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The top 10 articles from Nehemiah Institute


AMERICA LOST



By: Don Rogers
02/17/2014

In conversations with thoughtful Christians about the cultural decline of our nation, I often hear the familiar scripture from II Chronicles 7:14 which states “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”. That is of course a wonderful promise. Further on however, in II Chronicles 7, we read in verse 19 through 22, “But if you turn away and forsake my statutes and commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods and worship them I will pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them and this house which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight and will make it to be a proverb and a by word among all nations. And this house which is high shall be an astonishment to everyone that passeth by it so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them

Those are sobering words. It would be well for us to meditate on them as we take stock of our current state of cultural decay. Going back to Genesis 3, mankind has persisted in worshiping other gods. America has arrived at the tipping point.

We lament the election of a lawless Socialist/Marxist president. While this president demonstrates daily his disdain for nobler national traditions, instead of lashing out at the man, perhaps we should ask ourselves, What manner of people would willingly elect such a man?

I was born in 1927, raised in poverty on a small dirt farm in South Dakota. From my earliest memory, when a tool or machine on the farm would break, we would have to find a way to fix it. Unlike today, repair parts were not easily gotten if we could have afforded them. So in the process of fixing something which was broken, we tried to determine the cause of the failure so as to avoid it happening again. I have therefore become a “dot connector,” tracing the cause of failure to prevent its recurrence.

In thinking about America’s broken state, I can trace the problem back to education. Faulty education (preaching) in the pulpit and along with that, failure to properly teach our children.

Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Since its inception, America has gradually abandoned that proverbial admonition and instead have given our children’s education over to the State. There is no justification for this either in the Bible or in the Constitution.

In America today we find that our children are being trained up in the ways they should not go.

Bibles are forbidden in the modern classroom, no mention of God is permitted. Time honored traditions have been abandoned, or renamed so as to purge any reference to Christianity.

Homosexuality has become normalized, starting with the indoctrination of kindergarten children, teaching them that it was okay that Heather had two Mommies. Same sex marriage is now being written into law in many states and is commonly accepted in contemporary culture.

All of this can be easily traced to the way in which we educate our children. Many well-meaning and thoughtful Christians are and have been struggling for years to effect change in the culture by promoting the election of “conservative” political candidates. What these kind and well intentioned folks have not realized is that most of these “conservative” politicians were educated in the secular public school system from K through grad school. They are therefore tainted in their worldview to the point of inability to effectually prescribe and carry out corrective legislation. So error is heaped upon error and the national condition continues to erode.

Noted theologian Dr. Gary North has stated Modern Humanism has identified its church and priesthood: The public school system. The National Education Association, i.e. teachers union, has effectively taken control of education in America and to a large extent has become a substitute for what was once the exclusive role of the family and the Church. The curriculum is set by the state and the teachers union has a foot on the throat of the tax payer to effectively extort ever higher education cost per pupil while America’s scholastic standing in the world continues to fall.

As was the case with Nehemiah of old, we have evaluated the destruction and determined the condition of our “wall.” We have identified the problem. Now what do we do, where do we begin the restoration process? Some wise person once said, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

In order to “stop digging,” given the deep roots of public secular education in America and considering the respect it has been given by the public, that process must start by educating the public to the insidious nature of the current public education curriculum. However, without a Christian worldview sensitivity, to the hostility of the Christian religion prevalent in the curriculum of public education, it will be more difficult to effect change. But such education must begin.

As Dr. North has identified public education as the church and priesthood of Humanism, it will be important to understand how this presents a problem for the contemporary pastor in the pulpit.

As we have traced the decline of our Christian ethic in America, we can readily identify the same phenomenon in the church. Fifty years ago it would have been common for a pastor to mention the sin of homosexuality. Today if it is spoken of at all it is couched in tones of grey such as, yes homosexuality is a sin but merely one among many. I am speaking of what one might have heard perhaps ten years ago. Today, with several denominations ordaining openly homosexual pastors, and same sex marriage common, it has thus been normalized and therefore very difficult to reverse.

In modern times, pastors have been loath to speak from the pulpit, messages their congregations should hear, out of fear of offending them. Such is increasingly the case as the ministry becomes perhaps more a profession as opposed to a “call.” The modern pastor has also become very reluctant to discuss anything of a political nature from the pulpit. They cite as the reason that they dare not jeopardize their 501-C-3 IRS tax exempt status. Hence, the state has effectively silenced political speech. I am of the firm belief, gained from personal experience, that the average pastor has seized on that as an excuse to avoid speaking about anything of a political nature in order to avoid offending the congregation. And then of course is the issue of “giving.” In addition to all of this, the modern pastor is often misguided as to how scripture is applied to “social justice.” He often is woefully ignorant of the political process as he labors under the mistaken notion that America is a democracy. After all, he most likely graduated from the public school system.

Perhaps a bigger hurdle than the political self-imposed prohibition is the fear of offending the many congregants who are vitally connected to public education in some way. Most churches are likely to have teachers or school administrators among their membership and often times that includes the pastor’s wife. The public school system, in addition to having developed deep community roots as Dr. North states, is the source of livelihood for an increasing number of people. The pastor is certainly mindful of this economic connection to his congregants and therefore to his own economic security. That fact presents a powerful motivation to further avoid speaking Biblical truths from the pulpit on culturally sensitive subjects. Given the reality of these factors, it is easy to see the pitfalls confronting the average American pastor.

Up to this point I have spared the reader the tedium of reciting many of the obvious examples available on the internet, TV and newspapers of the proof of the precipitous decline of our culture.

My wife just called my attention to a piece on the internet regarding a text book used at the University of South Carolina in which President Ronald Reagan, arguably one of the most effective, successful and loved American presidents of all time is classed as a racist. The text book is used in connection with a class titled “Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare: Critical Thinking Perspectives.” As reported in the book, Reagan discounted the importance of racism and discrimination, and maintained that, if they tried, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans could become just as successful as Whites but they argue that his policies, continued by George H. W. Bush, increased homelessness and the number of people living in poverty. Such thinking is merely a continuum of what began when these “20 something” age students were in kindergarten. Another dot connected in real life.

As I read the book of Nehemiah, I am always struck by the enormity of the rebuilding process that he faced. As I candidly look at our rapidly declining culture, being morally bankrupt, financially bankrupt and fast becoming militarily bankrupt, or at least neutered, I see our task as no less daunting. A student of biblical history cannot help but recognize we are on the road to Rome.

I am convinced however, that the effort in which we are involved, helping otherwise well-meaning people accurately recognize the peril we face as a nation and equip them to take action, is as important and urgent a cause as any I can think of.

Respectfully submitted.  

 

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