Prayerful Education of Christians must begin with parents and pastors to restore a fallen culture.
Is there any doubt that we’re living in “perilous times?”
Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the righteous are increased (or flourish in number and authority), the people rejoice; But when the wicked (man) rules, the people groan.”
Is it any wonder we’re hearing a lot of groaning these days? And it’s not so much because of the ordinary stresses of life really, is it? A lot of our complaining is the direct result of governing over-reach into the private affairs of citizens. Corruption in political government is the infection of every nation or organization that is ruled by self-serving leaders. But the policing part of the public government equation is increasingly necessary only because of the epidemic lack of Godly morality and self control. George Washington, John Adams and others insisted that was absolutely essential for the preservation of our constitutional republic.
Examples of the wretched condition of our ‘modern’ society that has been labeled “post-modern” are filling many books and editorial commentaries today. Corruption in high government has never been more flagrant. Lying openly in courts has made a mockery of the judicial system. Avoiding prosecution because of political status, like so many other nefarious actions, have made plain constitutional laws like ‘due process’ a complete sham. Bribes, stealing donated funds from humanitarian purposes and penalizing producers by taxation to encourage indolence and immoral lifestyles – we are all wearied with groaning.
Most egregious and offensive of all, is the government supported protection of masses of evil doers while making life difficult for peace-loving hard-workers who just want to be able to do good for those they chose. The offenses are vast and well known so we don’t have to labor them here. Isaiah prophesied, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). They most assuredly will get their just judgment. But in the meanwhile, the good people are groaning and injustice is rampant.
What concerns me is that all too many otherwise godly leaders are not courageous enough to speak up and challenge the mixed multitude of people that listen to their influence.
Don’t miss it. The same passage of Isaiah tells us,
“Therefore, my people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst” (Isaiah 5:13).
Whose people? God’s own chosen nation. Do you suppose this could be applied to even His church today?
And where do they go? Into exile… into slavery… into tyranny. Even honorable men are famished. What does that mean? Starving – hungry – lacking life’s ordinary needs. Their multitude is parched with thirst. Sounds like a dry desolate condition, doesn’t it?
Did you see that prophecy starts out with the word “therefore?” That means you have to see the preceding passage to see what’s the cause of this, right?
Now there are a lot of conditions Isaiah lists for why God is unpleased with His people here. But the summary statement in verse 12 is simple enough for any of us to understand and apply today to the family of God, beginning with the leaders. It says:
“but they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands.”
Beginning with the clear Biblical teachings of creation and the flood that the apostle Peter predicted in 2 Peter 3:5-6 would be willfully ignored in the last days, the “deeds of the Lord” are obviously referring to the testimony of what God has actually done in the history of His people and how He has dealt with their enemies.
We’re talking here about education. Nothing is more fundamental to a society of civil humans than education. Whose responsibility is it to educate children? Parents! (See Deuteronomy 6:7) And whose responsibility is it to educate Christian believers? Pastors and Teachers! (See Ephesians 4:12) What happens when parents are lulled into apathy while abdicating their responsibility to the government schools? Is it any wonder that Germany fell to Nazism, France fell to hedonism and Britain fell to so-called liberal modernism? America has fallen to secular humanism! It’s not falling. It HAS fallen. And what is secular humanism? It’s a society where man is the highest authority and God is removed from respect and influence in society at large.
Listen to what Alexis de’Tocqueville wrote about America in 1835 in what is “the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.”
“There is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence than in America… America is still the place where the Christian religion has kept the greatest real power over men’s souls; and nothing better demonstrates how useful and natural it is to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.”
“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other…”
De’ Tocqueville’s book, ‘Democracy in America,’ was required reading in history classes for generations, along with the Federalist Papers and the biographies of founders like Washington and Ben Franklin. Students were well aware of the sacred aspect of American history that helped us see that the Providence of the Creator was personally revered by the humbly influential leaders of the generation that birthed the United States of America.
Another French writer of the time (Gustave de Beaumont) wrote:
“It is a principle of the United States legislature that, to be a good citizen, it is necessary to be religious; and it is a no less well-established rule that, to fulfill one’s duty toward God, it is necessary to be a good citizen…”
Where is that mentality today? Is it hidden from public view? Is there any chance it will be revived in today’s highly divided population of secularists and so-called evangelicals?
Secularism has arguably been allowed to rule supreme because of the very observation you may have heard many times quoted from 18th Century British philosopher, Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer). You shouldn’t be surprised what he had on his mind when he wrote that… We’ll come back to that later.
But in the providential sense, why are the deceptions of secularism, atheism, and evolutionism so prominent in the thinking of our generation? The brilliant French scientist Blaise Pascal wrote:
“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
Oh yes… did we forget? Paul prophesied what happens when men refuse the gift of the love of the truth.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
What is that strong delusion?
Depending on your situation it can manifest in endless ways. But, for sure, the society-wide deception of secularism – that hates accountability and divine judgment – is profoundly destructive to God-consciousness. You can easily see why those who have given their allegiance to the Evil One are so brazenly ambitious in eliminating the grace and forgiveness of the gospel of Christ from society.
Enemies. You can’t read much of Psalms without recognizing that God and His people have real flesh and blood enemies. Here’s where it gets a little confusing. Aren’t we supposed to pray for them? Well, if we exercise the discernment that only comes from seeking God’s wisdom and knowledge by reading and studying His Word, then we will know how to pray rightly. What many miss is that sometimes God’s people need to pray not only for personal wisdom but God’s judgmental intervention against those who are actively working to destroy God’s heritage.
Almost ten percent of the Psalms of the Bible (14 of 150) are “Imprecatory Psalms” (Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140)
Hear Psalm 5:
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
It seems to be typical in America for many Christians to live in complacency. They do not want to ‘rock the boat’ by doing the work necessary to be an influence of accountability in society. They don’t want to be the “salt” that preserves a rotting culture. To do so might demand them to ‘rub’ their stinging influence into the wounds of willfully ignorant and flagrantly defiant children of the devil. And if anybody has been ‘rocking the boat’ for decades it’s the anti-God crowd who don’t care if they destroy civil society by pushing their humanistic ‘religion’ of self indulgence.
Is it really necessary for us to be reminded that our government is now in collusion with anti-God and anti-constitutional destroyers of all things good and moral?
For three centuries, American education theories focused on the building of character as a principle component of knowledge. But in the 20th century, secularists gladly filled the void left by an ambivalent church and took over public education. Instead of holiness and deep reverence for God that brings order and structure to society, we now see confusion and every evil work reigning supreme in public schools. Theft, lying, speaking falsely in any matter, deceit, and cheating in weights and measures: all these are sin in the eyes of a Holy and Living God. And sin always brings consequences.
The respected Christian author, A.W. Tozer wrote:
“Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.” A.W. Tozer, The Gift of Prophetic Insight, http://www.tentmaker.org/holy-spirit/prophetic.htm
George Barna and various church related organizations have noted that over 80% of Christians in even conservative churches are not being instructed by their pastors on major concerns that are an issue to all of modern society. Things like self-defense, Islam, government debt, jobs, taxation, environment, immigration, national defense and social welfare are included in the preaching of less than 10% of pastors across the land.
A large majority of conservative Christians are actually eager to learn what the Bible says about controversial problems of society. They want to be challenged how to think biblically about today’s issues.
Polster, George Barna said:
“we are not seeing any growth in the determination or practice of pastors helping their congregants discover and apply biblical truth in relation to today’s social and economic issues. It is no wonder that less than one out of every ten born again Christians has a biblical worldview; churches won’t teach them the underlying principles in a manner that facilitates useful application.”
“When Millennials and others describe Christian churches as irrelevant,” Barna continued, “they are not talking about styles of music and dress codes as much as they are attacking the focal point of church services: the teaching. These days people value their time too highly to invest it in hearing lectures on topics that do not intersect with their life questions and daily struggles. By ignoring the social and political challenges of the day, conservative churches are missing a great opportunity for cultural and individual influence.”
If this is true… then preparation for the inevitable outcome is paramount…
Imagine if a front-line public leader said this tonight after a major national speech like the state of the union???
“How can we hope for public peace and national prosperity, if the faith of governments so solemnly pledged can be so lightly infringed?… This hour of distress will come. It comes to all, and the moment of affliction is known to Him alone, whose Divine Providence exalts or depresses States and Kingdoms…in proportion to their obedience or disobedience of His just and holy laws.”
Those who fail to recognize and avoid the mistakes of history past are destined to repeat them.
Those of us who are given a platform to present the truth to those who are willing to listen have the choice to be responsible “watchmen on the walls” of society or to tend only to our business as usual while unwary and uninformed “children” are led by the Pied Piper into their inevitable destruction.
As the bloody French Revolution progressed, English philosopher Edmund Burke wrote in “A Letter (to a Member of the National Assembly,”) in 1791:
“What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?
It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as they are disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good in preference to the flattery of knaves…”
Edmund Burke continued:
“Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without… It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
In Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790, Edmund Burke wrote:
“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
Perhaps today’s Americans need to be taught some vitally relevant history.
On January 9, 1795, in a letter to William Smith, Edmund Burke stated:
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
I fear that there are all too many ‘good’ men in our society – even sitting comfortably in their air-conditioned church’s cushioned theater seats – and they’re doing virtually nothing to educate even their own children about the harsh reality of the past, while the strident opinions of secularized public educators and bureaucrats are allowed to set the tone and philosophy of the nation’s students who will supposedly lead the next generation… where? Into hell?
On the eve of the French Revolution, the first U.S. Minister to France, Gouverneur Morris, wrote April 29, 1789:
“The materials for a revolution in France are very indifferent… There is an utter prostration of morals… depravity… extreme rottenness of every member… The great masses of the common people have no religion…no law but their superiors, no morals but their interest…”
Gouverneur Morris wrote Observation on Government, Applicable to the Political State of France, 1792:
This nation IS falling and WILL be destroyed internally. What has to change is the hearts of the people who influence the next generation. The governmental experiment that began on “firm reliance on Divine Providence” cannot “long endure” when the citizenry is a house “divided against itself.” It starts with basic human reality like the sanctity of every life, respect for the Creator, our Lawgiver and Judge, and the primary institution of the family which is all about procreation and growing together as a family unit. Families are what founded and fought for this country. And regardless of how the government ultimately collapses, it will be the families of this fair land that will bring about a revival of cultural sanity ONLY after there is a revival of humility before God and His sovereignty. In the meanwhile, it’s back to Micah 6:8 for every individual.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
In 1785, Gouverneur Morris, who penned the final draft of the Constitution and originated the phrase: “We the people of the United States…”
addressed the Pennsylvania Assembly regarding the Bank of North America:
“How can we hope for public peace and national prosperity, if the faith of governments so solemnly pledged can be so lightly infringed?…
This hour of distress will come. It comes to all, and the moment of affliction is known to Him alone, whose Divine Providence exalts or depresses States and Kingdoms…in proportion to their obedience or disobedience of His just and holy laws.“
In our lifetime, there are few times that have been more critical than now for each of us to reexamine our purpose, our choices and our specific mission to be the preservative influence of ‘salt’ that we are directly called by our Savior to be in this world. Let us define and follow our deliberate course of action for the priorities that each of us are uniquely called and equipped to fulfill for the well being of those we are charged to care for. Think of Joseph, appointed for such a time as this: “God meant it for good.”
** After thoughts
What are some things you should do?
Stop for a minute today to repent… confess to God you’ve been too busy with important matters to spend 5 minutes a day reading your Bible with your family or a friend and praying for God’s wisdom in how to be a salty influence in your world.
Find someone – one like-minded friend – who is willing to be a praying partner to share regularly every week if not daily with you about deeply serious things in your community… not just your personal griefs.
Take that Bible passage seriously that tells us to look out not only for our own concerns but also for the concerns of others. Find others you can help with anything in their life and be willing to receive help from others when they offer it to you.
Read Proverbs daily… a chapter every day.
Keep your spiritual eyes on Jesus, and keep smiling. Compared to most people in the world you’ve got it pretty good. Don’t give up confidence that God will guide your steps if you keep moving forward… doing what is right… and ‘walk humbly with your God.’
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