© 2012 Andy Woods
Something transpired on November 6, 2012 that seemed unthinkable in the eyes of many. Despite an abysmal economic, foreign affairs, and moral record during his first term, the American people re-elected President Obama to a second term. You might recall 1979 when then-President Jimmy Carter experienced an identical challenging first term as America’s Commander in Chief. However, back then, after seeing his four-year presidential record, the American people overwhelmingly rejected his quest for a second term causing Carter to lose in a landslide to Ronald Reagan thereby making Carter a one-term President. Most expected the pattern of 1979 to repeat itself in the 2012 election cycle, but it did not. Not only was Obama re-elected, but three states approved of same sex marriage and another state legalized Marijuana use. Keep in mind that it was not some out of control liberal federal judge who ruled on these matters. This time, these choices were brought to us through the direct and popular vote of the American people. What is different about the moral and spiritual climate in America today, in 2012 in comparison to the mindset that prevailed and existed in 1979?
As I contemplate this question, the biblical verse that continues to come to my mind is Judges 2:10, which says, “All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” Back in 1979, there was still enough biblical awareness and discernment in the culture necessary for the majority to correct the course of the nation when it was obviously heading in the wrong direction. Today, such biblical awareness, discernment, and knowledge is lacking, if not gone altogether, in the general population.
Galatians 6:7-8 introduces the law of sowing and reaping when it says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” This principle is a common one from the agrarian first-century world. It simply says that what is planted will come up as a harvest in due time. Apple seeds will eventually produce apple trees. Orange seeds will ultimately produce orange trees. The principle is a neutral one in that it applies equally to good, bad, and minimal harvests. Nothing, or little planted, will bring forth a marginal harvest. Good seeds planted will bring forth a good harvest. Harmful seeds sowed will produce a harmful harvest. The fact of the matter is that we have been putting bad cultural seed into the ground for many decades and only now are we beginning to see the ripened fruit of this negative harvest. This harmful fruit manifests itself in the thinking and philosophy of the population and voters who lack the basic ability to discern good from evil. In America today, the Joshua generation has now given way to the Judges generation.
Who is to blame for this negative fruit? Certainly some of it must be placed at the door of the church. Ever since the early 1980’s, due to the influence of church leaders such as Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Joel Osteen, the evangelical church has been sold the idea that “bigger is better.” Under this rubric, the way to get the church to grow is to make it comfortable or palatable to the unsaved. Such a philosophy "works" in that it can fill massive stadiums with adoring fans. While I am not per se against God-ordained church growth (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 3:6), what is lost under this seeker friendly philosophy is basic doctrine and Bible teaching since such activities are deemed as offensive to the unsaved. What does not appeal to the unregenerate seeker is quickly discarded. Thus, the church ceases to be the pillar of truth that God called her to be (1 Tim. 3:15). As the seeker movement rolled on throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, some hungering for a deeper spiritual experience became disillusioned with it and adopted something even worse in its place called the "Emerging Church." This ministry style places personal experiences and ancient medieval liturgical practices over the proclamation and study of objective biblical truth. Indeed, this emerging spirituality would contend that even the ability to arrive at such objective truth is an impossibility. Both philosophies have produced a generation of church goers who know very little about the very Bible that they claim they believe in.
This problem is compounded by the departure of many formerly solid seminaries from sound doctrine. What was in vogue among the now liberal main line seminaries a century ago, such as the denial of the historicity of early Genesis (where one finds the foundation of God’s plan for human government as expressed in the Noahic Covenant), is now being openly promulgated in many of our evangelical schools.1 Thus, both the shepherd, who graduates from one of these institutions, and the sheep have become functioning biblical illiterates. These deplorable spiritual conditions help explain why so many professing evangelical Christians voted for Obama on November 6th. Joel Rosenberg notes:
It is stunning to think that more than 6 million self-described evangelical Christians would vote for a President who supports abortion on demand; supported the same-sex marriage ballot initiatives that succeeded in Maryland, Maine and Washington; and was on the cover of Newsweek as America’s “first gay president.” Did these self-professed believers surrender their Biblical convictions in the voting booth, or did they never really have deep Biblical convictions on the critical issues to begin with?...This is what happens when the Church is weak and fails to disciple believers to turn biblical faith into action. Given the enormous number of evangelical Christians in the U.S., this bloc could still affect enormous positive change for their issues if they were to unify and vote for the pro-life, pro-marriage candidate as a bloc....What will it take to educate, register and mobilize Christians to vote on the basis of biblical principles, and what kind of candidates could best mobilize them? This is a critical question that Christian political leaders as well as pastors must seriously consider. As we have seen, just a few million more evangelicals voting for pro-life, pro-marriage candidates could offset other demographics that are becoming more liberal.2
The contribution of these misguided ecclesiastical philosophies in leading people away from the truth have also found an eager ally in our compulsory American public educational system, which was all but stripped of any vestige of its Judeo-Christian origins thanks to a series of radical Supreme Court decisions dating back to the early 1960’s. The Humanists have long telegraphed their ambition to take control of our public school system. They well understand the significance of the quote sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”3 Back in 1932, Humanist Charles Francis Potter divulged:
Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?4
Also, note carefully the words of Humanist John Dunphy:
I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved….humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.5
Because of religious humanism’s dominance in public education, some have even referred to government schools as seminaries, which are busy training the next generation of humanist priests. Ron Taylor aptly describes the ultimate Humanist goal: "It is their stated goal...to steal one generation of children and teach them to place loyalty to the state above loyalty to family."6 Those coming out of years of humanistic brainwashing masquerading as public education know little of the Bible, America's Christian origins and founding documents, and the blessings of free-market capitalism. Instead, they know a great deal about sex education, values clarification, moral relativism, Darwinian evolution, Socialism and Marxism, earth worship, multiculturalism, postmodern deconstructionism, one-world globalism, Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, and appeasement foreign policy. Products of these schools comprised the Obama voters in 2012. The humanistic agenda had not quite grown to full maturity in 1979. Now, it is in full bloom. In sum, decades of dumbing down doctrinal truth within the church and mandatory humanistic education have finally paid Satanic dividends. We now have a generation of adult voters incapable of discerning good from evil (Jonah 4:11b). As the prophet Hosea decried, "For they sow the wind; and they reap the whirlwind" (Hos. 8:7).
I am not trying to be fatalistic or pessimistic as much as I am trying to be realistic. America has turned a corner from which she will never recover. As believers, we can find solace in Paul's words to Timothy. Paul wrote 1 Timothy to instruct Timothy regarding how he is to conduct himself in the midst of the encroaching apostasy, or massive defection from truth. After giving the general characteristics of the coming apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1-5), Paul explained to Timothy how he is to conduct himself in the midst of it (4:6-16). Timothy can insulate himself from the negative effects of the coming apostasy through a constant exposure to the truth (4:6). Paul then utilizes twelve Greek imperatives or commands to explain to Timothy the direction that his ministry is to take as the apostasy becomes more influential within the church and society (4:7-16). Timothy is to reject fables (4:7a), to discipline himself toward godliness (4:7b-10), to prescribe spiritual things (4:11a), to teach spiritual things (4:11b), not to allow others to despise his youth (4:12a), to be an example of maturity (4:12b), to give attendance to public teaching of Scripture (4:13), not to neglect his spiritual gift (4:14), to meditate on spiritual things (4:15a), to give himself wholly to spiritual things (4:15b), to take heed of himself (4:16a), and to persevere in spiritual things (4:16b). Because we too are living in apostate times, these commands become especially meaningful to us. Let us keep a realistic perspective on the times in which we live. At the same time, let us remain faithful to our Savior whose appearing is at hand.
1 Ken Ham and Greg Hall, Already Compromised: Christian Colleges Took a Test on the State of Their Faith and the Exam Is In (Green Forest, AR: Master, 2011).
3 Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, America's Providential History (Charlottesville, VA: Providence, 1989), 95.
4 Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128.
5 John J. Dunphy, "A Religion for the New Age," The Humanist 43, no. 1 (January/February 1983): 26.
6 Ron Taylor, Agenda 21: An Expose of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Initiative and the Forfeiture of American Sovereignty and Liberties, Kindle Edition.
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