TROUBLE WITH A CAPITAL “T”

(Recommended Reading:  Isaiah 3:8-12)

Yes, there is Trouble all right, and not just in River City.  (If you ever saw “The Music Man”, you will get what I mean by that.)

I do not like to write things that come across really negatively, but there are some hard facts that we had better face up to, sooner rather than later.  The United States of America is in some real trouble right now – trouble with a capital T.  As a matter of fact, the whole world is in a heap of trouble!  I will warn you in advance that this article will be longer than I normally publish,  plus you should prepare yourself for some things that will be difficult to read.  But it is time that we face reality and know what we are dealing with now.  Are you ready?

I have long thought that the terrorist attack we suffered on 9/11/2001 was a result of God lifting His hand of protection from our nation.  There have been numerous other significant events that have impacted our country from then until 2020 that to me cemented that theory.  Then the plague (“pandemic”) hit us in 2020 and changed this nation in ways from which I am not sure we will ever fully recover.  Just another thing to cause me to believe we have strayed too far from God and that His judgment is upon us.  

So why is all of this happening?  Why would God allow so many bad things to happen to a nation that was firmly established on Christian principles so many years ago?  A nation that has a church on almost every corner?  Out of curiosity, I searched the web to find out how many churches there are in the United States and according to an article written in August 2017 by Howard Kramer in “Complete Pilgrim”:  “The number in the United States, according to The Christian Post, is a more realistic 300,000. With an estimated 228.1 million Christians in the United States…” 

But then in an article from “The Washington Times” written October 17, 2019 by Christopher Vondracek we learn the numbers of those claiming to be Christians are dropping:  “The number of Americans who identify as Christian has fallen by 13 million over the last 10 years while those who are not affiliated with any religion grew by 30 million, according to polling data from the Pew Research Center.”  “The survey’s results, released Thursday, show that 65% of American adults (about 167 million) describe themselves as Christian, down from 77% a decade ago.  Meanwhile, 26% (about 67 million) describe themselves as religious ‘nones’ (atheists, agnostics and nonaffiliated), up from 17% in 2009.”

You would think that the shock of what happened on 9/11, as well as the other startling events we have seen strike our nation, that the numbers of people responding to God in faith and attending church would have risen.  However, the opposite seems to be true according to those statistics.

I will be 75 years old next month and I have witnessed the decline of morals for all of my adult life.  Long gone are the wholesome days of “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet”, “Make Room For Daddy”, “Leave It To Beaver”, “Lassie”, etc. on our television screens.  Now a majority of the TV shows we can select from are about highly immoral people with an overabundance of foul language, extreme violence, blatant sexually-charged language and actions, or witches, vampires and werewolves.  Even shows that try to pass themselves off as comedies are filled with immoral things; and, the once wholesome Hallmark movies have evolved into “politically correct” shows that contain some characters and storylines that are tasteless.  Do not even get me started on the horrible video games that are introduced to the most vulnerable of all – our children.  They play those games that are filled with nonsensical violence, sexual attacks and brutality that should make the worst of us cringe.   

What has happened to us?

I believe that the many godless people in the entertainment business quickly desensitized us by being very sly in the way they introduced us to this theater.  Slip in a little here and a little there until people just do not even notice it.  Suddenly we find ourselves watching TV shows and movies that not that long ago would have made us uncomfortable.  But, we rationalize that “oh, it will not hurt anything if I just watch this silly show – I know it is not real.  It is just make-believe.”

In Biblical times when the pagan nations around Israel worshipped their “gods” they were involved in all kinds of debauchery.  (Just in case you do not know the meaning of that word, according to Merriam-Webster it is: “extreme indulgence in bodily pleasures and especially sexual pleasures: behavior involving sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. that is often considered immoral.”)  Those pagan nations also sacrificed their own children.  According to an article in “CARM” dated October 3, 2014 written by Matt Slick titled “Moloch, the ancient pagan God of child sacrifice”:  “The ancients would heat this idol up with fire until it was glowing, then they would take their newborn babies, place them on the arms of the idol, and watch them burn to death.”  Does that shock your sensibilities?  It most definitely should! Unfortunately the Israelites allowed the influence of those pagan nations to filter into their lives.   

So what does all of that have to do with America today?  Well…have you not noticed the “debauchery” all around us?  The acceptance of so much open sexual talk and actions?  A steady diet of foul language?  Drag queens being paraded around in front of young children trying to make it appear as a fun, normal thing?  Blatant sex being taught to elementary children – i.e. “proper words for sex organs – how to touch yourself so it feels good,” etc.?  (I am not just making this up.  I actually watched a video the other day of a Mom that took her 1st grader’s book to a school board meeting to confront them about those exact things!  I also watched a video of a Mom at a school board meeting in Illinois confronting them about the details of the sex education programs proposed for their schools for students K-12. It was so descriptive of so much that I will not relay it here because it would be too embarrassing.)     

Then how about the horror of how pagans in ancient times burned their children to death?  Unthinkable, right?  How does that compare to what we do in America with abortion?  I am writing this article on June 19, 2021 and I just went to the website http://www.usabortionclock.org to check their “Abortion Counters”.  At this moment in time there have been just under 63,000,000 – that is MILLION – abortions in the U.S. since Roe vs Wade passed in 1973.  That is more than 1.3 million babies aborted per year and that is more people than populate the 10th largest city in this country according to the 2020 census!  Do you truly get that?!  That means that every single year for 48 years we have on the average killed enough babies to populate a city the size of our 10th largest American city!!  And, there have been over 1.6 billion abortions worldwide since 1980!

So just for the sake of those facts, I want to talk to you a bit more about abortions.  The most common method for abortion until the early 90’s was using saline.  It would be injected into the womb poisoning and burning the tiny, fragile, living baby.  Oh but now, they are so much more sophisticated and civil in the way they end a baby’s life – now the method they often use is called “aspiration”, where they use a suction machine that literally tears the tiny, fragile living baby apart.  Or, they will use the “D&E” method – they insert a clamp into the womb, crushing the little skull and dismembering the body of the tiny, fragile living baby, then just scrap it out like a piece of garbage.  All better than Moloch, right???  I do not think so!!  Even people that are not really big on children, but love animals, would scream bloody murder if they found out unborn baby puppies and/or kittens were being treated like that!  

With the rationalization of our modern day debauchery and the way babies are being aborted today we believe it makes us better or more innocent than those horrible pagans of ancient days.  Do not try to kid yourself about that!!   

I guess question #1 that begs to be answered then is how did God deal with what was happening in those Biblical times?  I will not go into extreme details here, but if you are so inclined, you can get out your Bible, or do a search on the web and find out more than you will probably want to know.  But a few examples are:  Two cities – Sodom and Gomorrah – were totally destroyed because of all the rampant sin in their cities.  (I read that archaeological finds appear to confirm the Biblical records that they were destroyed by sulfur and fire.)  God’s own people – the Israelites – were enslaved by other nations for many years because of their sins and lack of faith in their God.  God would lift His protection from them and allow their enemies to defeat them and plunder their wealth. They had poisonous serpents sent into their camp and suffered death from their bites, they suffered diseases, droughts, famines and plagues,  to name just a few.  These things would all happen after they had been warned; and, not just once, but over and over and over again.  Can you say “hard-headed much”?  (To fully understand why two cities were instantaneously destroyed you should read again the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:1-29.  As you read it, does it sound at least vaguely familiar?)

You will also find that when the suffering started, the people would cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness.  As Moses led them for over 40 years, his level of frustration must have been about as high as it could possibly go.  He did his best to teach and lead them in the way of God only to have them turn on him and God, doing as they pleased, falling deeply into sin.  Then they would beg Moses again to call on God to change things.  It seems God always forgave them and turned things around.    

Once the nation of Israel was established in their “promised land”,  things did not change.  They would have good leaders then they would have terrible leaders.  They would turn to God for a period of time, then fall away into sin and judgment would again visit them.  Then, they would cry out as a nation for God’s mercy and forgiveness and He still always forgave them.  Why?  The answer to that is found in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NLT): “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” [Emphasis mine]

God loves all people all of the time.  He does not want to see us suffer.  But the fact is, He knows what is best for us and has given us a map for living – it is called the Bible.  When we choose to ignore that map and go the wrong direction, He has to get our attention.  Sometimes the natural consequences of our actions bring on the difficulties.  But, because we are no less hard-headed than the people that came before us, it sometimes takes drastic actions to get our attention.  To change things, we need to recognize the wrongs and seek forgiveness.       

Then I guess question #2 that begs to be answered is what can be done to change all the wrongs in our nation today?   The violence, hatred, prejudices, anger, frustrations are so prevalent they are taking us down a path that I do not believe we want to be on.  We see uncontrolled spending by our government; quickly rising inflation; open borders allowing people into this country that cannot support themselves as well as people that escape the authorities coming here for criminal purposes; power-hungry, greedy politicians that are not doing what is best for all the people of this nation but what is going to elevate themselves in status and line their own pockets; people driven into fear, afraid to live a normal life; children’s minds being brain-washed and poisoned; young people believing that they should get everything they want for free; belief by some that our cities would be better off if prison doors were opened so that criminals can run free, all the while having no police to protect us; men having their masculinity wiped out; everyone being made to feel they are better than or weaker than others because of the color of their skin.  I could go on and on, but if you have eyes to see and ears to hear, then you know what is happening – I do not have to tell you.  

So what can we do?  We are no different than the people of Israel were.  Our solution needs to be the same as their solution.  “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)   

We also need to recognize that sitting around and complaining about everything is not going to change anything.  In my devotional a couple of days ago it said this:  “…the biggest obstacle the Israelites faced was their own attitude.  Their complaints kept them from experiencing God’s best.”  “Complaints…give voice to the fear and unbelief of our hearts.  They are an audible expression of contradictions to God.”  (Chris Tiegreen)  It is not ever to our advantage to contradict God!  We need to stop complaining and start taking action.     

God is still on the throne.  God still loves us – no matter what we have done.  God just wants us to recognize our sins, repent and believe that His grace is still sufficient.  But…we had better be serious about it.  We had better talk about it to others and enlist them to do the same.  When a nation falls under judgment (as I believe we in America are now) the innocent usually suffer along with the guilty.  So do not think you will not see and experience negative consequences because you are a Christian and a good person.  If we want to see things change so that God’s hand of protection is once again over us, it is time to get on our knees and pray – and pray hard!

I will end this with a recommendation for a couple of books.  If you have not read them, you should get your hands on them as soon as possible.  The author is Jonathan Cahn and the books are titled:  “The Harbinger” and “The Harbinger II”.  They are ominous and eye-opening and what spurred me to write this article. If you read them you will better understand what is happening to our nation and why; and, you will recognize what needs to be done to turn things around. 

Stay strong in your belief, be humble and pray – for yourself, your loved ones and this nation.  Things can be changed.

Written by Karran Martin – June 19, 2021

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