Millions of people are scratching their heads these days and wondering what in the world is wrong with America. It seems that up is down and down is up. We have lost our direction morally and spiritually and don’t know where we are going. It gets more and more confusing and discouraging day by day. It is not the desire to of this writer to paint a gloomy picture but when one faces the realities of today, there is hardly another position to take. We have, quite effectively placed ourselves outside the arena of the blessings of God. We claim to be a Christian nation but the rest of the world takes a dim view of Christianity when they observe the actions and moral positions of America.
I am of the opinion that God is primarily withholding his wrathful judgment upon the United States because of the vast number of people who ARE faithful Christians and who are trying to hold onto the foundational Judeo-Christian principles upon which this country was founded. He set this kind of precedent in the Old Testament when he was willing to spare Sodom and Gomorra if even ten righteous people could be found in it. Even though God has not ventured into the area of wrathful vengeance upon our sinfulness, He is judging this nation harshly and most of the citizens are so removed from Him and His Word that they are unaware of what is really going on. People have become so accustomed to living with transgression against God that they are no longer offended, and they think that God has seen so much of it that He really doesn’t mind it much anymore or care about it. How wrong they are.
I think what has happened is that God has turned the “collective mind” of this nation over to a reprobate mind. He is letting us “stew in our own juices” and will allow us to keep on going until we destroy ourselves. We have leaders who are so wicked and undone that it defies words. And, wicked leaders can lead wicked people to do anything and not bat an eye. In fact, they will wonder why others object to their actions as they are unable to discern the error of their way. Romans 1: 21-32 is an accurate description of who we are as a country today. This nation has largely doesn’t want to be bothered with what God says on an issue. They do not “like to retain God in their knowledge.” They have chosen their way and it does not take God into account. So, I believe He has done what happens next in Romans 1:28….He has turned the nation over to a reprobate mind. He is letting America go wildly into destruction.
There are those who are still hopeful. I desire to be. They think that there is going to somehow be a turnaround. They can’t imagine that God would deal harshly with a nation which has been so blessed. I think that the more He has blessed us is going to be the measure of his judgment because we have “thrown His blessings back into His face.”
The only thing which will save America at this point is a profound visitation of God upon us that would result in a massive revival and return to Him. Sorry, but I am concerned that we have come too far. It is too messed up. Too many cultures. Too many wicked leaders who have betrayed the American people. Too many religions have been assimilated, accepted and adopted. Too much materialism. Too much narcissism. Too much political correctness which is dumbing down the people and numbing the nation to reality is infecting the nation with a false conscience which has no common sense. My concern is that we have come too far. We now have a majority of the populace which can’t think for themselves and don’t want to. They can be told anything and are spoiled to everything. When people begin to see themselves as a nation of one, then the nation as a whole is in danger. I am concerned that the United States is like the Thanksgiving turkey. It is DONE. You can stick a fork in it and the world is getting ready for the meal. Our leaders have let us down. They think only of themselves and have abandoned the trust placed in them in order to preserve their little kingdom. They see themselves as a nation of ONE.
The only thing which will save America is a profound visitation of God upon the hearts and minds of people. No one is beyond his reach. No nation is immune to revival unless it adamantly refuses to be led by God. There is no limit to the degree of correction that can be made if we will listen to and follow God’s Spirit. He is the only one who can save us at this point. Even some of our Congressional members have correctly stated that the nation has gone too far and that the only way we will be saved and survive is if God does something. There have been great awakenings before and we should be praying that there is one more left. But, I believe that God, in order to get our attention, is going to have to bring us to our knees in a way we have never experienced before. We are no one special. He is not a respecter of persons. He owes us no excuses and, as stated above, I think He is holding off simply for the fact that there are millions of Americans who are Christians holding onto Jesus for hope and redemption. We need to hope and pray that He does not finally let us go because when He does there will be no limit to our destruction.
The root problem is that God is no longer considered by the leaders who are taking us down the Primrose Path to destruction. When political correctness has made of us a people who are expected to accept human activity which is abhorrent to God then we are on that Primrose Path. When judges ignore the will of the majority to impose a politically correct judgment which favors the ungodly, then we are on the Primrose Path. When our leaders keep on doing the same things even though those things are not working and bringing confusion, then we are on the Primrose Path. When the people fail to stand up and say “enough is enough” then we are on the Primrose Path. When God is ignored we are on the Primrose Path. We had better find the right Path and find it soon or we will look, act and think like Europe before we know it. More than that, we will find ourselves, once the greatest nation of history, as refuse along the roadway of history to be viewed with pity instead of revered for our example of greatness.
Some will say that I am a doomsday prophet. No, I only wish that what I am observing were not true. I am facing reality and that is something few people want to do today. I am praying for God’s intervention and for our willingness to follow Him out of this morass. I urge all Christians to pray fervently that the next “Great Awakening” will take place and soon.
If I had a dollar for every time I was accused of being a “Pelagian” or “Semi-Pelagian,” I would have at least enough money to put my eldest through college and for that, I would be grateful. At least it would serve some practical purpose.
Typically, the accusation comes from those who are less informed about the historical use of these labels and their actual meanings as it relates to our current soteriological disagreements. So, let’s get educated. Continue reading
The other night, I went to hear a friend of mine preach. He, his father and his son had helped me carry the cross up Mount Kilimanjaro, and he was sharing what he had learned from our journey.
After the service, many people came up to tell me they had been following and praying for us as we made that climb. Then we got to laughing at some of the antics I have shared in this column about my two grandsons and myself.
Some of you have been reading me for a long time and others are new readers. As I write this, my 1000th article, and finish my 20th year, I realize you, my readers, have taught me a great lesson: We are family. In fact, you have shown me how to be family.
Each week, I try to write words that I pray will make your day a little lighter or share a truth that will guide you through some difficult times. In turn, you have opened your hearts and made me a part of your family. You have allowed me to share my failures, my disappointments and my triumphs. No matter what I write, you always provide a return on my investment of words: your love.
So what does writing a column for the past 20 years look like? If you cut out all 1,000 articles and laid them end to end, they would stretch the length of three football fields and then some.
Many of you have asked me where I get the ideas for my articles. Probably the best answer is sleep deprivation, but in reality, they come from life. I may write about something that happened to me as a child, at home or on the mission field, but the best ideas come from God, and I can’t take any credit for those.
There have been many surprises on this journey as a writer. One of them has been the number of times my column has been republished and where it has shown up. I once got a call from a biker who told me one of my articles, “Jesus and the Motorcycle Gang,” had been reprinted on the European Hell’s Angels’ underground website. And then there was the time someone came up and told me his all-time favorite article was the one I wrote about the monkey and his bicycle. I don’t have the heart to tell him I have never written an article like that—at least not yet. And then there was the 90-year-old lady who showed me a yellowed, worn-out piece of paper stuffed inside her Bible. It was an article I had written, and she said she had been carrying it around for most of her life. I am still scratching my head over that one.
I really don’t have the heart of a writer; I have the heart of a storyteller. I believe stories are the glue that attaches a truth or a lesson to our souls. If we remember the story, we will remember the lesson that goes with it. Jesus, a much better storyteller than I will ever be, taught me the importance of stories.
Have I ever thought about quitting during these past 20 years and 1,000 articles? Yes, at least 1001 times. I am not a paper-and-ink person; I would rather sit down and visit with you one-on-one. I want to hear your stories. As I travel and get to meet you, I have discovered your stories are a lot better than mine.
Beside finding a family, writing this column has taught me that God uses me the most in the places I am the weakest. I thought the more I wrote, the better my writing would get, but that hasn’t happened. I wrote my first few articles with no thought of asking for God’s help. Now, I plead with Him each week to give me something to write. A day may come when you open the paper and find a blank spot; you will know then that I am still waiting on Him.
As I close out this 1000th article, I need to mention the people who have made this journey possible. My wife, Cathy, and my two sons, Jeremiah and Caleb, have suffered a lot over these 20 years as I bounced ideas off them. All my articles have a groaning gauge. The louder the groans from my family, the better the article.
I am also incredibly indebted to Marti Pieper, who has helped edit and repair these articles as well as stopped things from going to press that would have caused me harm. She is the world’s best at what she does.
And then I need to thank you, my readers. Because over these past 20 years, we have become family. And I want you to know that I love my family very much.