Everyday with increasing regularity we see that violent crime, a decline in morality and corruption in government are becoming almost the norm in this country. Our national policies are moving us further from God's word faster than at any other time in history. The following was a letter received by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture:
Dear Sirs; My friend Milt Thompson receives $25,000 a year from the government for not raising hogs. I now want to get into hog raising to. Do you know what is the best land not to raise hogs on, and what hogs not to raise? I would prefer not to raise razor back hogs but if this were not acceptable I would not raise Poland's or China's also. How do you keep individual records on the hogs not being raised? Milt has raised hogs for 20 years and never made more than $15,000 for his troubles, except this year when he made $25,000 for not raising 25 hogs. Can I get $50,000 for not raising 50 hogs or $100,000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to start small by not raising 50 hogs but would like to grow to not raising maybe 500 hogs. To think I can make a half million dollars not raising hogs has me very excited. I think this is a great program. Now these hogs I won't raise will eat about 100 bushels of corn, and I understand you also pay farmers not to grow corn as well. Will you pay me for the 100 bushels of corn I wont be growing to feed the hogs I will not be raising? This would make for a very efficient operation for me.
Yours truly Lucas Lane
How upside down and backwards can you get?
Sidney Gene Brock chief keeper of bureau statistics with the U.S. Treasury in 1893 predicted that in 100 years (the year 1993) that we would be in the most perfect United States with a republican government that could be conceived by the wisest statesmen. By then the social condition of the people will be such that there is no suffering from the deprivations of life. All will have happy homes, vice and immorality will all but cease to exist. There will be not only great intellectual advancement but great moral advancements as well. There will be less government than there is now and it will be simpler. All social relations will be only pure for one another. It will be a kind of utopia. Mr. Brock, I would say was about 180 degrees off. In 1892 the unemployment rate was 3% while today it is about 6%. The gross national product rose about 4% a year without inflation. Was there less government then? In 1900 about 1 million federal workers collected checks from Uncle Sam while there were 76 million Americans living in the U.S.. Today we have 19.2 million federal workers while only 18.1 Americans work in manufacturing. There are more workers at the USDA then there are farmers. Brock was wrong! Why? 1- we forgot to pray 2- we forgot our religious roots 3- we let history be rewritten
7 timeless truths from scripture that make a nation great:
ONE: Righteousness exalts a Nation…proverbs 14:34 tells us "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people". John Hancock the first signer of the declaration of independence said, "let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe". The founding fathers knew from the beginning the importance of righteousness and living correctly.
Daniel Webster put it correctly "if we in our prosperity, neglect religious instructions and authority and violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, no man can say how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us. That shall bury us and all our glory into profound obscurity. That is pretty prophetic. Ignore scripture and you risk reaping the consequences.
The tragic thing is that this once great country, that led the world in every arena, now leads the world in voluntary abortions, violent crimes, and among the industrialized nations we lead in illiteracy. In every statistic in which we would not want to be the leader, we are. Problem = we forgot righteousness exalts a nation.
TWO: Character is Crucial… we talked about this a lot in the last study. 2 Samuel 24 tells us about David and a period of his life that was not too pretty. David had a problem following God's commands if he thought he had a better way. He wanted to be the savior and deliverer of Israel. Here in Samuel 24 he violated God's command, a direct command. He definitely displayed a flawed character. As a result David repents and asks God's forgiveness. Forgiveness comes but not without consequence. The prophet Gad delivers God's judgment in the form of three choices. Seven years of famine, you will flee three months before your enemies or three days of pestilence. David chooses the three days of pestilence and as a result (see verse 15) 70,000 died. The character of our leaders and the decisions they make affect our national status.
Now we can complain about how unfair this is, but the fact is, He is God and we are not. Righteousness is important to Him and righteousness exalts a nation. While character flawed leadership brings judgment to the nation. Nehemiah 9:32-36 tells of Israel's time of slavery and the reason they got there. Their leaders and priests were unfaithful and unrighteous and God delivered their judgment because of it. God was faithful but the leaders of the people were not. Because the leaders rejected God and His laws the nation suffered.
George Mason chief architect of the Virginia declaration of rights, which became the model of the Declaration of Independence refused to sign the Constitution because it allowed slavery said, "As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next life, they must be by cause and affect. God punishes national sin by national calamity". Several amazing coincidences occurred over the last couple of years.
October 11, 1987. The largest gathering of gays took place in Washington D.C. Some 200,000 demonstrators carried signs reading, "God is a lesbian" and "God is a dyke" and so forth. Eight days later the stock market dropped 500 points in one day.
October 15, 1989. Some 50,000 demonstrators gathered in San Francisco in a pro-abortion rally demanding their right to abort the pre-born. Two days later the 5th most powerful earthquake in this century struck San Francisco.
June 28, 1992. Gay pride day, hundreds of thousands marched in the streets. That same morning the 4th and 9th most powerful earthquakes in this century hit southern California.
January 17 1994. A 6.6 quake hit North Bridge California. The precise place where 80% of all pornographic videos are produced.
June 27, 1993. The great flood of '93 where the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers overflowed their banks forming the worst flood in American history on exactly the same day as the largest attended Gay pride day.
Character is critical! Noah Webster wrote in 1840 "when you become entitled to exercise your right to vote in public offices, let it be impressed upon your mind, that God commands for you to choose for yourselves, rulers, just men who rule in the fear of God. If we neglect our duties and place or cause to be placed unprincipled men in office, laws will be made, not for the good but for selfish purposes. Corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws, the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men, the rights of the citizen will be violated, disregarded if the government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because citizens have neglected their divine command and elected bad men to make and administer the laws. What prophetic insight.
Unprincipled men steal towels and bathrobes from aircraft carriers and send them to friends. Unprincipled men use military helicopters to bring them to the golf course. Whether it is Watergate, Travel gate or Tail hook, unprincipled men do unprincipled things.
THREE: Individuals are Individually Responsible… Ezekiel 18:20 tells us "the person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment of the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself". I am responsible for my actions and you are responsible for yours. Today we do not take responsibility for our actions. We are the way we are because of our parents, because of society, because of our culture or because of our poverty. During the great depression, however, crime did not increase at all, in fact it decreased slightly. The real issue is the condition of our hearts. We need to stop blaming everyone else and admit, "We are responsible".
James Madison… as if he somehow knew of the situations we face today said, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all government institutions upon the capacity of each one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 commandments of God.
Isn't it amazing that at every point, the founding fathers and scripture speak harmoniously as to what makes a nation great? That is because these men studied the scriptures and knew the scriptures. They knew righteousness exalts a nation and that character is critical and that individuals must be individually responsible.
FOUR: Justice Must Prevail… Amos 5:15 says, "Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph". Habakkuk 1:4 also tells us "Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted". The law means nothing without justice. Who cares about law with no consequences? Back when I was still running with a bad crowd, I knew a fellow who served more time for a robbery then another man did for a murder. This just is not justice. Isaiah 59:4 says, "No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity". God cares about justice. When there is no justice there can be no peace.
If justice stumbles, crime increases and the lawless prosper. Ezekiel 7:25 "when anguish comes they will seek peace, but there will be none. Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added upon rumor then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders. The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I shall deal with them, and by their judgment I shall judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord". There is different justice for different crimes, but it must be enforced. We fail to do either one.
We allow our children to have value justification so they can determine what is right for them instead of what is right. Given the choice of an easy or a hard way out, the child will always choose the easy way. Surprise! And so will adults. We are not teaching our children the principles of justice. And as a result, when justice doesn't occur (Proverbs 21:15) the execution of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity. There is no terror today because there is no justice.
Proverbs 29:4 "The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who take bribes overthrows it". We must understand the role justice plays in every arena of our lives. And without it there is no stability and evil will flourish. Look at the conditions of our country. Since 1960 the population has risen about 41%. In that same time period, violent crime has risen 560%, total crime has risen 300% and the chance of you being a victim is 1 in 8. Since 1991 there have been 1,911,776 violent crimes, not including 25,000 murders. This is a horrifically vicious country because we forgot that individuals are individually responsible.
The following is taken from the National Center for Policy Analysis: The expected punishment for a car theft is 2.2 days, for an assault 6.4 days, for robbery 23 days and for murder 1.8 years. Only 1.2 of all burglaries result in imprisonment and only 1 in 10 serious crimes result in any prison time. Why? Because justice has stumbled. We also no longer evaluate evidence and what a person did. Now we evaluate why they did what they did. This is why a teenager can take a shotgun and blow away his mother and father and he is considered justifiable.
Shelly Lynn Webster was beaten to death with a tire iron. The man who beat her to death was released. He beat two more women before he was arrested a second time. He confessed to the killing of Webster, went through the process and was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years probation. What ever happened to justice?
Willie Jay Johnson committed a double murder and was sent to the Webster Reserve Psychiatric hospital. He was found innocent by reason of insanity. He escaped last December and headed for the state line. Once across the state line, he called the institution he had escaped from and gave them his forwarding address, so they could send him his social security checks to his new residence. Now you must think this gut really was crazy? No, he just knows the law of the land. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and so there is no law to force him to return to the sate of his crime. Maybe we should adopt a law similar to that of Canada where you can find some one guilty but insane. Justice has stumbled.
Three out of every four criminals are never incarcerated. 75% of those serving time do it on parole. 40% of those will commit a serious crime within three years. Why? The reasons give by those in the know is that the prisons are over crowded and it cost too much to build new prisons. Maybe we should stop building country clubs and build prisons. No private rooms, no cable TV, no stereos, no libraries etc. it currently costs $25,000 a year to incarcerate one prisoner. But according to the Justice Department, the same criminal will do $430,000 worth of damage in expenses while on the street. We would be $405,000 ahead to lock him up. That's justice.
FIVE: Socialism is doomed to Failure… socialism didn't work in the Soviet Union or other European nations that tried it, or in China or Cuba, yet we seem bent on pushing a socialistic agenda.
Thomas Jefferson said with profound insight "a wise and frugal government, shall restrain men from injuring one another (that was the limit of government as far as he was concerned) which shall leave them free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and it shall not take from the mouth of the laborer the bread that it earns. This is the sum of good government; if we can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they will be happy". This is a great line Mr. Jefferson!
The principle of socialism is the principle of covetousness in the bible. Covet is a word used for someone who took delight in something someone else had and was willing to use any means possible to have that other persons property to become part of their own property. Deuteronomy 5:21 "you shall not covet your neighbors wife; and you shall not desire your neighbors house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbors". Personal property rights were a fundamental issue in all the pages of the scriptures. Socialism denies that fundamental principle as it seeks everything being brought together into a corporate entity. Micah 2:1 "Woe to those who devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds! At mourning light they practiced it, because it is the power of their hand. They covet fields and take them by violence, also houses and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance". The principle of socialism is categorically forbidden in the scriptures. If it didn't work in the Soviet Union, why do we think it will work here?
We did try it, you know? Full-blown socialism. You didn't know that did you? It is because it has been extracted from the history books. The Mayflower sailed in 1620 led by William Bradford. Bradford established laws for the new community called the Mayflower Compact. Under the laws of the Mayflower Compact, they had struck a deal with those who had financed the voyage from London and when they arrived here, everything was to be placed into a common store. The land was to be commonly owned, houses were to be commonly owned. Everybody was entitled to one common share of everything because everybody owned it. What do you call that? Take a wild guess. Socialism. And it failed miserably.
William Bradford wrote this "the experience that was had in the common course and condition which we tried for several years. That is, taking away property and bringing unity into a common wealth, we thought would make them happy and flourish. This community, a social one, was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retarded much employment, when we thought it would be a benefit and comfort. Young men, who were most fit and able for service, did repine that they should work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. This was considered an injustice". Socialism is an injustice. So they scrapped the whole deal and Bradford divided up the land, giving everybody a plot of land and let the free market work and everybody began to flourish. The problem is, our American students do not know that today, because history has been extracted and the books rewritten. In fact, last year 5,000 High School students were surveyed on the issue of the socialist agenda; over 60% of American children believe that America would not be hurt if the profit motive were completely abandoned.
What this means is that 6 out of 10 American students have bought the socialist agenda and this current administration, you must know, is bent on a socialist agenda. The head of Mr. Clinton's economic program has said, "While we can not use the "S" word (socialism) in America. I think we can still sell the idea using the term Economic Democracy. Doesn't he get it, this has already failed.
Abraham Lincoln "you cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the small man by tearing down the big man. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift up the wage earner by tearing down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further brotherhood by insighting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money and you cannot help a man permanently by doing for him what he could and should do for himself.
SIX: Welfare is wrong… the way we do welfare is wrong. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:7-13 where Paul talks about how when he was with them he continued to work so he would not be a burden. He instructs others to do likewise and even says if a man will not work neither will he eat. Strong words. The problem with the welfare mentality is that it creates financial cripples. You know this in your hearts. It creates dependency not independency.
I appreciate what Mr. Clinton said during his campaign, "we are looking to give people a hand up, and not a hand out". Well, nothing has been done since then except, I guess that maybe if your two years run out they give you a government job. Is that the plan? In 1960 3.5% of the population was on welfare, in 1970 8.5% and in 1990 12.9% despite a decade with the best economic growth in America. Despite all the money and programs we throw at the problem, the welfare rolls continue to grow.
We are supporting some 4.8 million families and 8.4 million children through AFDC today. 184 billion dollars is spent on welfare each year. 55% of our budget is for entitlements. 72 cents of every dollar spent goes toward bureaucratic expenses and only 28 cents goes to the recipient. And these are the folks who are going to bring you a more effective and cost efficient health care system. The whole mentality is wrong. It creates an entitlement attitude. The U.S. Constitution promised men the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Too many today fell it owes that a living and the right to low cost housing, a job and medical care. Simply they want the right to more rights. Paul said if a man will not work neither would he eat. We need to remember this.
SEVEN: Teach your Children… Deuteronomy 4:9 says "only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and their children, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God….". The principle of taking the truth and teaching it to your children is an underlying principle of the scriptures. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up a child in the way he should go. Teach them. And yet in the last 30 years we have failed at this, haven't we?
The National Committee on Excellence in Education in 1983 said this "the education foundation of this present society is being eroded and the rising tide of mediocrity that threatens the very future of the nation and the people. We are engaged in educational disarmament". Our SAT scores have dropped 80 points in the last 30 years. Keeping in mind that a new scoring system is in place that has a variable of another 40 points that is a total difference of 140 points. In 1960 we spent $2,035 per student (in 1990 dollars) and in 1990 we spent $5,240. And we are not getting our monies worth. That's $106,000 per class of 30 students. They ought to be flourishing, but they are not are they?
40% of High School seniors cannot place World War I between 1900 and 1950 70% of High School seniors could not place the Civil War a half century of when it occurred 75% of High School seniors could not place Lincoln within 20 years of his presidency 35% didn't know that the Declaration of Independence marked our break with England 40% had no clue when the Constitution was written National Geographic did a 10-nation survey of students between 18 and 20 on basic geography and the United States came in dead last behind Mexico. Since 1970 some 700,000 students cannot read their High School diploma 40% of students could not read and interpret a newspaper article less than 1 in 10 blacks could and less than 2 in 10 Hispanics.
We have forgotten that the fundamental principle of education is to teach the children. Teach them history, not Heather has two mommies. Teach them reading, not value clarification. Teach them common sense, not condom sense. Teach the children.
Thomas Jefferson "can the liberties of any nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis. A conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God. They are not to be violated with His wrath. I am absolutely convinced that the difficulties we have faced in the last 30 years, as a nation is due mainly because we have forgotten these basic principles and it has cost us dearly.
Until we return to the principles this great nation was founded on, we can expect only a continuation of the same downward fall we have already seen. We have surrendered every right to the special interests; we have surrendered our will and freedom to the powers that be regardless of their agenda. Yet, we have failed to surrender our wills to the Almighty who will surely judge this nation and its people, if we do not repent of our national as well as our personal sins.
"Those who have forgotten their past are doomed to relive it" is worth memorizing. We can learn much from those who went before us. Even a cursory look at the past history of Israel will show that when she rejected Gods principles, God rejected her. When she sinned as a nation, she was punished as a nation. And when finally she rejected Gods own son, she was totally devastated. I believe this country has been and is now blessed because of its original principles based on scripture by our founding fathers. We have strayed far from these principles and I also believe we will suffer the consequences for it.