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)