Posts Tagged: America

God Will Still Be on the Throne After the Election, BUT

I’m so thankful to have heard it preached and written boldly that regardless how the vote goes tonight God will still be in control. It’s absolutely true and biblical. God is Sovereign. He created and sustains this world. His plan will never be thwarted. Therefore, as followers of Christ we can, as the comforting messages have promised, take refuge in the sake that God is not caught off guard or surprised — His Will continues.

When I’ve been in the audience for such a sermon, I have watched countenances reverse from despair to hope. The fear of the future melts away in the trust that God will remain on the throne the day after the election, the day after the inauguration, and the day the next Supreme Court justice is selected.

We, Christians, need this huge helping of God’s sovereignty. We need to remember He is God.

But even that fact of God remaining on the throne doesn’t mean that life will be a smooth ride. God doesn’t owe us, Americans, anything.

Although God remains on the throne regardless of the election — your 401(K) might tank. Our religious liberties might become a footnote in history. The economy might crash and the dollar may be removed as the world’s currency.  Babies will probably still be slaughtered. Policies may continue that increase perversion and unrighteousness in our nation.  Your job may disappear. Church as you know could drastically change. Our nation may continue to diminish on the world stage. Another world power could launch an attack on us.

Decisions have consequences. Votes have residual effects. Accepted policies and behaviors continue long into the future. Although God is God, He allows us to make mistakes, and we make them.

I share this not to take away the hope you have received in your heart when reminded that God is in control. We need that eternal hope and trust in His promises, but the fact that He is on the throne does not negate the possible disastrous aftershocks of this election.

God was on His throne during the Great Depression. He was on His throne during both world wars. He was on His throne during the many deaths of the American Civil War. He was on his throne when the world was flooded in Noah’s day. God was on his throne when the Assyrians and Babylonians took His people into exile. The Creator was on his throne when the disciples were martyred. He was even on the throne when His Son was nailed to a cross.

He will always be on His throne, but that doesn’t mean our lives and obedience to Him is a bed of roses. America has received far more grace and blessings than we could ever come close to deserving. That doesn’t mean God is done with us, but it does mean He does not owe us anything.

He is still on throne today when our Christians brothers and sisters in some places of the world face death or imprisonment for their faith. Others in the world face famine. Others live in great poverty.

God’s sovereignty means God is God not that America gets to remain a land of luxury and ease. God being on the throne means that His people are under His protection and win in the end, but does not mean the path is one free of trouble.

What if American Politicians were Football Coaches

Louisiana State University has the 5th best winning percentage in college football for the past 10 years. They are four wins short of their conference counterpart ahead of them on that list. For those ten years Les Miles has been the head coach. He has led the Tigers to a national championship with two appearances in the National Championship game. Along with three divisional titles and two conference titles. Miles has more former players currently active in the NFL than any other program. This current season Les’ team surged to #2 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU is bowl eligible and will finish with a winning record.

Even after all of his success Miles is more than likely going to be fired in the next few days. Not just fired, but $15 million dollars will be spent to buy him out of his contract.

The reason for the firing as summarized by an LSU insider, “”In Louisiana, we expect national championships, and we’re not in it.”

Firing coaches soon after success is nothing new. Ask Jimmy Johnson who was pushed out of Dallas after winning back to back Super Bowls. Recently, the San Francisco 49ers pushed out Jim Harbaugh who had completely turned around the franchise. In four years as Head Coach, he led the team to three NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. Auburn fired head coach, Gene Chizik, one year removed from a national championship. The list could go on of successful coaches who were fired instantly as soon as the program began to falter.

I take the time to share those stories to remind you of the excellence we demand in sports.

We demand excellence in sports, but are content with mediocrity or down right failure in politics.

We have given presidents, senators, representatives, judges, and agency chiefs the reigns to the greatest nation the world has ever seen and we are content for them to drive it in the ground.

We are fine that we have lost respect in the international community. We are fine with the gross mismanagement of funds. We are fine that we have become enslaved to debt. We are content that our military policies have created utter failures in our missions in the Middle East. We aren’t concerned that or economy has dropped. We are indifference that our ranking in education has plummeted.

What if our president and politicians were coaches? What would their records be? Would they still have jobs?

They sure wouldn’t be getting contract extensions.

Honestly they wouldn’t only be fired, but they would be sued and investigated.

It is absurd that we type away on message boards and call for the heads of coaches with winning records, while the greatest “program” in the world has been driven into the ground. In college football terms, the US which was had a 200 year win streak has now fell on hard times. After 200 consecutive National titles and bowl wins, we are not even bowl eligible. Our number 1 recruiting classes have been surpassed by other teams. We are in danger of being dropped from Division I (first-world nations).

A booster who loved their program would not stand for this demise.

A booster who had any common sense wouldn’t let the downward spiral continue.

Americans, we used to be Alabama, Ohio State, or Florida State now we are Florida International or Kent State. Actually we are headed to be pre-Bobby Boucher South Central Louisiana State University, and we aren’t firing our coaches.

America, what if our politicians were coaches?

The Immorality in America: The Statistics

A Heart Breaking Reality
I do not imagine statistics and a presentation of evidence is necessary to convince you of the deep depths of immorality that permeates our nation. You see it every day. You have to navigate through it every day. You have to fight to get yourself pure in the midst of it.
Dr. David Jeremiah writes, “America’s …moral compass seems no longer to have a true north. The needle spins crazily, looking for a direction on which to settle, a direction that can lead a nation on a path of integrity and morality.”

There is no doubt that much of the turmoil that appears in families, the economy, and within the federal government Is the results of that wildly spinning moral compass that can not find its way. Chuck Swindoll calls the present age in this American postmodern world as chaos. The most vivid description of America’s present moral situation may be found in Stephen Hale’s book, Truth Decay, where he compares America to a sinking ship especially the Titanic after it collided into the iceberg. He proclaims, “our ship is taking on water”. He goes on to elaborate more by stating, “We are a nation that finds itself in deep, dark, unexplored waters, groping for answers, searching for direction, and looking for some familiar landmark that will put us back on course.”

These statistics I am about to share express we are a wildly spinning compass without a north, chaos, a sinking ship, and we are in deep dark waters; but, i do not agree that the majority of Americans are groping for answers. I believe for the statistics to be what they are that the majority Americans have to be fine with their position. Only a few, only you possibly see the chaos and the water in the ship. Only a few are searching for answers.

In seeking to capture the immorality of this nation I share these following statistics with the backdrop of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20 and have served as the moral cornerstones for Jews and Christians since the time of Moses. It is against God’s standard of morality that our nation’s present immorality is most apparent.

America’s perception and value of the Ten Commandments alone may prove the rampant immorality. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans do not believe in the Ten Commandments nor know them. One study concluded that only 13% of Americans believe in the Ten Commandments. This might explain why so few even know the sacred rules. Another survey showed that Americans were more familiar with ingredients of McDonald’s Big Mac than the the commandments. Eighty percent knew all the ingredients while only 60% percent recognized the sixth commandment, “thou shalt not kill”.

Americans have also shown their opinion of the Ten Commandments through the attacks and attempts to remove public monuments and statements of the commandments. There have been several petitions and court cases across the nation involving the public recognition and display of the Decalogue.

This general opinion of the commandments is also expressed in the rise and permeation of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that decision of what is right or wrong is up to an individual not an outside sources such as religion, the Bible, a church, God, or the community. Surveys and deeper studies have concluded over and over again that America is a nation in which most are moral relativists. One survey concluded that 93% of Americans believe they individually decide what is right or wrong. Christian researcher, George Barna, concludes that 75% of our population adheres to the view that there is no standard for what is right or wrong and 83% of teens adhere to that view. So Americans do not believe in standardized rules, and as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. The lawless beliefs are reinforced through the actions of Americans. One statistical evidence of American view of right and wrong is that since 1980 the number of individuals incarcerated and on probation has increased by 5. 5 million. This is very substantial considering the number of those incarcerated or on probation stood at only 1.7 million.
Here are the commandments and the statistical evidence of how the American population are abiding with them. I am placing the first two commandments together, the breaking of those commands does lead to immorality, but may not be necessarily immorality in how the term is being used here.
Commandment #1: You shall have no other gods before me,

Commandment #2: You shall not make for yourself an image to worship in place of God.
• 65% of college professors in America do not believe in God or have serious doubts about God.
• 62% of Americans doubt the existence of absolute truth.
• 65% of The “Builders” Generation (1927-1945) are Bible Based believers. While 4% of “Millennials” (1984-later) are Bible Based believers.

Commandment #3: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
• Although no studies could be found of actual number of times the Lord’s name is used in vain in popular media entertainments these studies will capture it inside their findings.
o A Parents Television Council study between 2005 to 2010 that compared the network’s fall lineups during primetime and saw a 69% increase in profanity.
o During that study the use of the “f-word” was increased 2,409%, being used 276 times.
o Of the top ten performing non-animated movies at the box office in 2013, all but one used the Lord’s name in vain more than once, most half dozen to more than a dozen times.

Commandment #4: Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy.
• 77% of Americans see no point to observing the Sabbath.
• 80.5% of Americans were not in a church on a given weekend in 2005.
• 86% of Americans will not be in church on a given weekend by the year 2020.

Commandment #5: Honor Your Father and Mother
• Hard to capture this statistical, but here is a panoramic picture of teenagers in America.
• 9 out of 10 teens do not believe in moral absolutes.
• Every day in America:
o 1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers
o 1,106 teenage girls have abortions
o 4,219 contract a STD
o 500 begin using illegal drugs
o 1,000 begin drinking alcohol
o 135,000 bring guns or weapons to school
o 3,610 are assaulted
o 80 teens are raped
o 13 commit suicide
• 680 murders were committed by juveniles in 2011
• 1/4 of all serious violent victimizations were committed by juveniles.

Commandment #6: Do Not Murder
• The United States is the most violent industrialized nation.
• The United States leads all nations with the most prisoners.
• 16,259 murders in the United States in 2010.
• 45 murders a day in the United States in 2010.
• 57 million abortions since Roe vs Wade Decision in 1973.
o The Vietnam War memorial contains 68,000 names and stretches 500 feet. If the names of babies aborted since 1973 Roe vs. Wade, were placed on it using 50 million names the monument would stretch 80 miles.
• 1.21 million abortions a year in the United States.
• 3,288 abortions per day, 137 per hour, 1 abortion every 26 seconds.
• 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the US a year which involves 6 million children.
• 4 children die every day in the US due to child abuse.
• 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the US.
• 2,000 students are reported missing a day in the US.
• 261,000 of the missing children a year in the US are kidnapped.
• 60% of children in the United States was exposed to physical violence at least once in past year.
• 2.7 million students reported being bullied in 2010.
• 38,364 Suicide deaths in 2013 in the US.
• 237,868 individuals report being sexually assaulted a year.
• Every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted in America.
• 1/5 women in US have been sexually assaulted.

Commandment #7: Do Not Commit Adultery.
• Some people in other countries have suggested that the dominant export of the USA is sex – in movies, music, television, online, bedroom products, and so forth.
o Nearly all married adults admit to having sexual fantasies about someone other than their spouses.
o 53% of married Americans would cheat on spouse if given the chance.
o 69% say divorce is morally acceptable.
o 65% think nothing wrong with the affair they are having.
o One out of five men admits to having cheated on his wife.
o One out of ten women admit to having cheated on husband.
o 8 out of 10 married adults consider an affair.
• One million divorces a year in the US – a rate of one divorce for every two new marriages.
o In 1970, the nation’s population reached two hundred million, and there were 25 million two-parent homes. In 2009, when the population    reached 300 million, there were still 25 million two-parent households.
• 59% believe that sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable.
o In 1960 fewer than a half million couples cohabitated, while in 2013 there is more than 6.4 million.
o America has 3-4 times more couples living together than getting married during the year. (Between 6 million and 8 million cohabitating versus 2.2 million newlyweds).
o 92% of sexually active people in America have had ten or more lovers, average 17.
o 63% of 12th graders have had sex.
• 54% claim that having a baby outside of marriage is morally acceptable
o In 2008 around 41% all births were to single women while in 1963 was it was only 7%.
o A majority of women under 45 experience an unintended pregnancy.
o The friends with benefits/hook up culture leads to … “With the growing acceptance of such interactions on campuses across the nation, it is little wonder that the United States has literally millions of unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and births out of wedlock. Since 1980, the number of children born to unwed parents has climbed from 18 percent of all live births to 40 percent today.”
• 52% see gay and lesbian relations as morally acceptable.
• The push for same sex marriage rights.
• An estimated 293,000 children in the US are in danger of being sexually trafficked.
o 5,000 children identified as sex slaves in Las Vegas alone.
o 1 out of 5 pornographic images is of a child.
o The sale of child pornography has become a $3 billion dollar industry.
o Over 100,000 websites offer child pornography.
o 55 percent of internet child pornography comes from the U.S.
o John McCain’s wife Cindy called the Super Bowl the “largest human-trafficking venue on the planet”.
• In 2006 sex-related buisness’ estimated revenues in US just under $13 billion in the US. Which was more than the revenue of the NFL.
o Sex and porn/porno/pornography are top internet searches
o A 2006 study that 1 in 5 google mobile searches was for pornography.
o The most popular porn site receives 32 million visitors a month, 2.5% of all internet users.
o Cybersitter, an internet filtering software, claims to block 2.5 million adult websites.
o 69% of all pay-per-view purchased is pornography.
o In 2002 11,300 mainstream hardcore porn films released compared to only 470 Hollywood feature films.
o 2.5 billion pornographic emails sent daily.
o A 2007 study said 66.5% of men and 48.7% of women saw nothing wrong with viewing pornography.
o A 2008 study of college students revealed 93% of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to pornography before 18.
o A 2010 study said 1/3 looked at sexual images online when they were 10 or younger.
o A 2012 study said 43% of teens view porn weekly.
o 21.3% of the young men said they viewed it every day.
o A 2013 study said 60% of teens 13-18 admitted being asked for an explicit photo or video of themselves.
o A 2003 study said 2 out of 3 HR pros said they had discovered porn on an employee computer.
o A 2002 study said 54% of pastors had viewed pornography within the last year.
Commandment #8: Do Not Steal.
• 29% are shoplifters.
• In 2010, there were an estimated 9,082,887 property crime offenses in the United States.
• Property crimes in 2010 resulted in losses estimated at 15.7 billion dollars.

Commandment #9: Do Not Give False Testimony.
• 91% of Americans lie regular.
• 66% see nothing wrong with lying.
• 64% said they would lie when it benefited them.

Commandment #10: Do Not Covet.
• Concept of doing things for the common good is a casualty of war in a society that has become increasingly narcissistic. Today, constructs such as citizenship, the common good, and even community interest are foreign to our way of thinking. Instead, it’s all about me.
• Moved from delayed gratification to instant gratification. Our culture wants things immediately. This is seen in – the average tenure of executives is far shorter than it used to because of shareholders and directors now want short-term results.
• The shift in morals has a direct bearing on the economic downturn of recent years. Without moral standards and restraint, governments, businesses, and individuals push the boundaries to exercise the maximum level of freedom in order to achieve personal gain.

False Sense of Security on 9/11

I sit here on the eve of 9/11 and watch as life continues as normal. Not even a thought in our minds that tomorrow could be our last or that tomorrow a catastrophic event could completely alter our way of life. Here I am stating this, but I am having to force myself to even consider such a thing myself. Even though I am considering what could happen, I still have plans laid out for the rest of the week and beyond.

Now I know I just got this blog flagged. I in no way want anything to happen tomorrow. I in no way know anything, but how foolish is it for us to not suspect that in a very, very chaotic world on a day that has become a target for terrorists that nothing wouldn’t be attempted. It as if one steps on a hornet nest and doesn’t expect to be stung. Even if something was attempted I hope that the plans could be foiled and lives saved.

My point through this has nothing to do with 9/11 particularly, but I want to use this day to make a point. The point is that I believe if we were honest, as Americans we feel invincible.

I think we need to be honest with ourselves and admit we feel invincible. We can not imagine a major event truly impacting us. Because of our military might we don’t worry about any threat posed to us. Even with warnings of natural disasters such as the super volcano in Yellowstone we do not feel that could really happen or maybe we trust our technology and science enough to avoid such an event. Even with an economy that is in a truly dire situation we seem to think that we can not be effected as other generations have been.

Why is it that we believe we are safe?

How come other countries face great disasters and we get to live in luxury and comfort? Don’t get me wrong I am so glad we do, but what keeps us from experiencing what other nations in the world are experiencing?

And that answer you just thought of is telling. If your answer was not — God’s supernatural blessing then your answer was wrong because there is not another form of protection sufficient in this world.

God himself told his people not to trust in the “horse or the chariot”. He proved to them over and over that no matter what technology, weapons, or military strength they had that if they were not protected by Him they could be defeated. On the same token, God defeated the most advanced and powerful military in history with small weak forces.

The same is with every other resource and technology. There is nothing that we can do or create that ultimately will protect us from calamity. Regardless of the amount of money we spend on defense and that we spend in research, at any moment something can happen.

Even though we live in a nation that has unmatchable military strength and resources we still remain in danger. We remain like everyone else in this world. We remain like Jonathan Edwards’ famous illustration, we are merely spiders held by our tiny leg over a great fire. Our safety is completely fragile and completely reliant on God. This is what James relays to us in his epistle,

James 4:14–15 (NIV84) 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

So what or who are you trusting to keep you and your country safe?

There is only one true security – God.

So if that is the case then it would appear that God has supernaturally blessed and protected us.

Why would he do so?

You know some actions in the past of this nation were very God glorifying and may make His supernatural blessing and protection make some sense.

At this point though, His supernatural blessing and protection does not make any sense. Actually it can be only explained by His grace.

In a popular book, The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn the idea of God’s supernatural protection and blessing is explored. He writes that God has supernaturally blessed and protected the United States as a result of their obedience and worship of Him. Then America began to turn from God like Israel did over and over throughout the Old Testament. Then like Israel in the Old Testament God allowed a breach of His protection. This breach occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. In keeping with the comparison with Israel, Cahn writes that God allowed such breaches to happen to Israel, as a chance for them to repent and turn to Him. Going back to 2001 for a brief moment churches were full, but the return to God was short lived.

Cahn quotes, Isaiah 9:10, stating that rather than Israel repenting at the warning they instead declared to rebuild and rise stronger because of the incident. He argues that this is what America has done. Rather than turn to God we went to war, we strengthened our security, and we rebuilt. We did not let it break us.

If Cahn is right in comparing the pattern of God’s work with Israel in the Old Testament, then eventually after Israel continued not to repent God removed His divine protection and the nation was destroyed.

Who America Was and Who America Has Become

Who America Was and Who America Has Become – Big Brutus, Small-towns, and My Daughters

Last week I took a vacation to turkey hunt with my Dad in Kansas. I was supposed to leave my over-analyzing mind at home and just have a relaxing time, but a perfect storm was brewing in my head for the sights I was about to see. Before I left on my trip, I had a conversation with a friend about an issue in our state that was about to go to court. He made the statement that it is the voting of Americans that have led to the appointing of judges who are making these disappointing decisions. Therefore, as much as, we want to blame the politicians and the judges they have appointed – we voted them into office. We are reaping what we have sown. My friend and I talked about how the decisions in courts today were going to affect our children. So one side of the storm was a frustration (to put it mildly) with the direction of our nation.

The other side of the storm brewing in my head was that before I left on my trip I had been reviewing Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation because I was going to have the privilege to lead a funeral service of a World War II veteran. As I reread much of Brokaw’s book, I again was left in awe of the accomplishments of that World War II generation at home and overseas. After reading how our nation rose to the occasion to stomp out tyranny by bravely fighting, making sacrifices in everyday life, and rolling out an awe-striking war machine from American factories, I wondered if that could be pulled off today in America. On top of those two things, I wrote Uncle Sam a big check right before I left.

So with this perfect storm brewing we set out on leaving no public hunting area in a several county area unturned in such for turkeys. One of our first stops was the Mined Lands in southeast Kansas. We took a break from chasing turkeys to check out Big Brutus. Big Brutus is one of the largest land-based machines ever built. It is a gigantic drag line or electric shovel. It stands 160 feet high and weighs 11 million pounds. Its bucket holds 150 tons. Brutus was built for strip mining for coal there in Kansas. The large machine operated for only 12 years in the 60’s and 70’s. It only remains today because a town and state fought to preserve it when it was planned to be scrapped.

I know the Big Brutus, Inc. Museum does not sound that thrilling, but I was left in awe of the massive piece of equipment. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the size of it, but when someone stood beside it they appeared as an ant next to a giant. As I walked around the giant shovel and toured it, the thought that kept circling through my head was how could a nation that could produce something like this let the nation become so screwed up today. The construction of Big Brutus was such an endeavor. I thought about how bold it was to create such a plan and pursue it. I thought of the wealth it took to create such a tool. I thought on the craftsmanship that it took to build it. Then I thought on the determination that was required to follow the plan through.

Brutus represented the America I have heard about and once knew as a kid. A nation where anything was possible. I thought past the big drag line to the battleships, aircraft carriers, large factories, and other engineering feats that has been accomplished and was left in awe of what had been accomplished in previous generations. Then I thought about how much had changed since Brutus had been created. I thought of the many closed factories, the outsourcing, the unemployment, the lack of drive in us Americans, and the apathy across our nation and how that my daughters would not live in a nation that could build Big Brutus, but a nation where Big Brutus would rust as capable men could not find work and only a few individuals got wealthy because they placed such industrious endeavors in other nations. Done in an effort to create the largest profit margin possible while hanging our nation out to dry.  I was in awe at what Americans had built and I was in awe of how bad we have screwed things up.

As we left Big Brutus and continued chasing turkeys, we went in and out of small town after small town. All of them were dying. Businesses were shut down. Downtown buildings had deteriorated. All recreational type businesses were closed. Homes were in bad shape. In seeing these sights that I know also are true across the south and appeared to be true across the Midwest, I was so tempted to find a John Cougar Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen album in my iTunes library. I had recently watched a documentary on what would happen if the dollar was no longer the world currency, and the filmmakers argued that the United States would turn into a third world country. I also have heard the same type prediction on various talk radio shows. Those words, America turning into a third world country, ran through my head as I looked at what was once beautiful, vibrant towns and proud people, but was now transitioning into the likes of a third world country. The scenes were reminiscent of the scene I had seen in a very poor area of Brazil while on a mission trip.

No one could blame those in these towns for the appearance of it – there wasn’t any industry or factories – only empty buildings. The only manufacturing that appeared to be going on was the manufacturing of methamphetamines. There were fields all around, but we are very aware of the conditions in which the American farmer struggles.

Although homes, businesses, and towns were run down, each town had a few new big buildings. These new modern buildings looked completely misplaced in there environments. In the first few towns we passed through,  I searched hard to read the signs to figure out what these new big buildings were, but after a few towns I no longer needed to read any of the signs because I had figured out the pattern. The new buildings were all government buildings. The contrast of these buildings to the private businesses was so evident that the government buildings seemed out of place. These new buildings were the post offices, social security administration buildings, court houses, police stations, fire stations, health departments, jails, and schools.

The nicest, most extravagant new modern buildings we saw were detention centers and colleges. The only new construction we saw being done were on those two.

Two things crossed my mind. One as a mentioned was that before my very eyes this nation appeared to be turning into a third world country or at least not what it once was. My heart broke thinking of all the things I had enjoyed that my daughters would not get to enjoy. All because we have had leaders and wealthy influencers squander away the greatness of our nation. The second thing that crossed my mind was that the new, nice government buildings reminded me of an episode of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. The show follows the crazy lives of the parks and recreation department for a small Indiana town. The department struggles to carry out their public works projects due to lack of funding, but they are visited by a Venezuelan parks minister. The Venezuelan envoy mocks the Pawnee, Indiana parks and boasts of the beauty and prestige of their own parks in Venezuela. The contrast being in American capitalism it is the privately owned places that are the greatest, but in Venezuela under their heavy fisted socialist president the Venezuelan government built its self-up at the expense of the people.

Short Clip from Parks and Recreation

Whole Episode from Parks and Recreation

Therefore the scene I was seeing in each of these small towns was of a government who was rising at the expense of its people. A government that was beginning to resemble what the Venezuelan envoy in the show knew as home rather than what Americans have known as home. I remember not too long ago it always seemed government buildings were the crappy facilities. Each day that is changing.

The middle and lower classes in America, the 99%, are an oppressed people. Now I realize that is an extreme statement, when we are free. But when a few individuals rise far above the rest upon the backs of others those left in the dust and used as stepping stools are oppressed. We can call it other names such as economic recession, an increasing gap between rich and poor, unemployment, progress, outsourcing, or protecting the environment; but, when the government grows stronger, continues to build up resources, continues to build up facilities, and individually become wealthier while in office – that oppresses the general populace. Corporations, as well, continue to grow wealthy and their margin of profit steadily increases while the average, hard-working citizen struggles to put food on the table.. Citizens of the United States you are at least beginning to be oppressed – your savings or your line of credit may buffer away the oppression, but it is there and appears to be increasing.

With all of this said, for the Christian, for the citizen of heaven it doesn’t really matter. Oppressed or blessed we are called to be faithful and continue our kingdom work. Actually it would appear biblical that it is expected for Christians to be an oppressed people. Actually such difficulty is a fire that refines the church. So I do not believe it should be a chief concern for the Christian. Whatever occurs Christians are to wake up each day and be faithful, but while we are said to still have a voice in our democratic country we ought to defend against such oppression. I imagine if Egypt had been a democracy then the oppressed Israelites would have exercised their voice. They would have fought for the best conditions and legacy for their children.

If they had won that fight though they probably wouldn’t have wanted to leave Egypt. They wouldn’t have cried out to God.

They wouldn’t have experienced God.

8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey… 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” – Exodus 3:8–10 (NIV)

American citizens you are becoming an oppressed people.

Don’t silence your voice, but most of all cry out to God.