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By John W. Whitehead
November 23, 2009
"Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand."--John Adams, letter to Zabdiel Adams (21 June 1776)
American society has succumbed to a rampant materialism. And now it has passed down to our young people. In fact, studies show that a large percentage of young people between the ages of 16 and 25 don't see any meaning or purpose to life at all. Another study in 2009 showed that 15% of teenagers in grades 7 through 12 don't think they will live to the age of 35, which causes them to take part in adverse or risky behavior--drugs, wild parties, getting arrested by police, and even suicide.
As we have lost our sense of meaning, morality and spirituality, the erosion of our freedoms on virtually every front has accelerated. And, make no mistake about it, freedom in the true sense of the word is always undergirded by a common moral and religious system. As John Adams opined: "Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
Increasingly, we are headed toward a spiritually dead-end society as our schools and universities, reluctant to teach values, avoid religion as if it were a plague. As a result, in the words of Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "men have forgotten God." He knew of what he spoke. For a short time, Solzhenitsyn was exiled in the United States where he observed Western culture first hand. As a result, Solzhenitsyn tended to reject the Western emphasis on materialism based largely upon his belief in Christian values.
Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in Russian prisons and labor camps for criticizing Joseph Stalin. After his release in 1956, he began to write, producing some of the most intimate and detailed accounts of the inhumane treatment of the Russian people at the hands of the Communist government. His books have become classics: Cancer Ward (1968), August 1914 (1971), The Gulag Archipelago (1973), The Oak and the Calf (1980), among others.
In 1970, Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1983, Solzhenitsyn won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In his London address upon accepting the prize, Solzhenitsyn summed up his belief that virtually every problem we face in the West can be reduced to a single premise: "men have forgotten God." Broadly, Solzhenitsyn's point was that in our secularistic age, we have overthrown spirituality for materialism but with far-reaching ramifications--including the loss of freedom. We might pause for a moment and consider Solzhenitsyn's analysis of our state of being.
The following are some excerpts from his Templeton address:
Imperceptibly, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West has ceased to be seen as anything more lofty than the "pursuit of happiness," a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make daily concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism.
Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain "equality"--the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today's free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance--the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.
Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God.
With such global events looming over us like mountains, nay, like entire mountain ranges, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart's preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today's world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain.
Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.
To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing.
Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.
The Blessing of Revival
"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." God is far more ready to bless than we are to receive. It is His very nature to give and to keep on giving. The Bible reminds us that "the Lord our God is a sun and shield: He bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). "He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, will He not also give us all things with Him?" (Romans 8:32). "God...richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).
These and other promises all go to show the warmth of God’s heart toward man, and what He is willing and waiting to do for us. The only reason we do not know the fullness of blessing is because we have not fulfilled the condition. But if we understand the basis and the burden of revivals we are promised God’s favor- "Then will I hear from Heaven."
REVIVAL by Pastor Robert K. Teske
Tomorrow: Part 2O: The "What" of Revival
Progressives in America need to realize that when they point a finger at conservatives for “judging” various identity groups, there are three other fingers pointing back at them, journalist and author Jack Cashill says.
“The irony is that the left has prided itself historically on being anti-judgmental,” Cashill said in a recent interview on Phyllis Schlafly’s “Eagle Forum Live” radio show. “I mean, they have introduced that word ‘judgmental’ as though it were bad, and yet they are the most judgmental people on the planet.”
The things on which progressives pass judgment change from day to day, Cashill noted. He pointed to the recent controversy over use of the term “anchor baby” to describe the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.
It was a term used by Senate Minority leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the Senate floor in 1993. His conclusion was that “no sane country” would allow illegal immigrants to so easily gain a foothold.
But when Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush uttered “anchor babies” last week, ABC reporter Tom Llamas charged the term was offensive. He suggested calling an anchor baby an “American child of undocumented immigrants.” Bush’s use of the term is now being treated as a gaffe by the media.
Cashill, a WND columnist, finds it infuriating that progressives are raising a stink over the term “anchor babies” at a time when several undercover videos have shown Planned Parenthood employees casually discussing the buying and selling of aborted-baby parts.
“These people who are willing to endorse groups that dismember real babies, unborn babies, healthy unborn babies and trafficking their body parts are dictating to us our morality?” Cashill asked. “How did we let them get away with this?”
Americans also have allowed progressives to define public morality, according to Cashill. And conservatives are not without blame.
“We’ve seen our political leaders buckle in the face of the merest insults or name-calling, the fear of being called a racist, the fear of being called a sexist, the fear of being called a xenophobe has led to some very bad policy decisions on the parts of Republicans, always prodded of course by Democrats and their progressive puppeteers,” he said.
“Cashill’s newest book, “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism Exposed,” deals with this very topic of leftist name-calling.
In it, Cashill identifies the “seven deadly sins” against intolerant progressives: racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and climate-change denialism.
Cashill calls self-righteous progressives “neo-Puritans” for their rigid adherence to a secular faith. And he believes this secular faith is actually the world’s second-oldest faith – the faith that humans can be like gods, as the serpent promised Adam in the Garden of Eden.
“For the left, they’ve adopted the idea that man can create his own universe more successfully than God can, and so they’re always tinkering,” he said. “They’re always improving. They’re always refining. And yet, as we know, it’s not like they’re making anything better. They’re simply appealing to their interest groups and calling it progress when in fact it’s regress.”
The “neo-Puritans” don’t tolerate dissent, according to Cashill. They assume anyone who disagrees with them has sinister motivations.
“So if you don’t believe in affirmative action, you’re racist,” he said. “If you don’t believe in illegal immigration, you’re a xenophobe. If you don’t believe that the earth is going to turn into a cinder in the next 10 years, you’re a climate-change denialist, a term they borrowed from the Holocaust. That’s how sinister their use of language is.”
Phyllis Schlafly, the host, jumped in and offered another historical comparison for what progressive are doing.
“It’s kind of like an inquisition, where you’re guilty before you even have a trial,” said Schlafly, a WND columnist and author of “Who Killed the American Family?”
Cashill acknowledged that not every part of the “neo-Puritan” coalition would naturally be in harmony. Most notably, two of the seven deadly sins are Islamophobia and homophobia, but Muslims could be considered “homophobes,” too, considering their religion’s intolerance of “gays.” But Cashill said such considerations don’t matter in the short term, because all parts of the coalition have the same goal.
“Muslim radicals wouldn’t seem to have much in common with gay rights activists, except they have the same enemy,” he said. “And that same enemy is traditional Judeo-Christian America. And their goal at this stage in both cases is to pull down the supports that maintain those traditions and those institutions.
“When that battlefield clears, if they win, they’re obviously going to have some trouble reconciling one group that wants to celebrate homosexuals and the other group that wants to stone them to death. They’re not exactly compatible worldviews.”
In fact, Cashill claimed Muslims used the homosexual lobby as an example of how to become part of the liberal grievance industry.
“Muslim activists saw the success that gay activists were having with the term ‘homophobe,’ so they borrowed the ‘phobe’ from the gays, who they would stone to death on their own terms, and they added it to Islam and then they used that as a weapon,” he said.
The neo-Puritan coalition invents new sins all the time, Cashill argued.
Witness the Bruce/Caitlin Jenner transformation saga. Two months ago, the author said, comedians were joking about Bruce Jenner. Then Jenner became a woman, gave a lengthy interview to ABC’s Diane Sawyer and received ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Now anyone who refers to “Bruce Jenner” is called a hater or “transphobe.”
“One day transitioning from male to female is bizarre, next day it’s sacred,” Cashill noted. “They have so imposed this kind of counterfeit morality on America that it is hard to know where it’s going to pop up next, so you always have to be vigilant.”
In a highly anticipated TV event with two of the GOP’s biggest celebrities, Donald Trump told Sarah Palin on Friday that his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is “bringing back the silent majority” of Americans who “want to see America be great again.”
“They want to see something incredible happen that is going to be great,” Trump said on Palin’s “On Point” program on the One America News Network.
Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, also interviewed 2012 contenders Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.
“If you look at what’s happening to this country, it’s so sad — and we’re pointing it out,” Trump said in explaining his strong poll numbers and large turnouts at rallies since his June 16 announcement. “We have tremendous support, tremendous standing ovations.
“There is a tremendous group of people out there who just want to see this country be great again,” he told Palin. “That’s what I’m seeing, and it’s really resonating.”
Interest in Palin’s star-studded GOP lineup crashed the website for the small cable network hours before the interviews were set to take place.
One America News Network acknowledged the outage at 3:45 p.m. PT on Friday, citing widespread anticipation in the interviews.
“So much interest in the interview of Donald J. Trump, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz tonight by Sarah Palin at 10 pm EST that you crashed the oann.com website! It will be up shortly – Thank you for the interest in One America News Network,” read the post.
OAN is only available in 12 million U.S. households.
In his interview, Bush said that it was critical for the candidates to discuss issues that help all Americans, as well as his support for helping children with special needs.
“There are a lot of things that government does that are broken, and the education system is a good example of that,” the former Florida governor told Palin. “We have a duty to fix them, not necessarily spending more money, but by empowering people to live their lives with dignity and respect.
“This should be a very powerful conservative value,” Bush said.
Cruz, the first-term Texas senator, emphasized the importance of religious liberty and said that on his first day as president, he would order the Justice Department and the IRS “that the persecution of religious liberty ends on that day.
“The IRS will not be persecuting anyone for their religious views or their faith.”
He also called on the GOP-controlled Congress to “stand together and say that we are going to fund the rest of the government, but we’re not going to fund Planned Parenthood.”
Material from Reuters was used in this report.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2, NASB
His Perfect Will For You
You need look no further than 3 John 1:2 for a prayer that reflects what God’s heart for you clearly is. This verse is the reason you can know without a doubt that He wants you healed, healthy and fully provided for, just as much as He wants your soul to prosper!
Don’t go by human experiences to know if God wants His people healed today. If you say, “Well, I know of Christians who are sick,” I can point you to many others whom God has healed. We’re not called to base our believing on human experiences. We’re called to believe God’s Word.
Beloved, never put your eyes on people and their experiences, even good ones. The basis of your faith must always be God’s Word. If you are sick today, don’t focus on your symptoms or compare yourself with someone else. Meditate on His healing promises and believe that God still heals and blesses today because His Word says so!
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