I must confess today's blog expresses my frustration with where we are as Americans. I just want you to be aware of this before you read.
I am confused by our churches (the abundant numbers of churches in America). Where might God's spokesperson(s) be? I hope the reason why the church is not visible is because it’s on its knees praying. But given what I know, it seems most of the churches have not yet put 2 and 2 together in order to notice that the events outside the church are relevant to the people inside the church.
Thank goodness for the few pastors who are addressing the issues of our time. (Links below) My pastor happens to be one of them. Born an Egyptian and raised a Christian he has a depth of understanding living with radical Islam that most of us hopefully will never experience. He teaches the whole counsel of God and stands up for what the Bible says. As he says about himself, "You might not want to mess with me regarding the faith, because I tell it like it is no matter who you are or what the consequences." I admire him greatly.
His son once commented while in the pulpit, "Dad, isn't it bizarre that early in your life you had to flee Egypt for fear of imprisonment. Now, if things keep going the way they are going in America, you may once again have to fear either for your very life or for imprisonment. How ironic."
Many of our grand old churches that use to protect and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ are gone. Like most of our prestigious universities, founded for the glory of God, such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale, they all seem to follow a pattern I see repeated in other realms of life. Churches, para-church organizations, secular organizations, non-profits, and governments mostly begin with integrity, truth, morality and good intentions if you will. As time and new owners/pastors/presidents come and go each begins to slide downward. The organizations go from integrity and the preeminence of God, into hypocrisy (pretending they are adherents of the faith fooling the people) to out and out apostasy (the renunciation of a religious or political belief or allegiance). In so doing they lead unsuspecting supporters into a way of thinking and being that ultimately leads them into chaos, anguish and lawlessness.
Take for instance our school systems. I am old enough to have seen the decline personally. When did this all begin? I believe it was when the government ushered God out of the schools. Confusion, emotional pain, unruliness and disorder permeate our schools. Our ranking in the world among developed nations has dropped severely.
While attending another church I often wondered when something tragic happened in the community or to Americans why no reference or prayers were offered on behalf of the families. It was as if upon entering church, all the reality going on outside the church becomes irrelevant. We are here to teach the Bible. What have we to do with that? What is disconcerting outside the church is still disconcerting when inside the church. Nothing is irrelevant to God. We are to bring everything to Him for help and comfort. I often ask myself, "Are most of the churches just playing church?"
Recently I watched a five hour special highlighting the German populace during World War II. I have seen numerous history programs regarding hitler (I cannot give his name a capitol H); however, this documentary was completely created from letters, diaries, pictures and even what we once called moving pictures. All was told from hitler's early years in office to his bitter end regarding the lives of the German people. It focused on what they were thinking and experiencing during this time. Early on hitler brought them out of a deep depression into a life style similar to our American lifestyle. They were content and enjoying the privileges of money. Hitler began slowly taking away their freedom until the government manipulated the people into being dependent.
Most of the civilians did not know for quite a while what was happening to the Jews. Neighbors began noticing their neighbors were disappearing. They wondered and whispered to each other, "It seems to be only the Jews. They are taking them somewhere." Others noticed when the Jews were herded into the train cars while their belongings were put into the last few cars. What began to give them some idea that something malevolent was occurring was when the train pulled out of the station the cars with their belongings were not coupled to the train. The Jews left, yet their belongings stayed. Something was wrong.
When the civilians did know what was happening only a few tried to do something about it. I did not know, and you might be interested, when the Allies came to release those still alive in the concentration camps, the Allies forced the citizens of Germany to go into the concentration camps. There they saw the thin emaciated Jews still alive along with the bodies of their fellow Jews cast away into large piles of human "garbage.” The Allies made the citizens not only look at them but pick up, carry and bury each and every one of the bodies.
Why do I bring this up? I wonder," What could I have done? What would I have done?" I am not sure. I would like to think I would work with the underground rescuing Christians and Jews. At heart I am a, "Let's keep the peace. Let's not rock the boat" person. Giving most of the German civilians the benefit of the doubt, they too probably felt the way I do, thinking, "I don't know what I can do. I am afraid of going against the Nazis. They will seek me out and kill me. I have children to care for. I cannot and will not face this reality so I will force myself to get up tomorrow and live life as normal as possible."
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I can understand why the German civilians learned to live either in denial or in suppression. Suppression is a method we use to protect ourselves from some truth that we believe will devastate us and our way of life. We do know the truth but will not allow it to come into our consciousness. We do have the capacity to push down potentially harmful information. As we get older, it gets harder to do this and as therapists say, "We start leaking."
Denial is also a way of protection, yet ensconced so deep within the person that they do not see the reality of what others see clearly. A friend of mine once said, "I am going to open an office right next to yours to help people stay in denial." We laughed. Although staying in denial or suppression seems to be a good alternative to reality; however, the outcome of that denial as it works its truth deep into the person is it "always" has tragic outcomes. I highlight the word always because I try not to use all or nothing terms, as there are generally some exceptions. Regarding God's principles however: there are no exceptions when it comes to living as an antagonist against God and His principles. If we are not honest with ourselves, with God and with others the devastation "will" come. Count on it.
Galatians 6:7 Amplified Bible states:
Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap..
I sense the apostate churches, the liberal universities along with the general populace and our leaders live in suppression and/or denial; suppressing the reality that we do have enemies and we do have overwhelming financial issues. First, Islam practiced as outlined in the Koran is conflicting and irreconcilable with Christianity. Secondly, pretending America is not in a financial free fall comes under the category of denial and suppression. I sense our populace in general does not see that the bridge is out.
Regarding our financial issues: It seems over the years congress did not want to rock the boat and upset the seemingly radiant system of prosperity. Money makes the people feel happy and secure. Secondly, facing the problem would most likely be too emotionally volatile for the people and the economy. So, "let's keep putting off reality. Let's not address that today. Let someone else deal with it down the line."
Thirdly, the congressional representatives would be booted, losing their power, prestige, jobs and our money. Therefore, not unlike us, they ignored the problem of their overspending and massive debt putting off dealing with the issue repeatedly. This too is a pattern with individual people. It is for me. We wait to the last minute when the pain hits to have that tooth fixed We decide not to think about the lump in the breast and do not go to the doctor until it is too late. We use our many charge cards until we are at our limit and it's time to pay back and spend no more. Yet we find ways to borrow more money and go further into debt until the loss of our house, our car and bankruptcy looms over us. We stay in an abusive marriage way too long not wanting to rock the boat.
We as individuals and as a country have broken God's principles regarding money. We are to balance our own private budgets, pay off our debts, give a least a tenth to the church, and not lend to others unless we are willing to lose the money. Jesus spoke of money more than any other topic while with us. He even said, "The LOVE of money is the ROOT of all evil." Money is not the root of evil. Many Godly believers over the centuries and in the present are wealthy. It is the love of money that leads to deception, manipulation and embezzlement.
Put off way to long by our congress, this possible devastation and chaos seems to be staring us in the face. The scenario is like a battered woman who lives in denial until she ends up in the ICU in a comma with broken bones and a small chance of surviving. This malevolent behavior should have been dealt with years ago. Now it has escalated into a tragic end. As a nation we are backed into that proverbial corner and the crisis we have put off, I fear is here.
Many Christians are saying God is punishing us for our life style. As a Christian, I have a particular belief system that may differ from yours. God gave everyone the gift, and often the curse, of free will. If we choose to go into debt, we are sinning against God and ourselves. If others who have authority over us allow us to go into deep dept, they are sinning against us and against God. As I said earlier, the consequences of going against God's principles will eventually take place. My belief is God is not punishing us. We are punishing ourselves as God allows our free wills to have its way.
Three years ago I told my husband this was coming. How did I know? I know God's principles for using money. I said, "We just cannot as a country keep spending money and raising debt without crashing.”
Unfortunately, I have no concrete solutions. Nevertheless, I do have a sense of urgency. I would hope churches would do two things. The most important one is prayer, prayer for revival outside our churches and within our churches. The second thing for church members is to begin organizing and sharing plans with its people regarding what to do and how to prepare in case the worst does happen.
I do know God wants us to bring everything of concern to Him. What we cannot do He can do. Those over us seem to ignore God. Since God has no authority to help them against their free wills, we are outnumbered. Nevertheless, God is at his best with small numbers of believers. He uses the weak things of the world to confound the world. He uses small numbers to mystify the majority. This is what our faith is about: if we think, we cannot do xyz and turn to God for help He works for us. Let's ask the God of this Universe for help.
•Check out revival in Hungary and what God can do. You will be inspired. http://www.leadingtheway.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sto_videos
When on website scroll down to the forth video. The gentleman holding the flag.
•Joel Rosenberg: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/
•Dr. Michael Youssef: http://www.michaelyoussef.com/
• Sign up to pray at Worldrevival.org