On March 20, 1984, The Wall Street Journal carried a powerful lead editorial condemning the moral decay in the country over the past two decades. Significantly, the editors placed a great deal of the blame at the doorstep of organized mainline religion for not standing up to the rising tides of immorality. The fact that this powerful editorial appeared in a leading business daily, rather than in a religious publication, says something about the state of religion in America today. The editorial said:
“Basically what happened is that the new morality of big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco was imposed on the rest of the country by movies, TV, magazines, advertising, music, novelists, play wrights and, through default, by organized religion.”
America’s parents, continued the Journal editors, especially needed counter arguments to battle the inroads of “aggressive modern secularism” in order to restore moral balance to their families and communities.
“But outside the evangelical and fundamentalist communities that help never arrived. Oh sure, the church doors are open every Sunday. But unhappily for those who enter, much contemporary American theology has come to be based in this period of a kind of dainty religious mush that has more in common with the sentiments of Rod McKuen and John Lennon than the precepts of Isaiah or St. John.”
An insightful editorial, indeed.
One can be sure there have been, of late, precious few sermons based upon the admonitions contained in the first few chapters of the book of Isaiah.
If God’s warnings contained in this prophecy had been believed and preached, there would have been, for example, thundering condemnations from the pulpits of the “new morality” of the “gay rights” movement. Instead, some denominations have chosen to justify homosexuality, overlooking that God bluntly refers to today’s America and much of Western Europe as “you people of Gomorrah” and our leaders as being “rulers of Sodom” (Isa. 1:10).
Too strong? Then think of this: The United States Conference of Mayors approved of a resolution recommending that “all levels of government adopt legal protection for the rights of gay and lesbian Americans (this has now happened).
In the November 1984 election was the emergence of the first city government dominated by openly gay politicians. Three of the five councilmen of the new city of West Hollywood, California, proclaimed that their election was a victory for homosexuals across the nation.
The United States of America is fundamentally sick “from the sole of the foot even to the head (with) wounds and bruises and putrefying sores” (Isa. 1:6). But there is no one to bind up these afflictions, which are moral and spiritual in nature (v. 7).
God takes the “shepherds of Israel” the self-appointed modern ministers of the land to task because “the weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick” (Ezk. 34:2-4).
“Who can heal you?” God asks in Lamentations 2:13. Apparently not most of the spiritual guides of today.
“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions,” God thunders. “They have not uncovered our iniquity” exposed sinful practices to the light of God’s Word (v. 14).
The false shepherds have not done as God’s true servants have done in this age: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1).
The result of this spiritual inattention, writes William Rusher, former publisher of National Review, is that the United States has become, in the public, collective sector, virtually an atheistic society by default. He wrote in a March 23, 1984, syndicated column:
In his address Dr. Carlson traced the development of the nation’s values and how they have been under incessant attack in recent times.
There is little question, he noted, “that religious values motivated the broad generation of men and women who created this nation. As the great philosophers of republican liberty, understood, a free society must also be a religious society, a society where moral virtue restrains the passions and guides individuals toward the common good.”
Few outside the United States, and increasingly fewer inside the country, understand this heritage. One who did was the late Italian author Luigi Barzini.
In his book The Europeans, author Barzini, in a chapter devoted to “The Baffling Americans,” explained this often-overlooked fundamental factor in U.S. history: “The secret of the United States’ tremendous success was in reality not merely technology, know-how, the work ethic, the urge to succeed, or plain greed. It was a spiritual wind that drove the Americans irresistibly ahead from the beginning.
“What was behind their compulsion to improve man’s lot was an all-pervading religious sense of duty, the submission of a God-given imperative, to a God-given code of personal behavior, the willing acceptance of all the necessary sacrifices, including death in battle. Few foreigners understand this, even today. The United States appears to them merely as the triumph of soulless materialism.”
Mr. Barzini noted that the expression of religious fervor that were so evident a century ago are now less visible. “They are feebler,” he said, “discredited by intellectual, corroded by the doubts of these impious times, but without them, or what is left of them, America would not be what it is.”
The French observer of early American society Alexis de Tocqueville maintained that “there have never been free societies without moral values.” In the country’s early days, he noted, these values were nurtured by America’s women. A chief reason for the rising power of the Americans, he believed, was due to strong family life and especially “the superiority of their women.”
Today’s modern American women, unfortunately, all too often wants to be “liberated” from her key role of influence in the family unit, a role now propagated as being unfulfilling and inferior.
Returning to Dr. Carlson’s address, he laid the blame for America’s decline on the powerful institutions of the churches, the media and the social sciences all of whom have been influenced to one degree or another by trend-setting radical views.
Regarding the social sciences, observed Dr. Carlson, they were still traditionally based into the 1950s. At that time, he said, “the field of family sociology was dominated by Harvard University’s Talcott Parson, a man who believed the American family structure to be a vital social institution resting on a solid set of historic values.”
Yet, by 1970, Dr. Carlson continued, Dr. Parsons’ views were wholly out of favor. This was reflected in the “Forum 14 Report” of the 1970 White House Conference on Children and Youth.
At this conference, said Dr. Carlson, “a representative sample of America’s most prominent sociologists dismissed the traditional American family as outdated, denied any American identity, and welcomed the contemporary movement “to destroy the cultural myth of a “right” or “best” way to behave, believe, work or play.”
This group urged the adoption of a new definition of ‘family’ that would embrace ‘single parent,’ ‘communal,’ ‘group marriage,’ and ‘homosexual’ varieties.”
By the mid-1970s, such ideas dominated the sociological profession. These views, said Dr. Carlson, “shaped the attitudes and actions of a generation of teachers, marriage-and-family counselors, clergymen, psychologists, and so-called ‘sex therapists.’ When released on the world, their cumulative impact, simply put, was staggering.”
And what fruits were soon to be reaped from following such advocated life-styles?
In the 20 years after 1960, the number of children annually affected by divorce tripled. America’s illegitimacy ratio rose threefold over the course of the 1960s and 70s. The incidence of abortion rose from less than 100,000 abortions each year in the early 1960’s to 570,000 in 1973. In 2011 alone 1.06 million abortions were recorded.
The astute Dr. Carlson, near the end of his address, said: “I believe it is a mistake to assume that a national culture can openly flaunt hedonism and social irresponsibility as proper, even superior, ways of life and not then pay some major price. In countless ways, we are now reaping the bitter harvest.”
While all of this was occurring, what were the religious shepherds of the land doing? Were they busy warning their parishioners to remember the simple truth of Galatians 6:7, ”Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”?
Their message should have been the straightforward admonition in the ignored book of Isaiah, where we find, in chapter 3, verses 10-11:
“Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him.”
Interestingly enough, this passage occurs immediately after the warning in verse 9: “And they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it.”
The men of Sodom proudly advanced their homosexual “life-style” - until destruction rained down on them from God in heaven! And today it’s fashionable for those who call themselves gay to “come out of the closet,” and, with an air of pride and defiance, to push for social reforms at the moral expense of society as a whole.
But God says even though too few ministers do “woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.”
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is just such a “woe,” despite the heated denial of many in the homosexual community.
Not only to the United States, but much of the rest of the developed English-speaking world, God thunders: “O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths” (Isa. 3:12).
Leadership today encompasses far more than politics. It includes those in the fields of religion and education. And perhaps the most influential segment of society is the opinion-molding industry the news and entertainment media.
Not long ago, a survey was taken of leading journalists, broadcasters and new executives in the United States. According to the poll, the “media elite” are strong supporters of sexual permissiveness, 90% agreeing that abortion should be legal, 54% believing that adultery is not wrong. More than three fourths of those interviewed believed that homosexuality is not wrong.
Shortly afterward, a like survey was taken of top television entertainment executive and producers. Similar percentages, generally even more liberal, were obtained. Reported the AP in 1983, concerning this second survey: “Top Hollywood creators of the entertainment fare on television are predominately secular in outlook, politically liberal and shun religion. It also finds that they seek to reform society toward their views.
How far America has come since its humble beginning, since the days when a man or woman was not even considered educated unless he or she has read the Bible, and could display a fair degree of competence in understanding it.
Our English-speaking nations indeed are being destroyed from within “For lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Not physical, material knowledge, but God’s revealed knowledge on the right way to live.
In the book, The Story of America, published by the Reader’s Digest Association (1975), the editors wrote in the foreword entitled “Why It Happened Here”:
“Puritan historian Edward Johnson wrote in the 1650s that the Lord had ‘sifted a whole Nation to plant his choice grain’ in America’s rich soil. Two centuries later this strain was still being played. Novelist Herman Melville believed that “we Americans are the peculiar chosen people, the Israel of our time.”
It was easy for the forefathers of today’s Americans to become believers, noted the Readers’ Digest editors. “One had only to look around for full evidence of the Lord’s bounty. Here was some of the best agricultural soil on the face of the globe. Vast forests spread out for hundreds of miles, filled with deer, beaver, and wild-fowl. There were mountains of coal and iron ore, reservoirs of oil, and rich veins of gold and silver. This was truly a chosen land for a chosen people.”
Americans have lost sight of these roots. And its religious leaders have never understood the deeper roots of the American people that indeed-- they were not only “the Israel of our time’ but, in the main, the descendants of the ancient lost House of Israel.
These immigrants to North American were destined, in this end time of human civilization, because of the obedience of the patriarch Abraham, the grandfather of Israel, to become the greatest single nation in world history. Very few have understood the depth of these roots, and why American flourished and why she is on the way down to oblivion unless there is a drastic course correction.
If you have not read series “America and Britain in Prophecy” you should do so immediately. You will learn why America and Britain was once so blessed and why they are now in decline in prestige and power. This is a must read for all Americans.