wonder what would have happened if these people had been Muslims and were studying the Koran in their home.
Government is not the only culprit seeking to curtail – or at least discourage – the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now, certain elements of the religious establishment are also participating in the assault on “traditional values” and faith. A recent example is an event billed as an interfaith prayer vigil held at Washington’s National Cathedral in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This service included the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, and incarnate lama, a Buddhist nun, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim musician and an Imam, but not one evangelical Christian (or believer returning to their Hebraic roots) was invited.
A spokesperson for the Cathedral admitted that evangelicals were purposely omitted from the program stating that “diversity was first and foremost” a factor in the planning and the event would be a “secular service.” I’d like to point out here that “diversity” is equivalent to “mixing” the holy with the profane or, as Paul puts it, being “unequally yoked” and, yet, this seems to be the trend in certain pockets of Christianity. No wonder. Consider how the first openly gay Presbyterian minister interprets Scripture:
“There’s no longer a right viewpoint and a wrong viewpoint but several faithful viewpoints, one of which includes me in terms of being a minister in the Presbyterian Church. So we’re honoring a diversity of viewpoints in our church.”
In other words, tolerance and diversity supersede sound doctrine, at least as far as some are concerned. Nevertheless, we are to understand that, though culture may call that “good,” the Creator calls “evil” even if it defies the clergy. (Footnote: I find it interesting that, besides the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral was the building that incurred the most damage in the recent earthquake to shake northern Virginia and D.C.)
There are so many more similar incidents that I could relate to you but I think everybody gets the point: this country has strayed so far from the moral principles that helped guide the founders that, short of miraculous and divine interposition, the country we once knew and loved is gone for good. The fault does not lie with Ft. Worth teacher or the San Francisco city council, however, the fault lies with me and you – His people. We hearkened unto the voices of those who would reinvent history and have us believe that the Creator and His Word had nothing to do with the founding and development of this nation. We listened to those clergy who said certain principles in Scripture were archaic and are relevant only in the context of the times in which we live. We embraced the philosophy that wars against what the founders advocated and what the Father has ordained. Consequently, we have forgotten that we were born a “nation under God” and are, therefore, positioned to be, as Ronald Reagan warned, a “nation gone under.”
Left is Left and Right is Right and Never the Twain Shall Meet
When the so-called Tea Party was rallying against Obamacare and the Democratic legislative agenda, their ranks were accused of anything and everything and were jeered by the left as “thugs” and by Nancy Pelosi as “Nazis” (Footnote: she represents the city of San Francisco). She, in fact, claims that Tea Party people threatened and spat upon Democratic members of Congress as they prepared to vote on the Health Care bill. Just recently California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters said the Tea Party should be consigned to the infernal regions. Even more recently, Teamster’s President, Jimmy Hoffa, told a crowd of Obama supporters waiting to hear the President that unions, workers and the left was in a war with the right-wing. Hoffa said, “President Obama, this is your army, we are ready to march. . . . Let’s take these (expletive referring to tea party candidates) out!” One might assume that this kind of language was hyperbole but, then again, maybe not. It would seem that civility, common courtesy and agreeing to disagree is a thing of the past. Consider a couple of political items from the past few months.
In February of this year, tens of thousands of people converged on the state capital of Wisconsin, to protest legislation that was aimed at fixing the state’s budget woes. Included in the proposed bill were limitations on the collective bargaining rights of state employees, i.e. unions. This caused as many as 100,000 people to literally occupy the capitol building and set up sleeping quarters, food stations and an information center. The protesters were loud, aggressive, and destructive. It was reported that clean up and repairs to the capitol cost upwards of 8 million dollars. In some cases, the protesters – or at least a few of them – became threatening. One woman was arrested for sending death threats to Republican lawmakers and .22 caliber ammunition was found in the capitol and other state buildings.
Throughout the demonstrations, the protesters continually chanted, “This is what democracy looks like” and even likened their protests to that of the Egyptian dissidents who marched for the overthrow of Hosni Mubarek. In Wisconsin we saw how very close we came to violence when “liberal” and “conservative” ideology clashed. According to some of the protesters, occupation and destruction of state property and threats of violence against those who disagree with you are what “democracy looks like.” What is going to happen when the division isn’t political but is simply between right and wrong, good and evil? What happens when evil is considered good and good is considered evil?
Now consider the protests in New York, the so-called “Occupy Wall Street” movement. According to the “official” website, this demonstration is a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. . . . We are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends.”
There are some words in this statement that are bothersome and demand to be noticed: “resistance,” “revolutionary” and “Arab Spring.” According to their statements their “resistance” is intended to inspire a revolution against the wealthy banking system and corporations. It has been reported by observers that this revolution is calling, not for reform but, an “end to capitalism.” If they do intend to start a revolution, to what lengths will they go to accomplish their goal? There has already been a degree of violence associated with these protests in New York, in Boston and other Americans cities to which this movement has spread, resulting in hundreds of arrests. Reports of rallies for convicted terrorists, severed “heads” on pikes, signs encouraging the killing of parents and even calls for corporate CEOs to be eaten – yes, eaten – have emerged from the mayhem. It has also been reported that public sex acts, wide spread drug use and extremely unsanitary conditions (including defecating on a police car) has accompanied these protests. (I don’t remember that kind of activity being reported at Tea Party events.)
A recent address to the crowd was delivered by a “veteran” of the Egyptian uprising of this year. In this address, “Muhammad” called for revolution and the end of capitalism which absolutely thrilled those assembled. If this movement is embracing the tactics of the “Arab Spring” will that also include beating and murdering your opponent and raping innocent bystanders as their Egyptian “brothers” did? Even now, Egyptian Muslims are murdering Christians in Egypt because the Christians don’t fit into the vision that is the Arab Spring. Folks, it is very simple - in a revolution, people, usually the innocent, die. During the French Revolution – which actually demonstrated what a democracy does look like – scores of people died, many of them marched to the guillotine, most of those the wealthy aristocracy.
Perhaps more disturbing, yet not surprising, is that these demonstrations have garnered the moral support of many Democratic leaders – including Nancy Pelosi – several Hollywood personalities (one who called for the guillotine to be utilized for bankers who make over 100 million) and worker’s unions. Some reports suggest that several leftist groups actually bankrolled this effort and are the brains behind it. However deep the involvement is, those individuals and groups who support this in any fashion, support the idea of a revolution that desires to end capitalism and a free-market system, redistribute the wealth of these “evil corporations” and invest all power in the workers of America. Hmmmm. This revolution sounds very much like another revolution of the last century initiated by men like Lenin, Trotsky, et al. I seem to recall that, in that October Revolution (which began in February), thousands of people died, namely the Bolshevik’s political opponents and all within the context of class warfare.
The idea that “they” have something “you, the oppressed” should have is as old as time itself. Consider how the serpent beguiled Eve: “God knows that if you eat this fruit, you will be like Him, knowing good from evil.” In short, “God has something that you should have but He is keeping it from you. Just take it!” Please note that Eve’s decision ended up very badly for her and Adam. Also note that the bible of community organizing and leftist revolt, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, paid tribute to Lucifer, the first “revolutionary.”
What is maddening about this is, many of these protesters invoke the names of the founders and speak as if they are doing what the forefathers of this nation would have done in response to tyranny. Don’t get me wrong, I have a big problem with what the system has become, too. Still, I can’t imagine the founders defecating on a police car to show their contempt for the authorities any more than I can imagine them fornicating in public as has been reported in these events. In other words, these protests attempt to present themselves as good and virtuous defenders of liberty while all the time embracing all manner of debauchery and anarchy. I shouldn’t be surprised though - the tare always tries to pass itself off as wheat.
With that in mind, let us come back to the fact that this mob (and that is what it is) wishes to embrace the same tactics as their “brothers in Egypt” and model their protests on the so-called “Arab Spring.” If this is their intention, let’s focus on the word arab or, in Hebrew, arav which means “mixed, mingled.” As a believer, that alone should say a great deal about what this movement is really all about. In fact, their war chant is, “We are the 99%.” In other words, they claim to exist in the category of society that the vast majority of people exist in. While I disagree that most people defecate and fornicate in public, I do believe that most people mix and mingle good with evil. Most don’t want to be a “right-wing, religious fanatic” but they don’t want to strap explosives onto their bodies and blow up innocent people either. Most opt to reside somewhere in the middle; somewhere in the mix. Which brings me to the primary point of this article: if I am in covenant with the God of Israel, I should be part of that other fraction - the 1% - or shall I say, the remnant.
Please understand me. I don’t have a political ax to grind here. I’m not necessarily a proponent of the Tea Party or the conservative movement as it is defined today. Frankly, many people on the right would, most likely, consider my version of conservatism to be radicalism, just not on the liberal end of the political spectrum. Consequently, I’m not that politically active at this point in my life. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t participate in the political process, it just means “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” In other words, my hopes do not rely on what may happen next November because, quite frankly, we have no idea what may transpire before the next election cycle. Consider that in the last Civil War, the bitter feelings between North and South thrust the nation into armed conflict, in turn forcing the President – ironically a politician from Illinois – to trounce on certain aspects of the Constitution in order to quell the rebellion. Therefore, my hope and my trust and, therefore, my focus must be placed elsewhere – another kingdom governed by the King of kings.
In acknowledgment of this fact, where does all this troubling information leave me? Should I move to a remote location and shift into survival mode? What am I to do? Should I just sit aside and watch my beloved country die? What am I to think? Is America just another empire that rose to greatness only to fall into oblivion when its purpose has been served? For the record, history records that most great empires don’t expire because of external forces alone but because of already existing internal frailties. When those empires degenerated into a house of cards, external forces only had to apply the right amount of pressure in the proper place. So then, if that is where America now finds itself; if we are on the verge of bloodshed and violence; if we are witnessing the final moments of America as we knew it, what is the Father saying to His people? In my opinion it is this: “Get your eyes on Him and His purposes.”
Maybe He is warning us to beware of what is on the horizon but, if so, it is not to provoke a life of fear and despair. To the contrary, we should take heart that He is STILL in control of all things. Even when the Adversary is permitted to pursue his agenda, he ends up serving our Father’s purposes. I feel confident in saying that our Father’s purposes do not call for the United States to be the eternal superpower but does call for you and I to be equipped, prepared and ready to play our role in His plan. We are here to advance the Kingdom of Heaven - period. For that to happen, eventually it requires that this kingdom – the U.S. – and every other kingdom of man to take a back seat. If America as we have known it is falling apart, most likely it will not happen without chaos and bloodshed. Therefore, as a believer, don’t get caught up in trying to hold on to something that is destined to become the “kingdoms of our God and of His Messiah.” Remember, there came a time that Jerusalem had to answer for her transgressions and Y’shua warned His hearers:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” – Luke 21:20
In other words, He warned those who would listen, “Don’t stay and fight for Jerusalem for this that I have spoken is ordained. Live to fight another day; but fight to advance My purposes and My Kingdom.”
That is what I’m saying – terrible and undesirable changes are coming to America and the world. As an American, I grieve. But as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I am not to grieve for something that cannot withstand the weight of His justice but to be prepared to serve His purposes – even in the midst of chaos - should that kingdom collapse. We are told that our warfare is not carnal and that we don’t war against flesh and blood – but we will have to wage war against principalities and those powers that rule the kings of the earth. This change and this climactic battle might not come today or tomorrow or even this decade but it will come. So then, let us set our face upon Him and turn our ear to heed His voice that we might be those who overcome the snares and devices of the Adversary. Finally, remember the words of Y’shua who said: “When you see these things begin to happen, look up, lift up your head for your redemption is at hand.” Shalom!