A study in governments (part 4)
As Nebuchadnezzar’s Neo-Babylon emerged from the rubble of 1500 years of pagan religion, so America grew up under the shadow of England after 1500 years of Papal darkness in Christian Europe. During the period of Colonial America under Britain, western government was similar to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Britain was regimented and lion-hearted. America was small but even bolder. Under the leadership of King James was authorized the most accurate translation of the Bible. And the people of America, though not all professing Christians, were unwitting products of the Reformation. The churches were intent on keeping God’s commandments, and new light shone from heaven beginning the process of sectarianism in America. Life was tough and dangerous in the new continent, and the rugged Protestants felt their need to know their Bibles. They came up from the wilderness of the new land a robust, strong-willed people tied to the soil and to strict obedience to the Law of God. They were legalistic to a degree, but innocent by today’s standards. They had no problem living under a monarchy. They understood their place in the system of caste set up by powerful men. The Bible told them that in God’s eyes the first were last, and the last first. They were content to know that God had His own way of prioritizing greatness and of determining human worth.
By the mid 1700’s, the colonialists, seeing the vast land and never-ending natural resources before them, unconsciously coveted all that their eyes landed on. The imported comforts from the Old World and monetary potential of the New World had its influence on the Protestants and the pastors lost their power to awaken the conscience of the flock under their care as a gloom settled over the churches, separating them from the Word. The new generation, full of the energy inherited from their God-fearing grandparents, were led away from the faith of their fathers to spend their God-given intellectual and physical strength on this world. Thus Protestants prepared themselves for a new government, one that could survive without a king, but one that had self-sufficiency built into it. It required genius to devise such a government. Genesis records children of godly parents before the flood who strayed away from the faith of Adam and married the children of Cain and the life of self-indulgence. They were a source of unequaled worldly wisdom. Such can be said of the robust descendents of Noah at the Euphrates delta. Such can be seen in every healthy, vibrant youth that puts a godly home behind him to enter the world. And such were our country’s forefathers.
As Colonial America coincides with the Babylonian empire, so from 1776 onward, Constitutional America coincides with the government of Medo-Persia—a republican government that took inputs from surrounding satraps before it made a law. Great effort went into making fair and equal laws across the vast empire; and once a law was agreed to by the governors/representatives and ratified, then it was in force forever. As the Medo-Persians enjoyed peace in the land, so did Americans during this corresponding period of it’s history. But by the time of the Civil war, partisan contentions filled Congress and the nation. The unity of the state was no longer paramount. The south wanted to secede and the north was full of self-righteousness and protections of its own interest. We were slipping from our semi-noble condition of the Constitutional period of our history. The Protestant churches separated themselves from God’s Law by adopting a new gospel—the Ten Commandments done away with and nailed to the cross. Now the people could no more hear the voice of heavenly authority. The pulpit was now full of empty threats. Easy grace opened the floodgates of evil in this unique Protestant country because the fear of the Lord was no longer a force to be counted with.
The Civil War era to WWII in America parallels the world’s condition during the Greek civilization and is characterized by an increasing restlessness and desire for satisfaction of individual desires. The foundation had been laid by the failure in Protestantism, with new freedoms coming about: civil rights, women and black suffrage, the teaching of our children, health reformers and prohibitionists; diverse cross-sections of society fighting for their right to be heard. While these reforms were necessary, it simply demonstrated the vast and growing retreat from the spirit of self-sacrifice seen in the Reformers. The uplifting of humanity and prohibition of harmful substances was the jurisdiction of the church rather than that of the government. It was the home and the church that were to bring about these changes. Paul demonstrated for us the power of truth when he cautiously yet firmly laid a death knell precedent against slavery in his epistle to Philemon; and he continually elevated the place of women high above their near slavery status in the world. But the churches failed because they had long before lost their power to convict the conscience as Paul and Luther had done, and now moral reform was lost to them. The churches standing idly by, applauded the government for stepping up to the plate to perform by legislation the very mission the churches wanted to conduct but were unable to muster the energy to accomplish. The churches were long dead in trespasses and sins and in great need of conversion.
George Washington wisely founded our government on self-interest. Its role is to demand and enforce laws of justice and equality. Thus the American government failed because it later attempted what was the function of the church, in the merciful uplifting of the people. But because the church wasn’t fulfilling its purpose, the government leaders assumed that that was their role to fill. It would require an increasingly heavier budget and complicated beaurocracy to afford what the church could have accomplished through God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. It is at this point that we see in our republican form of government the cracks that have been developing since the 1800’s.
Protestantism had lost its first love long before, and the Bible injunctions that they “loose the bands of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free,” breaking every yoke in the power of God, had lost its force due to the lure of prosperity. The Protestants now must rely on the state to accomplish by legislation what religion would fail to do through the Spirit of God.
Also, during this period there began, slowly at first, advances in the sciences, mathematics, and the arts like we saw developing in Greece. Government run public education came into its own, copying closely the Greek pagan classical education system borrowed from Europe, which had been passed down from ancient Egypt. Great American writers had sprung up, and now the souls of Protestant Americans were won over. Similar to the Greeks before them, Americans worshipped their own philosophers, and made their philosophies the new guide over the faith of their fathers. By 1925, the Scopes “Monkey Trial” finished off the paltry faith in God which remained in the system that taught our Protestant children. The scientific community moved against William Jennings Bryan to humiliate him and his desire to keep creationism in the school books. The prospects of a separate Protestant school system had given up to an atheistic educational system that would lead her children further away from the memories of real faith. The children would now fall into a bottomless pit, never again to know the soundness of godly reasoning.
New and exciting things to do and use proliferated as we threw off archaic ways of thinking for new untried ways. The “anything goes” attitude spread down to the common people, amusement parks and public beaches flourished and the ‘20’s came roaring through. Here we see the beginnings of the end, the spirit behind this nation’s ruin that would cause man to “exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god...neither will he regard the God of his fathers.” Dan. 11:36. Self would be gratified more and more before this prophecy was completely fulfilled.
Abandonment of the “old paths, where is the good way” (Jer. 6:16), never brings lasting peace. God’s image that is built into human nature is there to send us to God for guidance. But the sinful nature struggles against this voice because we were born in rebellion against God’s principles of purity. The Spirit strives against the flesh, and the flesh strives against the Spirit so that it is difficult to do what we should do or want to do. This constant struggle is intended by God to bring us to see a force bigger than us or our worldly cares, which we must acknowledge as the Creator moving upon the created being. However the struggle seldom results with the individual acknowledging God and seeking His help in the matters of peace. Man tends to wrestle on, the cares of the world weighing down until he sears his conscience and throws off the struggle. When he does this there is an exhilaration, a feeling of freedom which is not recognized as the deep apostasy away from God that it is. It is the exhilaration in the heart of the Prodigal Son as he leaves home with his fortune over his shoulder. This is happening in the churches of today, as the people heap up to themselves teachers who will give them the pleasing doctrines that skirt the issues of the conscience. The wicked generation of the end who have their conscience silenced are a very moral group (1Tim 4:2). They find peace at the cost of the conscience. True repentance, subjection to a higher authority than self, is a foreign matter to the vast American, even religious, multitudes.
As Satan moves the whole world closer to its destruction, he uses the same tactic as always—a counterfeit peace. “By peace,” he will “destroy many.” Dan. 8:25. This peace is of a different character than the peace of God. Satan offers a peace without laws, a peace by way of avoiding the tough issues of the heart like holiness, service, duty and repentance. “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Jer. 8:11. God did not give Jacob the blessed peace of mind until after an intense personal struggle with submission to the will of God. Then Jacob clung to the Angel and received the blessing which had eluded him all his life. Esau took the quick route to peace and lost his place in sacred history. As Esau was ignorant of the peace that comes from submission to God, during his life it was impossible for him to admit to himself that the accumulation of earthly things is insufficient to bring lasting peace—everlasting life. We all must struggle for peace, but let us not rest until we obtain the peace that comes with a clean conscience before God through faith in His merciful kindness. “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Is. 57:19-21. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom 5:1. “If any man worship the beast and his image [follow any man-made system of getting peace of mind], the same shall drink of the wine of His indignation...And he shall be tormented.” Rev. 14:9,10. God has made it very clear that peace comes through no other means than submission to His will. With pathos the Spirit calls to our heart as to Israel of old, “O that thou hadst hearkened unto My commandments! Then had thy peace been like a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Is. 48:18.
The moral laxness of the Greeks was the cause of the wretchedness of the Romans. The Roman Empire was the result of centuries of paganism-run governments. The result of paganism was a world weakened in moral power and under Satan’s angry control. The Romans attained world domination by squashing all resistance and then subjugating the people to keep down uprisings. What tribute was owed to it, it took with violence. While claiming to be a republic, its policy betrayed its true character, that of dictatorship. Satan had control of man and everywhere self was indulged with a vengeance.
In post-WWII America we have truly seen a rush to appease the greedy nature in man. A knowledge of God, the contrite condition of the heart, a full consecration to God and His Word, have been forgotten. America is an empty shell of its past. “Ichabod,” our glory has departed, forever. Are us Protestants learning humiliation before God’s Law? Is there a sighing and crying for the abominations done in the land, which by the neglect of the professed Protestants is their responsibility? Is there a yearning for being right with God? an earnest longing after righteousness? In the churches, where is the desire for the vindication of God’s character, even if it brings on public humiliation? It is missing in all the Protestant denominations. Darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness all of us. Our worship services are dead, lacking the confession of faults, a genuine expression of faith in God, the sharing of personal experiences in the operation of God’s work. We are in the middle of the Great Delusion. We have tried to compensate for the lack of true faith and spirituality by filling in the void with a worship of human devising. People weep and gnash their teeth in order to be “slain in the Spirit.” Like the prophets of Baal cut themselves and convulsed in prayer, these help bring on the spirit of darkness and perdition. But every self-made experience of good feelings only hardens them in false religion. It is an addiction that calls for a greater and greater emotional high while they seek to get the stimulation of the original fix when they first “got saved,” instead of going to the Savior and letting Him bring them to Himself.
More conservative churches who know only an assent to the theory of godliness stand idly by. They seem helpless to stop the apostasy happening among the Charismatic groups. They do not get personally involved in Pentecostalism, and feel safe with Ecumenism, not knowing that their end will be the same for those involved in the more obvious spiritualism. The latter receives the mark in the forehead and the former receives it in the hand. Even many Adventists, who aren’t worried until they see a Sunday law, have fallen into the same trap. The Protestants try to maintain religion without a daily on-going relationship, getting reacquainted with God daily for victory over sin. The church looks good on the outside and membership is growing, but the Protestant heart is in turmoil.
Is America a republic or a dictatorship? If it is a strong republic, as it claims, then why the build-up of the police force? Why do we see terrorism within our borders at the hand of our own people? Why is the CIA turning its guns on its own people? Satan has brought us down, we are wallowing in the mud. We want God to come to our rescue, and still to be able to cling to our convenient lifestyle, an easy and careless life of idleness. We want to believe God provides for us while we fight to keep all the “good life” for ourselves. A man pumped up on steroids, whose muscles are stronger than his bones, but whose tender inner organs are in ruins, best portrays the spiritual strength of Protestant America.
Protestant Americans can’t live without Hollywood. We have committed fornication with her. She makes us feel good about ourselves. She makes us laugh, she makes us weep. She makes us jump up and shout with excitement, as we pour our emotions into a box instead of the throne of God. She requires no obligation, no strings attached. We find it easier to deal with her issues than to help our neighbor deal with his. She makes us suspenseful, then relieves that suspense. She lets us forget about real life’s stresses; she is a faithful therapist. We are enthralled; we are hypnotized. We are addicted to her.
She is our priest, she teaches us how to believe in God. We learn our morals from her. We learn how to conform to the crowd and are conditioned to think about what is proper and what is not, based on what everyone else says. She allows us to be in charge of our morality. Through her, we allow people’s opinions to become our standard of conduct, which agrees more with us than God’s Law because there is no force behind human opinion since they are all personally tailored and riddled with selfish agendas. She provides for us with up-to-date world events and weather; she educates us. We couldn’t live without her. She blesses us with televangelists. We worship her. Who needs real holiness, when our needs are met with Hollywood’s shows?
The heart of the people is rotted out; Babylon is fallen.