Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2, HCSB)
Just as I have learned that a large percentage of my time as a sheepherder, is spent watching and looking for sheep that have gone astray, I suggest to the reader that most of American’s present problems revolve around the lies we have believed, the entertainment we have embraced, and the time and place where we spent gaining our formal schooling. Furthermore, all of these harmful things have been LEARNED. I’ll also insert this observation, prosperity is usually a poor teacher. (prosperity – remember what I said in Part 1 about sheep with a full belly? – they don’t listen to my voice) A good example today is the seemingly large number of college students who are often referred to as “snowflakes.” These people have never attended the college of hard knocks. This can explain why they are so easily “triggered” by events or comments by another person that makes them look for a “safe place,” a place where they cannot be frightened by their own shadow, and where they can weep and recover from their tormented position. College education today is very expensive, and for many who attend, it is little more than training to extend adolescence! About 50 years ago Americans bought the lie that “everyone needs to get a college education.” Then educators dumbed down standards, and together with politicians went to work establishing scholarship funds that would raise college teacher salaries, gain votes for the politicians, and pile up more debt for Mr. and Mrs Taxpayer.
Sowing and Reaping
Let me paint a word picture. You have a garden where vegetables are growing. Metaphorically, the growing vegetables represent the young people in your family. One of the frustrations I have is hearing prominent Christians get all fired up with rhetoric every time Christians are insulted by the actions of some secular person or group has made decisions to, for example, remove references to Christmas, or open the same restrooms to males, females, or transgenders. They complain that school officials, mayors, governors and others make wrong decisions, but these same Christian complainers seldom do anything to promote Christian schooling, the only way to provide an extensive biblical-based education. They want to treat the symptoms rather than take measures to prevent the disease. The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9) can help us understand the importance of having the correct standards that we and our family follow. When you complain to the school board, write a letter to a someone in the U.S. Congress, or gather somewhere to protest, these type actions would be like the gardener who steps on a weed while tending his garden. Gardeners know that stepping on a weed will hardly slow its growth, much less kill it, and registering a complaint to officials will likely produce similar results. Here is a novel idea; go protest to local pastors telling them you want a Christian school in your community. Frankly, complaining about public schools, is not an answer; not even a first step. Send your children to a Christian school, or better yet, begin teaching your children at home. If your children are grown, then do what you can to encourage young families to provide Christian schooling.
America’s Heart Problem
Here is another word picture. A professional athlete suddenly dies due to a heart condition that had gone undetected. This strong man played sports in high school and college before becoming a paid professional. Then one day he collapsed and died. This could very well describe America; she looks strong, but has a heart problem.
America has gone through some turbulent situations in recent times. She appears to be strong in many ways, but one single measure should give us pause. The U.S. Federal debt has nearly doubled since Obama began occupying the White House, and is projected to reach 20 trillion dollars by February 2017. As someone has said, “Anything that can’t go on for ever, won’t.” A single statistic like this does not tell the whole story in regard to our problems, but it is an important bellwether type factor. For example, our prosperity is inflated, and our prosperity would vanish if we had to pay that all debt at once. In fact, it can’t be done.
Since Donald Trump won the presidential election November 8, 2016, several indicators have suggested our country is turning a corner on the many disasters that have piled upon on us during the past four to six decades. I am optimistic that Trump can turn the corner, just as Obama turned the corner eight years ago, but he went in the WRONG DIRECTION. I truly believe God has given us a reprieve, but the work of Christians is now enormous.
How is the work of Christians enormous? We have more than 300 million people in America, and the majority, most likely, need attention to their spiritual condition. Much of our learned attitudes come from actions that began more than 150 years ago. I am specifically thinking about our public schools, more than any other group. I will say, our church congregations chould also use an overhaul. Man is a creature of habit, and migrates toward those things that make him comfortable. It took about 150 years for the humanists to worm their way into our culture and nudge Christians to the side. In retrospect, I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when the culture was Christian, but I saw few hard core, Bible-believing Christians. The radicals of the 1960s made a hard push to rid the culture of all things Christian… we’ve lost our footing, what was left of it. The main point is that we took more than 150 years to get here, so we cannot gain what we lost in one generation. We need to wake up and realize we have been following the wrong crowd for way too long. One to three trips a week to participate in a church congregational meeting WILL NOT TURN THIS COUNTRY AROUND. If you want your children to truly follow Jesus, then, at the very least, as a first step, remove them from the clutches of government schools.
Seriously, whether you have school children or not, talk to local pastors about helping young families with finances to school their children in a way that will honor God. If you are told, “No,” then I ask you, “What will you do next?” Will you and the pastors just return to the old habits, and places of comfort?