Series: A Nation in the Balance, Part 3
Message: “We the People…”
Sunday, June 12, 2016. New Life Community Church, Monroe, Louisiana
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The turbulent years of the formation of our nation are full of stories of courage and drama. I do not know how widely these stories are remembered these days. As I came up through the schools of my youth, there were some stories that everyone knew.
Today, in our super-charged and often distorted view of history, these stories get skewed and at times reinterpreted.
Today we are fighting a moral battle. In that day, it was often economic – dealing with taxation and economic oppression.
Actions such as the Stamp Act of 1765 caused an ever-increasing anger to simmer in the colonies. A series of actions called the Townshend Acts were put in place and the anger increased. One of those was the Tea Act. So on December 16, 1773, something called the Boston Tea Party took place.
About that time, a group of businessmen began meeting at a tavern called the Green Dragon. Their purpose was to compare notes and try to keep the public updated on British activities and particularly “the movement of British soldiers.”
It may seem extreme to make too many parallels between those days and today, but, at that time, the seat of colonial government was in the town of Concord about 25 miles inland. That was also the base of the militia and the holding place of most of the military supplies and arms.
April 14, 1775 (that was a Friday), the order came to go to Concord and disarm the rebels, take their arms, and arrest two leaders: Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
Tuesday evening of April 18, 1775, between 9 and 10pm, the alarm was sent out. The most famous and effective of those who rode out was a silversmith named Paul Revere.
His first move was to go to the North Church. They had set up a system using the church steeple. It is from this that we have the well-known phrase “one if by land, two if by sea”.
Paul Revere then crossed the Charles River and set out on what we today call the mid-night ride of Paul Revere.
The next morning, April 19, the first shot was fired on Lexington Green, and the American Revolution was underway. It was called “the shot heard round the world.”
Shortly after that, in early 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet called The American Crisis.
The first of the pamphlets was released during a time when the Revolution was still viewed as an unsteady prospect. Its opening sentence was adopted as the watchword of the movement to Trenton. The opening lines are as follows:
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
The pamphlet, read aloud to the Continental Army on December 23, 1776, three days before the Battle of Trenton, attempted to bolster morale and resistance among patriots, as well as shame neutrals and loyalists toward the cause:
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
1-5 Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people. II Timothy 3:1-5 (Message)
1Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them:
‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. Ezekiel 33:2-4 (NKJV)
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ Ezekiel 33:6 (NKJV)
7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:10-11 (NKJV)
A time to KNOW
Let me list the issues facing us:
- The future of marriage
- Disintegration of families
- The loss of our children
- The moral and sexual revolution taking place all around us
- Gender identity
- The use of public bathrooms
- The increasing a-morality and immorality of the media
- The on-going promotion of the culture of death via unrestricted abortion on demand coupled with calls for euthanasia and the devaluing of human life.
- The rapid rise of atheism
- Increasing infringements on religious liberties and religious freedom
- A rapidly growing anti-Christian bias that is infiltrating all segments of our society
- The freedom to bear arms
- The very nature of citizenship and the unstable flow in immigration
- The disintegration of our educational system
- What appears to be a continuing economic melt-down – an untenable economic position.
- The rise of false-spiritualities; fake religions; designer faiths
- Drug-saturated culture
- The challenge of militant Islam
- The loss of biblical knowledge and convictions
- A Presidential election that befuddles us all
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
Plato: 400 years before Christ wrote THE REPUBLIC
As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated in all hues.”
This rainbow-flag polity, Plato argues, is, for many people, the fairest of regimes. The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — withshame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema. But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.
The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. Patriarchy is also dismantled: “We almost forgot to mention the extent of the law of equality and of freedom in the relations of women with men and men with women.” Family hierarchies are inverted: “A father habituates himself to be like his child and fear his sons, and a son habituates himself to be like his father and to have no shame before or fear of his parents.” In classrooms, “as the teacher … is frightened of the pupils and fawns on them, so the students make light of their teachers.” Animals are regarded as equal to humans; the rich mingle freely with the poor in the streets and try to blend in. The foreigner is equal to the citizen.
And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.
The latest terms of surrender were delivered last week by Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. In a stunningly candid essay,
“The culture wars are over; they lost, we won.”
Advocates the abandoning of what he calls “defensive-crouch liberalism”
Advocates compiling a list of laws and rules that embody a jurisprudence called “wrong the day it was decided.” That means, since the moral landscape has changed, we must review all laws in light of our new values and rebuild our legal system from the ground up.
“For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)”
“The Moral Revolutionaries are Coming for Your Children”
That’s the last line in Dr. Al Mohler’s** Briefing on Tuesday of this week (Aug. 12). He describes activities in the Fremont, California Unified School District with respect to a high school textbook entitled Your Health Today. You can buy a copy of this book for yourself for a mere $120.30 on Amazon. An LA Times article reports that the book “would expose teens to topics on sexual fantasies, sex games, as well as themes that include ropes, handcuffs, sex toys and vibrators.” And that’s just the start in describing the book’s sexual agenda.
Look at the growing trends that assault our children and grand-children on a daily basis. There is the unbelievable success of E.L. James’ novel Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels. They have sold 100 million copies!! The topics, according to Wikipedia : “It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism.” This is pornography.
Now, a movie based on the book is coming in 2015.
We can point to such popular TV sitcoms as “Will and Grace”, “Modern Family”, “The New Normal”, “Glee” … the list goes on. These evangelistically promote a change from traditional morality.
A time to WARN
A time to PREPARE
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)
1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. II Peter 3:1-3 (ESV)
4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, II Peter 3:11-12 (ESV)
because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. II Peter 3:14 (ESV)
15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. II Peter 3:17-18 (ESV)