Before we go any further with this, let’s take stock – how are we doing? Is there really anything wrong with America? Consider this….
“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God... “
(I Timothy2: 1-4).
Now, in technical, theological terms “the last days” refers to the Tribulation, the last 7 years of the Age of Israel leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. We’re not there yet – though we can hear the rapids approaching.
But granting that, we can apply this scripture as a measuring stick for our culture today --
- “Lovers of themselves?” Are we? Self-esteem is the one curriculum our public schools are teaching really well; this generation hasn’t been labeled the Me generation for nothing.
- “Lovers of money?” Check – We’re witnessing people selling out their country’s freedom and sovereignty for paper pretending to be money. We’ve seen our government back business so far into a corner that it’s chosen to climb in bed with that greedy government – a sort of Stockholm syndrome – siding with its abductor. And our poor, the richest poor in the world, are as greedy – and as dependent on the government -- as are many big corporations.
- “Boastful? Proud?” No. Really? In December on 60 Minutes our president compared himself favorably with FDR, Johnson, and Lincoln! While he was running for the office he declared, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” a rather messianic line, if you ask me, and not even original, at that. And, I just saw a Youtube video of a young man in a Washington state high school asking his schoolmates common-knowledge questions – Who is the vice president? How many stars on the flag? Name the countries that border the U.S. The ignorance was profound, but they all seemed proud of not knowing. Heaven help us. One student thought the vice president was Bin Laden. Yikes.
- “Abusive?” Oh dear, Check. Child abuse and spousal abuse are rampant. We rescue abused children from their abusive families only to put them in abusive foster homes. Then we send them to chaotic schools where they will be abused yet again. I once worked with a girl whose father agreed to get her braces for her very crooked teeth if she’d pimp for him – get her friends to sleep with him. I worked with one young man whose adoptive parents had obtained him as a birthday present for his older brother. He was a slave to that brother; he had no room of his own and had to sleep on the couch. I could go on – but I’ll spare you.
- “Disobedient? Ungrateful?” Check. I’ve worked with thousands of young people and the vast majority of them are decent, caring people, capable of gratitude, and obedient in that they really didn’t want to do anything out of line in the first place. But the recalcitrant group is growing. During my last few years in a public school, assigning homework was a joke – only about a third of each class would bother to do it, and any gratitude for the free education placed in front of them was, at best, well hidden.
- “Unholy?” Oh my goodness – We’re taking crosses, and mention of Christ out of our military chapels. We’re pulling down nativity scenes and Ten Commandment plaques, filling our schools with Darwinist propaganda and -- even worse -- we’re using abortion as a kind of pre-genocide. Did you know that 59.8% of black pregnancies in New York end in abortion? Yes. Check.
- “Unforgiving? Slanderous?” Watch this election unfold. Every actual sin any candidate has ever dreamed of committing will be dragged out and strung up for universal hatred. When PAC’s run out of the real stuff, they’ll fill the air waves with fake stuff and we’ll all refuse to forgive the innocent party of the sins he didn’t commit. That’s a check, too, on both counts.
- “Without self-control?” California is proposing the regulation of sugar to protect us from our inability to curb our own cravings. New York is regulating salt and fat in restaurant meals. You can measure the self-discipline of a nation by the weight of its government. Check.
- “Brutal?” Have you seen the Youtube videos showing teenagers beating each other up? If we’re not doing the beating, we’re doing the watching. Check.
- “Not lovers of the good?” Watched a gay pride parade? Know about NAMBLA?
- “Treacherous?” Why no – we’ve elected the “most transparent” administration ever. We don’t know who Obama is. We know he’s connected in some way to George Soros, who specializes in taking down nations. We watch him lie daily and we watch the press dance happily around him as he does. No, no problem with treachery.
- “Rash?” Us? Road rage, anyone? Or how about your first dose of meth? Maybe a little domestic violence? Or a bad financial decision? OK. Yes – check.
- “Conceited?” Well, there is the Narcissist-in-Chief – and we elected him. Fifty-four percent of American voters saw something in him that looked familiar and attractive – could it have been the conceit? A conversation with members of the intellectual elite provides a good look at arrogance at its nastiest – we Christian conservatives are “bitter clingers to our guns and our religion” – remember? And, we have to admit that an obnoxious number of Christians indulge in the holier-than-thou worldview. Check.
- “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God? “ I’m afraid so. It’s not that some play golf or go skiing on Sunday mornings. It’s not that we don’t end every sentence with “God willing.” We’ve given up on even knowing God, let alone loving Him.
As an English teacher for over 3 decades I witnessed an interesting decline in general religious knowledge. You wouldn’t think that would matter in a public school, but Western literature is saturated with Biblical references – Christ figures, allusions to parables and Old Testament stories. When I first started teaching in 1975, I could count on most of my class to get the Biblical allusions; by the time I retired in 2007, only 3 or 4 per class were able to do so.
Too many of our churches no longer teach anything but “social justice” and progressive dogma. God and His Word are mere mythology and not worth learning.
However, ours is a culture of pleasures. Our TV’s get bigger and better, our food tastier, our travel more luxurious. We relax in comfy clothing, enjoy eye-candy on our phones, and listen to music constantly. Sex is everywhere. Check.
And yet, look back at this list – are these the attributes of a happy people? No. Too many of us are discontented and do not know the God who made us, our country, and our world. Since our nation’s purpose was to allow for the free pursuit of happiness, how can we be good Americans if we are miserable? Pleasure isn’t getting us to happiness. In fact, we are not going to be truly joyous without a love of God. Let us go back to His “everlasting arms” so that these are not America’s “last days.”
6. http://www.dallasblog.com/201202021008765/dallas-blog/san-fran-doctor-seeks-sugar-ban-to-minors.html7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpa3MC5Orgw&feature=fvst